Huitron v. Padrnos et al

Filing 22

ORDER APPROVING IN PART, Parties' Stipulation for PROTECTIVE ORDER and ISSUING PROTECTIVE ORDER for Confidential Materials, signed by Magistrate Judge Michael J. Seng on 06/27/17. (Martin-Gill, S)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 JOSE L. HUITRON, 12 13 14 15 Plaintiff, v. L. PADRNOS, et al., CASE No. 1:16-cv-00415—AWI-MJS (PC) ORDER APPROVING, IN PART, PARTIES’ STIPULATION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER AND ISSUING PROTECTIVE ORDER FOR CONFIDENTIAL MATERIALS Defendants. 16 17 Plaintiff Jose L. Huitron is a former state prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis in 18 this civil rights action challenging the conditions of his confinement pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 19 § 1983. His case proceeds on his first amended complaint against Defendants Padrnos, 20 Pena, Gonzales, and Guerrero for excessive force in violation of the Eighth Amendment. 21 (ECF No. 9.) On December 19, 2016, Defendants filed their answer. (ECF No. 15.) On 22 December 20, 2016, the Court issued a discovery and scheduling order. (ECF No. 16.) 23 On June 23, 2017, the parties filed a joint stipulation and proposed order for a 24 protective order for certain documents deemed confidential by Defendants. (ECF No. 25 21.) Therein, the parties explained that, as part of discovery, Plaintiff requested “[a]ll 26 records of any CDCR committee pertaining to any investigation” of the alleged incident. 27 In the course of investigating Plaintiff’s requests, Defense counsel came into possession 28 of the use-of-force review of Incident Log No. COR-04A-15-05-0320, which contained 1 1 documents responsive to Plaintiff’s request. However, Defendants maintained that the 2 material was subject to qualified privilege as official information under Federal common 3 law, and, in California, was confidential under state laws and regulations. Defendants 4 also claimed that the unprotected disclosure of these materials could negatively impact 5 institutional security. Over Defendants’ objections, Plaintiff demanded the production of 6 summaries of witness statements and any transcript and audio or video recording of said 7 statements, to the extent such material existed. 8 After several meet-and-confers, the parties stipulated that the production of 9 certain confidential documents would be appropriate subject to a protective order limiting 10 their use to “Attorneys’ Eyes Only” information to maintain the safety and security of 11 CDCR institutions, staff, and inmates. Defendants agreed to produce the summaries of 12 witness statements made as part of the use of force review of Incident Log No. COR- 13 04A-15-05-0329, as well as any transcript and audio or video recording of these 14 statements, if they exist. 15 The Court has reviewed the proposed protective order, and finds it is acceptable 16 save for one clause: proposed paragraph 7 stipulates that “[a]ny confidential material 17 filed with the Court by either party shall be filed and maintained under seal.” Courts 18 generally do not approve stipulations to seal documents produced in the course of 19 litigation unless and until the parties have made the requisite showing of good cause. 20 See Oliner v. Kontrabecki, 745 F.3d 1024, 1025 (9th Cir. 2014); see also Nixon v. 21 Warner Commc'ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 (courts have “recognize[d] a general right to 22 inspect and copy public records and documents, including judicial records and 23 documents.”) (footnotes omitted). As no such good cause showing has yet been made 24 here, the Court declines to approve the parties’ stipulation to seal any confidential 25 material at this time. Should the need arise, the parties are free to seek leave to seal 26 confidential documents in the future. 27 Accordingly, the following protective order shall issue: 28 2 CONDITIONS FOR RELEASE OF CONFIDENTIAL MATERIAL 1 2 Because of their relevance to this action, the Defendants will produce the 3 confidential material with the label “Confidential, Attorneys’ Eyes Only” without requiring 4 Plaintiff to move to compel its production, subject to this protective order and objections 5 asserted in Defendants’ responses to Plaintiff’s discovery requests, on the following 6 conditions: 7 1. of CDCR staff or other witnesses shall be redacted. 8 9 The social security numbers and any other confidential personal information 2. The confidential material may be disclosed only to the following persons: 10 (a) Counsel of record for Plaintiff in this action; 11 (b) Paralegal, stenographic, clerical and secretarial personnel regularly employed by counsel for Plaintiff; 12 (c) 13 Court personnel and stenographic reporters engaged in such proceedings as are incidental to the preparation for the trial in this action; 14 (d) 15 Any outside expert or consultant retained by Plaintiff’s counsel for purposes of this action; 16 (e) 17 Witnesses to whom the confidential material may be disclosed 18 during or in preparation for a deposition taken in this matter or otherwise 19 during the preparation for trial and trial, provided that the witness may not 20 leave any deposition or preparation with copies of any of the confidential 21 material, and shall be informed of and agree to be bound by the terms of this 22 order; 23 3. Plaintiff’s counsel and his legal assistants and consultants shall not make 24 copies of the confidential material except as necessary for purposes of this 25 litigation. 26 4. All confidential material in possession of Plaintiff’s counsel shall be destroyed 27 or returned to the CDCR within sixty days of the time it is no longer needed 28 for purposes of this litigation. 3 1 5. When Plaintiff’s counsel returns or destroys the confidential material, he shall 2 provide Defendants’ counsel with a declaration stating that all confidential 3 material has been returned or destroyed. 4 6. All confidential material obtained by Plaintiff’s counsel shall not be disclosed 5 except as is necessary in connection with this or related litigation, including 6 appeals, and not for any other purpose, including any other litigation. 7 7. Nothing in this protective order is intended to prevent officials or employees of 8 the State of California, or other authorized government officials, from having 9 access to confidential material to which they would have access in the normal course of their official duties. 10 11 8. The provisions of this protective order are without prejudice to the right of any 12 party: 13 (a) confidential material or relating to discovery in this litigation; 14 (b) 15 To apply to the Court for an order removing the confidential material designation from any documents; 16 (c) 17 18 To apply to the Court for a further protective order relating to any 9. To object to a discovery request. The provisions of this order shall remain in full force and effect until further order of this Court. 19 20 21 22 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: June 27, 2017 /s/ 23 Michael J. Seng UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 24 25 26 27 28 4

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?