(a) Consent to Exercise of Civil Trial Jurisdiction.
(1) In General. A party who consents to the exercise of civil trial jurisdiction authorized in 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1) may communicate such consent to the clerk on a clerk-provided form signed by the party or his or her attorney.
(2) Notice. At the time an action is filed, the clerk will send notice to the plaintiff or his or her representative that they may consent to have a magistrate judge conduct any or all proceedings in the case and order the entry of a final judgment. The clerk will provide such notice to other parties as an attachment to copies of the complaint and summons when served. Additional notices may be furnished to the parties at later stages of the case, and may be included with pretrial notices and instructions.
(3) Confidentiality. A judge or magistrate judge must not be informed of a party's response to the clerk's notification unless all parties have consented to the referral to a magistrate judge.
(4) Timing. The consent must be filed with the clerk prior to the time of trial.
(b) Referral by the Court. After the consent form has been executed and filed, the clerk will transmit it to the judge to whom the case has been assigned for approval and referral of the case to a magistrate judge.
(c) Withdrawal of Consent. After a case has been referred, no party may withdraw its consent to the exercise of a magistrate judge's jurisdiction without court approval.
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As amended 2/2/95.