eCardless Bancorp, Ltd. v. PayPal Holdings, Inc. et al

Filing 130

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART 129 ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION. Signed by Judge Beth Labson Freeman on 5/10/2024. (blflc3, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/10/2024)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 SAN JOSE DIVISION 6 7 ECARDLESS BANCORP, LTD., Plaintiff, 8 v. 9 10 PAYPAL INC, Defendant. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Case No. 24-cv-01054-BLF ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION [Re: ECF No. 129] 12 Before the court is Plaintiff eCardless Bancorp, Ltd.’s Amended Administrative Motion to 13 14 File Under Seal. ECF No. 129. For the reasons described below, the administrative motion is 15 GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. 16 17 I. LEGAL STANDARD “Historically, courts have recognized a ‘general right to inspect and copy public records 18 and documents, including judicial records and documents.’” Kamakana v. City & Cty. Of 19 Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Nixon v. Warner Commc'ns, Inc., 435 20 U.S. 589, 597 & n.7 (1978)). Accordingly, when considering a sealing request, “a ‘strong 21 presumption in favor of access’ is the starting point.” Id. (quoting Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. 22 Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 2003)). Parties seeking to seal judicial records relating to 23 motions that are “more than tangentially related to the underlying cause of action” bear the burden 24 of overcoming the presumption with “compelling reasons” that outweigh the general history of 25 access and the public policies favoring disclosure. Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., 809 F.3d 26 1092, 1099 (9th Cir. 2016); Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178–79. 27 Records attached to motions that are “not related, or only tangentially related, to the merits 28 of a case,” however, are not subject to the strong presumption of access. Ctr. for Auto Safety, 809 1 F.3d at 1099; see also Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179 (“[T]he public has less of a need for access to 2 court records attached only to non-dispositive motions because those documents are often 3 unrelated, or only tangentially related, to the underlying cause of action.”). Parties moving to seal 4 the documents attached to such motions must meet the lower “good cause” standard of Rule 5 26(c). Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179 (internal quotations and citations omitted). This standard 6 requires a “particularized showing,” id., that “specific prejudice or harm will result” if the 7 information is disclosed. Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. Gen. Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 8 1210–11 (9th Cir. 2002); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c). “Broad allegations of harm, unsubstantiated 9 by specific examples of articulated reasoning” will not suffice. Beckman Indus., Inc. v. Int'l Ins. 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Co., 966 F.2d 470, 476 (9th Cir. 1992). II. DISCUSSION Plaintiff seeks to seal selected portions of two exhibits attached to its JCMS. ECF No. 12 13 129. Plaintiff writes that the Exhibit 1 should be sealed because it is an “[o]rder issued as sealed 14 by the Transferor Court (Western District of Texas) in this litigation. Under the Doctrine of 15 Comity, this Court should not revisit the order previously issued by another district court prior to 16 the transfer.” Id. at 6. Plaintiff writes that Exhibit 2 should be sealed because “[t]o the extent Mr. 17 Sines’ Will is relevant to any issue in dispute in this litigation (eCardless maintains that it is not), 18 the purported relevance is tangential at best.” Id. at 5. Plaintiff argues that the redactions are 19 narrowly tailored. Id. at 2. 20 The Court finds that good cause exists to seal certain portions of Exhibit 2, but not Exhibit 21 1. Ctr. for Auto Safety, 809 F.3d at 1099; Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178–79. The Court also finds 22 that the request is narrowly tailored for Exhibit 2. The Court’s ruling is summarized below: 23 24 \\ 25 \\ 26 \\ 27 \\ 28 \\ 2 1 2 3 4 ECF or Exhibit No. ECF No. 129-3, Ex. 1 Document ECF No. 129-4, Ex. 2 Exhibit 7 to • JCMS, August 17, 2023 Will of Randy D. Sines (“Will”) (ECF No. 11710). Document • produced by Plaintiff as eCardless_0000 1829-1837 5 6 Portion(s) to Seal Exhibit 3 to Entirety JCMS, Sealed Order on January 24, 2024 Discovery Dispute (Dkt. 76 and 117-3). 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 III. Ruling DENIED. Plaintiff provides no legal basis for its comity argument. More importantly, contrary to Plaintiff’s representations, the order is not sealed. See eCardless Bancorp, Ltd. v. PayPal Holdings, Inc. et al, 7:22-cv-00245-ADA-DTG at ECF No. 76 (docket text) (“Unsealed on 2/1/2024. Per chambers, order is to be unsealed due to no redactions by counsel.”) GRANTED, as the Court finds Individual names and that the information sought to be financial percentages contained at native pp. 3- sealed is personal in nature. The Court may revisit this ruling at a 4 of the Will later time. (eCardless_000018 3132); and Names and personal addresses of two witnesses who signed the Will contained at native p. 9 (eCardless_000018 37). ORDER For the foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the administrative motion is 19 GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. Plaintiff SHALL file an unredacted version of 20 the JCMS and its corresponding exhibits (ECF Nos. 117, 118), with redactions limited those 21 granted in this order no later than May 23, 2024. 22 23 24 25 Dated: May 10, 2024 ______________________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 26 27 28 3

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