Eagle v. Bill Alexander Automotive Center Incorporated

Filing 99

ORDER granting 60 Motion to Seal FURTHER ORDERED granting 67 Motion for Protective Order. The protective terms in the motion shall be enforced in thismatter. Signed by Senior Judge James A Teilborg on 8/7/13.(MAP)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 7 8 James Eagle, Plaintiff, 9 10 11 12 No. CV11-1148-PHX-JAT ORDER v. Bill Alexander Automotive Center, Inc., Defendant. 13 Pending before the Court are Defendant’s Motion for Leave to File Under Seal 14 (Doc. 60) and Defendant’s Amended Motion for Protective Order (Doc. 67). Plaintiff has 15 filed a response to Defendant’s motion for a protective order (Doc. 68), whereby Plaintiff 16 does not oppose Defendant’s motion. Therefore, the Court will grant Defendant’s motion 17 for a protective order. The Court will also grant Defendant’s motion for leave to file 18 under seal for the following reasons. 19 Historically, the public has a right to inspect judicial documents and records. 20 Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978). However, such a right is not 21 absolute. Nevertheless, there is a strong presumption in favor of access to judicial 22 records. A party seeking to seal a judicial record bears the burden of overcoming this 23 presumption by either meeting the “compelling reasons” standard if the filing is a 24 dispositive pleading, or the “good cause” standard if the filing is a non-dispositive 25 pleading. Kamakana v. City & Cnty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1180 (9th Cir. 2006). 26 Defendant requests leave to file six exhibits to their Motion for Summary 27 Judgment (Doc. 64) under seal. Thus, Defendant must show a compelling reason to seal 28 the exhibits. Plaintiff has not responded to the motion to seal. Defendant argues that 1 these six exhibits contain information that Defendant treats as confidential. A company’s 2 proprietary information derives its value from the fact that it is not generally available, 3 thus preserving the company’s competitive advantage. See Elec. Arts, Inc. v. United 4 States Dist. Court, 298 F. App’x 568, 569 (9th Cir. 2008). If a company’s confidential 5 information is released into the public domain (even accidentally), it may lose its 6 confidential status, resulting in irremedial harm. Ruckelshaus v. Monsanto Co., 467 U.S. 7 986, 1002 (1984). Thus, protection of a company’s trade secrets or highly confidential 8 business information constitutes compelling reasons to seal documents submitted as part 9 of a dispositive motion. See Ctr. for Food Safety v. Johanns, 310 F. App’x 964, 965 (9th 10 11 Cir. 2009); Elec. Arts, 298 F. App’x at 569-70. The exhibits Defendant requests to seal are confidential communications and 12 internal documents. 13 information in the public record would be harmful to Defendant’s competitive advantage 14 if it were misused. Therefore, compelling reasons exist to file the six exhibits listed in 15 Defendant’s motion under seal. 16 Based on the foregoing, 17 IT IS ORDERED that Defendant’s Motion for Leave to File Under Seal (Doc. 18 The Court finds that Defendant has shown that filing this 60) is granted. 19 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant’s Amended Motion for Protective 20 Order (Doc. 67) is granted and the protective terms in the motion shall be enforced in this 21 matter. 22 Dated this 7th day of August, 2013. 23 24 25 26 27 28 -2-

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