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Woods v. Dahlberg

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
Jan 9, 1990
894 F.2d 187 (6th Cir. 1990)

Summary

holding that a motion to proceed in forma pauperis is dispositive because it is the functional equivalent of an involuntary dismissal

Summary of this case from Vogel v. U.S. Office Products Co.

Opinion

Nos. 89-3991, 89-3992.

Submitted November 29, 1989.

Decided January 9, 1990.

Ernest Ralph Ellis, Sr., Cambridge, Ohio, for plaintiff-appellant in no. 89-3992.

Brian J. woods, Mansfield, Ohio, for plaintiff-appellant in no. 89-3991.

Anthony J. Celebrezze, Jr., Office of the Atty. Gen. of Ohio, Columbus, Ohio, for defendant-appellee Anthony Brigano.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

Before MILBURN and GUY, Circuit Judges, and LIVELY, Senior Circuit Judge.


These appeals have been referred to a panel of the court pursuant to Rule 9(a), Rules of the Sixth Circuit. The panel has consolidated the appeals since they raise the same issue.

Plaintiffs have both appealed from magistrate orders denying leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Sua sponte, we address the issue of whether magistrates have authority to deny a motion for pauper status and conclude that they do not.

The jurisdiction of magistrates is set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 636. Section 636(b)(1)(A) provides:

(A) a judge may designate a magistrate to hear and determine any pretrial matter pending before the court, except a motion for injunctive relief, for judgment on the pleadings, for summary judgment, to dismiss or quash an indictment or information made by the defendant, to suppress evidence in a criminal case, to dismiss or to permit maintenance of a class action, to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and to involuntarily dismiss an action. A judge of the court may reconsider any pretrial matter under this subparagraph (A) where it has been shown that the magistrate's order is clearly erroneous or contrary to law.

Although section 636(b)(1)(A) does not specifically reference a motion to proceed in forma pauperis, we conclude that a denial of such a motion is the functional equivalent of an involuntary dismissal and is outside the scope of a magistrate's authority.

It is clear that a denial of pauper status by a district judge is appealable. Roberts v. United States District Court, 339 U.S. 844, 70 S.Ct. 954, 94 L.Ed. 1326 (1950), and Foster v. United States, 344 F.2d 698 (6th Cir. 1965).

A district judge is free to refer a motion for pauper status to a magistrate and if the decision is to grant such a motion, the magistrate may enter such an order. If the decision is to deny, however, the magistrate must make such a recommendation to the district judge who will then take final action. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B).

We note that the Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (AO form 240, Rev. 6/86) is consistent with our conclusion in that it provides a signature line for a magistrate to sign the order if the petition is granted but, if the petition is denied, the signature line on the order references only the district judge.

These two cases are REMANDED to the district court for a decision by the district judge as to whether pauper status should be denied. The remands are without prejudice to the plaintiffs' right to appeal in the event pauper status is denied.

In Ambrose v. Welch, 729 F.2d 1084 (6th Cir. 1984), we held that an order denying pauper status to an applicant was not appealable since it was not clear whether the parties consented to the jurisdiction of the magistrate. 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1). However, in Ambrose the question of the propriety of the magistrate entering an order of denial was neither raised nor addressed. The issue of consent would seldom, if ever, be implicated in these proceedings since the application to proceed in pauper status must be granted before the suit is filed. Thus, at this stage of the proceedings there is really no opposite party able to consent.


Summaries of

Woods v. Dahlberg

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
Jan 9, 1990
894 F.2d 187 (6th Cir. 1990)

holding that a motion to proceed in forma pauperis is dispositive because it is the functional equivalent of an involuntary dismissal

Summary of this case from Vogel v. U.S. Office Products Co.

holding that magistrate judges lack authority to deny pauper status

Summary of this case from Sawyer v. Trott

holding that magistrate judges lack authority to deny pauper status

Summary of this case from Darbee v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec.

holding that magistrate judges lack authority to deny pauper status

Summary of this case from Harrier v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec.

holding that magistrate judges lack authority to deny pauper status

Summary of this case from Byington v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec.

holding that a motion to proceed in forma pauperis is dispositive because it is the functional equivalent of an involuntary dismissal

Summary of this case from Meeks v. Schofield

finding denial of a motion to proceed in forma pauperis the functional equivalent of an involuntary dismissal and therefore outside the scope of the Magistrate's authority

Summary of this case from Bus. Credit Leasing v. City of Biddeford

concluding that a denial of in forma pauperis status is the functional equivalent of an involuntary dismissal and is outside the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge

Summary of this case from Gardner v. Decision One Mortgage Company, LLC

concluding that a denial of in forma pauperis status is the functional equivalent of an involuntary dismissal and is outside the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge

Summary of this case from Semler v. Klang

concluding that a denial of IFP status is the functional equivalent of an involuntary dismissal, and is outside the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge

Summary of this case from Ginters v. Frazier

observing that denial of IFP status is the equivalent of an involuntary dismissal

Summary of this case from Sonia v. Warden New Hampshire State Prison

reasoning that the denial of in forma pauperis is the "functional equivalent of an involuntary dismissal"

Summary of this case from Carroll v. Onemain Fin., Inc.

In Woods v. Dahlberg, 894 F.2d 187 (6th Cir. 1990), the Sixth Circuit ruled that a denial of an application to proceed in forma pauperis by a magistrate judge is the functional equivalent of an involuntary dismissal, which cannot be granted by a magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A).

Summary of this case from Johnson v. Sec'y U.S. Dept. of Labor

In Woods v. Dahlberg, 894 F.2d 187, 187-88 (6th Cir. 1990), the court treated a magistrate judge's denial of in forma pauperis status as the functional equivalent of involuntary dismissal and therefore subject to de novo review.

Summary of this case from Grand Rapids Auto Auction v. National City Bank, Indiana
Case details for

Woods v. Dahlberg

Case Details

Full title:BRIAN J. WOODS (89-3991), PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, v. ERIC DAHLBERG; GEORGE…

Court:United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

Date published: Jan 9, 1990

Citations

894 F.2d 187 (6th Cir. 1990)

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