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

Filing 464

Order by Judge Claudia Wilken granting in part and denying in part 451 Defendants' Administrative Motion to File Under Seal (cwlc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/3/2012)

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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, DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO SEAL (Docket No. 451) 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. ________________________________/ Defendants have submitted an administrative motion seeking to 22 file under seal their unredacted opposition to Plaintiffs’ motion 23 to substitute and Exhibits A and B attached to the Declaration of 24 Judson O. Littleton, submitted in support of their opposition. 25 Having reviewed the papers submitted by Defendants and the 26 exhibits that they seek to file under seal, the Court grants 27 Defendants’ motion in part and denies it in part. 28 Because the public interest favors filing all court documents 1 2 in the public record, any party seeking to file a document under 3 seal must demonstrate good cause to do so. 4 Creditors Ass’n, 605 F.3d 665, 678 (9th Cir. 2010). 5 be established simply by showing that the document is subject to a 6 protective order or by stating in general terms that the material 7 is considered to be confidential, but rather must be supported by 8 a sworn declaration demonstrating with particularity the need to 9 file each document under seal. Pintos v. Pac. This cannot See Civil Local Rule 79-5(a). If United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 a document has been designated as confidential by another party, 11 that party must file a declaration establishing that the document 12 is sealable. 13 Civil Local Rule 79-5(d). Defendants represent that they are seeking to seal Exhibits A 14 and B because these exhibits contain records with identifying and 15 sensitive personal information about Plaintiff Wray Forrest and 16 specifically are his health records. 17 reviewed the records, the Court finds that Defendants have 18 provided good cause to seal Exhibits A and B. 19 Littleton Decl. ¶ 2. Having Defendants, however, have not provided good cause to support 20 the sealing of any portion of their opposition. 21 represent that they seek to seal their unredacted opposition 22 because in it “Defendants discuss confidential information 23 contained in Exhibit A.” 24 copy of their opposition provided to the Court, Defendants 25 indicate that they seek to seal a single sentence in their 26 opposition. Littleton Decl. ¶ 5. Defendants In the unredacted Defs.’ Opp to Pls.’ Mot. to Substitute 6:24-27.1 27 1 28 The Court notes that the exhibits cited do not indicate when Mr. Forrest and his wife met. 2 1 While Defendants do not explain clearly what portion of this 2 sentence they believe is confidential, it appears that they 3 believe that their recitation of Mr. Forrest’s alleged marital 4 history is sealable. 5 generally a matter of public record, and Defendants do not provide 6 any basis to find otherwise here. 7 may believe that the latter part of their statement is sealable, 8 the Court notes that Plaintiffs have already publicly disclosed 9 the fact and timing of Mr. Forrest’s participating in the human United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 testing program. However, marriage and divorce records are To the extent that Defendants See, e.g., Third Amended Compl. ¶¶ 81-87. For the reasons set forth above, Defendants’ motion to file 12 under seal is DENIED to the extent that it pertains to their 13 unredacted opposition. 14 extent that it pertains to Exhibits A and B to the Littleton 15 Declaration. 16 days of the date of this Order, Defendants shall electronically 17 file Exhibits A and B under seal and shall file in the public 18 record their unredacted opposition. 19 Defendants’ motion is GRANTED to the In accordance with General Order 62, within four IT IS SO ORDERED. 20 21 22 Dated: July 3, 2012 CLAUDIA WILKEN United States District Judge 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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