Space Data Corporation v. X et al

Filing 57

ORDER GRANTING 53 DEFENDANTS' ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO FILE DOCUMENTS UNDER SEAL. Signed by Judge Beth Labson Freeman on 2/6/2017. (blflc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/6/2017)

Download PDF
1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 SAN JOSE DIVISION 4 5 SPACE DATA CORPORATION, Case No. 16-cv-03260-BLF Plaintiff, 6 v. ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO FILE DOCUMENTS UNDER SEAL 7 8 X, et al., Defendants. [Re: ECF 53] 9 10 Before the Court is Defendants’ Alphabet Inc. and Google Inc. (“Google”)’s motion to file United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 under seal its reply in support of its motion to dismiss Plaintiff Space Data Corporation (“Space 13 Data”)’s First Amended Complaint and supporting documentation. Mot., ECF 53. For the 14 reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS Google’s motion. 15 16 I. LEGAL STANDARD “Historically, courts have recognized a ‘general right to inspect and copy public records 17 and documents, including judicial records and documents.’” Kamakana v. City & Cty. of 18 Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435 19 U.S. 589, 597 & n. 7 (1978)). Accordingly, when considering a sealing request, “a ‘strong 20 presumption in favor of access’ is the starting point.” Id. (quoting Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. 21 Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 2003)). Parties seeking to seal judicial records relating to 22 motions that are “more than tangentially related to the underlying cause of action” bear the burden 23 of overcoming the presumption with “compelling reasons” that outweigh the general history of 24 access and the public policies favoring disclosure. Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., 809 F.3d 25 1092, 1099 (9th Cir. 2016); Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178–79. 26 However, “while protecting the public’s interest in access to the courts, we must remain 27 mindful of the parties’ right to access those same courts upon terms which will not unduly harm 28 their competitive interest.” Apple Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Co., Ltd., 727 F.3d 1214, 1228–29 (Fed. Cir. 2013). Records attached to motions that are “not related, or only tangentially related, to the 2 merits of a case” therefore are not subject to the strong presumption of access. Ctr. for Auto 3 Safety, 809 F.3d at 1099; see also Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179 (“[T]he public has less of a need 4 for access to court records attached only to non-dispositive motions because those documents are 5 often unrelated, or only tangentially related, to the underlying cause of action.”). Parties moving 6 to seal the documents attached to such motions must meet the lower “good cause” standard of 7 Rule 26(c). Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179 (internal quotations and citations omitted). This 8 standard requires a “particularized showing,” id., that “specific prejudice or harm will result” if the 9 information is disclosed. Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. Gen. Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 10 1210–11 (9th Cir. 2002); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c). “Broad allegations of harm, unsubstantiated 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 1 by specific examples of articulated reasoning” will not suffice. Beckman Indus., Inc. v. Int’l Ins. 12 Co., 966 F.2d 470, 476 (9th Cir. 1992). A protective order sealing the documents during 13 discovery may reflect the court’s previous determination that good cause exists to keep the 14 documents sealed, see Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179–80, but a blanket protective order that allows 15 the parties to designate confidential documents does not provide sufficient judicial scrutiny to 16 determine whether each particular document should remain sealed. See Civ. L.R. 79-5(d)(1)(A) 17 (“Reference to a stipulation or protective order that allows a party to designate certain documents 18 as confidential is not sufficient to establish that a document, or portions thereof, are sealable.”). 19 In addition to making particularized showings of good cause, parties moving to seal 20 documents must comply with the procedures established by Civ. L.R. 79-5. Pursuant to Civ. L.R. 21 79-5(b), a sealing order is appropriate only upon a request that establishes the document is 22 “sealable,” or “privileged or protectable as a trade secret or otherwise entitled to protection under 23 the law.” “The request must be narrowly tailored to seek sealing only of sealable material, and 24 must conform with Civil L.R. 79-5(d).” Civ. L.R. 79-5(b). In part, Civ. L.R. 79-5(d) requires the 25 submitting party to attach a “proposed order that is narrowly tailored to seal only the sealable 26 material” which “lists in table format each document or portion thereof that is sought to be 27 sealed,” Civ. L.R. 79-5(d)(1)(b), and an “unredacted version of the document” that indicates “by 28 highlighting or other clear method, the portions of the document that have been omitted from the 2 1 redacted version.” Civ. L.R. 79-5(d)(1)(d). “Within 4 days of the filing of the Administrative 2 Motion to File Under Seal, the Designating Party must file a declaration as required by subsection 3 79-5(d)(1)(A) establishing that all of the designated material is sealable.” Civ. L.R. 79-5(e)(1). 4 II. DISCUSSION Because the sealing motion relates to Google’s motion to dismiss, which is more than 5 6 tangentially related to the merits of the case, the instant motion is resolved under the compelling 7 reasons standard. With this standard in mind, the Court rules on the instant motion as follows: 8 9 ECF No. 53-4 Document to be Sealed Reply in Support of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss 53-6 Exhibit 1 to the Reply Declaration of Matthew M. Werdegar in Support of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss. Exhibit 2 to the Reply Declaration of Matthew M. Werdegar in Support of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Exhibit 3 to the Reply Declaration of Matthew M. Werdegar in Support of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 53-8 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 53-9 Result Reasoning GRANTED as to pages 3:21– 23; 4:5–7; 5:1–5. GRANTED as to the highlighted portions. The redacted portions reference the materials included in Exhibits 1–3 of the Reply Declaration of Matthew M. Werdegar in Support of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss. The redacted portions contain confidential information pertaining to Space Data’s financial and business models. See Knoblach Decl. ¶ 6, ECF 56-2. GRANTED as to the highlighted portions. The redacted portions include information pertaining to Space Data’s confidential information, which have been treated as confidential, and which have been kept from being known to the public. See Knoblach Decl. ¶ 7. Contains Space Data trade secrets. See Knoblach Decl. ¶ 8. GRANTED. For the foregoing reasons, the sealing motion at ECF 53 is GRANTED. 23 24 25 26 27 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: February 6, 2017 ______________________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 28 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.


Why Is My Information Online?