The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry v. California State Grange

Filing 173

ORDER signed by Senior Judge William B. Shubb on 1/24/2017 DENYING 167 Plaintiff's Request to Seal. (Kirksey Smith, K)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 ----oo0oo---- 11 12 13 THE NATIONAL GRANGE OF THE ORDER OF PATRONS OF HUSBANDARY, 16 17 18 ORDER RE: REQUEST TO SEAL Plaintiff, 14 15 CIV. NO. 2:14-676 WBS DB v. CALIFORNIA GUILD, formerly doing business as “California State Grange,” Defendant. 19 20 21 ----oo0oo---On September 12, 2016, the court issued an order 22 requiring defendant, the California Guild, to pay plaintiff, the 23 National Grange, $144,715.70 in attorneys’ fees. 24 Order at 23 (Docket No. 154).) 25 to add Robert McFarland, president of defendant, as a judgment 26 debtor to the court’s fees order. 27 the 17 exhibits plaintiff cites in support of its motion 28 “CONFIDENTIAL” or “CONFIDENTIAL--ATTORNEYS EYES ONLY” pursuant to (Sept. 12, 2016 Plaintiff seeks to file a motion 1 Defendant has designated 15 of 1 a stipulated protective order signed by the magistrate judge in 2 this case. 3 agreed to file its motion to add judgment debtor, a separate 4 motion to remove defendant’s designations, and memoranda and 5 exhibits supporting the two motions, under seal. 6 with defendant’s support, requests the court to enter an order 7 allowing it to file the aforementioned documents under seal. 8 While the protective order in this case allows the 9 Plaintiff disputes defendant’s designations, but has Plaintiff now, parties to designate documents as confidential, designating a 10 document confidential does not entitle the parties to file the 11 document under seal. 12 requests to seal must be made even if an existing protective 13 order . . . permits the sealing of the document.” (emphasis 14 added)). 15 provision, which states that confidentiality designations remain 16 in effect while they are being challenged, entitle the parties to 17 play out their designation challenges via sealed documents. 18 id. 19 “written order of the Court” permitting the sealing after they 20 have made “the showing required by applicable law.” 21 rule applies even where a prior protective order permits the 22 designation of documents as confidential. 23 See E.D. Cal. L.R. 141(a) (“[S]pecific Neither does the protective order’s ‘challenges’ See To file any document under seal, the parties must obtain Id. That See id. The Ninth Circuit has held that a party seeking to seal 24 a judicial record bears the burden of overcoming “a strong 25 presumption in favor of [public] access.” 26 County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006). 27 party must “articulate compelling reasons supported by specific 28 factual findings that outweigh the general history of access and 2 Kamakana v. City & The 1 the public policies favoring disclosure, such as the public 2 interest in understanding the judicial process.” 3 (citation omitted). 4 “balance[s] the competing interests of the public and the party 5 who seeks to keep certain judicial records secret.” 6 Id. at 1178-79 In deciding a motion to seal, the court Id. at 1179. Neither plaintiff nor defendant has offered any 7 “compelling reasons” for sealing the documents at issue here. 8 The exhibits at issue are a deposition transcript, meeting 9 minutes, emails, budget spreadsheets, tax returns, bank 10 statements, and photocopies of checks. Save for intermittent 11 mentions of private bank account numbers, which the parties may 12 redact pursuant to Local Rule 140(a)(ii), the exhibits do not 13 appear to contain any sensitive business information. 14 defendant designated the exhibits confidential pursuant to a 15 stipulated protective order is not itself a compelling reason to 16 seal the exhibits. 17 Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, No. CIV. 1:14-00953 WBS, 2015 WL 18 5608241, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 23, 2015) (“[A] confidentiality 19 agreement between the parties does not per se constitute a 20 compelling reason to seal documents outweighing the interests of 21 public disclosure and access. 22 magistrate judge signed the stipulated protective order does not 23 change this principle.”); Starbucks Corp. v. Amcor Packaging 24 Distribution, No. CV 2:13-1754 WBS CKD, 2016 WL 1090550, at *2 25 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 21, 2016) (same). That See Foster Poultry Farms, Inc. v. Certain The fact that the assigned 26 The court is also unable to find anything in 27 plaintiff’s motions or their accompanying memoranda that appear 28 to implicate any “compelling” privacy concerns. 3 1 Because the parties have not offered any “compelling 2 reasons” to grant plaintiff’s request to seal, the court will 3 deny plaintiff’s request. 4 disclosure of bank account numbers, plaintiff may resubmit its 5 request specifically asking that it be allowed to redact such 6 information from its exhibits. 7 If the parties are concerned about IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that plaintiff’s request to 8 seal be, and the same hereby is, DENIED. 9 Dated: January 24, 2017 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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