Domaine Carneros, Ltd v. Lea Trading LLC et al

Filing 21

ORDER GRANTING 19 ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO SEAL; ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE. Signed by Judge Beth Labson Freeman on 6/4/2024. (blflc3, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/4/2024)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 SAN JOSE DIVISION 6 7 DOMAINE CARNEROS, LTD, Plaintiff, 8 LEA TRADING LLC, et al., [Re: ECF Nos. 14, 19] Defendants. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO SEAL; ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE v. 9 10 Case No. 24-cv-01834-BLF Before the court is Plaintiff Domaine Carneros, Ltd.’s Administrative Motion to File 12 13 Under Seal. ECF No. 19. Defendant Lea Trading LLC opposes. ECF No. 20. For the reasons 14 described below, the administrative motion is GRANTED. However, Plaintiff is ORDERED TO 15 SHOW CAUSE why it should not be compelled to disclose the unredacted exhibit to Defendant. 16 I. 17 BACKGROUND Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Transfer Venue arguing, inter 18 alia, that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction and that venue is improper. ECF No. 14. Plaintiff 19 filed an opposition with redacted exhibits, see ECF No. 16-2 at 4-7, that did not comply with the 20 Civil Local Rules and this Court’s Standing Order. See Civ. L.R. 79-5; Standing Order § V. The 21 Court ordered Plaintiff to file unredacted exhibits on the public docket or an administrative motion 22 to seal. ECF No. 18. Plaintiff filed the instant administrative motion on May 22, 2024, seeking to 23 seal the address. ECF No. 19. Defendant filed an opposition, arguing that “Counsel for 24 Defendant has requested Plaintiff’s counsel to release the information, but Plaintiff’s counsel 25 refuses to do so.” ECF No. 20. 26 27 28 II. LEGAL STANDARD “Historically, courts have recognized a ‘general right to inspect and copy public records and documents, including judicial records and documents.’” Kamakana v. City & Cty. Of United States District Court Northern District of California 1 Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Nixon v. Warner Commc'ns, Inc., 435 2 U.S. 589, 597 & n.7 (1978)). Accordingly, when considering a sealing request, “a ‘strong 3 presumption in favor of access’ is the starting point.” Id. (quoting Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. 4 Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 2003)). Parties seeking to seal judicial records relating to 5 motions that are “more than tangentially related to the underlying cause of action” bear the burden 6 of overcoming the presumption with “compelling reasons” that outweigh the general history of 7 access and the public policies favoring disclosure. Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., 809 F.3d 8 1092, 1099 (9th Cir. 2016); Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178–79. 9 Records attached to motions that are “not related, or only tangentially related, to the merits 10 of a case,” however, are not subject to the strong presumption of access. Ctr. for Auto Safety, 809 11 F.3d at 1099; see also Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179 (“[T]he public has less of a need for access to 12 court records attached only to non-dispositive motions because those documents are often 13 unrelated, or only tangentially related, to the underlying cause of action.”). Parties moving to seal 14 the documents attached to such motions must meet the lower “good cause” standard of Rule 15 26(c). Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179 (internal quotations and citations omitted). This standard 16 requires a “particularized showing,” id., that “specific prejudice or harm will result” if the 17 information is disclosed. Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. Gen. Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 18 1210–11 (9th Cir. 2002); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c). “Broad allegations of harm, unsubstantiated 19 by specific examples of articulated reasoning” will not suffice. Beckman Indus., Inc. v. Int'l Ins. 20 Co., 966 F.2d 470, 476 (9th Cir. 1992). 21 III. DISCUSSION 22 A. 23 Plaintiff seeks to seal the personal information in Exhibit A of the Declaration of Public Disclosure 24 Francesca Peralta in Support of its Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (“Peralta Decl.”). 25 Mot. at 9. Plaintiff argues that “The portions that Plaintiff seeks to seal contain the personal email 26 address, personal shipping address and personal billing address of a nonparty declarant.” Mot. at 27 3. Plaintiff writes that the information should be sealed because “[t]he redaction of such personal 28 contact information will protect the declarant’s privacy interests and protect her from harm.” Id. 2 1 Plaintiff argues that the requested redactions are narrowly tailored. Id. 2 The Court finds that compelling reasons exist to redact the public version of the document. 3 Richter v. Oracle Am., Inc., No. 22-CV-04795-BLF, 2023 WL 5663217, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 30, 4 2023) (“District courts within the Ninth Circuit have found that a party’s legitimate interest in 5 ensuring the privacy of personal information outweighs the public’s interest in access to court 6 filings.”) (emphasis added); Hernandez v. County of Monterey, No. 13-cv-02354, 2023 WL 7 4688522, at *3–4 (N.D. Cal. July 21, 2023) (finding compelling reasons to seal personal contact 8 information). The Court also finds that the request is narrowly tailored. The Court’s ruling is summarized below: United States District Court Northern District of California 9 10 ECF or Ex. No. Document Portion(s) to Seal Ruling 11 Ex. A at ECF No. 16-2 Highlighted portions at 4-5. 12 Exhibit A to Peralta Decl. GRANTED, as it contains the declarant’s personal contact information. 13 B. 14 Disclosure to Defendant is a different story. Defendant challenges this Court’s jurisdiction Disclosure to Defendant 15 and venue in this district in a motion to dismiss, ECF No. 14, and Plaintiff attached the Peralta 16 declaration and exhibit as evidence in support of its opposition to Defendant’s motion to dismiss. 17 But it is not clear what authority Plaintiff has to support its interest in withholding the redacted 18 information from Defendant. Plaintiff must make this showing if it intends to withhold the 19 redacted information from Defendant. 20 IV. ORDER 21 For the foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 22 1. Plaintiff’s motion to seal at ECF No. 19 is GRANTED. 23 2. Plaintiff is ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE in writing on or before June 18, 2024, why 24 it should not be compelled to disclose an unredacted copy of Exhibit A to Defendant. 25 26 27 28 Dated: June 4, 2024 ______________________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 3

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