Robinson v. American Red Cross
ORDER granting deft's 11 Motion to Seal Documents that are attached to pltf's complaint; pltf shall file an amended complaint as directed within 20 days of the entry of this Order. Signed by Judge Susan Webber Wright on 10/27/11. (vjt)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
AMERICAN RED CROSS,
Plaintiff Ellen Robinson brings this pro se action against American Red Cross pursuant to
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq. alleging discrimination on
the basis of race and color (black). Before the Court is defendant’s motion to seal documents
[doc.#11] that are attached to plaintiff’s complaint. Having considered the matter, the Court
grants defendant’s motion to seal documents. The Court also orders plaintiff to file an amended
complaint within twenty (20) days of the date of entry of this Order for reasons to be explained
Defendant notes that plaintiff attached 59 pages to her complaint and that many of those
attachments contain confidential or sensitive information that should not be filed electronically.
For example, notes defendant, one attachment contains a call number participant code and leader
numbers that could be used to inappropriately access defendant’s telephone facilities, and
defendant states that attachment likewise contains information about the operations of defendant
that should not be public.
Defendant notes that also attached to plaintiff’s complaint are Sample Customer Concern
Forms that contain the names, addresses, telephone numbers, donor identification numbers and
other information about blood donors, and that there are documents that contain personal health
information about blood donors, including name, height, weight, blood type and status.
Defendant argues that all of the documents attached to the complaint except for plaintiff’s
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Charge of Discrimination and Dismissal
and Notice of Rights letter should be sealed and removed from the Court’s Electronic Case
Filing (ECF) system. Defendant also requests that because of the urgent nature of this matter,
the Court enter the Order immediately without waiting 14 days for the plaintiff to respond to its
“Under both Rule 45 and Rule 26(c)(1) [of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure], ‘[t]he
district court may in appropriate cases seal documents or deposition testimony to ensure that they
will be used only for judicial purposes and will not be disseminated.’” Glenford Yellow Robe v.
Allender, Civ. No. 09-5040-JLV, 2010 WL 1780266, at *6 (D.S.D. Apr. 30, 2010) (quoting
Schoffstall v. Henderson, 223 F.3d 818, 823 (8th Cir.2000)). See also Boyce v. Moberly Public
School Dist., No. 2:06cv00044 ERW, 2007 WL 1378427, at *1 (E.D. Mo. May 7, 2007)
(Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c) authorizes federal district courts to seal or otherwise deny public access to
documents or proceedings)).
Having considered the public’s interest in access and the need to protect, inter alia, the
personal privacy of American Red Cross’s blood donors, the Court orders sealed all attachments
to plaintiff’s complaint except her EEOC Charge of Discrimination and Dismissal and Notice of
Rights letter. The Court directs the Clerk to remove the relevant attachments from the public
ECF system as soon as possible.1
The Court now turns to the allegations of discrimination of which plaintiff is
complaining. Plaintiff utilizes a form Title VII complaint, Paragraph 9 of which requires
plaintiff to set forth “[t]he circumstances under which the defendant discriminated against
plaintiff....” In response to Paragraph 9, plaintiff merely states “[s]ee attach [sic] copies,” which
consists of 59 pages of assorted documents that make it somewhat difficult to piece together
plaintiff’s allegations of discrimination.2
Given the deficiencies of plaintiff’s complaint, the Court orders plaintiff to file an
amended complaint within twenty (20) days of the date of entry of this Order that specifically
and clearly states in one place how she was discriminated against on the basis of race and color.
Plaintiff must set forth specific facts concerning her allegations including, where applicable,
names, dates, times, and places.
Because the attachments to plaintiffs original complaint are already part of the record and
have been placed under seal (with the exception of plaintiff’s EEOC Charge of Discrimination
and Dismissal and Notice of Rights letter), plaintiff is ordered not to include the attachments to
her original complaint with her amended complaint that is to be filed in accordance with this
Plaintiff, of course, is not precluded from asking the Court to reconsider today’s Order.
Plaintiff’s EEOC Charge of Discrimination appears to set forth the closest approximation of what plaintiff is alleging.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court grants defendant’s motion to seal documents and
orders plaintiff to file an amended complaint within twenty (20) days of the date of entry of this
Order as set forth above.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 27th day of October 2011.
/s/Susan Webber Wright
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?