Concepcion v. Social Security Admin

Filing 30

ORDER denying 21 Motion for Reconsideration re 20 Order on Motion for Leave to File. Signed by Judge Stefan R. Underhill on 9/30/10. (Hungerford, A.)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT LORRAINE CONCEPCION, Plaintiff, v. MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. RULING ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF LEAVE TO FILE UNREDACTED COPY I. Background On March 18, 2010, the plaintiff, Lorraine Concepcion, filed a motion for leave to file an unredacted copy under seal of plaintiff's memorandum in support of plaintiff's motion for order reversing the decision of the Commission (doc. #17). On March 25, 2010, I signed an order granting that motion (doc. # 20). On March 30, 2010, the defendant, Michael Astrue, filed a motion for reconsideration (doc. #21). II. Discussion The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow parties to file papers under seal without redaction. Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(d). The District of Connecticut's Local Rules also provide parties with a means to file judicial documents under seal. D. Conn. Civ. R. 5(e). The plaintiff requested that her motion be sealed because it "contains sensitive personal information, including her date of birth, education, work history, medical information, and testimony of witnesses about her personal information and her medical information," and because she "desire[s] to keep her sensitive personal information private." Pl.'s Mot. for Permission to File an Unredacted Copy under Seal of Pl.'s Mem. in Supp. of Pl.'s Mot. for Order No. 3:09-cv-1376 (SRU) Reversing the Decision of the Commissioner or in the Alternative Mot. for Remand for a Reh'g ("Pl.'s Mot."). The defendant objects to the plaintiff's motion, citing case law that if a plaintiff wishes to file under seal, she must show "good cause as to why the Court should depart from the strong presumption against sealing any court records to public inspection." Crossman v. Astruei, --- F. Supp. 2d ---, 2009 WL 6391363, at *6 (D. Conn. 2009). The defendant argues that merely stating that information is sensitive or personal is insufficient to demonstrate "good cause." Def.'s Mot. for Recons. 6. It is not immediately clear why some of the information Concepcion wishes to protect, such as her education, is private, and the plaintiff does not elucidate the matter other than to say it "is of little or no legitimate use to anyone who is not a party to this case." Pl.'s Mot. Yet given the sensitive nature of some of the plaintiff's medical claims, sealing is appropriate in this instance. III. Conclusion For the reasons stated above, the defendant's motion for reconsideration is DENIED. It is so ordered. Dated at Bridgeport, Connecticut this 30th day of September 2010. /s/ Stefan R. Underhill Stefan R. Underhill United States District Judge

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