Vietnam Veterans of America et al v. Central Intelligence Agency et al

Filing 380


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1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 5 6 7 8 VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA; SWORDS TO PLOWSHARES: VETERANS RIGHTS ORGANIZATION; BRUCE PRICE; FRANKLIN D. ROCHELLE; LARRY MEIROW; ERIC P. MUTH; DAVID C. DUFRANE; TIM MICHAEL JOSEPHS; and WILLIAM BLAZINSKI, individually, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION TO SEAL (Docket No. 375) Plaintiffs, 9 10 No. C 09-0037 CW v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY; DAVID H. PETRAEUS, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; LEON E. PANETTA, Secretary of Defense; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY; JOHN M. MCHUGH, United States Secretary of the Army; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; ERIC H. HOLDER, Jr., Attorney General of the United States; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS; and ERIC K. SHINSEKI, United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Defendants. ________________________________/ On March 22, 2012, Plaintiffs filed an administrative motion 22 seeking to file under seal the following documents: (1) portions 23 of their reply in support of their motion for class certification; 24 (2) portions of Exhibit 79 and the entirety of Exhibit 87 to the 25 Declaration of Stacy M. Sprenkel in support of their reply; 26 (3) the entirety of the Declaration of Tim Michael Josephs in 27 support of their reply; and (4) portions of the Declaration of 28 1 Bernard Edelman. 2 certain portions of Exhibit 79 as confidential and that Defendants 3 have designated overlapping portions of that exhibit as 4 confidential as well. 5 declaration in support of Plaintiffs’ motion to seal. 6 Plaintiffs state that they have designated On March 29, 2012, Defendants filed a Because the public interest favors filing all court documents 7 in the public record, any party seeking to file a document under 8 seal must demonstrate good cause to do so. 9 Creditors Ass’n, 605 F.3d 665, 678 (9th Cir. 2010). Pintos v. Pac. This cannot United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 be established simply by showing that the document is subject to a 11 protective order or by stating in general terms that the material 12 is considered to be confidential, but rather must be supported by 13 a sworn declaration demonstrating with particularity the need to 14 file each document under seal. 15 a document has been designated as confidential by another party, 16 that party must file a declaration establishing that the document 17 is sealable. 18 See Civil Local Rule 79-5(a). If Civil Local Rule 79-5(d). Plaintiffs state that they seek to seal lines 82:4 and 19 142:2-5, 15 of Exhibit 79, the entirety of Exhibit 87, the Josephs 20 Declaration and portions of their reply brief, because they 21 contain “information relating the privacy and/or past, present, or 22 future physical or mental health or condition of persons not 23 specifically made public in the Complaint in this action.” 24 Sprenkel Decl. ¶ 5. 25 portions of the Edelman Declaration and portions of their reply 26 brief are sealable, because they contain information regarding 27 third-party putative class members not otherwise made public in 28 this action. Plaintiffs also state that Exhibit 87, Id. at ¶ 6. Defendants state that they seek to seal 2 1 lines 81:24 through 82:10 of Exhibit 79, because it contains 2 “information from plaintiff David Dufrane’s volunteer service 3 member test file concerning the specific chemical substances with 4 which he was tested,” and that the test file is covered by the 5 Privacy Act. 6 at issue, the Court finds that the parties have established good 7 cause to seal lines 81:24 through 82:10 and 142:2-5, 15 of Exhibit 8 79, the entirety of Exhibit 87, portions of the Edelman 9 Declaration, and portions of their reply brief. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Gardner Decl. ¶¶ 5-6. Having reviewed the documents The Court also finds that Plaintiffs have provided good cause 11 to seal a portion of the Josephs Declaration. 12 already disclosed the information contained in paragraphs two, 13 three and a portion of four of the Josephs Declaration in the 14 third amended complaint (3AC). 15 information contained in Mr. Josephs’s medical file “indicates 16 that Mr. Josephs likely received injections of nerve gas”); 211 17 (stating that Mr. Josephs has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s 18 disease and currently suffers from hypertension); 212 (stating 19 that “Mr. Josephs sought benefits through the VA in the fall of 20 2009 . . . ”). 21 remainder of the declaration has not previously been disclosed 22 publicly. 23 Josephs declaration other than those portions noted above. Plaintiffs have See 3AC ¶¶ 202 (stating that However, the private information contained in the Accordingly, the Court finds good cause to seal the 24 For the reasons set forth above, Plaintiffs’ motion to seal 25 is GRANTED to the extent that it pertains to lines 81:24 through 26 82:10 and 142:2-5, 15 of Exhibit 79, the entirety of Exhibit 87, 27 portions of the Edelman Declaration, portions of their reply brief 28 and portions of the Josephs Declaration (Docket No. 375). 3 1 Plaintiffs’ motion to seal is DENIED to the extent that it 2 pertains to paragraphs two, three and a portion of four of the 3 Josephs Declaration. 4 four days of the date of this Order, Plaintiffs shall 5 electronically file their reply brief, Exhibits 79 and 87, the 6 Edelman Declaration, and the Josephs Declaration under seal, and 7 shall file in the public record redacted versions of their reply 8 brief, Exhibits 79, the Edelman Declaration and the Josephs 9 Declaration. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 In accordance with General Order 62, within IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 12 13 Dated: 3/29/2012 CLAUDIA WILKEN United States District Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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