READY2GO AVIATION LLC v. GALISTAIR TRADING LIMITED et al
ORDER Granting 14 Motion for Leave to File Under Seal. Signed by Senior District Judge Robert N Scola, Jr on 11/13/2023. See attached document for full details. (cds)
United States District Court
Southern District of Florida
Ready2Go Aviation LLC, Plaintiff,
Galistair Trading Limited, and
ACMI Solutions S.L., Defendants.
) Civil Action No. 23-23318-Civ-Scola
Order Granting Leave to File Under Seal
This matter is before the Court on the Defendants’ motion for leave to file
three exhibits to the pending motion to dismiss under seal. (Mot., ECF No. 14.)
The Plaintiff responded (ECF No. 17), opposing the sealing of the documents,
and the Defendants filed a reply. (ECF No. 22.) The Court has reviewed the
briefing, the record, the relevant law, and is otherwise fully advised. The Court
grants the Defendants’ motion for leave to file the exhibits under seal for the
following reasons. (ECF No. 14.)
The Defendants argue that three exhibits to the motion to dismiss should
be sealed because they contain “proprietary business information and contain
highly sensitive business terms that, if filed publicly, would prejudice” the
Defendants. (Mot., ECF No. 14 at 2.) The exhibits are the agreement between
the Plaintiff and the Defendants and two wet leases, which “reflect Defendants’
pricing process, including confidential commercial and financial information
related to their business operations including lease rental rates, crew member
rates, payment terms and schedules, and other pricing conditions related to its
business operations.” (Defs.’ Reply, ECF No. 22 at 2.)
“The common-law right of access to judicial proceedings . . . is
instrumental in securing the integrity of the process.” Chicago Tribune Co. v.
Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., 263 F.3d 1304, 1311 (11th Cir. 2001) (cleaned up).
This right of access is not absolute, however, and “requires a balancing of
competing interests.” Id. (cleaned up). In determining whether to seal a
document, courts must consider, among other factors, “whether 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
documents.” Romero v. Drummond Co., Inc., 480 F.3d 1234, 1246 (11th Cir.
2007) (cleaned up). A motion to seal must set forth “the factual and legal basis
for departing from the policy that Court filings be public.” L.R. 5.4(b)(1).
“Concerns about trade secrets or other proprietary information, for example,
can overcome the public interest in access to judicial documents.” Callahan v.
United Network for Organ Sharing, 17 F.4th 1356, 1363 (11th Cir. 2021).
The Defendants have shown good cause to seal the documents. The
Defendants’ legitimate interest in maintaining privacy around commercial
information including pricing and finances outweighs the public interest in
accessing the agreements here, especially because the information does not
appear to be central to the Plaintiff’s claims. See VAS Aero Servs., LLC v.
Arroyo, 860 F. Supp. 2d 1349, 1359 (S.D. Fla. 2012) (Middlebrooks, J.)
(“Documents containing strategic marketing plans and pricing information
have been held to constitute trade secrets under Florida law.”) Further, the
publication of the information could give the Defendants’ competitors an unfair
advantage by providing insight into the inner workings of the Defendant
businesses and their heavily negotiated confidential business dealings. See
Deltona Transformer Corp. v. Noco Co., No. 6:19-CV-308-CEM-LRH, 2021 WL
4443999, at *1 (M.D. Fla. June 21, 2021) (granting leave to file under seal
“information concerning  internal business operations, financials, customer
information, competitive strategy, business decisions of the parties, and
internal decision making-process.”) The Court therefore grants the Defendants’
motion for leave to file the exhibits under seal. (ECF No. 14.)
However, this analysis could change, and the Court may order the filing
of unredacted versions of the agreements depending on how the case unfolds.
See Nephron Pharms. Corp. v. Jennifer Shelly Hulsey, U.S. Compounding Inc.,
No. 618CV1573ORL31LRH, 2020 WL 9595900, at *4 (M.D. Fla. May 28, 2020)
(stating that the District Judge may require “that some or all of the sealed
information be filed in the public record” upon review). In the meantime, the
Defendants may file the agreements under seal and they will remain sealed
until November 13, 2028, at which time they shall be destroyed by the Clerk.
Done and ordered in Miami, Florida, on November 13, 2023.
Robert N. Scola, Jr.
United States District Judge
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