Magistrate judges in the Northern District are authorized to perform the full range of duties provided for magistrate judges under the applicable statute. In particular, the Court encourages civil litigants to consent to the jurisdiction of magistrate judges for all purposes up to and including bench or jury trial, with appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court sponsors a comprehensive program of judicially-hosted settlement conferences and other forms of alternative dispute resolution in which the magistrate judges play a critical role. In addition to their work on civil cases for which they have obtained the consent of the parties and on settlement conferences, the magistrate judges may handle pretrial case management and motions on cases assigned to the district judges. With respect to criminal cases, the magistrate judges exercise complete jurisdiction over petty offense and misdemeanor cases and handle preliminary proceedings in felony cases.
The current annual salary of the position is $188,692, and is set at the rate of 92% of the salary of a district court judge. The term of office is eight years, subject to reappointment for continuing eight-year terms thereafter. The judicial retirement system provides for vesting of a partial annuity after eight years, and, after 14 years of service, a magistrate judge is entitled to an annuity equal to the salary of the office, payable at age 65. The other benefits of federal employment apply.
To qualify for appointment, applicant must:
- Be, and have been for at least five years, a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of a state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Territory of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Virgin Islands of the United States, and have been engaged in the active practice of law for a period of at least five years (with some substitutes authorized);
- Be competent to perform all the duties of the office; be of good moral character; be emotionally stable and mature; be committed to equal justice under the law; be in good health; be patient and courteous; and be capable of deliberation and decisiveness;
- Be less than 70 years old; and
- Not be related to a judge of the District Court.
Merit Selection Panels composed of attorneys and other members of the community will review all applications and confidentially recommend to the judges of the District Court the candidates it considers best qualified. The Court will make the appointments following an FBI full-field investigation and an IRS tax check of the appointee.
The San Jose term is expected to start in June 2018. The San Francisco term is expected to start in September 2018.
The individuals selected must comply with the financial disclosure requirements pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, Pub. L. No. 95-521, 90 Stat. 1824 (1978) (codified at 5 U.S.C. app. 4 §§ 101-111) as implemented by the Judicial Conference of the United States. An affirmative effort will be made to give due consideration to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, age (40 and over), gender, religion, national origin, or disability.
An Information and Application Package may be obtained on the court’s website at cand.uscourts.gov, or by mail upon written request to:
Susan Y. Soong, Clerk
U.S. District Court
P.O. Box 36060
San Francisco, CA 94102
Please include a self-addressed 9” x 12” envelope, affixed with $1.83 in postage.
Applications must be signed personally by the applicant and received by August 31, 2017. Applications delivered in-person must be received by 4:00 pm.
All applications will be kept confidential unless the applicant consents to disclosure, and all applications will be examined only by members of the Merit Selection Panels and the judges of the District Court. The panels’ deliberations will remain confidential.