Wright et al v. Tehachapi Unified School District

Filing 24

ORDER GRANTING 23 Request to File Administrative Record Under Seal, signed by Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on 3/31/2017. (Hall, S)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 BUDDY WRIGHT, 12 13 14 Plaintiff, v. TEHACHAPI UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 17 18 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No.: 1:16-cv-01214 LJO JLT ORDER GRANTING REQUEST TO FILE ADMINISTRATIVE RECORD UNDER SEAL (Doc. 23) This action arises under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. Plaintiff. (Doc. 1) 19 The parties seek to have the Court file the administrative record under seal. (Doc. 23 at 2) The 20 parties’ concern is that redaction of the record for personal identifiers is likely to be ineffective due to 21 the number of redactions necessary and the number of pages in the record. Moreover, the record 22 contains confidential medical, psychological and educational information related to the child’s 23 disability and other documents which bear on these issues and which are “sensitive and highly personal 24 in nature.” Id. at 3-4. Moreover, if the record is not sealed, the parties’ contend that the child’s identity 25 will be easily identified through other information that Local Rule 140(a) does not permit to be 26 redacted. Id. at 4. The child also relies upon the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act which 27 provides for the protection of the child’s and his family’s privacy interests and upon the health 28 Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. (Doc. 23 at 4-6) 1 The request to seal documents is controlled by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c). The Rule 1 2 permits the Court to issue orders to “protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, 3 oppression, or undue burden or expense, including . . . requiring that a trade secret or other confidential 4 research, development, or commercial information not be revealed or be revealed only in a specified 5 way.” Only if good cause exists may the Court seal the information from public view after balancing 6 “the needs for discovery against the need for confidentiality.’” Pintos v. Pac. Creditors Ass’n, 605 F.3d 7 665, 678 (9th Cir. Cal. 2010) (quoting Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. Gen. Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 8 1206, 1213 (9th Cir. 2002)). Presumptively, documents filed in civil cases are to be available to the public. EEOC v. 9 10 Erection Co., 900 F.2d 168, 170 (9th Cir. 1990); see also Kamakana v. City and County of Honolulu, 11 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir.2006); Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1134 (9th 12 Cir.2003). The Court may seal documents only when the compelling reasons for doing so outweigh the 13 public’s right of access. EEOC at 170. In evaluating the request, the Court considers the “public 14 interest in understanding the judicial process and whether disclosure of the material could result in 15 improper use of the material for scandalous or libelous purposes or infringement upon trade secrets.” 16 Valley Broadcasting Co. v. United States District Court, 798 F.2d 1289, 1294 (9th Cir. 1986). As noted above, Plaintiff seeks to seal documents that list the child’s name and other identifiers. 17 18 The record has this information listed throughout making redaction impractical. Likewise, the 19 information contained in the record is highly sensitive and is deserving of confidentiality. Moreover, 20 the parties jointly agree that the record should be filed under seal.1 Thus, the Court finds a compelling 21 need for the information contained in the record to remain private. ORDER 22 23 Based upon the foregoing, the Court ORDERS: 24 1. The request to file the administrative record under seal (Doc. 23) is GRANTED; 25 2. No later than April 3, 2017, Plaintiff SHALL e-mail the administrative record to 26 27 28 1 Counsel are advised that this order does not preclude the Court from issuing orders on the public docket which discusses information contained in the sealed administrative record. On the other hand, the Court may issue orders under seal temporarily and give the parties an opportunity to recommend redactions for the public version of the order. In this event, failing to recommend redactions may result in the Court docketing the full order, which would open the confidential information public review. 2 1 ApprovedSealed@caed.uscourts.gov to allow the Clerk of the Court to file it under SEAL. Each 2 document included in the administrative record must be submitted in PDF format. No file submitted 3 for sealing may exceed 10MB. Thus, as necessary, the administrative record may be broken up into 4 files not exceeding 10 MB. 5 6 7 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: March 31, 2017 /s/ Jennifer L. Thurston UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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?