More on Green Development
Posted on March 9, 2016
In In re Green Development Corp. (D. Md. 2016), the district judge affirmed the magistrate judge’s order, which we saw yesterday, denying Green Development Corp.’s § 1782 application.
The order is quite terse, and not particularly interesting on the substance. I note the decision simply because it’s an example of the issue about a magistrate judge’s authority in § 1782 cases. The issue turns on whether the § 1782 application is considered a dispositive motion or instead a non-dispositive pretrial matter. Under 28 U.S.C. § 636, the magistrate judge can decide non-dispositive matters, subject to a review only if the decision is clear error or contrary to law. But on dispositive matters the magistrate judge can only make a report and recommendation, which the district judge can review de novo. It is apparent from the decisions here that the magistrate judge and the district judge implicitly understand § 1782 applications as dispositive: the magistrate made a report and recommendation, and the district judge reviewed it de novo.