IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
June 27, 2007
LEE HOLDEN PARKER, PETITIONER,
JOHN EVANS, AND RONALD WILLIAMS RESPONDENT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Proud, Magistrate Judge
Before the court is defendants' Motion for Sanctions. (Doc. 54). Plaintiff has filed a response at Doc. 57.
District Judge Stiehl referred this case to the undersigned for pretrial proceedings pursuant to Local Rule 72.1(a)(2) in Doc. 15. Such a referral is authorized by 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1), and does not require the consent of the parties. This court issued a trial practice schedule, in which defendants were granted leave to depose plaintiff. See, Doc. 35.
Defendants' attorney served a notice to take plaintiff's deposition, and traveled to Menard Correctional Center on May 30, 2007, for that purpose. However, plaintiff refused to give his deposition because he questioned whether the undersigned was authorized to grant leave to depose him in the absence of his consent. See, transcript attached to Doc. 54. Defendants seek sanctions.
Plaintiff has filed a response in which he admits that his refusal to give his deposition resulted from a misunderstanding of 28 U.S.C. §636. The court perceives that plaintiff's actions arose from confusion and not from any intent to hinder or delay the proceedings. In view of the plaintiff's pro se status, the court will not enter sanctions at this time.
In order to avoid any further misunderstanding, the court now clarifies that this case has been referred to the undersigned for determination of all nondispositive pretrial matters. This includes scheduling and discovery issues. In addition, dispositive matters are referred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(B) and (C). This means that the undersigned judge will issue report and recommendations to the district judge on motions for summary judgment and motions to dismiss. The parties will have ten days in which to file objections to any such report and recommendation, and the district judge will then consider same and rule on the dispositive motion.
Upon consideration and for good cause shown, defendants' Motion for Sanctions (Doc. 54) is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
CLIFFORD J. PROUD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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