Doe 1 et al v. Nielsen et al

Filing 247

Order by Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi granting 217 Administrative Motion to File Under Seal. (vkdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/8/2019)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 SAN JOSE DIVISION 7 JANE DOE 1, et al., 8 Plaintiffs, 9 v. 10 KEVIN K. MCALEENAN, et al., 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Case No.18-cv-02349-BLF (VKD) Defendants. 12 ORDER GRANTING ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO FILE UNDER SEAL Re: Dkt. No. 217 13 In connection with plaintiffs’ motion to compel and for sanctions (Dkt. No. 218), plaintiffs 14 15 filed an administrative motion to file portions of the accompanying attorney declaration and an 16 exhibit under seal. Dkt. No. 217. Although the portions sought to be sealed were designated 17 confidential by defendants, defendants did not file a response pursuant to Civil Local Rule 79- 18 5(e)(1). Nevertheless, having considered plaintiffs’ submission, the Court grants the 19 administrative motion, as set forth below. There is a strong presumption in favor of access by the public to judicial records and 20 21 documents accompanying dispositive motions that can be overcome only by a showing of 22 “compelling reasons supported by specific factual findings.” Kamakana v. City & Cty. of 23 Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178–79 (9th Cir. 2006) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 24 However, the presumption does not apply equally to a motion addressing matters that are only 25 “tangentially related to the merits of a case.” Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., LLC, 809 F.3d 26 1092, 1101 (9th Cir. 2016), cert. denied sub nom. FCA U.S. LLC v. Ctr. for Auto Safety, 137 S. Ct. 27 /// 28 /// 1 38 (2016). A litigant seeking to seal documents or information in connection with such a motion 2 must meet the lower “good cause” standard of Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 3 Id. at 1098–99; Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179–80. 4 Plaintiffs’ motion to seal concerns information submitted in connection with a motion to 5 compel discovery and for sanctions. The underlying motion does not address the merits of the 6 parties’ claims or defenses, but rather whether the Court should compel defendants to produce a 7 particular document and sanction defendants for their conduct in discovery. The material to be 8 sealed is only tangentially related to the merits of the case. The Court therefore applies the “good 9 cause” standard of Rule 26(c). 10 The portions of the documents accompanying plaintiffs’ motion to compel that plaintiffs United States District Court Northern District of California 11 ask to file under seal concern material that defendants have designated confidential. With respect 12 to Exhibit S, the portions sought to be redacted are the identities and contact information for 13 individuals in law enforcement, and the Court finds good cause for sealing that information. With 14 respect to the portions of the declaration of Mariko Hirose that plaintiffs seek to seal, those 15 portions appear to contain information similar to material filed in connection with the parties’ May 16 7, 2019 discovery dispute (Dkt. No. 180). Plaintiffs take the position that the information has 17 already been disclosed in the published opinion in ACLU v. Clapper, 785 F.3d 787 (2d Cir. 2015). 18 However, as the Court previously concluded, it is not clear whether the material defendants have 19 designated here is precisely the same as the information published in Clapper. Dkt. No. 226. 20 Accordingly, the Court grants plaintiffs’ administrative motion and permits sealing of the 21 following materials: 22 23 24 25 26 Document Declaration of Mariko Hirose (Dkt. No. 219) Portion to be Sealed Pg. 8, lines 9, 13-14 Exhibit S to the Hirose Declaration Entire document 27 This order is without prejudice to the parties later challenging the confidentiality designation of 28 2 1 2 3 the sealed documents. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: October 8, 2019 4 VIRGINIA K. DEMARCHI United States Magistrate Judge 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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