Smith v. Barrow Neurological Institute et al

Filing 137

ORDER granting 133 Motion to Seal. Signed by Judge Frederick J Martone on 4/20/12. (MAP)

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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 10 11 12 13 14 15 ) ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) vs. ) ) Barrow Neurological Institute of St.) Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, et) ) al., ) ) Defendants. ) ) Leanna Smith, No. CV 10-01632-PHX-FJM ORDER 16 17 We have before us defendants' motion to file under seal (doc. 133). Banner Health 18 System and Scott Elton, M.D. ("Banner defendants") move for leave to file their motion for 19 summary judgment and supporting statement of facts under seal. These documents quote 20 from juvenile court records. 21 There is a "strong presumption in favor of access" to court records, including motions 22 for summary judgment and related attachments. Kamakana v. City & Cnty. of Honolulu, 447 23 F.3d 1172, 1179 (9th Cir. 2006). To overcome this burden, a party seeking to seal a judicial 24 record "must articulate compelling reasons supported by specific factual findings that 25 outweigh the general history of access and the public policies favoring disclosure." Id. at 26 1178-79 (brackets, internal quotation marks, and citations omitted). Compelling reasons 27 exist when "'court files might have become a vehicle for improper purposes,' such as the use 28 of records to gratify private spite, promote public scandal, circulate libelous statements, or 1 release trade secrets." Id. at 1179. 2 Banner defendants claim the records should be sealed because publicly releasing the 3 information could embarrass, harass, or otherwise harm the children. Juvenile court records 4 and proceedings are generally confidential. See, e.g., A.R.S. ยงยง 8-208(F) ("Except as 5 otherwise provided by law, the records of an adoption, severance or dependency proceeding 6 shall not be open to public inspection."); 8-537(A) (excluding general public from 7 termination adjudication hearing). Public policy favors the protection of minors' privacy in 8 such sensitive matters. Compelling reasons exist for sealing these documents. IT IS ORDERED GRANTING Banner defendants' motion to file under seal (doc. 9 10 11 133). DATED this 20th day of April, 2012. 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -2-

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