Ricardo Jose Calderon Lopez v. Tigran Gumushyan et al

Filing 108

ORDER by Judge Laurel Beeler regarding ECF Nos. 100, 101, 107. Mr. Lopez already consented to magistrate-judge jurisdiction and, absent good cause or extraordinary circumstances, he cannot withdraw it. His declination at ECF No. 100 is therefore ineffective. (lblc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/9/2017)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 San Francisco Division United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 RICARDO JOSE CALDERON LOPEZ, Case No. 16-cv-07236-LB Plaintiff, 13 v. 14 15 TIGRAN GUMUSHYAN, et al., Defendants. 16 ORDER DENYING THE PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO WITHDRAW CONSENT TO MAGISTRATE JURISDICTION Re: ECF Nos. 100, 101, 107 17 Ricardo Calderon Lopez filed this civil rights case in the Central District of California.1 The 18 19 case was then transferred to this district and assigned to Magistrate Judge Westmore.2 Mr. Lopez 20 consented to magistrate-judge jurisdiction.3 The case was then related to Lopez v. Commissioner of 21 Social Security, 16-cv-02732-LB, and reassigned to the undersigned.4 Mr. Lopez now wants to 22 withdraw his consent to magistrate jurisdiction — he filed a form purporting to decline magistrate- 23 24 25 26 Compl. – ECF No. 1. Record citations refer to material in the Electronic Case File (“ECF”); pinpoint citations are to the ECF-generated page numbers at the top of documents. 1 2 27 28 Order Transferring Case – ECF No. 76; see also ECF No. 77. 3 Consent – ECF No. 82. 4 Related Case Order – ECF No. 84. ORDER — No. 16-cv-07236-LB 1 judge jurisdiction.5 The defendants filed an administrative motion opposing Mr. Lopez’s 2 declination;6 Mr. Lopez effectively replied in an administrative motion of his own.7 A party to a federal civil action generally has a constitutional right to proceed before an Article 3 III judge. Dixon v. Ylst, 990 F.2d 478, 479 (9th Cir. 1993). This right can be waived, however, so 5 that parties can “consent to trial before a magistrate judge.” Id. at 479–80. Consent to magistrate- 6 judge jurisdiction can only be withdrawn for good cause or under extraordinary circumstances. Id. 7 at 480. Indeed, “[t]here is no absolute right, in a civil case, to withdraw consent to trial and other 8 proceedings before a magistrate judge.” Id. “In ruling on a motion to withdraw consent, courts 9 consider factors including timeliness, whether granting the motion would unduly interfere with or 10 delay the proceedings, the burdens and costs to litigants, and whether consent was voluntary and 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 4 uncoerced.” Quinn v. Centerplate, No. 14-cv-01254 NC, 2014 WL 2860666, at *3 (N.D. Cal. June 12 23, 2014) (citing United States v. Neville, 985 F.2d 992, 1000 (9th Cir. 1993)). Here, Mr. Lopez argues that he has a constitutional right to demand an Article III judge. 8 In 13 14 light of his appeal of the related, social-security-benefits case, he states that “[t]he filing of a 15 [n]otice of [a]ppeal is an event of jurisdictional significance — it confers [j]urisdiction on the 16 court of appeals and divest[s] the [d]istrict [c]ourt of its control over those aspects of the case 17 involved in the appeal.”9 Therefore, according to Mr. Lopez, he has a right to decline (or 18 withdraw) consent to magistrate jurisdiction. Mr. Lopez’s argument does not demonstrate good cause or extraordinary circumstances 19 20 warranting the withdrawal of his consent. Allowing withdrawal now would delay the proceedings 21 and burden the parties by reassigning the case to a third judge. It would also interfere with the 22 proceedings because this case is related to Mr. Lopez’s social-security appeal, over which the 23 24 5 Declination – ECF No. 100. 6 Administrative Motion in Opposition – ECF No. 101. 7 See ECF No. 107. 27 8 Id. at 4. 28 9 Id. (citing Griggs v. Provident Consumer Discount Co., 459 U.S. 56, 58 (1982)). 25 26 ORDER — No. 16-cv-07236-LB 2 1 undersigned presides. And Mr. Lopez does not make any showing that his consent was 2 involuntary or coerced. His appeal in the related case does not change the outcome. 3 4 5 Mr. Lopez’s declination to magistrate-judge declination is therefore ineffective; he already consented and, absent good cause or extraordinary circumstances, must stick with that election. This disposes of ECF Nos. 100, 101, and 107. 6 7 IT IS SO ORDERED. 8 Dated: March 9, 2017 ______________________________________ LAUREL BEELER United States Magistrate Judge 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER — No. 16-cv-07236-LB 3

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