Ramirez v. Trans Union, LLC

Filing 29

ORDER RE: JOINT STATEMENT OF DISCOVERY DISPUTE (Dkt. No. 28). Signed by Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley on 7/25/2012. (ahm, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/25/2012)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 Northern District of California United States District Court 11 12 SERGIO L. RAMIREZ, on behalf of himself and all others similar situated, 13 14 Plaintiff, Case No.: 3:12-cv-00632 JSC ORDER RE: JOINT STATEMENT OF DISCOVERY DISPUTE (Dkt. No. 28) v. 15 16 17 TRANS UNION, LLC, Defendant. 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Pending before the Court is the parties’ Joint Statement Regarding Discovery Dispute (Dkt. No. 28) which concerns entry of a protective order in this action. The Court finds that the Motion is suitable for determination without oral argument, pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7–1(b). Having considered the papers submitted to the Court, the Court declines to enter the protective order proposed by Defendant. A party seeking to place documents under seal must meet the requirements of Civil L.R. 79–5 and Ninth Circuit case law. Contratto v. Ethicon, Inc., 227 F.R.D. 304, 307 (N.D. Cal. 2005). The Ninth Circuit holds that under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c) “the party asserting good cause bears the burden, for each particular document it seeks to protect, of showing that specific prejudice or harm will result if no protective order is granted.” Foltz 1 v. State Farm Mut. Aut. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2003). “[B]road allegations 2 of harm, unsubstantiated by specific examples or articulated reasoning do not satisfy the Rule 3 26(c) test.” Beckman Indus., Inc. v. Int’l Ins. Co., 966 F.2d 470, 476 (9th Cir. 1992). The 4 court has broad discretion to “to decide when a protective order is appropriate and what 5 degree of protection is required.” Phillips v. Gen. Motors, 307 F.3d 1206, 1211 (9th Cir. 6 2002) (internal citations omitted). 7 Parties are encouraged to sign stipulated protective orders to facilitate the exchange of 8 materials in the discovery process; however, parties should be mindful of the “strong 9 presumption in favor of access to court records” and the requirement that a party establish Northern District of California good cause for maintaining a document’s confidentiality in any court proceeding. See 11 United States District Court 10 Hagestad v. Tragesser, 49 F.3d 1430, 1434 (9th Cir. 1995). To this end, the Model Stipulated 12 Protective Order approved by the Northern District states that if there is a dispute regarding a 13 document’s confidentiality, the burden is on the party asserting that a document is 14 confidential to file a motion with the court seeking to retain the document’s confidentiality. 15 Here, Defendant seeks entry of a protective order which would shift the burden to the 16 party challenging the confidentiality designation to file a motion with the Court. Although 17 the language of the protective order states that the burden of persuasion in any such motion 18 remains on the party asserting that the challenged materials are confidential, the protective 19 order clearly shifts the initial burden to challenge the designation to the party challenging the 20 designation. This is inconsistent with Ninth Circuit case law. Defendant has offered no basis 21 for shifting the burden other than that the Court adopted a similar stipulated protective order 22 in another unrelated action in the Northern District. The Court finds this rationale insufficient 23 and declines to shift the burden in this case. 24 Accordingly, the Court declines to enter the protective order proposed by Defendant; 25 however, the Court would entertain a motion for protective order based on the Northern 26 District of California Model Stipulated Protective Order. 27 This Order disposes of Docket No. 28. 28 IT IS SO ORDERED. 2 1 Dated: July 25, 2012 _________________________________ JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Northern District of California United States District Court 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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