Cardinal Health 200 LLC v. The Healthcare Authority for Baptist Health
ORDER denying 2 Motion to File Unredacted Complaint Under Seal, with leave to refile its motion with specific arguments and supporting legal precedent as to why the complaint should be placed under seal. Signed by Honorable Judge Mark E. Fuller on 11/8/2012. (wcl, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
CARDINAL HEALTH 200, LLC,
THE HEALTHCARE AUTHORITY
FOR BAPTIST HEALTH,
CASE NO. 2:12-cv-988-MEF
(WO – Do Not Publish)
Before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion to File Unredacted Complaint Under Seal.
(Doc. #2.) Plaintiff’s only argument in support of this motion is that the contents of the
contract at issue in this case are “subject to a confidentiality provision.” (Doc. #2.)
A district court’s authority to seal documents in the court record comes from Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c). That rule gives a district court authority to issue a protective
order, upon a showing of good cause, “to protect a party or person from annoyance,
embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c). A court has
a duty to ensure that a motion to seal is supported by good cause even when no third party
challenges such motion. See Brown v. Advantage Eng’g, Inc., 960 F.2d 1013, 1016 (11th
Cir. 1992) (“Once a matter is brought before a court for resolution, it is no longer solely the
parties’ case, but also the public’s case.”). Thus, the good cause standard under Rule 26(c)
requires a district court to balance the public’s interest in obtaining access to the information
sought to be sealed against the moving party’s interest in keeping the information
confidential. See Chicago Tribune Co. v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., 263 F.3d 1304, 1313
(11th Cir. 2001).
In accordance with the foregoing precedent, the Court finds that Plaintiff has not met
its burden of showing that its interest in placing its complaint under seal outweighs the
public’s right of access to these judicial records. See Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435
U.S. 589 (1978); Chicago Tribune, 263 F.3d at 1314–15 (11th Cir. 2001). Plaintiff’s sole
support for its motion is that the contract at issue in this case contains a confidentiality
provision. This reason alone is insufficient to support a finding of “good cause” required by
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c).
Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion is DENIED with leave
to refile its motion with specific arguments and supporting legal precedent as to why the
complaint should be placed under seal.
The Clerk of Court is hereby DIRECTED to UNSEAL Plaintiff’s Complaint (Doc.
#1) and any accompanying exhibits.
DONE this the 8th day of November, 2012.
/s/ Mark E. Fuller
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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