Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Faurecia Automotive Seating, LLC
ORDER granting 18 Motion to Seal Document, specifically Exhibit "C" re 11 MOTION to Change Venue . Signed by District Judge Debra M. Brown on 2/10/17. (jtm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
FAURECIA AUTOMOTIVE SEATING,
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO SEAL
On February 3, 2017, Faurecia Automotive Seating, LLC, filed an “Unopposed Motion
for Leave to File Documents Under Seal.” Doc. #18. The motion will be granted.
On September 30, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a
complaint in this Court against Faurecia Automotive Seating, LLC, on behalf of “at least” eleven
The complaint alleges that Faurecia violated the Americans with
Disabilities Act by “failing to hire [the plaintiffs], by limiting, segregating or classifying them,
and by screening them out on the basis of their disabilities or association with an individual with
a disability.” Id.
On January 13, 2017, Faurecia filed a motion to transfer venue to the Southern District of
Mississippi, arguing, among other things, that “every single claimant resides in the Southern
District.” Doc. #13 at 2. As support for this statement, Faurecia attached a document, Exhibit C,
to its motion which includes the names and addresses of approximately twenty-five individuals it
identified as “charging parties,” a designation this Court presumes refers to individuals who filed
EEOC charges against Faurecia. Doc. #11-3; Doc. #13 at 9 n.9. The EEOC responded in
opposition to the motion on January 26, 2017, and Faurecia replied on February 2, 2017. Doc.
#15; Doc. #17.
On February 3, 2017, Faurecia filed an unopposed motion to seal Exhibit C to its motion
to transfer venue. Doc. #18.
Rule 79 of the Uniform Local Rules provides that no document may be filed under seal
without a court order. L.U. Civ. R. 79(b). In this regard, Rule 79 instructs that “[n]o document
may be sealed merely by stipulation of the parties.” Id. at 79(d). Though “[a] confidentiality
order or protective order entered by the court to govern discovery will not qualify as an order to
seal documents for purposes of this rule,” “[a] statute mandating or permitting the non-disclosure
of a class of documents provides sufficient authority to support an order sealing documents.” Id.
at 79(d), (b). In considering whether to grant a motion to seal, there is a “presumption in favor of
the public's access to judicial records,” and the decision whether to order judicial records sealed
is committed to the sound discretion of the district court, which must “balance the public's
common-law right of access against the interests favoring nondisclosure.”
SEC v. Van
Waeyenberghe, 990 F.2d 845, 848–49 (5th Cir. 1993). However, “[b]ecause the public’s interest
in nondispositive matters is relatively low, a party seeking to seal a document attached to a
nondispositive motion or outcome need only demonstrate good cause.” 360 Mortg. Grp., LLC v.
Bivona-Truman, No. 1:14-cv-847, 2016 WL 7616575, at *1 (W.D. Tex. May 24, 2016)
Faurecia seeks leave to seal Exhibit C in order “to protect against the public disclosure of
personal information.” Doc. #18 at ¶ 4. In its motion,1 Faurecia represents that the requested
relief is unopposed and serves “the interest of narrowly protecting the Charging Part[ies’]
personal information.” Id. at ¶¶ 4–5.
As a general matter, “personal information (name, date of birth, social security number,
address, work history, telephone number) triggers a privacy right that creates good cause for
sealing.” Music Grp. Macao Commercial Offshore Ltd. v. Foote, No. 14-cv-3078, 2015 WL
3993147, at *11 (N.D. Cal. June 30, 2015); see Schaechtel v. Md. Div. of Corr., No. 14-2099,
2015 WL 5331254, at *1 n.1 (D. Md. Sep. 9, 2015) (“Given obvious confidentiality
considerations, personal information regarding all home addresses shall immediately be placed
under seal ....”). While the Court questions whether the name and addresses of a plaintiff will
provide good cause to seal a document, there is no indication that all (or even most) of the
individuals identified in Exhibit C are litigants in this litigation. The Court believes that the
interest in protecting the private information of these individuals far outweighs the public’s
interest in the document and the Court’s role in deciding Faurecia’s non-dispositive motion.
Accordingly, the Court concludes that good cause exists to seal Exhibit C. Faurecia’s motion to
seal  is GRANTED.
SO ORDERED, this 10th day of February, 2017.
/s/ Debra M. Brown
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Faurecia’s motion “requests that [Faurecia] be relieved from the requirements of submitting a supporting
memorandum as mandated by Local Uniform Civil Rule 7(b)(4).” However, in violation of Local Rule 79, Faurecia
did not submit its motion with a non-confidential supporting memorandum or a proposed order. See L.U. Civ. R.
79(e)(3). Nevertheless, because the document to be sealed is already filed on the docket and because Faurecia’s
motion states sufficient grounds for sealing, the Court will excuse these procedural deficiencies this time in the
interest of judicial efficiency. The parties are cautioned that any future requests to seal must comply with Local
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?