Combs & Company Inc v. Carpenter Sullivan LLC

Filing 22

ORDER finding as moot 8 Motion to Compel; finding as moot 13 Motion for Protective Order; denying 14 Motion to Strike. Signed by Judge William R. Wilson, Jr on 12/1/09. (bkp)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS WESTERN DIVISION COMBS & COMPANY, INC. v. 4:08CV04223-WRW DEFENDANT PLAINTIFF CARPENTER / SULLIVAN, LLC a/k/a CARPENTER / SULLIVAN / SOSSAMAN (CS2) ORDER Pending is the parties' Joint Motion to Strike and Place Filings Under Seal (Doc. No. 14). The parties in this case have reached a settlement.1 As a condition of the settlement, the parties agree that CS2's Motion to Compel,2 Brief in Support,3 Certificate of Counsel4 and all accompanying exhibits filed on October 16, 2009,5 be placed under seal. Although each court has discretion over its own records and files, that discretion "`is circumscribed by a long-established legal tradition'"6 -- that is, "`the presumptive right of the public to inspect and copy judicial documents and files.'"7 "Court records are public records."8 The Eighth Circuit declined to adopt a "`strong presumption' in favor of the common law right 1 Doc. No. 14. Doc. No. 8. Doc. No. 9. Doc. No. 10. Doc. No. 14. 2 3 4 5 In re Knoxville News-Sentinel Co., 723 F.2d 470, 474 (6th Cir. 1983) (quoting Nixon v. Warner Communications, 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978)). 7 6 Id. Levy v. Ohl, 477 F.3d 988, 991 (8th Cir. 2007). 8 of access."9 "`[T]he decision as to access is one best left to the sound discretion of the trial court, a discretion to be exercised in light of the relevant facts and circumstances of the particular case.'"10 I am very chary of sealing documents. In this case, considering all the circumstances, I do not believe sealing is warranted. Accordingly, the Motion (Doc. No. 14) is DENIED. Because the parties filed a Notice of Settlement,11 all other pending motions in this case are DENIED as MOOT. IT IS SO ORDERED this 1st day of December, 2009. /s/Wm. R. Wilson, Jr. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 9 United States v. Webbe, 791 F.2d 103, 106 (8th Cir. 1986). Id. (quoting Nixon v. Warner Communications, 435 U.S. 589, 599 (1978)). Doc. No. 16. 10 11

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