Local Access, LLC v. Peerless Network, Inc.
ORDER granting 1159, 1160, 1166, 1169 the parties' Motions to Seal. Documents approved for sealing related to the Time Sensitive Motion to Compel (Doc. 1158) SHALL be filed through CM/ECF on or before November 15, 2023. All other items approved for sealing by this Order SHALL be filed through CM/ECF on or before November 17, 2023. Signed by Magistrate Judge Embry J. Kidd on 11/14/2023. (RMN)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
LOCAL ACCESS, LLC,
Case No: 6:17-cv-236-WWB-EJK
PEERLESS NETWORK, INC.,
This cause comes before the Court on the parties’ various Motions to Seal.
(Docs. 1159, 1160, 1166, 1169.) Upon consideration, the Motions to Seal are due to
Local Rule 1.11(c) requires the following for filing a document under seal, if it
is not authorized by a statute, rule, or order:
[The Motion] (1) must include in the title “Motion for
Leave to File Under Seal”; (2) must describe the item
proposed for sealing; (3) must state the reason . . . filing the
item is necessary, . . . sealing the item is necessary, and . . .
partial sealing, redaction, or means other than sealing are
unavailable or unsatisfactory; (4) must propose a duration
of the seal; (5) must state the name, mailing address, email
address, and telephone number of the person authorized to
retrieve a sealed, tangible item; (6) must include a legal
memorandum supporting the seal; but (7) must not include
the item proposed for sealing.
The Motions to Seal comply with the Local Rule; thus, the Court must now determine
whether there is good cause for the seal.
While the Eleventh Circuit recognizes a “presumptive common law right to
inspect and copy judicial records,” United States v. Rosenthal, 763 F.2d 1291, 1292–93
(11th Cir. 1985), a party may overcome the public’s right to access by demonstrating
good cause. Romero v. Drummond Co., 480 F.3d 1234, 1246 (11th Cir. 2007); see also
Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 598 (1978) (“It is uncontested, however,
that the right to inspect and copy judicial records is not absolute. Every court has
supervisory power over its own records and files, and access has been denied where
court files might have become a vehicle for improper purposes.”).
If good cause is shown, the court must balance the interest in obtaining access
to the information against the interest in keeping the information confidential. See
Chicago Tribune Co. v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., 263 F.3d 1304, 1309 (11th Cir. 2001).
Factors a court may consider are:
[W]hether allowing access would impair court functions or
harm legitimate privacy interests, the degree of and
likelihood of injury if made public, the reliability of the
information, whether there will be an opportunity to
respond to the information, whether the information
concerns public officials or public concerns, and the
availability of a less onerous alternative to sealing the
Romero, 480 F.3d at 1246.
Local Access seeks to file under seal the following:
• Exhibits 1 and 2 to its Motion in Limine (Doc. 1157). (Doc. 1159.)
• An unredacted copy of its Time Sensitive Motion to Compel Proffer of
Testimony of Henry Kelly at the November 20, 2023 Hearing on Motion
to Disqualify (Doc. 1158). (Doc. 1160.)
• An unredacted copy of its response to Motion to Disqualify Trial Counsel
and Exhibits 3 and 6 thereto (Doc. 1168). (Doc. 1169.)
Peerless seeks to file under seal an unredacted copy of its Motion in Limine and ten
exhibits attached thereto (Doc. 1156). (Doc. 1166.)
The parties represent that the proposed items to be sealed, which include
information regarding communications with customers and information relative to the
parties’ confidential or highly confidential contracts, all contain information that is
“Confidential” or “Highly Confidential” in nature, as defined by the Protective Order.
(Docs. 44 at 2.) As the Court has previously found, the Court will infer that the parties
have certified that the information contained in the items to be sealed references
confidential or proprietary business information. Courts in this District have
recognized that maintaining the privacy of confidential business information can
constitute good cause for keeping documents from the public view. See, e.g., Local
Access, LLC v. Peerless Network, Inc., No. 6:14-cv399-Orl-40TBS, 2017 WL 2021761, at
*2–3 (M.D. Fla. May 12, 2017) (permitting sealing of proprietary financial and
business information); Patent Asset Licensing LLC, v. Bright House Networks, LLC, No.
3:15-cv-742-J-32MCR, 2016 WL 2991057, at *2 (M.D. Fla. May 24, 2016) (permitting
party to file confidential business information under seal where such documents’
exposure could “violate the parties' privacy or proprietary interests”). Thus, the parties
have demonstrated good cause to overcome the public’s right of access to the
aforementioned documents to be sealed.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED as follows:
1. The Motions to Seal (Docs. 1159, 1160, 1166, 1169) are GRANTED.
2. Documents approved for sealing related to the Time Sensitive Motion to
Compel (Doc. 1158) SHALL be filed through CM/ECF on or before
November 15, 2023. All other items approved for sealing by this Order
SHALL be filed through CM/ECF on or before November 17, 2023. The
seal shall remain in place until resolution of this matter, including any
DONE and ORDERED in Orlando, Florida on November 14, 2023.
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