Alani v. Alaska Airlines, Inc.

Filing 138

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO FILE UNDER SEAL by Hon. William Alsup denying 121 Administrative Motion to File Under Seal.(whalc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/1/2011)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 9 ABDUL ALANI, 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 No. C 10-02766 WHA Plaintiff, v. ORDER DENYING MOTION TO FILE UNDER SEAL ALASKA AIRLINES INC., CORPORATE DOES 1–20, and INDIVIDUAL DOES 21–40, inclusive, Defendants. / Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 79-5(d), plaintiff has filed a motion for leave to file under 18 seal specified documents and/or portions of documents designated by defendants as confidential. 19 Rule 79-5(d) requires that within seven days, “the designating party must file with the Court and 20 serve a declaration establishing that the designated information is sealable, and must lodge and 21 serve a narrowly tailored proposed sealing order, or must withdraw the designation of 22 confidentiality. . . . If the designating party does not file its responsive declaration as required by 23 this subsection, the document or proposed filing will be made part of the public record.” 24 Defendants, the designating party, have filed a responsive declaration (Dkt. No. 133). 25 Plaintiff seeks leave to file the specified documents under seal in support of his opposition 26 to defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The parties have filed a stipulation that the 27 specified documents be filed under seal for purposes of defendants’ motion for summary 28 judgment and plaintiff’s opposition thereto. Under Kamakana v. City and County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178–79 (9th Cir. 2006), the court held that a “strong presumption of access to 1 judicial records applies fully to dispositive pleadings” and “‘compelling reasons’ must be shown 2 to seal judicial records attached to a dispositive motion.” The burden of meeting the “compelling 3 reasons” standard falls squarely on the shoulders of the party “seeking to seal a judicial record.” 4 Id. at 1179. Compelling reasons must be shown regardless of any stipulation by the parties. 5 No compelling reason is shown. Defendants state in their declaration that pursuant to the 6 Federal Aviation Administration’s Advisory Circular, records submitted to the FAA for review 7 pursuant to the voluntary disclosure reporting program, are protected from release to the public 8 and should therefore be sealed (Reiss Decl. ¶ 4). Because the specified documents are such 9 records the parties have agreed that they may be filed under seal. No showing of “compelling reasons,” a substantially higher standard than “good cause,” is made. Based on the foregoing reasons, the motion to seal is DENIED. This denial is without 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 prejudice to the filing of a renewed motion to seal that squarely addresses the “compelling 13 reasons standard set forth in Kamakana. Such a motion must be filed by FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 14 2011. 15 16 IT IS SO ORDERED. 17 18 Dated: December 1, 2011. WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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