Eagle v. Bill Alexander Automotive Center Incorporated
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)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Bill Alexander Automotive Center, Inc.,
Pending before the Court are Defendant’s Motion for Leave to File Under Seal
(Doc. 60) and Defendant’s Amended Motion for Protective Order (Doc. 67). Plaintiff has
filed a response to Defendant’s motion for a protective order (Doc. 68), whereby Plaintiff
does not oppose Defendant’s motion. Therefore, the Court will grant Defendant’s motion
for a protective order. The Court will also grant Defendant’s motion for leave to file
under seal for the following reasons.
Historically, the public has a right to inspect judicial documents and records.
Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978). However, such a right is not
absolute. Nevertheless, there is a strong presumption in favor of access to judicial
records. A party seeking to seal a judicial record bears the burden of overcoming this
presumption by either meeting the “compelling reasons” standard if the filing is a
dispositive pleading, or the “good cause” standard if the filing is a non-dispositive
pleading. Kamakana v. City & Cnty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1180 (9th Cir. 2006).
Defendant requests leave to file six exhibits to their Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 64) under seal. Thus, Defendant must show a compelling reason to seal
the exhibits. Plaintiff has not responded to the motion to seal. Defendant argues that
these six exhibits contain information that Defendant treats as confidential. A company’s
proprietary information derives its value from the fact that it is not generally available,
thus preserving the company’s competitive advantage. See Elec. Arts, Inc. v. United
States Dist. Court, 298 F. App’x 568, 569 (9th Cir. 2008). If a company’s confidential
information is released into the public domain (even accidentally), it may lose its
confidential status, resulting in irremedial harm. Ruckelshaus v. Monsanto Co., 467 U.S.
986, 1002 (1984). Thus, protection of a company’s trade secrets or highly confidential
business information constitutes compelling reasons to seal documents submitted as part
of a dispositive motion. See Ctr. for Food Safety v. Johanns, 310 F. App’x 964, 965 (9th
Cir. 2009); Elec. Arts, 298 F. App’x at 569-70.
The exhibits Defendant requests to seal are confidential communications and
information in the public record would be harmful to Defendant’s competitive advantage
if it were misused. Therefore, compelling reasons exist to file the six exhibits listed in
Defendant’s motion under seal.
Based on the foregoing,
IT IS ORDERED that Defendant’s Motion for Leave to File Under Seal (Doc.
The Court finds that Defendant has shown that filing this
60) is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant’s Amended Motion for Protective
Order (Doc. 67) is granted and the protective terms in the motion shall be enforced in this
Dated this 7th day of August, 2013.
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