The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that federal magistrate judges do not have the power to remand cases to state court. Addressing an issue of first impression under the Federal Magistrates Act, Judge Chester Straub said the 2nd Circuit was joining the 3rd, 6th and 10th circuits in finding that a remand order is the "functional equivalent" of a motion to dismiss and is thus a "dispositive" matter outside the realm of a magistrate judge's authority.
2nd Circuit Holds Magistrates Lack Power to Remand
New York Law Journal
June 2, 2008