Kansas City, MO asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Personal Injury and Products Liability for California

Q: Can parties file replies to responses to objections to R&R in federal lawsuits?

After a magistrate judge issues their Report & Recommendations, my understanding is each party has 14 days to file objections. Can: (a) parties file responses to the other party's objections and, if so, how long do they have, (b) parties file replies to the responses to the other party's objections and, if so, how long do they have? Do judges generally wait for all the responses and replies to come in before ruling or are they sometimes likely to rule immediately?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In the federal court system, after a magistrate judge issues a Report & Recommendations (R&R), parties typically have 14 days to file objections. (a) Parties can file responses to the other party's objections, usually within 14 days after being served with the objections. (b) The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly provide for replies to the responses; however, local rules or specific judges might allow or even set specific timelines for such replies, so it's essential to check those. Generally, district judges will wait until all objections and responses are filed, or the time to file has expired, before reviewing the R&R and any objections. However, judges have discretion and might rule sooner, especially if they find that the objections do not raise new or substantial issues. To ensure compliance, always refer to the local rules and any specific order from the court related to the R&R.

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