Doe v. City Of Concord et al

Filing 33

ORDER Granting Plaintiff's Request for Pseudonymity. Signed by Judge James Donato on 9/15/2020. (jdlc4S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/15/2020)Any non-CM/ECF Participants have been served by First Class Mail to the addresses of record listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 JANE DOE, Plaintiff, 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 Case No. 20-cv-02432-JD ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST FOR PSEUDONYMITY v. CITY OF CONCORD et al., Re: Dkt. No. 27 Defendants. Plaintiff has requested permission to proceed pseudonymously. Dkt. No. 27. The Court 13 previously granted her the right to proceed under pseudonym on a temporary basis. Dkt. No. 9 at 14 2. Defendants oppose plaintiff’s request. Dkt. Nos. 30, 32. 15 Doe has satisfied the controlling test in Does I thru XXIII v. Advanced Textile Corp., 214 16 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2000). She credibly alleges that she could be subjected to retaliation if her 17 true name is made public, Dkt. No. 27 at 3, and has shown that her “need for anonymity outweighs 18 prejudice to the opposing party and the public’s interest in knowing the party’s identity.” Does, 19 214 F.3d at 1068. Doe states that she needs anonymity because of the stigma that can attach to 20 victims of sexual assault. Dkt. No. 27 at 2. Further, she says that public disclosure of her identity 21 would “aggravate[] the original injury” she suffered. Id. (quoting United States ex rel. Latimore v. 22 Sielaff, 561 F.2d 691, 694-95 (7th Cir. 1977)). She also says that defendants are not prejudiced by 23 plaintiff’s anonymity, as they already know plaintiff’s true identity. Id. at 3. 24 Defendants do not seriously contest the absence of prejudice, and argue only that Doe has 25 filed other lawsuits pseudonymously. Dkt. No. 30. This is true, and Doe listed in her reply brief 26 all of the other actions she has filed pseudonymously. See Dkt. No. 31 at 3. This alone is far from 27 enough to rebut Doe’s contentions in favor of pseudonymous status, particularly in light of the fact 28 that defendants have shown no prejudice. 1 Defendants’ suggestion that Doe’s true name should be revealed to the public as a serial 2 filer of complaints alleging failures to adequately respond to sexual assault reports, Dkt. No. 30 at 3 3, is wholly unpersuasive. Contrary to defendants’ contention, there is no obvious public interest 4 in knowing her so-called “pattern and practice” of making such allegations and bringing such 5 lawsuits. Defendants certainly do not cite any case law for that proposition. To the extent they 6 wish to explore the allegations in those other cases, Doe has confirmed the case information -- 7 information that defendants had already discovered by the time they filed their opposition. Consequently, plaintiff’s request is granted. Plaintiff is directed to continue to style her 9 filings in the current “Jane Doe” format. Plaintiff’s identity will not be disclosed to the general 10 public. Plaintiff will be referred to as Jane Doe in all pleadings and other documents related to 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 8 this litigation, as well as in any proceedings that may be held before the Court. Defendants and 12 their attorneys will not disclose plaintiff’s identity to any other person or entity except as may be 13 necessary to defend against this action. 14 15 16 17 These measures are ordered without prejudice to a future request to disclose plaintiff’s true name, or to the Court deciding that the case’s circumstances no longer warrant them. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: September 15, 2020 18 19 JAMES DONATO United States District Judge 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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