Takiguchi et al v. MRI International, Inc. et al

Filing 592

ORDER denying ECF No. 562 Defendant Suzukis' Motion to Seal. Signed by Judge Howard D. McKibben on 01/10/2017. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - KW)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 12 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 SHIGE TAKIGUCHI, FUMI NONAKA, MITSUAKI TAKITA, TATSURO SAKAI, SHIZUKO ISHIMORI, YUKO NAKAMURA, MASAAKI MORIYA, HATSUNE HATANO, AND HIDENAO TAKAMA, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Plaintiffs, ) ) vs. ) ) MRI INTERNATIONAL, INC., EDWIN J ) FUJINAGA, JUNZO SUZUKI, PAUL ) MUSASHI SUZUKI, LVT, INC., dba ) STERLING ESCROW, and DOES 1-500, ) ) Defendants. ) _________________________________ ) 2:13-cv-01183-HDM-VCF ORDER On November 1, 2016, the plaintiffs filed separate motions for 25 partial summary judgment against defendants (1) Junzo Suzuki; (2) 26 Paul Suzuki; and (3) MRI and Edwin Fujinaga. 27 motion against Junzo Suzuki and certain of its exhibits (ECF No. 28 529) under seal, along with a concurrent motion for leave to do so 1 Plaintiffs filed the 1 (ECF No. 528). 2 Suzuki relied on evidence that had been designated as confidential 3 pursuant to the parties’ stipulated protective order (ECF No. 335) 4 – specifically, Junzo Suzuki’s deposition – and that while they 5 disagreed as to the scope of the confidentiality designation, they 6 agreed that the deposition contained references to “private 7 financial information” that was properly protected from public 8 disclosure. 9 motion to seal. 10 Plaintiffs asserted that the motion against Junzo On November 2, 2016, the court granted the plaintiffs’ On December 9, 2016, the Suzukis filed their oppositions to 11 the motions for summary judgment. 12 under seal. 13 plaintiffs’ Separate Statement of Facts (ECF Nos. 564 & 567). 14 Those responses were filed under seal. 15 concurrent motion to seal, which included a request that the 16 plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment against Paul Suzuki and 17 Appendix 1 to that motion also be sealed. 18 all three documents relied on or referenced deposition “testimony 19 regarding private financial information and other sensitive 20 information protected from public disclosure under the terms of the 21 Protective Order.” 22 The oppositions were not filed In addition, the Suzukis filed their responses to the The Suzukis filed a The Suzukis argued that (ECF No. 562 at 3). On January 6, 2017, plaintiffs filed their replies to the 23 responses to the motions for summary judgment and to the Suzukis’ 24 responses to the separate statements of fact. 25 document plaintiffs filed under seal, along with a concurrent 26 motion for leave to do so, was their reply to Junzo Suzuki’s 27 response to the plaintiffs’ separate statement of facts. (ECF Nos. 28 578 & 579). 2 Of these, the only 1 The public has a “general right . . . to inspect and copy 2 public records and documents, including judicial records and 3 documents.” 4 1178 (9th Cir. 2006). 5 must show that ‘compelling reasons supported by specific factual 6 findings . . . outweigh the general history of access and the 7 public policies favoring disclosure.’” 8 Ass’n, 605 F.3d 665, 678 (9th Cir. 2009). 9 relevant factors, including “public interest in understanding the Kamakana v. City & County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, A “party seeking to seal judicial records Pintos v. Pac. Creditors The court must weigh 10 judicial process and whether disclosure of the material could 11 result in improper use of the material for scandalous or libelous 12 purposes or infringement upon trade secrets,” in deciding a motion 13 to seal. 14 1430, 1434 (9th Cir. 1995)). 15 [of privilege] such as privacy,’ or confidentiality, ‘will not, 16 without more, suffice to exempt a document from the public’s right 17 of access, even where the assertion of privacy or confidentiality 18 is unopposed.” 19 11514215, at *1 (D. Ariz. Aug. 15, 2014) (quoting Kamakana, 447 20 F.3d at 1185 and citing San Jose Mercury News, Inc. v. U.S. Dist. 21 Ct., 187 F.3d 1096, 1102-03 (9th Cir. 1999)). Id. at 679 n.6 (citing Hagestad v. Tragesser, 49 F.3d “‘Simply invoking a blanket claim, Trudel v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co., 2014 WL 22 The court has reviewed and considered the materials the 23 plaintiffs and Suzukis seek to have sealed in connection with the 24 motions for summary judgment and finds that nothing contained 25 therein meets the compelling reasons standard. 26 reference to the amounts of commissions received by the Suzukis in 27 exchange for their work with MRI, and to the amounts of money Junzo 28 Suzuki wired back to MRI to cover its shortfalls, the court finds 3 While there is 1 that this information is not the type of sensitive financial 2 information that must be protected from public disclosure. 3 are no account numbers or specific identification of assets by 4 location; this is simply evidence that large sums of money were 5 exchanged between MRI and the Suzukis. 6 that this information could be used for an improper purpose and 7 concludes that the public is entitled to the evidence. 8 do not specifically identify the other claimed “sensitive 9 information” that was revealed during the Suzukis’ depositions There The court is not persuaded The parties 10 which should be protected from public disclosure, much less provide 11 compelling reasons for doing so. 12 Suzukis have designated Paul Suzuki’s deposition as “confidential,” 13 the court is unpersuaded that such designation is proper given that 14 Paul Suzuki answered virtually no questions during his deposition. As a matter of fact, although the 15 Accordingly, unless the plaintiffs or the Suzukis show cause 16 on or before January 20, 2017, why any specific portions relating 17 to discrete items of information of plaintiffs’ motion for summary 18 judgment against Junzo Suzuki (ECF No. 529) – including Junzo 19 Suzuki’s deposition and the exhibits attached thereto – Junzo 20 Suzuki’s response to the plaintiffs’ statement of facts (ECF No. 21 564), Paul Suzukis’ response to the plaintiffs’ statement of facts 22 (ECF No. 567), and the plaintiffs’ reply to Junzo Suzuki’s response 23 to the separate statement of facts (ECF No. 579) should remain 24 sealed, the court will unseal the aforementioned documents in their 25 entirety. 26 As to the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment against Paul 27 Suzuki and Appendix 1 thereto, the motion to seal (ECF No. 562) is 28 DENIED. In any response to the order to show cause, the Suzukis 4 1 may identify specific, discrete information in those documents that 2 they believe should be sealed and the compelling reasons for doing 3 so, and the court will consider the relevant factors to determine 4 whether sealing of that information is appropriate. 5 IT IS SO ORDERED. 6 DATED: This 10th day of January, 2017. 7 8 ____________________________ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5

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