Eastern District Court Seeks New Magistrate

From the court’s public notice:

The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized the appointment of a full- time United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of California at Sacramento, California to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of United State Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes on July 31, 2024. The essential function of courts is to dispense justice. An important component of this function is the creation and maintenance of diversity in the court system. A community’s belief that a court dispenses justice is heightened when the court reflects the community’s diversity.

The duties of the position are demanding and wide-ranging and will include: (1) conduct of most preliminary proceedings in criminal cases; (2) trial and disposition of misdemeanor cases; (3) conduct various pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings on delegation from the judges of the district court; (4) trial and disposition of civil cases upon consent of the litigants; and (5) hearing of habeas corpus prisoner petitions and Social Security cases. The basic authority of a United States Magistrate Judge is specified in 28 U.S.C. § 636.

To be qualified for appointment an applicant must:

(1)     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);

(2)     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;

(3)     Be less than seventy (70) years old at the time of initial appointment; and

(4)     Not be related to a judge of the district court.

A merit selection panel composed of attorneys and other members of the community will review all applications and recommend to the district judges in confidence the five (5) persons it considers best qualified. The court will make the appointment, following an FBI full-field investigation and an IRS tax check of the applicant selected by the court for appointment. The individual 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. The current annual salary of the position is $213,992 (2023 pay rate). The term of office is eight (8) years.

To apply, submit 1) a letter of interest, 2) a chronological resume, and 3) a completed “Application for the Position of United States Magistrate Judge” form found on the “Careers” page of the internet website of the United States District Court – Eastern District of California at www.caed.uscourts.gov. Applications may only be submitted by applicants on their own behalf (i.e., the nomination of another person will not be accepted). The application packet must be received by no later than Monday, November 20, 2023 as a PDF file sent to email address:


Incomplete packets and those submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

To ensure impartiality, please do not have references contact the court or members of the Merit Selection Panel.

Unless the applicant consents to disclosure, all applications will be kept confidential. Submitted materials will be examined only by members of the merit selection panel and the judges of the district court. The panel’s deliberations will remain confidential.