Global Equity Management (SA) Pty. Ltd. v. Alibaba Group Holding, Ltd. et al

Filing 86

ORDER DENYING ADMINISTRATIVE MOTIONS TO FILE UNDER SEAL (in related case nos. 17-2177 and 17-2178). Signed by Judge Alsup on 9/14/2017. (whalc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/14/2017)

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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 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 IN RE GLOBAL EQUITY MANAGEMENT (SA) PTY. LTD. No. C 17-02177 WHA No. C 17-02178 WHA No. C 17-02435 WHA 12 13 ORDER DENYING ADMINISTRATIVE MOTIONS TO FILE UNDER SEAL 14 15 16 17 / Defendants in the above-captioned actions filed substantially similar briefs in opposition 18 to plaintiff’s counsel’s motions to withdraw. Defendants in Case Nos. 17-2177 and 17-2178 19 also filed administrative motions to file said briefs under seal, but defendants in Case No. 17- 20 2435 did not. Since the underlying motions to withdraw bore little or no relation to the merits 21 of these cases, only good cause is required to justify sealing. See Ctr. for Auto Safety v. 22 Chrysler Grp., LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1101 (9th Cir. 2016); Kamakana v. City & Cty. of 23 Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1179–80 (9th Cir. 2006). 24 25 As an initial matter, no good cause remains to seal any information already filed on the public docket in Case No. 17-2435. Neither administrative motion took this into account. 26 Additionally, in Case No. 17-2177, defendants’ administrative motion and supporting 27 declaration simply assert, without further explanation, that the information sought to be filed 28 1 under seal has been designated “confidential” pursuant to a protective order (see Dkt. Nos. 105, 2 105-1). In our district, however, mere “[r]eference to a stipulation or protective order that 3 allows a party to designate certain documents as confidential is not sufficient to establish that a 4 document, or portions thereof, are sealable.” Civil L.R. 79-5(d)(1)(A). Also, even if defendants 5 had offered a separate basis for sealing — which they did not — even a cursory review of their 6 request reveals that it is not “narrowly tailored to seek sealing only of sealable material” as 7 required by Civil Local Rule 79-5(b). As just one of many examples, defendants seek to redact 8 simple letters and numbers used in pinpoint citations (e.g., Dkt. No. 105-4 at 5 nn.1–4). 9 In Case No. 17-2178, defendant seeks to file under seal the entirety of its opposition brief and attachments thereto. This request is not even close to “narrowly tailored to seek 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 sealing only of sealable material” as required by Civil Local Rule 79-5(b). Moreover, the 12 administrative motion simply asserts, without further explanation, that “[t]hese documents 13 contain confidential settlement communications between the parties and sensitive business 14 information belonging to [defendant]” (Dkt. No. 73). The supporting declaration does not even 15 say that much (see Dkt. No. 73-1) and indeed makes no attempt whatsoever to establish that the 16 documents sought to be filed under seal in their entirety are actually sealable as required by 17 Civil Local Rule 79-5(d)(1)(A). 18 Both administrative motions to file under seal in Case Nos. 17-2177 and 17-2178 are 19 DENIED. Counsel in all three above-captioned actions shall fully comply with our Civil Local 20 Rules and heed all applicable standards governing sealing of court records in our circuit and 21 district in any future administrative motions to conceal said records from the public. 22 23 IT IS SO ORDERED. 24 25 Dated: September 14, 2017. WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 26 27 28 2

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