(PS) Parlante v. American River College
ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Jeremy D. Peterson on 09/09/21 DENYING 4 Motion to Proceed under Pseudonym. (Benson, A.)
Case 2:20-cv-02268-KJM-JDP Document 7 Filed 09/09/21 Page 1 of 2
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Case No. 2:20-cv-02268-KJM-JDP (PS)
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION
TO PROCEED USING A PSEUDONYM
ECF No. 3
AMERICAN RIVER COLLEGE, et al.,
Plaintiff, who currently resides in Nevada, is suing a college in California and a student
who allegedly attacked him on campus. ECF No. 6. The attacker is unknown to plaintiff. Id.
Plaintiff moves to proceed using a pseudonym in this case. ECF No. 4. In support of his motion,
he alleges that he is disabled and that publicly disclosing his disability could limit future
employment opportunities. Id. at 1. He also claims that his student records, including records of
disability, are private. Id. at 2.
Parties must litigate under their own names unless a case is “exceptional.” Doe v. Ayers,
789 F.3d 944, 946 (9th Cir. 2015); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(a). “When a party requests Doe
status, the factors to be balanced against the general presumption that parties’ identities are public
information, are: (1) the severity of the threatened harm; (2) the reasonableness of the anonymous
party’s fears; and (3) the anonymous party’s vulnerability to such retaliation.” Id. at 945 (internal
citations and quotation marks omitted). For example, in Ayers, petitioner “(1) was granted
Case 2:20-cv-02268-KJM-JDP Document 7 Filed 09/09/21 Page 2 of 2
penalty-phase habeas relief based on sealed, graphic evidence regarding repeated sexual assault in
prison, and (2) submitted credible evidence that he would likely be subjected to more violence if
his name was revealed alongside the evidence of this abuse.” Id. at 946. Allegations to support
pleading with a pseudonym must be supported by evidence. See id.; John Doe v. Fellows, No.
89-15869, 1991 U.S. App. LEXIS 3721, at *4 (9th Cir. Mar. 5, 1991) (“Doe’s contention that he
will be subject to police reprisals if his true identity is revealed is without any factual basis and is
insufficient to warrant a cloak of anonymity.”)
Here, plaintiff does not allege that repeated violence has been visited against him or that
any violence will continue. Plaintiff asserts that he was attacked once by a stranger and now he
lives in a different state from where the incident occurred. Plaintiff also presents no evidence that
disclosure of his disability will prevent employment. Thus, plaintiff’s motion lacks any factual
basis for a finding in his favor. Further, plaintiff’s concerns regarding private documents, to the
extent that they are needed for review in this case, can be adequately addressed by redaction and
filing under seal. See Local Rules 140, 141. Plaintiff’s case is not an exceptional one that
overrides the presumption that his identity is public information.
Accordingly, plaintiff’s motion to proceed using a pseudonym, ECF No. 4, is denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
September 9, 2021
JEREMY D. PETERSON
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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