Judges appointed to assist at US federal district courts
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United States federal civil procedure doctrines
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In United States federal courts, magistrate judges are judges appointed to assist U.S. district court judges in the performance of their duties. Magistrate judges generally oversee first appearances of criminal defendants, set bail, and conduct other administrative duties. The position of "magistrate judge" or "magistrate" also exists in some unrelated state courts (see below).
Magistrate judges are appointed by a majority vote of the federal district judges of a particular district and serve terms of eight years if full-time, or four years if part-time, and may be reappointed. As of March 2009 there were 517 full-time and 42 part-time authorized magistrate judgeships, as well as one position combining magistrate judge and clerk of court. Although they serve on federal courts, magistrate judges are not considered "federal judges" in the strict sense of the term, because they are not appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate and do not have life tenure.
^"Magistrate Judgeships". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
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