Long et al v. Friendship Medical Clinic, LLC et al

Filing 17

Order to Unseal Case. Signed by District Judge Debra M. Brown on 7/3/2024. (jwr)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI OXFORD DIVISION HELEN PAIGE LONG, Relator, on behalf of United States of America, and individually PLAINTIFF V. NO. 3:23-CV-345-DMB-JMV FRIENDSHIP MEDICAL CLINIC, LLC; and BOBBY KEN NOWLIN DEFENDANTS ORDER On June 26, 2024, the United States of America filed “The Government’s Notice of Election to Decline Intervention” (“Government’s Notice”) in which it (1) “[p]ursuant to the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(4)(B), … notifies the Court of its decision not to intervene in this action;” (2) requests that “should either the relator or the defendant[s] propose that this action be dismissed, settled, or otherwise discontinued, this Court solicit [its] written consent … before ruling or granting its approval;” “all pleadings filed in this action be served upon [it];” “orders issued by the Court be sent to [it];” “it be served with all notices of appeal;” “the relator’s Complaint, [the Government’s] Notice, and [this] Order be unsealed;” and “all other papers on file in this action remain under seal;” 1 and (3) “reserves its right to order any deposition transcripts, to intervene in this action, for good cause, at a later date, and to seek the dismissal of the relator’s action or claim.” Doc. #16 at PageID 40–41. Having considered the requests in the Government’s Notice, the Court orders that: 1. The complaint be unsealed and served upon the defendants by the relator. The United States requests that all other papers remain under seal “because in discussing the content and extent of [its] investigation, such papers are provided by law to the Court alone for the sole purpose of evaluating whether the seal and time for making an election to intervene should be extended.” Doc. #16 at PageID 41. 1 2. All other contents of the Court’s file in this action remain under seal and not be made public or served upon the defendants, except for this order and the Government’s Notice, which the relator will serve upon the defendants only after service of the complaint. 3. The seal be lifted as to all other matters occurring in this action after the date of this 4. Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(3), the parties shall serve all pleadings and motions order. filed in this action, including supporting memoranda, upon the United States; the United States may order any deposition transcripts; and the United States is entitled to intervene in this action at any time upon a showing of good cause. 5. The parties shall serve all notices of appeal upon the United States. 6. All orders of this Court shall be sent to the United States. 7. Should the relator or the defendants propose that this action be dismissed, settled, or otherwise discontinued, the Court will solicit the written consent of the United States before ruling or granting its approval. SO ORDERED, this 3rd day of July, 2024. /s/Debra M. Brown UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 2

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