Campbell v. Las Vegas Bistro, LLC dba Larry Flynt's Hustler Club

Filing 43

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 39 Motion to Seal. (See Order for Details) Signed by Magistrate Judge Nancy J. Koppe on 3/6/2017. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - JM)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 6 7 8 9 10 BRANDI CAMPBELL, ) ) Plaintiff, ) vs. ) ) LAS VEGAS BISTRO LLC, ) ) Defendant. ) __________________________________________) Case No. 2:16-cv-01842-JCM-NJK ORDER (Docket No. 39) 11 Pending before the Court is Defendant’s motion to seal the parties’ settlement agreement. 12 Docket No. 39. Plaintiff filed a non-opposition. Docket No. 40. For the reasons discussed below, 13 Defendant’s motion to seal, Docket No. 39, is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. 14 I. BACKGROUND 15 Plaintiff initially filed this action in state court, alleging, inter alia, a claim under the Fair 16 Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Docket No. 1-1. Defendant removed the action to this Court on 17 August 4, 2016. Docket No. 1. The parties ultimately settled the case and have moved the Court 18 to approve their settlement agreement. Docket No. 38. Defendant also asks the Court to allow it to 19 file the settlement agreement under seal. Docket No. 39. 20 II. DISCUSSION 21 “There is a strong presumption in favor of keeping settlement agreements in FLSA wage 22 settlement cases unsealed and available for public view.” Collins v. Walgreens Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. 23 LEXIS 96929, at *2 (D. Nev. July 23, 2015) (internal quotations omitted) (collecting cases). This 24 presumption furthers “Congress’ intent both to advance employees’ awareness of their FLSA rights 25 and to ensure pervasive implementation of the FLSA in the workplace.” Dees v. Hydradry, Inc., 706 26 F. Supp. 2d 1227, 1245 (M.D. Fla. 2010). Additionally, “it is consistent with the general 27 presumption of a right to public access to court documents.” Collins, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96929, 28 at *2 (citing Jessup v. Luther, 277 F.3d 926, 929 (7th Cir. 2002)). In order to overcome the 1 presumption, a movant must demonstrate “compelling reasons” to seal an FLSA settlement. Id. 2 (collecting cases). Courts thus frequently deny requests to seal settlement agreements in FLSA 3 actions. Id. (collecting cases). 4 The proposed settlement at issue includes both FLSA and non-FLSA claims. See, e.g., 5 Docket No. 1-1 at 4-20; Docket No. 39 at 2. Defendant submits that compelling reasons exist to 6 overcome the presumption against sealing. Docket No. 39 at 2-3. Specifically, Defendant submits 7 that any public resolution of Plaintiff’s claims will harm its reputation because the public will view 8 the settlement as an admission of liability as to the non-FLSA claims. Id. at 2. Additionally, 9 Defendant asserts that a recent, publically-filed nationwide settlement in a similar case will render 10 public resolution of Plaintiff’s FLSA claim in this action “redundant.” Id. Defendant also contends 11 that if the parties do not obtain approval of their agreement, the result will be private arbitration. Id. 12 at 3. 13 The Court finds that Defendant has failed to show compelling reasons to seal the portion of 14 the settlement agreement relating to Plaintiff’s FLSA claim. Accordingly, Defendant’s motion to 15 seal, Docket No. 39, is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. The Court GRANTS Defendant’s 16 motion to seal as it pertains to the portions of the settlement agreement that relate to Plaintiff’s non- 17 FLSA claims. The Court DENIES Defendant’s motion to seal without prejudice as it pertains to the 18 portion of the settlement agreement that relates to Plaintiff’s FLSA claim. No later than March 13, 19 2017, Defendant may file a renewed motion to seal demonstrating compelling reasons to seal as to 20 the FLSA claim. If Defendant chooses not to file a renewed motion to seal, the Court ORDERS 21 Defendant to file the settlement agreement on the docket, with information relating to Plaintiff’s non- 22 FLSA claims redacted, no later than March 13, 2017. 23 IT IS SO ORDERED. 24 DATED: March 6, 2017 25 26 ______________________________________ NANCY J. KOPPE United States Magistrate Judge 27 28 2

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