Mitchell et al v. Flagstaff, City of et al

Filing 220

ORDER denying 214 Motion to Seal. (See attached PDF for details). Signed by Judge Frederick J Martone on 12/12/12.(JAMA)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Ruth Bradburn Mitchell; Christopher Mitchell, 10 Plaintiffs, 11 vs. 12 13 14 City of Flagstaff; Roy Taylor, Defendants. 15 Kenneth) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. CV-11-8140-PCT-FJM ORDER 16 17 We have before us a stipulated motion to seal certain documents related to plaintiffs’ 18 motion for sanctions (doc. 214). In that motion, plaintiffs’ counsel asserted serious 19 allegations of impropriety against defendants’ counsel. We flatly rejected those allegations 20 and instead characterized plaintiffs’ counsel’s motion as “an attempt to distort facts, slander 21 opposing counsel, and mislead this court” (doc. 203 at 4). We denied the motion and 22 awarded defendants costs. 23 A party seeking to seal judicial records must “articulate compelling reasons supported 24 by specific factual findings” to overcome the “strong presumption” in favor of the public’s 25 interest in full disclosure. Kamakana v. City & County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178-79 26 (9th Cir. 2006). In support of the motion to seal the parties assert only that the motion for 27 sanctions was denied and the parties subsequently reached a settlement rendering the 28 1 allegations in the motion for sanctions moot. This is not a compelling reason to seal judicial 2 records. 3 slanderous allegations asserted against her, we believe that counsel is sufficiently exonerated 4 by our denial of the motion for sanctions and award of fees. We believe it is equally 5 important that the public understand the reason behind the award of fees as well as plaintiffs’ 6 counsel’s questionable practices. While we understand defendants’ counsel’s presumed desire to censor the 7 IT IS ORDERED DENYING the motion to seal (doc. 214). 8 DATED this 12th day of December, 2012. 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -2-