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Moore's Federal Practice - Civil
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

14-72 Moore's Federal Practice - Civil 72.syn


Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 72, Magistrate Judges: Pretrial Order


George K. Walker;updated by; Joseph C. Spero

Chapter Summary


Under § 636(b)(1) of the Federal Magistrates Act, a district judge is authorized to designate a magistrate judge to hear pretrial matters "pending before the court." Thus, the magistrate judge is not limited to hearing proceedings that take place before trial. Post-judgment matters that arose in the preliminary stages of a case may be referred to a magistrate judge. Further, magistrate judges may be assigned to hear proceedings, such as those involving execution of judgments, which may include matters previously heard and decided by a district judge.

This chapter of Moore's Federal Practice covers Rule 72 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which governs referral of pretrial matters and prisoner petitions challenging conditions of confinement to magistrate judges pursuant to the Federal Magistrates Act. The referral procedure is explained, and the scope of a magistrate judge's authority under Rule 72 is analyzed in detail. Judicial review of a magistrate judge's decision is also discussed.

Moore's Federal Practice (Matthew Bender) is the leading source of analysis of federal court practice and procedure and has been repeatedly relied upon by federal courts around the country. It has comprehensive and authoritative analysis on federal civil, criminal, appellate, and admiralty procedure, along with the full text of the federal rules and extensive commentary and analysis of the rules and cases interpreting the rules.


Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,federal court,federal rules,federal court practice,federal civil rules,Federal Magistrates Act,magistrate judge,magistrate,FRCP 72


For an understanding of the functions of magistrate judges in civil proceedings, see Ch. 53, Masters, concerning masters and Ch. 73, Magistrate Judges: Trial by Consent; Appeal, regarding magistrate judges.

For a discussion of pleadings and motions, as well as sanctions, see Ch. 11, Signing Pleadings, Motions, and Other Papers; Representations to the Court; Sanctions.

For more information on pretrial conferences, see Ch. 16, Pretrial Conferences; Scheduling; Management.

For an analysis of jury trial issues, see Ch. 38, Right to a Jury Trial; Demand and Ch. 39, Trial by Jury or by the Court.

For a discussion of the disqualification of magistrate judges, see Ch. 40, Scheduling Cases for Trial.

For more information on summary judgment, see Ch. 56, Summary Judgment.

For an analysis of local rules, see Ch. 83, Rules by District Courts; Judge's Directives.


For more information on magistrate judges relating to pretrial orders, see Federal Litigation Guide, Ch. 27, the Pretrial Conference (Matthew Bender) and Moore's Manual--Federal Practice and Procedure, Ch. 21, Masters and Magistrate Judges (Matthew Bender).

For forms relating to magistrate judges and pretrial orders, see Bender's Federal Practice Forms, Rule 72, Magistrate Judges: Pretrial Order (Matthew Bender).

For discussion and strategic tips on federal civil cases, see Moore's AnswerGuide: Federal Civil Motion Practice (Matthew Bender) and Moore's AnswerGuide: Federal Pretrial Civil Litigation (Matthew Bender).
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