Roseberry v. Ryan et al
ORDER granting Respondent's 33 Motion for Reconsideration. FURTHER ORDERED vacating the Court's 31 order granting Roseberry's motion to file his amended habeas petition under seal. The Clerk of Court is directed to unseal Roseberry's 32 amended petition. FURTHER ORDERED denying Roseberry's 35 motion to seal his response to Respondents' motion for reconsideration. Signed by Senior Judge Neil V Wake on 9/15/2016. (ATD)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Homer Ray Roseberry,
Charles L. Ryan, et al.,
DEATH PENALTY CASE
Before the Court is Respondents’ motion for reconsideration of the Court’s order
granting Roseberry’s request to file his amended habeas petition under seal. (Doc. 33.)
Also before the Court is Roseberry’s motion to seal his response to the motion for
reconsideration. (Doc. 35.)
A court has inherent power to seal documents in appropriate circumstances.
United States v. Mann, 829 F.2d 849, 853 (9th Cir. 1987). There is a strong presumption
in favor of access to court records, but the right of access is not absolute and may be
overridden given sufficiently compelling reasons. Foltz v. State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins.
Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 2003).
Roseberry contends that his petition should be sealed because it contains
references to materials that remain sealed in state court. (Doc. 29.) Respondents argue
that Roseberry’s petition merely cites or refers to the sealed materials and therefore does
not violate the state court’s order. (Doc. 37 at 2.) They also assert that the references to
sealed documents occur in only four claims, which, they suggest in the alternative, could
remain sealed if the Court does not unseal the entire petition. (Doc. 33 at 2.) Roseberry
counters that the references to sealed documents are incorporated throughout the entire
petition. (Doc. 36 at 5–7.)
The Court finds that Roseberry has not shown sufficiently compelling reasons to
seal either his habeas petition or his response to the motion for reconsideration.
Roseberry does not cite any harm that would result from unsealing the petition. In fact, he
“does not desire the concealing of the documents at issue” and moved twice in state
court, unsuccessfully, for the documents to be unsealed. (Doc. 36 at 9.)
In addition, as Respondents argues, it is not clear that Roseberry’s filings in this
Court violate the state court’s order sealing the documents. Roseberry’s citations to the
sealed material in his habeas petition do not reveal the contents of the documents. (See
Doc. 32 at 25, 67–68, 69, 78, 151, 183.) References to the material in Roseberry’s
response outline but do not detail the contents of the sealed documents or reveal
confidential or privileged matters. (Doc. 36 at 3–6.)
Accordingly, because Roseberry has not met his burden of showing compelling
reasons for his sealing requests,
IT IS ORDERED granting Respondents’ motion for reconsideration. (Doc. 33.)
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED vacating the Court’s order granting Roseberry’s
motion to file his amended habeas petition under seal. (Doc. 31.) The Clerk of Court is
directed to unseal Roseberry’s amended petition. (Doc. 32.)
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED denying Roseberry’s motion to seal his response
to Respondents’ motion for reconsideration. (Doc. 35.)
Dated this 15th day of September, 2016.
Neil V. Wake
Senior United States District
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