The opinion of the court was delivered by: HEDGES
THE HONORABLE RONALD J. HEDGES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT MAGISTRATE JUDGE
THE COURT: This is the application of the United States to have this matter reassigned. As an initial matter, I must address the question of whether I should refer this motion to the Chief Judge or decide it myself. That is governed by General Rule 11 of this Court.
As noted before in my earlier ruling on the application of the United States to extradite the respondent on charges of obstruction of justice, extradition is sui generis in nature, neither civil nor criminal. Rule 11 does not specifically address extradition matters, but instead addresses itself to criminal and civil actions. Under General Rule 40B.12, which authorizes United States magistrate judges to conduct extradition hearings, extradition is considered a matter related to duties in criminal cases. This leads me in the first instance to look at General Rule 11E, which addresses criminal matters. That provides, among other things that, "any application for reassignment of a criminal matter to any Judge in a vicinage other than where the assigned Judge is sitting shall be made by notice of motion pursuant to General Rule 12, returnable before the Chief Judge."
This is not a motion to reassign this extradition proceeding to another judge in another vicinage. It is merely an attempt by the Government to have the matter assigned to another judicial officer. Therefore, General Rule 11E is inapplicable.
Rather than address extradition in terms of a criminal proceeding, it might be more useful for the general purposes of General Rule 11 to discuss it in the context of a civil matter. I do this for the simple reason there is not a statewide wheel for extradition proceedings as there is for felony matters. The procedure is that an extradition proceeding is commenced and is assigned to a magistrate judge, as would any criminal complaint be. The extradition proceeding is allocated among the magistrate judges in Newark if this is where the complaint is filed and it is assigned to the magistrate judge who has criminal duty at the time. That appears to me to be more consistent with the matter in which civil actions are allocated and assigned rather than by the districtwide wheel as felony cases are assigned.
Subsection 2 of General Rule 11(b) provides: "If it appears that any matter requires immediate attention and the Judge to whom an action has been or would be assigned is not or will not be available, the Clerk or deputy charged with such duty, under the direction of the Chief Judge, shall assign the matter either permanently or temporarily to an available Judge."
General Rule 11C provides: "Promptly after allocation and assignment of a civil case, the Clerk shall notify both parties or their counsel and the Judge of such allocation and assignment. Objections to either the allocation or the assignment of a civil case shall be made, on notice to opposing counsel, before the Judge to whom the case has been assigned."
General Rule 11B.2 is not applicable here. This is not a matter that requires immediate attention, and I am certainly not unavailable to deal with it.
General Rule 11B.1 provides that allocation should be made by the Clerk in the normal manner and that in certain matters assignment shall be made under the direction of the Chief Judge. That is simply inconsistent with the manner in which extradition matters are assigned in the District and is inapplicable.
General Rule 11C provides if there are objections to either allocation or assignment, the motion should be made to me rather than the Chief Judge. Therefore, I am satisfied that the motion is properly before me rather than ...