Dastime Group Limited et al v. Vartanyan

Filing 16

ORDER regarding 5 Administrative Motion to File Under Seal. Responsive declarations are due no later than January 13, 2017. Signed by Judge Joseph C. Spero on December 16, 2016. (jcslc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/16/2016)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 KONSTANTIN GRIGORISHIN, et al., Case No. 16-cv-05274-JCS Petitioners, 8 v. 9 10 ALEXANDER VARTANYAN, Respondent. ORDER REGARDING ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO FILE UNDER SEAL Re: Dkt. No. 5 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 Petitioners Konstantin Grigorishin and Dastime Group Limited brought this action seeking 13 to compel Respondent Alexander Vartanyan, a Russian national living in Switzerland, to 14 participate in ongoing arbitration between Petitioners and Moonvale Investments Limited 15 (“Moonvale”), which is not a party to the present action. The arbitrator entered a protective order 16 governing the arbitration. Goteiner Decl. (dkt. 5-1) ¶ 4 & Ex. A. Moonvale objected to disclosure 17 of certain material that Petitioners intended to include with their present Petition to Compel 18 Arbitration, and the arbitrator entered an order requiring a number of documents to be filed under 19 seal. Id. ¶ 5 & Ex. B. Based on the arbitrator‟s order, Petitioners now move to file under seal 20 those documents and virtually all portions of their Petition that discuss the underlying facts of the 21 case. See generally Admin. Mot. to File Under Seal (dkt. 5). “Petitioners take no position as to 22 whether disclosure of any of these materials would cause harm to Moonvale, Vartanyan, or any 23 third parties.” Id. at 1. 24 Courts have long recognized a strong presumption of public access to court records. 25 Kamakana v. City & Cty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing, e.g., Nixon v. 26 Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597−98 & n.7 (1978)). A party seeking to overcome that 27 presumption generally must demonstrate “„compelling reasons‟” to file documents under seal 28 rather than in the public record. Id. at 1178−79 (citing Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 1 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 2003)). The Court is aware of no authority allowing parties to a 2 dispute to delegate the Court‟s role in safeguarding the public‟s access to records of judicial 3 proceedings to a private arbitrator. Indeed, the arbitrator herself recognized that that “[o]nce any 4 such proceeding is initiated in any court, any further disputes regarding the use and filing of 5 Confidential information in such proceeding shall be resolved by the court overseeing the 6 proceeding.” Goteiner Decl. Ex. A. 7 The Court recognizes that the competing obligations of public access and the arbitrator‟s 8 protective order place Petitioners in a difficult position. Civil Local Rule 79-5(e), which governs 9 the filing of documents designated as confidential by another party under a protective order, provides a mechanism to balance those interests. The Court finds that procedure appropriate for 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 the material at issue here, although additional time is warranted at this early stage of the case. 12 Accordingly, Petitioners are instructed to serve their administrative motion, this Order, and the 13 materials at issue on any person or entity that Petitioners believe can claim a confidentiality 14 interest in those materials no later than December 30, 2016. Any such party, including 15 Petitioners, may file a declaration no later than January 13, 2017 setting forth specific 16 compelling reasons why specific sensitive portions of the material should remain under seal. Such 17 requests must be narrowly tailored. See Civ. L.R. 79-5(b); see also In re Hewlett-Packard Co. 18 S’holder Derivative Litig., No. 3:12-cv-06003-CRB, ECF Doc. No. 411 (N.D. Cal. July 28, 2015). 19 If no party files a responsive declaration setting forth compelling reasons for sealing, the Court 20 will deny Petitioners‟ administrative motion and order the Petition and its attachments filed in the 21 public record. 22 23 24 25 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: December 16, 2016 ______________________________________ JOSEPH C. SPERO Chief Magistrate Judge 26 27 28 2

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?