Blight v. Manteca et al

Filing 68

ORDER signed by Senior Judge William B. Shubb on 3/21/17 ORDERING that defendants' request to seal is DENIED. Defendants' redacted request for reconsideration of the magistrate judge's ruling 62 and its supporting exhibits [62-1] are STRICKEN.(Kastilahn, A)

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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 JOANNE BLIGHT, Plaintiff, 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 CIV. NO. 2:15-2513 WBS AC ORDER RE: REQUEST TO SEAL v. CITY OF MANTECA, a municipal corporation; Manteca Police Department Detectives ARMANDO GARCIA and IAN OSBORN; and Manteca Police Department Sergeants PAUL CARMONA and CHRIS MRAZ; Defendants. 20 ----oo0oo---- 21 22 Plaintiff Joanne Blight brought this action against 23 defendants the City of Manteca, Manteca Police Department 24 Detectives Armando Garcia and Ian Osborn, and Manteca Police 25 Department Sergeants Paul Carmona and Chris Mraz, alleging that 26 defendants violated her Fourth Amendment rights when they engaged 27 in a “SWAT style raid” and “search” of her home. 28 32 (Docket No. 1).) (Compl. ¶¶ 19, Defendants claim that the search was 1 1 authorized by a state court warrant issued pursuant to a sworn 2 affidavit they had submitted to the state court containing 3 information provided by a confidential informant (“CI”). 4 Answer at 12 (Docket No. 5); Docket No. 47 at 3.) 5 claims that defendants misrepresented or omitted material aspects 6 of what the CI told them in their affidavit to the state court. 7 (Feb. 10, 2017 Order at 2 (Docket No. 55).) 8 9 (See Plaintiff On February 10, 2017, the magistrate judge in this case issued an order granting plaintiff’s motion to compel the 10 deposition of the CI on grounds that the CI’s deposition was 11 necessary to a “fair presentation” of plaintiff’s claim that 12 defendants misrepresented or omitted material aspects of what the 13 CI told them in their affidavit to the state court. 14 3, 6.) 15 asking this court to reconsider the magistrate judge’s ruling on 16 February 24. 17 Defendants’ request for reconsideration is extensively redacted; 18 the exhibits attached to the request are wholly redacted and 19 identified only by title. 20 days after they filed their redacted request for reconsideration 21 and supporting exhibits, defendants requested that this court 22 allow them to file unredacted versions of their request for 23 reconsideration and supporting exhibits under seal. 24 has not objected to the filing of such documents under seal. 25 Pursuant to Local Rule 141(a), “[d]ocuments may be (See id. at Defendants, who opposed the motion, filed a request (Defs.’ Req. for Recons. (Docket No. 62).) (See id.; Docket No. 62-1.) Three Plaintiff 26 sealed only by written order of the Court, upon the showing 27 required by applicable law.” 28 standards generally govern motions to seal documents . . . .” E.D. Cal. L.R. 141(a). 2 “Two 1 Pintos v. Pac. Creditors Ass’n, 605 F.3d 665, 677 (9th Cir. 2 2010). 3 . . . and [their] related attachments,” the court is directed to 4 apply a “‘compelling reasons’ standard.” 5 of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178-79 (9th Cir. 2006). 6 context of “[n]ondispositive motions” and “records attached to 7 [such motions],” by contrast, the Ninth Circuit has held that the 8 requesting party need only meet a “‘good cause’ standard” because 9 “the public’s interest in accessing dispositive materials does In the context of requests to seal “dispositive pleadings Kamakana v. City & Cty. In the 10 not apply with equal force to non-dispositive materials.” 11 Pintos, 605 F.3d at 678; Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179-80. 12 Because defendants’ request for reconsideration merely 13 seeks to reverse the magistrate judge’s ruling compelling the 14 deposition of the CI, it is not a dispositive motion. 15 “good cause” standard applies to defendants’ request to seal. 16 Thus, the While the “good cause” standard is not as rigorous as 17 the “compelling reasons” standard, see Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1180 18 (“A ‘good cause’ showing will not, without more, satisfy a 19 ‘compelling reasons’ test.”), a “party asserting good cause bears 20 the burden, for each particular document it seeks to protect, of 21 showing that specific prejudice or harm will result if no 22 protective order is granted,” Davis v. Soc. Serv. Coordinators, 23 Inc., No. 1:10-CV-02372 LJO SKO, 2012 WL 2376217, at *1 (E.D. 24 Cal. June 22, 2012) (quoting Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. 25 Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2003)). 26 harm, unsubstantiated by specific examples or articulated 27 reasoning, do not satisfy the [good cause] test.” 28 Beckman Indus., Inc. v. Int’l Ins. Co., 966 F.2d 470, 476 (9th 3 “Broad allegations of Id. (quoting 1 Cir. 1992)). 2 from disclosure of information to the public, then it balances 3 the public and private interests to decide whether a protective 4 order is necessary.” 5 307 F.3d 1206, 1211 (9th Cir. 2002)). 6 “If a court finds particularized harm will result Id. (quoting Phillips v. Gen. Motors Corp., Here, defendants seek to seal the following: (1) the 7 portions of their request for reconsideration which discuss 8 information allegedly provided by the CI to defendants, (2) 9 photocopies of text messages between the CI and defendant Garcia, 10 (3) a diagram drawn by the CI, and (4) the entire transcript of 11 the hearing held for plaintiff’s motion to compel before the 12 magistrate judge. 13 such documents and information “would identify the [CI] and then 14 jeopardize his/her safety” and “reduce [his/her] effectiveness in 15 future matters.” 16 According to defendants, public disclosure of The court acknowledges that the safety of the CI is a 17 concern which, if in fact jeopardized by the documents and 18 information at issue, would be sufficient to satisfy the “good 19 cause” standard for sealing nondispositive documents. 20 Mitchell v. Cate, No. 2:11-CV-1240 JAM AC, 2014 WL 1671589, at *3 21 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 28, 2014) (granting request to seal “information 22 [that] cannot be revealed without endangering informants”); USA 23 v. Conner, No. 15-CR-00296 HSG 1, 2015 WL 8482205, at *4 (N.D. 24 Cal. Dec. 10, 2015) (granting request to seal information 25 “contain[ing] the possible identity of a confidential 26 informant”). 27 28 See, e.g., However, defendants have not sufficiently articulated why disclosure of the documents and information at issue will 4 1 jeopardize the CI’s safety. 2 exception of the text messages, contain any of the CI’s personal 3 identifying information. 4 defendants would want to redact the CI’s phone number from the 5 text messages, which the court would grant leave to do, the court 6 is left without any explanation as to why the entirety of the 7 text messages and other documents defendants seek to seal, which 8 merely discuss information provided by the CI to defendants 9 without identifying the CI, require sealing. None of the documents here, with the While it is understandable that It may be that 10 information provided by the CI to defendants is sufficient to 11 identify the CI. 12 why that is the case, “not the court’s obligation to guess” at 13 why that may be the case.1 14 SI PR, 2013 WL 655002, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 21, 2013). 15 “[B]ut it is defendants’ obligation to explain” See Andrade v. Lewis, No. C 11-3528 Moreover, the court is not inclined to consider the 16 text messages and diagram submitted by defendants in reviewing 17 the magistrate judge’s ruling. 18 they emailed those exhibits to the magistrate judge “[o]n the 19 morning of the hearing” for plaintiff’s motion to compel, (Defs.’ 20 Req. for Recons. at 2-3), it does not appear, from the transcript 21 of the hearing, that defendants ever brought the exhibits to the 22 magistrate judge’s attention at the hearing, where she ruled on 23 the motion. 24 text messages and diagram for the first time now, the court need Though defendants represent that Because it appears that defendants are raising the 25 26 27 28 1 Defendants cite an affidavit provided by defendant Garcia indicating that the CI’s safety would be jeopardized if he or she were to be identified. The affidavit does not explain why disclosure of the documents and information at issue would result in the CI’s identification, however. 5 1 not, and is not inclined to, consider such evidence in reviewing 2 the magistrate judge’s ruling. 3 2:09-0152 WBS, 2012 WL 469850, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 7, 2012) 4 (noting that the court need not consider new evidence in 5 resolving objections to a magistrate judge’s findings and 6 recommendations). 7 See Galik v. Nangalama, No. CIV. The court further notes that the redacted version of 8 defendants’ request for reconsideration and supporting exhibits 9 were filed without the court’s authorization in violation of 10 Local Rule 140(b). 11 redactions are permitted unless the Court has authorized the 12 redaction.”). 13 140(b) in filing those documents, the court will strike those 14 documents from the record. 15 16 See E.D. Cal. L.R. 140(b) (“No other Because defendants did not comply with Local Rule IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that defendants’ request to seal be, and the same hereby is, DENIED. 17 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendants’ redacted request 18 for reconsideration of the magistrate judge’s ruling (Docket No. 19 62) and its supporting exhibits (Docket No. 62-1) be, and the 20 same hereby are, STRICKEN. 21 Dated: March 21, 2017 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6

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