Necochea v. Lowe's Home Centers LLC et al
ORDER denying 14 joint motion to seal. Doc. 15 is stricken (but shall remain sealed) because it appears to have been filed in error; Doc. 16 shall remain lodged, under seal. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the joint motion to approve the settlement agreement (Doc. 17 ) is denied, without prejudice. IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that the parties shall either re-file their motion for approval and motion to dismiss, or their stipulation for dismissal, by 10/15/2019, this case will be dismissed consistent with this Court's order at Doc. 13 . See attached order for additional information. Signed by Senior Judge James A. Teilborg on 10/4/2019. (RMW)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Lowe's Home Centers LLC,
Pending before the Court are: 1) a motion to seal; 2) a sealed, lodged settlement
agreement; and 3) a joint motion to dismiss the case and approve the settlement agreement.
(Docs. 14, 16, and 17). Regarding the motion to seal, “FLSA settlement agreements are
not typically amenable to sealing. Joo v. Kitchen Table, Inc., 763 F.Supp.2d 643, 647
(S.D.N.Y.2011) (collecting cases).” Duran v. Hershey Co., No. 14-CV-01184-RS, 2015
WL 4945931, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 10, 2015).
Here, the parties’ justification for filing under seal include that there is no “public
interest” in this litigation and that Kamakana does not apply to this case because there are
no third parties seeking the sealed information. (Doc. 14 at 3-4).1 Whether there is
currently public interest in the litigation, however, is not the test under either Kamakana v.
City and County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1179-80 (9th Cir. 2006) or Ctr. for Auto Safety
v. Chrysler Grp., LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1096-97 (9th Cir.), cert. denied sub nom. FCA U.S.
LLC v. Ctr. for Auto Safety, 137 S. Ct. 38 (2016). Nothing in Madsen v. Fortis Benefits
The parties also suggest a public policy in favor of settlement justifies filing under seal.
The Court does not find the two issues to be related.
Ins. Co., 2006 WL 1981785, at *2 (D. Ariz. 2006), changed this Court’s duty with respect
to the presumption of public access to Court records, nor did it change the controlling law
in the Ninth Circuit.
Here, the Court finds the parties have failed to justify filing their settlement under
As the parties note, some courts have called into question whether court approval is
actually required for settlements. (Doc. 14 at 2). Given this question, the Court will not
require the parties to seek court approval. Therefore, they may either settle the case and
file a stipulation to dismiss, or they may seek court approval of their settlement, not under
IT IS ORDERED that the joint motion to seal (Doc. 14) is denied. Doc. 15 is
stricken (but shall remain sealed) because it appears to have been filed in error; Doc. 16
shall remain lodged, under seal.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the joint motion to approve the settlement
agreement (Doc. 17) is denied, without prejudice.
IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that the parties shall either re-file their motion for
approval and motion to dismiss, or their stipulation for dismissal, by October 15, 2019, or
this case will be dismissed consistent with this Court’s order at Doc. 13.
Dated this 4th day of October, 2019.
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