Intrua Financial Holdings, LLC et al v. Keller
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion to Seal Disclosure Statements is DENIED. [ECF No. #15 ]. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs shall file their Disclosure Statements on or before November 16, 2023 pursuant to E.D.Mo. L.R. Rule 2.09. Signed by District Judge Ronnie L. White on November 13, 2023. (BRP)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
HOLDINGS, LLC, et al.,
No. 4:23-CV-1187 RLW
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs’ Motion to Seal Disclosure Statements. (ECF
No. 15). Plaintiffs request that they be allowed to file their Disclosure Statements under seal and
that the identities of Plaintiffs’ members be kept under seal indefinitely. For the reasons that
follow, the motion is denied.
All documents received for filing in this District, including Disclosure Statements, must be
filed in the public record unless the Court orders otherwise. E.D.Mo. L.R. 2.09(A) (“Disclosure
Statement may be filed under seal if so ordered by the Court in accordance with E.D.Mo. L.R.
13.05(A).”). Plaintiffs move that they be allowed leave to file their Disclosure Statements under
seal pursuant to E.D.Mo. L.R. 13.05(A).
Court proceedings and filings are “presumptively public.” United States v. Gray, 59 F.4th
329, 332 (8th Cir. 2023). “This right of access is not absolute,” however, “but requires a weighing
of competing interests.” Webster Groves Sch. Dist. v. Pulitzer Pub. Co., 898 F.2d 1371, 1376 (8th
Cir. 1990). Whether sealing is warranted turns on “the relevant facts and circumstances of the
particular case.” Nixon v. Warner Commc'ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978)).
When ruling on a motion for leave to file documents under seal, the Court “must consider
the degree to which sealing a judicial record would interfere with the interests served by the
common-law right of access and balance that interference against the salutary interests served by
maintaining confidentiality of the information sought to be sealed.” IDT Corp. v. eBay, 709 F.3d
1220, 1223 (8th Cir. 2013). According to the Eighth Circuit, “only the most compelling reasons
can justify non-disclosure of judicial records.” In re Neal, 461 F.3d 1048, 1053 (8th Cir. 2006)
(internal quotation marks omitted). “A proper motion to seal should be narrowly drawn and
accompanied by a proposed redacted filing for the public docket.” United States v. Garner, 39
F.4th 1023, 1024 (8th Cir. 2022) (finding a motion to file under seal overly broad where the party
wished to seal an entire motion without any justification).
Here, Plaintiffs assert that members of Larson Financial Holdings, LLC are investors and
employees, and their identities consititute sensitive, confidential business information. Plaintiffs
further assert disclosure of their members would invade the members’ privacy interests and could
discourage future investments and create discontent amongst employees who have not been
offered membership in the LLC.
The Court finds Plaintiffs’ preference for confidentiality does not constitute a compelling
reason for sealing the Disclosure Statements. Plaintiffs’ description of their concerns regarding
the disclosures are not sufficiently particularized, and there is nothing in the record that would
indicate Plaintiffs or their members are required to keep membership in the LLC confidential. The
Court finds conjecture about potential harm to Plaintiffs and their members that would result from
the disclosure of their identities does not outweigh the public interest in open and accessible
judicial records. Driver Opportunity Partners I, LP v. Ameriserv Fin., Inc., No. 3:22-CV-00237SLH, 2023 WL 4711158, at *1 (W.D. Pa. July 24, 2023); Manssor v. NRRM, LLC, No. EP-23-
CV-00236-DCG, 2023 WL 4093413, at *1 (W.D. Tex. June 20, 2023); Wilkins v. Tory Burch,
LLC, No. 4:23-CV-422 RLW, 2023 WL 3600084, at *1 (E.D. Mo. May 23, 2023); Darton
Archery, LLC v. Bowtech, LLC, No. C.A. 23-140-CFC, 2023 WL 2755760, at *1 (D. Del. Apr.
3, 2023); Wiens Cap. Mgmt., LLC v. Advoc. Consulting Legal Grp., PLLC, No. 2:23-CV-81-SPCKCD, 2023 WL 2435806, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 16, 2023). The Court denies Plaintiffs’ motion to
file their Disclosure Statements under seal.
Plaintiffs further assert that their Disclosure Statements, which are attached to their
Memorandum in Support of their Motion to Seal Disclosure Statements, are sufficient for the Court
to determine that federal jurisdiction does not exist in this case, because the parties lack diversity
of citizenship.1 The Court does not agree that the Disclosure Statements are sufficient to make
such a determination. Under E.D.Mo. L.R. 2.09, Plaintiffs were to provide the Court with the
“citizenship of every individual or entity whose citizenship is attributed to” Plaintiffs. E.D.Mo.
L.R. 2.09. Plaintiffs failed to do so. Plaintiffs list the states of residence for the members of Larson
Financial Holdings, LLC, which is not the same as citizenship. Sanders v. Clemco Indus., 823
F.2d 214, 216 (8th Cir. 1987) (allegation of residence is not the equivalent of an allegation of
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ Motion to Seal Disclosure Statements is
DENIED. [ECF No. 15].
Plaintiffs originally filed suit in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri, and on
September 21, 2023, Defendant removed the cause of action to this Court on the basis of federal
diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Plaintiffs have not moved to remand the case
to state court.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs shall file their Disclosure Statements on or
before November 16, 2023 pursuant to E.D.Mo. L.R. Rule 2.09.
RONNIE L. WHITE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 13th
day of November 2023.
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