Roberts et al v. TransAm Trucking, Inc.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER denying 145 Motion for Leave to File Under Seal. Plaintiffs are to file the exhibits on the public docket. Signed by District Judge John W. Broomes on 11/17/2022. (ca)
Case 2:21-cv-02073-JWB-GEB Document 148 Filed 11/17/22 Page 1 of 3
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
KIRK ROBERTS, FARAJI ARTURO COUNCIL,
TERRENCE COLVIN-WILLIAMS, REGINALD BRADLEY,
DAVID COLEMAN and CARL McROBERTS, JR.,
On behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated,
Case No. 21-2073-JWB
TRANSAM TRUCKING, INC., et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the court on Plaintiff’s unopposed motion to file documents under
seal. (Doc. 145.) The motion is DENIED for the reasons stated herein.
Plaintiffs are long-haul truck drivers asserting several claims against Defendant TransAm
Trucking, Inc. (“TransAm”), its parent company Jacobson Holdings, Inc. (“Jacobson”), and its
sibling company Olathe Noble Equipment Leasing, Inc. (“ONE Leasing”) (collectively,
“Defendants”). Plaintiffs bring claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §
201, and state law claims for failing to pay wages and minimum wages, and for making unlawful
deductions. They also include claims that Defendants violated Truth-in-Leasing regulations and
the Kansas Consumer Protection Act (“KCPA”). (Doc. 109 at 51-53.)
Plaintiffs have moved for conditional certification pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) and class
certification pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. (Docs. 141, 143.) Plaintiffs have
filed numerous exhibits in support of their motions. (Doc. 144.) Plaintiffs move to file nine of
those exhibits, approximately 120 pages, under seal. (Doc. 145.)
Case 2:21-cv-02073-JWB-GEB Document 148 Filed 11/17/22 Page 2 of 3
The standards governing sealing court records was summarized by Judge Lungstrum in
New Jersey and its Div. of Inv. v. Sprint Corp., No. 03-2071-JWL, 2010 WL 5416837, *1 (D. Kan.
Dec. 17, 2010):
Courts, including the Tenth Circuit, have long recognized a common-law right of
access to judicial records. Mann v. Boatright, 477 F.3d 1140, 1149 (10th Cir. 2007)
(citations omitted). The right of access to judicial records is not absolute and the
presumption of access “can be rebutted if countervailing interests heavily outweigh
the public interests in access.” Id. The party seeking to overcome the presumption
bears the burden of showing some significant interest that outweighs the
In support of their motion to seal, Plaintiffs argue that the exhibits identified in its motion
should be sealed because they have been maintained in a confidential manner, should be protected
from disclosure, and the use “could potentially cause harm to the interests of Defendants.” (Doc.
145 at 2.) Plaintiffs further state that the parties’ protective order “contemplates that documents
that constitute proprietary business records including trade secrets or highly confidential
information relating to Defendants’ business practices should be filed under seal.” (Id.) Plaintiffs,
however, do not explain whether these exhibits constitute trade secrets or how Defendants will be
harmed by the filing of these exhibits on the public docket. After review, the exhibits appear to
include policies related to driver pay incentives and exhibits related to truck lease agreements. It
is not readily apparent from the exhibits that Defendants would be harmed if these exhibits were
filed on the public docket.
“The party seeking to overcome the presumption bears the burden of showing some
significant interest that outweighs the presumption” of access to judicial records. Mann, 477 F.3d
at 1149 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Specifically, the party “must come
forward with evidence as to the nature of the public or private harm that would result if it were so
filed.” Heartland Surgical Specialty Hosp., LLC v. Midwest Div., Inc., 2007 WL 101858, at *5 (D.
Case 2:21-cv-02073-JWB-GEB Document 148 Filed 11/17/22 Page 3 of 3
Besides generally stating that these exhibits contain confidential information,
Plaintiffs have not articulated and presented facts to sustain their burden of showing significant,
non-speculative harm as to overcome the presumption as to these exhibits. A generalized argument
is not sufficient to meet their burden. Id.
These exhibits appear to be relevant to the central issues in this case and Plaintiffs have
failed to identify how Defendants’ interests in keeping these documents confidential outweighs
the public’s right to access. See Bullard v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 09-4024-SAC, 2011
WL 5248085, at *2 (D. Kan. Apr. 12, 2011).
Therefore, Plaintiffs’ motion (Doc. 145) is DENIED. Plaintiffs are to file the exhibits on
the public docket.
IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated this 17th day of November 2022.
__ s/ John Broomes__________
JOHN W. BROOMES
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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