Urian v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company

Filing 30

ORDER denying 29 Stipulation for Confidentiality Agreement without prejudice. (See document for full details). Signed by Judge G Murray Snow on 8/24/11. (LAD)

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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. ) ) Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance) ) Company, ) ) Defendant. ) ) Robert Urian, a single man, No. CV-11-1136-PHX-GMS ORDER 16 17 The parties have submitted a Stipulation for Confidentiality Agreement regarding 18 confidentiality that calls for discovery materials to be kept confidential by the parties and for 19 confidential documents to be filed with the Court under seal. (Doc. 29.) The proposed order 20 fails to take into account Ninth Circuit law restricting the circumstances under which 21 confidentiality orders may be entered and documents in the Court’s file may be sealed. 22 Two standards are relevant. “First, a ‘compelling reasons’ standard applies to [the 23 sealing of] most judicial records.” Pintos v. Pac. Creditors Ass’n, 605 F.3d 665, 677-78 (9th 24 Cir. 2010) (citing Kamakana v. City & County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 25 2006); Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135-36 (9th Cir. 2003)). 26 “This standard derives from the common law right ‘to inspect and copy public records and 27 documents, including judicial records and documents.’ To limit this common law right of 28 access, a party seeking to seal judicial records must show that ‘compelling reasons supported 1 by specific factual findings outweigh the general history of access and the public policies 2 favoring disclosure.’” Id. (quoting Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178) (alteration and internal 3 citations omitted). 4 The second standard applies to discovery materials. “‘Private materials unearthed 5 during discovery’ are not part of the judicial record.” Id. (quoting Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 6 1180) (alteration omitted). The “good cause” standard set forth in Rule 26(c) of the Federal 7 Rules of Civil Procedure applies to orders rendering this category of documents confidential. 8 See id.; San Jose Mercury News, Inc. v. U.S. Dist. Ct., 187 F.3d 1096, 1103 (9th Cir. 1999) 9 (“It is well-established that the fruits of pretrial discovery are, in the absence of a court order 10 to the contrary, presumptively public. Rule 26(c) authorizes a district court to override this 11 presumption where ‘good cause’ is shown.”) (citations omitted). 12 The good cause standard also applies to the sealed filing of documents attached to 13 non-dispositive motions because those documents are often “‘unrelated, or only tangentially 14 related, to the underlying cause of action.’” Phillips v. G.M. Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1213 (9th 15 Cir. 2002); see Pintos, 565 F.3d at 677-78. Documents attached to dispositive motions such 16 as motions for summary judgment, however, are governed by the compelling reasons 17 standard. See San Jose Mercury News, 187 F.3d at 1102; Foltz, 331 F.3d at 1136. The 18 parties do not establish good cause or compelling reasons merely by stipulating that 19 documents may be filed under seal. 20 The parties may submit a revised proposed order that takes into account these 21 standards. The stipulation or motion seeking entry of the order should show good cause for 22 a confidentiality order governing discovery materials. The proposed order should also reflect 23 the fact that any party seeking to file documents under seal must show good cause for 24 documents attached to non-dispositive motions or compelling reasons for documents attached 25 to dispositive motions. Therefore, 26 /// 27 28 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED denying the Stipulation for Confidentiality Agreement (Doc. 29) without prejudice. -2- 1 DATED this 24th day of August, 2011. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -3-

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