Wilkins v. Overall et al
ORDER denying 169 Motion to Seal Document. The Clerk is DIRECTED to unseal Doc. 169 and Doc. 175. Signed by Judge Stephen P. McGlynn on 2/18/2021. (jrj)
Case 3:16-cv-01324-SPM Document 189 Filed 02/18/21 Page 1 of 2 Page ID #2618
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
Case No. 16-cv-01324-SPM
LILLIAN OVERALL, et. al,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MCGLYNN, District Judge:
Before the Court is a Motion to File Documents Under Seal filed by Plaintiff Joseph
Wilkins. (Doc. 169). Plaintiff requests that the Court seal two documents: Plaintiff’s Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment as to Defendant Lillian Overall and Wexford Health Sources Inc.’s
Medical Guidelines filed as Exhibit L to the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. Plaintiff states
these documents contain information designated by third-party Wexford Health Sources, Inc. as
“Confidential and Subject to Protective Order” under the Protective Order in place in this action.
Plaintiff states he takes no position as to whether the information in these documents meets the
standard to receive protection pursuant to Rule 26(c)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Motions to seal are disfavored, for there is a presumption that documents affecting the
disposition of litigation should be open to public view. E.g., Nixon v. Warner Commc’n., Inc., 435
U.S. 598, 597 (1978); In re Sprecht, 622 F.3d 697, 701 (7th Cir. 2010); Stone v. Univ. of Md. Med.
Sys. Corp., 855 F.2d 178, 182 (4th Cir. 1988). This right of access ensures public confidence and
oversight, enabling “interested members of the public, including lawyers, journalists, and
government officials, to know who’s using the courts, to understand judicial decisions, and to
monitor the judiciary’s performance of its duties.” Goessel v. Boley Int’l, Ltd., 738 F.3d 831, 833
Page 1 of 2
Case 3:16-cv-01324-SPM Document 189 Filed 02/18/21 Page 2 of 2 Page ID #2619
(7th Cir. 2013). There are exceptions to the public access rule but they are narrow, and the Court
must determine that good cause exists prior to sealing any part of the record. See Citizens First
Nat’l Bank of Princeton v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 178 F.3d 943, 944 (7th Cir.1999).
The Court does not find good cause to seal either document. Other than the fact that the
Medical Guidelines were submitted as confidential pursuant to the Protective Order entered in this
case, no arguments have been presented for why the Medical Guidelines and the Partial Motion
for Summary Judgment, which references the Medical Guidelines, should be sealed. See Union
Oil Co. of Cal. v. Leavell, 220 F. 3d 562, 567 (7th Cir. 2000) (noting that designating a document
as confidential is not sufficient to establish good cause). The Seventh Circuit has held that
“[i]nformation that affects the disposition of litigation belongs in the public record unless a statute
or privilege justifies nondisclosure.” United States v. Foster, 564 F.3d 852, 853 (7th Cir. 2009).
As Plaintiff uses the Medical Guidelines to demonstrate an element of his claim, the Court does
not find good cause to keep the Medical Guidelines or the Partial Motion for Summary Judgment
Therefore, the Motion to File Documents Under Seal (Doc. 169) is DENIED. The Clerk
of Court is DIRECTED to unseal the following documents: Doc. 169 and Doc. 175.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: February 18, 2021
s/ Stephen P. McGlynn
STEPHEN P. MCGLYNN
United States District Judge
Page 2 of 2
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?