Courthouse News Service v. Brown
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER signed by the Honorable Matthew F. Kennelly on 1/8/2018: For the reasons stated in the accompanying Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court grants CNS's motion for a preliminary injunction [dkt. no. 6]. Brown is gi ven thirty days from today's date to implement a system that will provide access to newly e-filed civil complaints contemporaneously with their receipt by her office. The Court orders CNS to post a bond in the amount of $5,000.00 as securi ty pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(c). If the parties believe a more specific order embodying the Court's grant of a preliminary injunction is required, they are to immediately confer regarding the wording of the order and are to present a draft for the Court's review and signature by no later than January 10, 2018. The case is set for a status hearing on January 29, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. (mk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
COURTHOUSE NEWS SERVICE,
DOROTHY BROWN, in her official
capacity as the Clerk of the Circuit
Court of Cook County, Illinois
Case No. 17 C 7933
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MATTHEW F. KENNELLY, District Judge:
Courthouse News Service (CNS) has sued Dorothy Brown, in her official capacity
as the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, for injunctive and declaratory relief
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. CNS alleges violations of the First Amendment stemming from
Brown's policy of withholding electronically-filed (e-filed) civil complaints from the press
and the public until after they have been processed and officially "accepted" for filing by
the Clerk's Office. CNS alleges that the resulting delay in access to new complaints
constitutes a denial of timely and contemporaneous access to court records in violation
of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. CNS has moved for a preliminary
injunction prohibiting Brown from enforcing her policy of withholding e-filed complaints
until administrative processing is complete and requiring her to provide timely,
contemporaneous access to the complaints upon filing. For the following reasons, the
Court grants CNS's motion for a preliminary injunction.
Courthouse News Service is a news service that covers civil litigation news from
over 2,500 state and federal courts across the nation. Its subscribers include law firms,
law schools, and other news media outlets. In addition to reporting on legal news
through its website and various other publications, CNS provides written summaries of
newsworthy new civil complaints in a "New Litigation Reports" e-mail publication that is
sent to subscribers on a daily basis. To prepare the New Litigation Reports, CNS
reporters typically visit their assigned courts to review new complaints in person,
although some courts now make new complaints accessible over the Internet.
According to CNS, since it began covering the Circuit Court of Cook County in
1997, reporters have been afforded access to new paper-filed complaints on the same
day they are filed. Specifically, press copies of new paper complaints are placed in a
bin or tray behind the intake counter, and members of the press are permitted to reach
over the counter to retrieve and review the press copies.
After the Circuit Court was selected to participate in Illinois's electronic filing pilot
program in 2009, it became one of the first courts in Illinois to implement an optional
electronic filing system. Prior to January 2015, the Clerk's Office simply printed out new
e-filed complaints as they came in, which allowed reporters to review the e-filed
complaints along with the paper ones. In January 2015, however, the Clerk's Office
stopped printing e-filed complaints for the press. As a result, reporters now are unable
to review new e-filed complaints until they are processed and posted electronically to
computer terminals in the Clerk's Office and the courthouse press room. As a
consequence of this change in policy, the press is not able to access a significant
number of e-filed complaints until at least the next business day after they are filed.
According to CNS, from June 1, 2017 to September 30, 2017, only 61 percent (1462 of
2414) of new e-filed complaints were made accessible on the same day they were filed,
in contrast with 94 percent (2917 of 3119) of new paper complaints. See Pl.'s Mem. in
Support of Mot. for Prelim. Inj. (Pl.'s Mem.), Ex. C (Angione Decl.), Ex. 4 at 1. Brown
counters that, during that same period, 90.9 percent of e-filed complaints were publicly
available within one business day of filing, 94.7 percent were accessible within two
business days, and 96.8 percent within three business days. 1 See Def.'s Resp. to Pl.'s
Mot. for Prelim. Inj. (Def.'s Resp.) at 3.
In January 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court issued an order directing all Illinois
Circuit Courts to make electronic filing of civil cases mandatory by January 1, 2018.
(The Supreme Court recently extended by several months the date for compliance by
the Circuit Court of Cook County.) In early 2017, in light of the anticipated transition to
mandatory e-filing, CNS contacted the Clerk to discuss the delays in access to e-filed
complaints and propose various solutions. To that end, CNS sent the Clerk two
memoranda explaining how other state courts provide media and public access to efiled complaints prior to processing. As CNS explained, a Las Vegas trial court and four
trial courts in Georgia have created an electronic in-box queue, which allows the press
to view complaints immediately upon receipt, before they have been processed and
CNS and Brown quibble over how these delays are counted and characterized.
Brown argues that CNS inflates the length of delays by counting holidays and
weekends, and CNS takes issue with Brown's attempt to measure delays in terms of
"business hours." These disputes over the exact length of the delays are immaterial to
the Court's assessment of CNS's likelihood of success on the merits.
assigned a case number. CNS noted that access to such an electronic in-box could be
provided remotely over the Internet or locally at courthouse computer terminals. CNS
also provided a detailed description of the New York State Court Electronic Filing
system website that makes newly filed documents remotely available to the public prior
to manual review by the New York County Clerk's Office. CNS further noted that "the
great majority of federal courts," including this one, make electronically filed documents
available immediately upon receipt. Pl.'s Mem., Ex B (Girdner Decl.), Ex 8 at 3.
CNS received a written response from Brown in June 2017. The response,
which was signed by the Clerk's general counsel Kelly Smeltzer, stated that e-filed
complaints are not considered to be received or filed until they are accepted by the
Clerk's Office. Girdner Decl., Ex. 11 (Smeltzer Letter). In support of this position,
Brown cited General Administrative Order No. 2014-02 and the Illinois Supreme Court's
Electronic Filing Standards and Principles, both of which provide that electronically
submitted documents shall be considered filed "if not rejected" by the Clerk's Office.
Def.'s Resp., Ex. B (Order No. 2014-02) at 3, Ex. C (Electronic Filing Standards and
Principles) at 1. Brown further noted that providing access to e-filed complaints prior to
acceptance by the Clerk's Office could create "mass confusion . . . leading to false
reporting and potential liability for the court and the press" if the press reported on a
complaint that was ultimately rejected for failure to comply with court rules. Smeltzer
Letter at 2. Brown stated that she had no intention of changing her policy of withholding
access to new e-filed complaints until they are officially accepted and electronically
posted to the courthouse computer terminals.
CNS brought this action for injunctive and declaratory relief against Brown in
November 2017, and it moved for a preliminary injunction a short time later. Brown
argues that the Court should deny CNS's motion because CNS cannot demonstrate a
likelihood of success on the merits. Brown also contends that CNS cannot establish
that any of the other requirements for the issuance of a preliminary injunction are met in
A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish (1) a likelihood of
success on the merits, (2) that, in the absence of such relief, it is likely to suffer
irreparable harm, (3) that the balance of equities tips in the plaintiff's favor, and (4) that
an injunction is in the public interest. Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7,
20 (2008); Higher Soc'y of Indiana v. Tippecanoe Cty., 858 F.3d 1113, 1116 (7th Cir.
2017). In cases implicating the First Amendment, "the [plaintiff's] likelihood of success
on the merits will often be the determinative factor." Higher Society, 858 F.3d at 1116
(citation omitted). Preliminary injunctions requiring an affirmative act by the defendant
are "ordinarily cautiously viewed and sparingly issued." Graham v. Med. Mut. of Ohio,
130 F.3d 293, 295 (7th Cir. 1997).
As an initial matter, Brown's contention that the Younger abstention doctrine
applies to this case lacks merit. Notwithstanding Brown's strained attempt to
characterize the case as a challenge to "an ongoing, standing" Cook County Circuit
Court order that supposedly requires the Clerk to review and officially accept or reject efiled complaints prior to making them accessible to the public, there are simply no
ongoing state judicial proceedings with which CNS's requested injunctive relief might
interfere. Def.'s Resp. at 7. For that reason alone, Younger abstention is not
appropriate. See Ankenbrandt v. Richards, 504 U.S. 689, 705 (1992) ("Absent
any pending proceeding in state tribunals, therefore, application by the lower courts
of Younger abstention was clearly erroneous.") (emphasis in original); Barichello v.
McDonald, 98 F.3d 948, 955 (7th Cir. 1996) (a "paramount concern[ ]" in the Younger
abstention context is that "the judicial or judicial in nature state proceedings must be ongoing").
Brown's argument that she is not a proper defendant in this case likewise misses
the mark. Brown contends that, by reviewing e-filed complaints before "posting them as
filed," she is merely following the mandates of the Illinois Supreme Court and the Chief
Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, as set forth in Order No. 2014-02 and the
Electronic Filing Standards and Principles. Def.'s Resp. at 8. Thus, according to
Brown, "CNS'[s] actual complaint is with the filing requirements of Order 2014- and
the Electronic Filing Standards and Principles and not with the Circuit Clerk's
compliance with those requirements." Id. The problem with this argument is that Brown
points to nothing in Order No. 2014-02 or in the Electronic Filing Standards and
Principles that requires her to accept or reject or otherwise process e-filed complaints
prior to making them available to the public in some form. Instead, Brown simply
asserts that Order No. 2014-02 and the Electronic Filing Standards and Principles
provide that the complaints are not "filed" until accepted. In fact, what they actually say
is that electronically submitted documents shall be considered filed "if not rejected" by
the Clerk's Office. Order No. 2014-02 at 3; Electronic Filing Standards and Principles at
1. Because the Electronic Filing Standards and Principles and Order No. 2014-02 are
silent regarding whether the Clerk's Office may provide public access to e-filed
complaints prior to official acceptance—and because CNS claims instead that the
allegedly unconstitutional delays in access to e-filed complaints stem specifically from
Brown's policy of withholding them from the press until they are processed—Brown is
the proper defendant in this action for prospective relief. See, e.g., Grieveson v.
Anderson, 538 F.3d 763, 771 (7th Cir. 2008) (to survive summary judgment on a section
1983 official-capacity claim, the plaintiff must show that an official policy or custom was
the moving force behind the alleged constitutional violation); Williams v. State of
Wisconsin, 336 F.3d 576, 581 (7th Cir. 2003) ("Official-capacity suits against state
officials seeking prospective relief are permitted by § 1983. . . .").
"The public's right of access to court proceedings and documents is wellestablished." Grove Fresh Distribs., Inc. v. Everfresh Juice Co., 24 F.3d 893, 897 (7th
Cir. 1994). 2 As the Seventh Circuit has explained, "[p]ublic scrutiny over the court
system serves to (1) promote community respect for the rule of law, (2) provide a check
on the activities of judges and litigants, and (3) foster more accurate fact finding." Id.
Although this right of access, which stems both from the common law and from the First
Amendment, is well-established, it is not absolute. Id. Specifically, "the First
Amendment provides a presumption that there is a right of access to proceedings and
documents which have historically been open to the public and where the disclosure of
The Seventh Circuit observed in Bond v. Utreras, 585 F.3d 1061, 1068 n.4 (7th Cir.
2009), that, to the extent Grove Fresh was "premised upon a principle that pre-trial
discovery must take place in . . . public unless compelling reasons exist for denying the
public access to the proceedings," it was superseded by the 2000 amendment to Rule 5
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted). That observation does nothing to undermine Grove Fresh's general analysis
of the First Amendment right of access to judicial documents and proceedings outside
the pre-trial discovery context.
which would serve a significant role in the functioning of the process in question." In re
Associated Press, 162 F.3d 503, 506 (7th Cir. 1998) (internal quotation marks and
citations omitted). Although the presumption of access may be rebutted by a showing
that suppression is "necessary to preserve higher values and . . . narrowly tailored to
serve those interests," overcoming the presumption is a "formidable task." Id. (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted). A court must resolve any doubts in favor of
disclosure. See Grove Fresh, 24 F.3d at 897.
The Seventh Circuit has repeatedly observed that, where a First Amendment
right of access is found, such access should be "immediate and contemporaneous." Id.;
see also In re Associated Press, 162 F.3d at 506 ("[T]he values that animate the
presumption in favor of access require as a necessary corollary that, once access is
found to be appropriate, access ought to be immediate and contemporaneous.")
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted); Matter of Cont'l Ill. Sec. Litig., 732 F.2d
1302, 1310 (7th Cir. 1984) ("[T]he presumption of access normally involves a right
of contemporaneous access. . . .") (emphasis in original). In Grove Fresh, a group of
journalists challenged the district court's decision to delay disclosure of certain
documents that were either sealed or otherwise the subject of a protective order,
despite the court's acknowledgement that the press had a right of access to any
documents upon which the court relied in making its decisions. See Grove Fresh, 24
F.3d at 895. The Seventh Circuit concluded that "the right of the press to obtain timely
access to judicial decisions and the documents which comprise the bases of those
decisions is essential." Id. at 898. As the Seventh Circuit explained, because "[t]he
newsworthiness of a particular story is often fleeting," delaying or postponing disclosure
could have "the same result as complete suppression." Id. at 897 ("[E]ach passing day
may constitute a separate and cognizable infringement of the First Amendment.")
(quoting Nebraska Press Ass'n v. Stuart, 423 U.S. 1327, 1329 (1975)).
Brown does not dispute CNS's contention that the First Amendment presumption
of access applies to civil complaints. Instead, Brown argues that this presumption does
not confer a right to immediate access to electronically submitted complaints. She
contends that the delays at issue in this case are so minor that they do not implicate the
First Amendment. In support of this contention, Brown cites a decision from the Central
District of California, Courthouse News Service v. Yamasaki, No. SACV 17-00126 AG
(KESx), 2017 WL 3610481 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 7, 2017). In that case, the Clerk of the
Orange County Superior Court (OCSC) followed essentially the same procedure that
Brown has implemented in the Cook County Circuit Court: before making new e-filed
complaints publicly available, the OCSC Clerk reviewed them for confidentiality and
"spent an additional few minutes completing the remaining steps necessary to formally
accept the complaints for filing." Id. at *2. CNS alleged, as it does in this case, that the
resulting delays in access constituted a violation of its First Amendment right of timely
access to newly filed complaints, and it asked the court to enjoin OCSC from continuing
this practice. Id. at *1. The district court denied CNS's motion for a preliminary
injunction on the ground that it could not prove OCSC denied "timely access" to newly
filed complaints where, during a three-month period, OCSC made 89.2 percent of newly
filed complaints publically available within eight business hours and 96.5 percent
available within eight to fifteen business hours. Id. at *3. The court concluded that that
such "minor delays . . . simply do not constitute a First Amendment violation." Id.
Brown contends that the access delays in this case are equally minor when they
are framed in terms of business days. By Brown's count, for the period from June 1,
2017 to September 30, 2017, the Clerk's Office made 90.9 percent of e-filed complaints
publicly available within one business day, 94.7 percent within two business days, and
96.8 percent within three business days. Def.'s Resp. at 3. A declaration by the Clerk's
general counsel further attests that "the vast majority of these complaints are made
public, and viewable, within twenty four (24) business hours of filing." Def.'s Resp., Ex.
A ¶ 7. Brown argues that this Court should adopt the reasoning of the district court in
Yamasaki and deny CNS's motion for a preliminary injunction on the ground that the
delays in this case are likewise so minor that they do not interfere with CNS's First
Amendment right of timely access to new complaints.
CNS contends that Yamasaki was wrongly decided and points to three other
district court decisions that it says adopt the correct approach to the First Amendment
issue of timely access. In Courthouse News Service v. Jackson, No. CIV A H-09-1844,
2009 WL 2163609, at *1-2 (S.D. Tex. July 20, 2009), the court granted CNS's motion for
a preliminary injunction prohibiting the Harris County District Clerk from denying timely
access to newly filed civil petitions. Citing Grove Fresh, the court concluded that an
access delay of twenty-four business hours for petition indexing, verification, and other
processing constituted a denial of timely access that was not narrowly tailored to serve
an overriding government interest. Id. at *2-4. The district court ordered that CNS "be
given access on the same day the petitions are filed," except in certain situations, such
as when the filing party is seeking a temporary restraining order or has filed the
pleading under seal. Id. at *5.
In Courthouse News Service v. Planet, No. CV 11-08083 SJO (FFMx), 2016 WL
4157210, at *11-13 (C.D. Cal. May 26, 2016), judgment entered, 2016 WL 4157354
(C.D. Cal. June 14, 2016), although the court concluded that the First Amendment did
not categorically require same-day access to newly filed civil complaints, it determined
that the right of timely access arose when the complaint was received, rather than after
processing was complete. Accordingly, the court explained that the policy of the Clerk
of the Ventura County Superior Court to delay public access to newly filed complaints
until after they were processed would be permissible only if it was "essential to preserve
higher values and . . . narrowly tailored to serve that interest." Id. at *13 (citation
omitted). In addition to concluding that the clerk had not met his burden of proving that
the processing policy was essential to preserve higher values, the court concluded that
the policy was not narrowly tailored to serve a substantial governmental interest, in light
of the existence of "a number of alternative policies and procedures . . . [that] would
have provided improved access for the public and the press." Id. at *17. The court
issued an injunction prohibiting the clerk from refusing to make newly filed civil
complaints available to the public until after they are processed. Id. at *19.
In Courthouse News Service v. Tingling, No. 16-cv-08742, 2016 WL 8505086, at
*1 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 16, 2016), the court granted CNS's motion for a preliminary injunction
prohibiting the County Clerk of New York County from withholding access to newly filed
civil complaints until after "clerical processing." During the hearing on the motion, the
court noted that a "substantial" percentage of complaints were not made accessible to
the public on the same day they were filed. Courthouse News Serv. v. Tingling, No. 16-
cv-08742, 2016 WL 8739010, at 37 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 16, 2016). 3 The court then cited
both Grove Fresh and Lugosch v. Pyramid Co. of Onondaga, 435 F.3d 110, 126 (2d Cir.
2006) ("Our public access cases and those in other circuits emphasize the importance
of immediate access where a right to access is found."), for the proposition that, where
a right of access is found, such access should be immediate and contemporaneous. Id.
at 49. The court concluded that, as was the case in Planet, the County Clerk had failed
to meet his burden of demonstrating that his policy of delaying access to new
complaints until after they are processed was narrowly tailored or essential to preserve
higher values. Id. at 52.
As previously noted, the Seventh Circuit, in particular, has emphasized that the
First Amendment right of access to judicial documents contemplates "immediate and
contemporaneous" access. Grove Fresh, 24 F.3d at 897; In re Associated Press, 162
F.3d at 506. For this reason—and in recognition of the fact that "[t]he newsworthiness
of a particular story is often fleeting," Grove Fresh, 24 F.3d at 897—the Court concludes
that even the supposedly "minor" delays in access that were discounted by the court in
Yamasaki cannot be so easily dismissed. Consistent with the approach taken by the
courts in Planet and Tingling, the Court concludes that a policy of delaying access to efiled complaints until after they are officially accepted or rejected or otherwise processed
by the Clerk violates the First Amendment right of timely access to those complaints,
unless the Clerk can demonstrate that the policy is narrowly tailored and necessary to
preserve higher values. See, e.g., In re Associated Press, 162 F.3d at 506.
As previously noted, Brown contends that she is justified in withholding e-filed
Pinpoint citations are to the ECF version of the Tingling hearing transcript. See
Girdner Decl., Ex. 2.
complaints from the public and the press until after processing because both Order No.
2014-02 and the Electronic Filing Standards and Principles provide that electronically
submitted documents shall be considered filed "if not rejected" by the Clerk. Order No.
2014-02 at 3; Electronic Filing Standards and Principles at 1. But as the Court has
discussed, Brown points to nothing that would require her to delay access to e-filed
complaints until after they are processed and officially accepted.
Brown additionally argues that her office needs time to fulfill its duty to ensure
that e-filings do not contain certain types of documents—including documents
containing confidential and personal identity information—that may not be electronically
filed pursuant to Order No. 2014-02. The Court is not convinced that it is, in fact, the
responsibility of the Clerk to ensure that such documents are not included in e-filings, as
the Illinois Supreme Court rules pertaining to confidential and personal identity
information specifically place the burden of compliance on the filing parties. See ILCS
S. Ct. Rule 15(c) ("Neither the court, nor the clerk, will review each pleading for
compliance with this rule."); ILCS S. Ct. Rule 138(e) ("Neither the court nor the clerk is
required to review documents . . . for compliance with this rule. If the clerk becomes
aware of any noncompliance, the clerk may call it to the court's attention. The court,
however, shall not require the clerk to review documents . . . for compliance with this
But even if the Clerk has the responsibility to check all e-filed complaints for
compliance with Order No. 2014-02, and even if one assumes that this responsibility
constitutes a "higher value" that might justify a delay in access, Brown has made no
effort to explain how her policy of withholding all access to e-filed complaints until
acceptance is narrowly tailored to that interest. In fact, Brown has made no effort to
explain why it is not feasible for her to adopt any one of the various methods that
numerous other state and federal courts currently use to provide public access to e-filed
complaints before they have been fully processed. For that reason alone, Brown has
failed to meet her burden of demonstrating that her policy of delaying access to e-filed
complaints until official acceptance is narrowly tailored to preserve any higher value.
See Tingling, 2016 WL 8739010, at 50-52 (court clerk did not meet his burden of
demonstrating that policy of withholding access to newly filed complaints until they have
been screened for compliance with state law and court rules is either essential to
preserve higher values or narrowly tailored to serve a substantial government interest);
Planet, 2016 WL 4157210, at *16-17 (court clerk failed to meet burden where he argued
that policy of processing complaints prior to providing access was necessary to prevent
the disclosure of confidential information, to ensure accurate accounting and input of
information into the case management system, and to maintain the integrity of the case
file). The Court therefore concludes that CNS has demonstrated the requisite likelihood
of success on the merits with respect to its claim that Brown's current policy violates its
First Amendment right of timely access to new e-filed complaints.
CNS has also met the other requirements for entry of a preliminary injunction.
"[I]njunctions protecting First Amendment freedoms are always in the public interest."
Christian Legal Soc'y v. Walker, 453 F.3d 853, 859 (7th Cir. 2006). There is an
important public interest in ensuring that the press and the public have timely access to
new civil complaints. See, e.g., Courthouse News Serv. v. Planet, 750 F.3d 776, 788
(9th Cir. 2014) ("[T]he public cannot discuss the content of . . . complaints about which it
has no information."); Jackson, 2009 WL 2163609, at *5 ("There is an important First
Amendment interest in providing timely access to new case-initiating documents.").
Additionally, the Seventh Circuit has acknowledged that "even short deprivations of First
Amendment rights constitute irreparable harm." Higher Society, 858 F.3d at 1116; see
also Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347, 373 (1976) ("The loss of First Amendment freedoms,
for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.");
Christian Legal Society, 453 F.3d at 859 ("The loss of First Amendment freedoms is
presumed to constitute an irreparable injury for which money damages are not
adequate . . . ."). These principles are no less true when the First Amendment
deprivation in question is a deprivation of the right of timely access to judicial
proceedings or documents than when it involves a deprivation of the right of free
expression. See Planet, 750 F.3d at 787 ("CNS's right of access claim implicates the
same fundamental First Amendment interests as a free expression claim, and it equally
commands the respect and attention of the federal courts.").
The balance of equities likewise tips in favor of entry of a preliminary injunction.
In the absence of an injunction, CNS will continue to be deprived of its First Amendment
right of timely (immediate and contemporaneous) access to e-filed complaints. And
Brown has not explained why she cannot implement any of the measures other state
and federal courts have taken to provide access to e-filed complaints prior to official
acceptance and other processing. See Tingling, 2016 WL 8739010, at 53. Brown's
conclusory and unsupported assertion that she would require additional funding and
staff to provide immediate access to e-filed complaints is insufficient to tip the balance in
Accordingly, the Court concludes that: (1) CNS has demonstrated a likelihood of
success on the merits of its claim that Brown's current policy of withholding new e-filed
complaints until after formal acceptance and other administrative processing by the
Clerk's Office violates CNS's First Amendment right of timely access to those
complaints, (2) CNS will suffer irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction, (3) the
balance of the equities favors CNS, and (4) the issuance of a preliminary injunction
prohibiting Brown from enforcing her policy of withholding e-filed civil complaints until
official acceptance and requiring her to provide contemporaneous access to the e-filed
complaints upon receipt is in the public interest.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court grants CNS's motion for a preliminary
injunction [dkt. no. 6]. Brown is given thirty days from today's date to implement a
system that will provide access to newly e-filed civil complaints contemporaneously with
their receipt by her office. The Court orders CNS to post a bond in the amount of
$5,000.00 as security pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(c). If the parties
believe a more specific order embodying the Court's grant of a preliminary injunction is
required, they are to immediately confer regarding the wording of the order and are to
present a draft for the Court's review and signature by no later than January 10, 2018.
MATTHEW F. KENNELLY
United States District Judge
Date: January 8, 2018
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