Divided 7th Circ. Narrows Magistrate Judge Powers

By Jessica Corso (June 19, 2017, 8:26 PM EDT) -- A split panel of the Seventh Circuit on Friday ruled that magistrate judges cannot dismiss lawsuits as frivolous without a defendant's knowledge or consent, a ruling that Circuit Judge Richard Posner objected to as "a waste of time."

Two judges on a three-judge panel of the appellate court on Friday revived Tracey Coleman's lawsuit against Wisconsin's Labor and Industry Review Commission, which Coleman accuses of denying him due process in a racial discrimination complaint against the high school where he used to work.

Although Coleman consented to having a federal magistrate judge review his petition to precede in forma pauperis, in...

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