Truthout v. Department of Justice

Filing 30

ORDER signed by Judge Lawrence K. Karlton on 9/11/13 ORDERING that the Plaintiff file a brief in support of the requested redaction and sealing no later than 10/14/13; the Clerk is directed to maintain ECF 27-2 in redacted form and ECF 27-3 and 27-14 under seal until such time as the court orders otherwise. (Manzer, C)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 TRUTHOUT, NO. CIV. S-12-2601 LKK/CKD 10 Plaintiff, 11 v. O R D E R 12 DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 13 Defendant. / 14 15 The court is in receipt of plaintiff Truthout’s Emergency 16 Motion to Seal Three Docket Entries. (ECF No. 28.) On September 11, 17 2013, defendant U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of 18 non-opposition to this motion. (ECF No. 29.) Plaintiff seeks the 19 redaction of its client’s privacy waiver and the sealing of its 20 client’s FBI file, both filed by defendant in support of the 21 latter’s summary judgment motion. (Hardy Decl. Exhs. C, Y, ECF 22 Nos. 27-2 at 66, 27-3, 27-4.) 23 Due to the sensitive nature of the information in these 24 documents, the court has ordered the Clerk of the Court to 25 provisionally redact Exhibit C and seal Exhibit Y. 26 Nevertheless, the court must safeguard the “general right to 1 1 inspect and copy public records and documents, including judicial 2 records and documents.” Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 3 589, 4 ‘traditionally kept secret,’ a ‘strong presumption in favor of 5 access’ is the starting point.” Kamakana v. City and Cnty. of 6 Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Foltz v. 7 State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 8 2003)). In order to overcome this strong presumption, a party 9 seeking to seal a judicial record must articulate justifications 10 for sealing that outweigh the historical right of access and the 11 public policies favoring disclosure. See id. at 1178–79. 597 (1978). “Unless a particular court record is one 12 As the Ninth Circuit has made clear, “the resolution of a 13 dispute on the merits, whether by trial or summary judgment, is at 14 the heart of the interest in ensuring the ‘public’s understanding 15 of 16 Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179 (quoting Valley Broad. Co. v. U.S. Dist. 17 Court for Dist. of Nev., 798 F.2d 1289, 1294 (9th Cir. 1986)). 18 Accordingly, a party seeking to seal a judicial record attached to 19 a dispositive motion must articulate “compelling reasons” in favor 20 of 21 reasons’ . . . exist when such ‘court files might have become a 22 vehicle for improper purposes,’ such as the use of records to 23 gratify private spite, promote public scandal, circulate libelous 24 statements, or release trade secrets.” Id. (citing Nixon, 435 U.S. 25 at 598). 26 the judicial sealing. See process id. and at of significant 1178. “In public general, events.’” ‘compelling Under the “compelling reasons” standard, a district court must 2 1 weigh “relevant factors,” base its decision “on a compelling 2 reason,” and “articulate the factual basis for its ruling, without 3 relying on hypothesis or conjecture.” Pintos v. Pac. Creditors 4 Ass’n, 605 F.3d 665, 679 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting Hagestad v. 5 Tragesser, 49 F.3d 1430, 1434 (9th Cir. 1995)). 6 In light of the foregoing, the court hereby orders as follows: 7 [1] Plaintiff is DIRECTED to file a brief in support of the 8 requested redaction and sealing no later than October 14, 9 2013. In its brief, in addition to setting forth the 10 “compelling reasons” for its motion, plaintiff is to address 11 the issue of why sealing, rather than selective redaction, of 12 Exhibit Y is necessary. Plaintiff’s brief may be no longer 13 than twenty (20) pages in length. 14 [2] The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED to maintain ECF 15 No. 27-2 at 66 in redacted form and ECF Nos. 27-3 and 27-4 16 under seal until such time as the court orders otherwise. 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. 18 DATED: September 11, 2013. 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 3

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