Juarez et al v. Jani-King of California, Inc. et al

Filing 153

ORDER by Judge Samuel Conti denying 150 Administrative Motion to File Under Seal (sclc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/2/2011)

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1 2 3 4 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 ALEJANDRO JUAREZ, et al., Plaintiffs, 8 10 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 9 11 12 v. JANI-KING OF CALIFORNIA, INC., et al., Defendants. 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No. 09-03495 SC ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO FILE UNDER SEAL DOCUMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT Now before the Court is Defendants Jani-King of California, Inc., Jani-King, Inc., and Jani-King International, Inc.'s (collectively "Jani-King") Administrative Motion to file certain documents under seal. ECF No. 150 ("Mot."). For the reasons set forth below, Jani-King's Motion is DENIED. Courts have historically recognized a strong presumption in favor of public access to court documents. Comm'n, 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978). See Nixon v. Warner "[T]he strong presumption of access applies fully to dispositive pleadings, including motions for summary judgment and related attachments . . . because the resolution of a dispute on the merits . . . is at the heart of the interest in ensuring the public's understanding of the judicial process and of significant public events." Kamakana v. City & County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1179 (9th Cir. 2006) (internal quotations and citations omitted). A party seeking to seal 1 judicial records attached to a dispositive motion must overcome 2 this strong presumption by meeting the "compelling reasons" 3 standard. 4 compelling reasons supported by specific factual findings, 5 [citation] that outweigh the general history of access and the 6 public policies favoring disclosure . . . ." 7 quotations omitted). 8 may be used to "promote public scandal, circulate libelous 9 statements, or release trade secrets." United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Id. at 1178-79. "That is, the party must articulate[] Id. at 1178 (internal Compelling reasons exist when court documents Id. at 1179. In the instant action, Jani-King moves to file under seal 11 exhibits 21 and 24 to the Declaration of Eileen Hunter in support 12 of Jani-King's Motion for Summary Judgment. 13 ("Hunter Decl."). 14 Procedures Manual, which includes guidance for franchisees on 15 training, "starting and operating your business," financial 16 management, and business management. 17 manual "contains invaluable information about the Jani-King 18 franchise system, and provides confidential trade secret 19 information on how franchisees should operate their Jani-King 20 franchise business." 21 spreadsheets which itemize the check stubs and various proofs of 22 payment received by Nano's Janitors as well as copies of documents 23 produced by Plaintiffs that provide the basis for the summaries 24 contained in the spreadsheets. 25 documents set forth confidential financial information as to Nano's 26 janitors and Plaintiffs . . . , including personal billing, 27 payment, and tax information." 28 See ECF No. 149-2 Exhibit 21 is Jani-King's Policies and Mot. at 1. Jani-King submits that this Exhibit 24 contains a series of Jani-King argues that "[t]hese Id. The Court finds that Jani-King has failed to enunciate 2 1 compelling reasons for sealing either Exhibit 21 or Exhibit 24. 2 is unclear why the Policies and Procedures Manual should be sealed. 3 Jani-King asserts that the manual is a trade secret, but does not 4 offer an adequate explanation for that assertion. 5 unclear why Exhibit 24 should be sealed. 6 explain why information concerning a number of payments received by 7 Nano's Janitors should remain confidential. 8 contain some tax records related to the payments, personal 9 information such as tax identification numbers and social security United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 It is also Jani-King does not While the exhibit does numbers have been redacted. For the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES Jani-King's 12 administrative motion to file documents under seal. 13 reconsider its decision if Jani-King submits additional briefing 14 that articulates compelling reasons for sealing the documents. The court will 15 16 IT IS SO ORDERED. 17 18 19 It Dated: December 2, 2011 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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