Le v. Bank of America, National Association et al

Filing 34

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)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 5 6 7 8 9 10 HIEP D. LE, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) vs. ) ) EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES, LLC., ) ) Defendant. ) __________________________________________) Case No. 2:16-cv-02393-RFB-GWF ORDER 11 12 This matter is before the Court on Defendant’s Motion to File Documents Under Seal (ECF 13 No. 25), filed on August 23, 2017. To date, no party has filed an opposition to this motion and the 14 time for opposition has now expired. 15 The Ninth Circuit comprehensively examined the presumption of public access to judicial 16 files and records in Kamakana v. City and County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172 (9th Cir. 2006). 17 There, the court recognized that different interests are at stake in preserving the secrecy of materials 18 produced during discovery and materials attached to dispositive motions. The Kamakana court held 19 that a “good cause” showing is sufficient to seal documents produced during discovery. Id. at 20 1180. However, the Kamakana decision also held that a showing of “compelling reasons” is needed 21 to support the secrecy of documents attached to dispositive motions. A showing of “good cause” 22 does not, without more, satisfy the “compelling reasons” test required to maintain the secrecy of 23 documents attached to dispositive motions. Id. 24 Kamakana recognized that “compelling reasons” sufficient to outweigh the public’s interests 25 in disclosure and justify sealing records exist when court records may be used to gratify private 26 spite, permit public scandal, circulate libelous statements, or release trade secrets. Id. at 1179 27 (internal quotations omitted). However, “[t]he mere fact that the production of records may lead to 28 a litigant’s embarrassment, incrimination, or exposure to further litigation will not, without more, 1 compel the court to seal its records.” Id., citing, Foltz v. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance 2 Company, 331 F.3d 1122, 1136 (9th Cir. 1995). To justify sealing documents attached to 3 dispositive motions, a party is required to present articulable facts identifying the interests favoring 4 continuing secrecy and show that these specific interests overcome the presumption of public access 5 by outweighing the public’s interests in understanding the judicial process. Id. at 1181 (internal 6 citations and quotations omitted). 7 Defendant requests leave to file Exhibits 2 through 7 attached to its Motion for Summary 8 Judgment (ECF No. 30) under seal. Defendant represents that the documents contained in exhibits 9 2 through 6 are confidential policies and procedures manuals, which “contain proprietary 10 information on how Defendant processes and maintains its credit reporting procedures and how it 11 trains its employees.” Motion (ECF No. 25), pg. 4, lns. 20-21. This information, according to 12 Defendant, should be maintained under seal because public disclosure could aid Defendant’s 13 competitors in creating or enhancing upon Defendant’s polices and procedures, thereby destroying 14 Defendant’s competitive advantage. In addition, Defendant argues that the polices and procedures 15 manuals should be kept under seal because public disclosure could “open Equifax’s system to 16 potential identity theft by creating a high risk that the criminals would be able to develop methods to 17 successfully circumvent Equifax’s procedures.” Id. at pg. 5, lns. 14-16. Defendant also requests to 18 file Exhibit 7, the ACIS Maintenance Document that contains Plaintiff’s personal identifying 19 information, under seal. Id. at pg. 6. 20 On balance, the Court finds that Defendant has provided compelling reasons to justify an 21 order sealing Exhibits 2 through 7 to Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment. Therefore, the 22 Court will allow Exhibit 2 through 7 to be filed under seal in their entirety. Accordingly, 23 24 25 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. 26 27 28 ______________________________________ GEORGE FOLEY, JR. United States Magistrate Judge 2

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