J & J Sports Productions, Inc. v. Coleman, et al.

Filing 16

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes on 1/10/2017 ORDERING that plaintiff's 1/4/2017 request to seal ECF No. 15 is DENIED. (Reader, L)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 J & J SPORTS PRODUCTIONS, INC., 12 13 14 15 No. 2:16-cv-0851 TLN DB Plaintiff, v. ORDER ANDREW JOHN COLEMAN, et al., Defendants. 16 17 On January 4, 2017, plaintiff filed a request to file “the Declaration of Affiant” under seal 18 in connection with plaintiff’s motion for default judgment. (ECF No. 15 at 1.) Local Rule 141(b) 19 requires, in relevant part, that a “‘Request to Seal Documents’ shall set forth the statutory or other 20 authority for sealing, the requested duration, the identity, by name or category, of persons 21 permitted access to the documents, and all other relevant information.” Here, plaintiff’s request 22 to seal fails to address any of these requirements. 23 Moreover, in evaluating requests to seal, the court starts “‘with a strong presumption in 24 favor of access to court records.’” Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 25 1096 (9th Cir. 2016) (quoting Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th 26 Cir. 2003)). “The presumption of access is ‘based on the need for federal courts, although 27 independent – indeed, particularly because they are independent – to have a measure of 28 accountability and for the public to have confidence in the administration of justice.’” Id. 1 1 (quoting United States v. Amodeo, 71 F.3d 1044, 1048 (2d Cir. 1995)). A request to seal material 2 must normally meet the high threshold of showing that “compelling reasons” support secrecy. Id. 3 (citing Kamakana v. City and County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006)). 4 However, where the material is, at most, “tangentially related to the merits of a case,” the request 5 to seal may be granted on a showing of “good cause.” Id. at 1097-1101. 6 Here, plaintiff’s request does not make a showing of ‘good cause,’ let alone that 7 ‘compelling reasons” exist, to file the Declaration of Affiant under seal. In this regard, plaintiff 8 asserts simply that the document should be filed under seal as it “contains the Auditor’s 9 confidential information.” (ECF No. 15 at 1.) Although it appears that the original document 10 does contain some personal information, plaintiff has already redacted that personal information.1 11 “[R]edactions have the virtue of being limited and clear . . . .” Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1183. Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s January 4, 2017 request to seal 12 13 (ECF No. 15) is denied. 14 Dated: January 10, 2017 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 DLB:6 DB\orders\orders.civil\j&jsports0851.req.seal.denc 23 24 25 1 26 27 28 Although the document does reflect the Auditor’s address and phone number, it is not clear to the undersigned that such information, of a person holding themselves out as an Auditor, is necessarily personal. Especially when the address provided is for a P.O. Box. As noted above, plaintiff’s filing fails to address this issue or why this information could not simply be redacted as opposed to filing the entire document under seal. 2

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