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LCivR 3.3.1 Assignment of cases to district judges

3.3.1      Assignment of cases to district judges

  1. Method - Each civil action (except Social Security cases) and each bankruptcy appeal, shall be assigned to a district judge, who shall continue in the case or matter until its final disposition, except as hereinafter provided. Each Social Security action shall be assigned at random to a magistrate judge at the time of filing. The parties will thereafter be given an opportunity to consent voluntarily to the dispositive jurisdiction of the assigned magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). If all parties do not timely consent, the case will be assigned to a district judge at random and will be referred to the originally assigned magistrate judge under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
  2. Sequence - At the commencement of each civil case, the clerk shall assign the case a sequential case number and assign the case to a judge in accordance with LCivR 3.3.1(c). The numbering and assignment of each case shall be completed before processing of the next case is commenced.
  3. Procedure - The clerk shall assign new cases to judges at random, in the proportions established from time to time by administrative order. The clerk shall mark or the electronic filing system shall identify the name of the assigned judge on the first document of the case. The clerk shall preserve a record of such assignments.
  4. Exceptions
    1. Refilings - If a case is dismissed or remanded to state court and later refiled, either in the same or similar form, upon refiling it shall be assigned or transferred to the judge to whom it was originally assigned.
    2. Subsequent proceedings - Subsequent proceedings in cases shall be assigned to the judge assigned to the original case, if that judge is still hearing cases.
    3. Related cases - Cases related to cases already assigned to a judge shall be assigned or transferred as set out below.
      1. Definition - Cases are deemed related when a filed case (1) relates to property involved in an earlier numbered pending suit, or (2) arises out of the same transaction or occurrence and involves one or more of the same parties as a pending suit, or (3) involves the validity or infringement of a patent already in suit in any pending earlier numbered case.
      2. Determination - When it appears to the clerk that two or more cases may be related cases, they shall be referred to the magistrate judge designated under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) to assist in the earliest case to determine whether or not the cases are related. If related, the cases will be assigned to the same judge. If cases are found to be related cases after assignment to different judges, they may be reassigned by the Chief Judge to the judge having the related case earliest filed.
  5. Miscellaneous docket - The miscellaneous docket of the court shall be assigned at random to a magistrate judge at the time of filing. If a miscellaneous docket matter is contested and requires proceedings conducted before a district judge, the case will be randomly reassigned to a district judge and a new civil action number will be assigned. If a miscellaneous docket matter requires decision by a district judge, a district judge will be assigned at random.
  6. Effect - This rule is intended to provide for an orderly division of the business of the court and not to grant any right to any litigant.
  7. Duty of parties - All parties shall notify the court in writing of all pending related cases and any dismissed or remanded prior cases.
Date Last Modified: 
January 1, 2019