Branch v. Umphenour, No. 17-15369 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Only a district judge may rule on a motion to withdraw consent to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge under 28 U.S.C. 636(c)(4). Plaintiff filed suit pro se in 2008, alleging civil rights violations by prison officials. Plaintiff consented to magistrate jurisdiction shortly after filing his action and defendants declined consent more than seven years later in 2015.
The Ninth Circuit vacated the magistrate judge's denial of plaintiff's motion to withdraw consent to the magistrate judge's jurisdiction and remanded with instructions to the district judge to consider that motion de novo. If the district court finds that plaintiff should have been permitted to withdraw consent, the district judge is to vacate the judgment entered by the magistrate judge. The panel also vacated the screening orders entered by various magistrate judges that dismissed certain of plaintiff's claims and remanded for further proceedings on those claims.