Le v. Bank of America, National Association et al
ORDER. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that 25 Defendant's Motion to File Documents Under Seal is granted. Signed by Magistrate Judge George Foley, Jr on 9/11/17. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - ADR)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEVADA
HIEP D. LE,
EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES, LLC.,
Case No. 2:16-cv-02393-RFB-GWF
This matter is before the Court on Defendant’s Motion to File Documents Under Seal (ECF
No. 25), filed on August 23, 2017. To date, no party has filed an opposition to this motion and the
time for opposition has now expired.
The Ninth Circuit comprehensively examined the presumption of public access to judicial
files and records in Kamakana v. City and County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172 (9th Cir. 2006).
There, the court recognized that different interests are at stake in preserving the secrecy of materials
produced during discovery and materials attached to dispositive motions. The Kamakana court held
that a “good cause” showing is sufficient to seal documents produced during discovery. Id. at
1180. However, the Kamakana decision also held that a showing of “compelling reasons” is needed
to support the secrecy of documents attached to dispositive motions. A showing of “good cause”
does not, without more, satisfy the “compelling reasons” test required to maintain the secrecy of
documents attached to dispositive motions. Id.
Kamakana recognized that “compelling reasons” sufficient to outweigh the public’s interests
in disclosure and justify sealing records exist when court records may be used to gratify private
spite, permit public scandal, circulate libelous statements, or release trade secrets. Id. at 1179
(internal quotations omitted). However, “[t]he mere fact that the production of records may lead to
a litigant’s embarrassment, incrimination, or exposure to further litigation will not, without more,
compel the court to seal its records.” Id., citing, Foltz v. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance
Company, 331 F.3d 1122, 1136 (9th Cir. 1995). To justify sealing documents attached to
dispositive motions, a party is required to present articulable facts identifying the interests favoring
continuing secrecy and show that these specific interests overcome the presumption of public access
by outweighing the public’s interests in understanding the judicial process. Id. at 1181 (internal
citations and quotations omitted).
Defendant requests leave to file Exhibits 2 through 7 attached to its Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 30) under seal. Defendant represents that the documents contained in exhibits
2 through 6 are confidential policies and procedures manuals, which “contain proprietary
information on how Defendant processes and maintains its credit reporting procedures and how it
trains its employees.” Motion (ECF No. 25), pg. 4, lns. 20-21. This information, according to
Defendant, should be maintained under seal because public disclosure could aid Defendant’s
competitors in creating or enhancing upon Defendant’s polices and procedures, thereby destroying
Defendant’s competitive advantage. In addition, Defendant argues that the polices and procedures
manuals should be kept under seal because public disclosure could “open Equifax’s system to
potential identity theft by creating a high risk that the criminals would be able to develop methods to
successfully circumvent Equifax’s procedures.” Id. at pg. 5, lns. 14-16. Defendant also requests to
file Exhibit 7, the ACIS Maintenance Document that contains Plaintiff’s personal identifying
information, under seal. Id. at pg. 6.
On balance, the Court finds that Defendant has provided compelling reasons to justify an
order sealing Exhibits 2 through 7 to Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment. Therefore, the
Court will allow Exhibit 2 through 7 to be filed under seal in their entirety. Accordingly,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant’s Motion to File Documents Under Seal (ECF
No. 25) is granted.
DATED this 11th day of September, 2017.
GEORGE FOLEY, JR.
United States Magistrate Judge
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