In the United States, a magistrate judge is an official for the district court who is elected by direct vote from current district judges, according to the United District Court of Utah. A magistrate judge deals with issues from statutes and those delegated by other district judges.
Magistrate judges serve eight-year terms, and their responsibilities vary across the nation. The district court judges serve life terms and are appointed by the president. Additionally, the U.S. District of Utah states that magistrate judges preside over both civil and criminal cases. Magistrate judges came into existence in 1968 through Congress, with further expansions in 2002.