Walters et al v. Flint et al
ORDER UNSEALING IN PART AND REDACTING IN PART THE AUGUST 3, 2022 HEARING TRANSCRIPT. Signed by District Judge Judith E. Levy. (WBar)
Case 5:17-cv-10164-JEL-KGA ECF No. 955, PageID.69336 Filed 09/19/22 Page 1 of 4
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Sherrod, Teed, Vanderhagen and Case No. 5:17-cv-10164-JELWare,
Hon. Judith E. Levy
Flint Water Cases Bellwether I
VNA and LAN,
ORDER UNSEALING IN PART AND REDACTING IN PART THE
AUGUST 3, 2022 HEARING TRANSCRIPT
On August 3, 2022, the Court held a hearing in the above-named
case. With the consent of all parties, the transcript was sealed at that
time. One of the purposes of the hearing was to discuss my unexpected
medical issue and its impact on the ongoing jury deliberations. Now that
the jury has been discharged, I have reviewed the transcript of the
proceedings on August 3, 2022 and I have determined that it need not
remain under seal in its entirety. Accordingly, I have unsealed the
transcript except for those portions directly related to my medical
Case 5:17-cv-10164-JEL-KGA ECF No. 955, PageID.69337 Filed 09/19/22 Page 2 of 4
Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 5.3 governs civil material
filed under seal.1 “There is a strong presumption in favor of open judicial
records.” Shane Grp., Inc. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mich., 825 F.3d
299, 305 (6th Cir. 2016). A request for a seal must be “narrowly tailored.
. . in accord with applicable law.” E.D. Mich. LR 5.3(b)(2).
The Court may grant a motion to seal “only upon a finding of a
compelling reason why certain documents or portions thereof should be
sealed.” Id. at (b)(3)(B)(i). Even if no party objects to a motion to seal, the
“district court that chooses to seal court records must set forth specific
findings and conclusions ‘which justify nondisclosure to the public.’”
Shane Group 925 F.3d at 306 (citing Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.
v. F.T.C., 710 F.2d 1165, 1176 (6th Cir. 1983)). The Court must make its
decision based on the following three factors: “why the interests in
support of nondisclosure are compelling, why the interests supporting
access are less so, and why the seal itself is no broader than necessary[.]”
Shane Grp., 925 F.3d at 306 (citing Brown & Williamson, 710 F.2d at
Although this issue is not brought before the Court on a motion, as is typical
in evaluating requests to seal, the analysis remains the same.
Case 5:17-cv-10164-JEL-KGA ECF No. 955, PageID.69338 Filed 09/19/22 Page 3 of 4
As to factors one and two—why the interests in nondisclosure are
compelling, and why the interests supporting access are less so—the
information that remains redacted regards my personal health that has
no relevance to the underlying case. There is no interest to the public in
having access to this information. Accordingly, the first two Shane Group
factors are met.
The third Shane Group factor, namely, why the seal itself is no
broader than necessary, is also met. Rather than have the entire
proceeding on August 3, 2022 remain sealed, I have unsealed large
portions of it. Accordingly, the third Shane Group factor is met.
For the above reasons, the Court directs that the transcript of
August 3, 2022 be unsealed in part and remain redacted in part.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: September 19, 2022
Ann Arbor, Michigan
s/Judith E. Levy
JUDITH E. LEVY
United States District Judge
Case 5:17-cv-10164-JEL-KGA ECF No. 955, PageID.69339 Filed 09/19/22 Page 4 of 4
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
The undersigned certifies that the foregoing document was served
upon counsel of record and any unrepresented parties via the Court’s
ECF System to their respective email or First Class U.S. mail addresses
disclosed on the Notice of Electronic Filing on September 19, 2022.
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