9th and 10th Floor
The 9th and 10th floors are the home to three of magistrate judges sitting in Pittsburgh. Chief Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly and Chief Magistrate Robert C. Mitchell occupy chambers on the 9th floor, while our most recent Magistrate Judge, Cynthia Reed Eddy, has her courtroom on the 10th floor.
Magistrate judges are selected and appointed by the judges of the district court. Full-time magistrate judges serve terms of eight (8) years, and part-time magistrate judges serve terms of four (4) years. Magistrate judges conduct a wide range of judicial proceedings to expedite the disposition of the civil and criminal caseloads. With respect to criminal proceedings, magistrate judges preside over misdemeanor and petty offense cases. They also conduct initial proceedings in all types of criminal cases. They conduct initial appearance proceedings and detention hearings, set bail or other conditions of release or detention, and hold preliminary examinations and arraignments. If you get arrested by a federal agency (such as, the FBI, the DEA, the IRS, the SECRET SERVICE, or the POSTAL INSPECTORS), the Magistrate Judge’s courtroom is your first stop. Magistrate judges also issue search warrants, arrest warrants, summonses and pen registers. They accept and process criminal complaints, conduct extradition proceedings, conduct evidentiary hearings, and appoint defense attorneys for those who qualify.
In civil proceedings, magistrate judges typically manage discovery and other pre-trial matters. They are authorized to issue non-dispositive pretrial orders. They write reports and recommendations to the district judges as to matters that can close a case. Such a report or recommendation can be adopted by an Article III judge. With the full consent of all the parties, a magistrate judge may try a civil case in the same manner as an Article III judge.