Ashker et al v. Schwarzenegger et al

Filing 259

ORDER by Judge Claudia WilkenGRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS 250 MOTION TO SEAL (ndr, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/2/2013)

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1 2 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 3 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 4 5 TODD ASHKER, et al., Plaintiffs, 6 7 No. C 09-5796 CW ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO SEAL (Docket No. 250) v. 8 GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, et al., 9 Defendants. ________________________________/ United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 Defendants move to seal portions of two declarations filed in 12 opposition to Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. 13 Plaintiffs have not filed an opposition to Defendants’ motion. 14 For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted in part and 15 denied in part. 16 The public interest favors filing all court documents in the 17 public record. 18 seal must demonstrate good cause to do so. 19 Creditors Ass’n, 605 F.3d 665, 678 (9th Cir. 2010). 20 be established simply by showing that the document is subject to a 21 protective order or by stating in general terms that the material 22 is considered to be confidential, but rather must be supported by 23 a sworn declaration demonstrating with particularity the need to 24 file each document under seal. 25 Thus, any party seeking to file a document under Pintos v. Pac. This cannot See Civil Local Rule 79–5(a). Here, Defendants seek to seal Exhibit A to the declaration of 26 J. Zubiate. 27 attorney regarding legal matters, it is privileged and therefore 28 sealable. Because Exhibit A is a letter from Zubiate to his Civil L.R. 79-5(a) (“A sealing order may issue only 1 upon a request that establishes that the document, or portions 2 thereof is privileged or protectable as a trade secret or 3 otherwise entitled to protection under the law.”). 4 Defendants also seek to seal certain exhibits and excerpts of 5 J. Bryan Elrod’s declaration. 6 to seal identify several non-party inmates whose safety may be put 7 in jeopardy if their names are publicly disclosed. 8 J. Frisk ¶¶ 7-8. 9 for sealing these excerpts. The excerpts that Defendants seek Declaration of Defendants have therefore established good cause They have also established good cause United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 for sealing Exhibit B to Elrod’s declaration, which discloses 11 specific details about the California Department of Corrections 12 and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) “debriefing” procedures. 13 Defendants have not, however, demonstrated good cause for 14 sealing Exhibit A in its entirety. 15 Elrod wrote to a prisoners’ rights attorney (not his own) 16 describing his experience at Pelican Bay, explaining his 17 motivations for participating in past hunger strikes, and 18 articulating his views of the instant lawsuit. 19 information is duplicative of information that has already been 20 disclosed in the portions of Elrod’s declaration that were filed 21 in the public record. 22 for sealing this letter.1 23 been designated “confidential” pursuant to a protective order, the 24 local rules plainly state that neither a protective order nor Exhibit A is a letter that Much of this Defendants have not established good cause Although they note that the letter has 25 26 27 28 1 The first page of Exhibit A, marked RUIZ14669, is a confidential communication between Elrod and a CDCR staff member that may be sealed for security reasons. 2 1 stipulation is sufficient to establish that a document is 2 sealable. Civil L.R. 79-5(a). 3 4 CONCLUSION For the reasons set forth above, Defendants’ motion to file 5 under seal (Docket No. 250) is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. 6 Within seven days of this order, Defendants shall file in the 7 public record pages RUIZ14670 through RUIZ14675 of Exhibit A to J. 8 Bryan Elrod’s declaration. 9 IT IS SO ORDERED. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 Dated: 8/2/2013 CLAUDIA WILKEN United States District Judge 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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