Scientific Games Corporation et al v. AGS, LLC

Filing 33

ORDER re 17 Motion to Seal. IT IS ORDERED that the Court hereby INSTRUCTS the Clerks Office to keep the subject documents sealed for the time being. No later than 3/27/17, Petitioners shall submit a supplemental brief with particularized r easons showing good cause for sealing the documents or portions of documents Petitioners ask the Court to seal, and supported by a declaration or other competent evidence. Signed by Magistrate Judge Nancy J. Koppe on 3/21/17. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - ADR)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 10 11 SCIENTIFIC GAMES CORPORATION, et al., 12 Plaintiff(s), 13 vs. 14 AGS LLC, 15 Defendant(s). ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No. 2:17-cv-00343-JAD-NJK ORDER (Docket No. 17) 16 17 On February 1, 2017, Petitioners filed a motion to seal, which the Court denied without 18 prejudice on February 16, 2017 for failure to include points and authorities. Docket Nos. 3, 13. On 19 February 22, 2017, Petitioners filed a renewed motion to seal, which is now pending before the 20 Court. Docket No. 17. No response was filed. See Docket. 21 I. STANDARDS 22 The Ninth Circuit has held that there is a strong presumption of public access to judicial 23 records. See Kamakana v. City & Cty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006); Foltz v. 24 State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 2003). A party seeking to file 25 documents under seal bears the burden of overcoming that presumption. Pintos v. Pac. Creditors 26 Ass’n, 605 F.3d 665, 678 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178). 27 The standard applicable to a motion to seal turns on whether the sealed materials are 28 submitted in conjunction with a dispositive, or a non-dispositive motion. Whether a motion is 1 “dispositive” turns on “whether the motion at issue is more than tangentially related to the underlying 2 cause of action.” See Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1101 (9th Cir.), 3 cert. denied, 137 S.Ct. 38 (2016). 4 Parties seeking to maintain the confidentiality of documents attached to non-dispositive 5 motions must make a “particularized showing” of “good cause.” See Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1180 6 (quoting Foltz, 331 F.3d at 1137). This requirement derives from Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 7 26(c), under which “[t]he court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from 8 annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.” Id. (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 9 26(c)(1)). “Broad allegations of harm, unsubstantiated by specific examples or articulated reasoning, 10 do not satisfy the Rule 26(c) test.” Beckman Indus., Inc. v. Int’l Ins. Co., 966 F.2d 470, 475 (9th Cir. 11 1992) (internal citation omitted). 12 On the other hand, parties “who seek to maintain the secrecy of documents attached to 13 dispositive motions must meet the high threshold of showing that ‘compelling reasons’ support 14 secrecy.” Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1180. Those compelling reasons must outweigh the competing 15 interests of the public in having access to the judicial records and understanding the judicial process. 16 Id. at 1178-79; see also Pintos, 605 F.3d at 679 & n.6 (court must weigh “relevant factors,” 17 including the public’s interest in understanding the judicial process”). 18 Lastly, to the extent any confidential information can be easily redacted while leaving 19 meaningful information available to the public, the Court must order that redacted versions be filed 20 rather than sealing entire documents. Foltz, 331 F.3d at 1137; see also In re Roman Catholic 21 Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, 661 F.3d 417, 425 (9th Cir. 2011) (the district court must “keep 22 in mind the possibility of redacting the sensitive material”). 23 II. ANALYSIS 24 The pending motion seeks to seal Petitioners’ motion to compel, as well as exhibits 5, 7, 8, 25 9, 10, and 12, and Petitioners’ reply in support of the motion to compel. See Docket No. 17 (motion 26 to seal); Docket No. 1 (motion to compel and exhibits); Docket No. 15 (reply in support of motion 27 28 2 1 to compel). The Court reviews this motion under the good cause standard. See Kamakana, 447 F.3d 2 at 1185-86; 3B Med., Inc. v. Resmed Corp., 2016 WL 6818953, at *2 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 11, 2016) 3 (applying the good cause standard in the context of a motion to compel related to an underlying 4 action in a different district). 5 Petitioners ask the Court to seal the documents at issue because they reference information 6 covered by a stipulated protective order in an underlying action in the Northern District of Illinois. 7 Docket No. 17 at 3. Petitioners contend that, because that information is covered by a stipulated 8 protective order, the documents at issue “may contain trade secrets and other sensitive, non-public 9 business secrets or plans.” Id. 10 The mere existence of a stipulated protective order is insufficient to justify sealing. See 11 Beckman, 966 F.2d at 476 (internal citation omitted) (“In the instant case, the parties stipulated to 12 a blanket protective order. Reliance will be less with the blanket order, because it is by nature 13 overinclusive . . . [B]ecause the protective order was a stipulated blanket order, International never 14 had to make a ‘good cause’ showing . . . in the first place”). Moreover, the broad assertion that all 15 of the documents “may” contain trade secrets or other sensitive information falls far short of 16 satisfying the Ninth Circuit’s requirement of a “particularized showing” of “good cause.” See 17 Kamakana, 446 F.3d at 1180 (citing Foltz, 331 F.3d at 1136). 18 In addition, the pending motion seeks to seal in their entirety several exhibits to the motion 19 to compel, without explaining why redaction is not proper instead. The Court also notes that instead 20 of filing the exhibits as separate attachments, Petitioners initially filed their motion to compel and 21 all of its exhibits under seal, as one document. See Docket No. 1 at 24-173. Thus, even the exhibits 22 that Petitioners contend should be public have been filed under seal. 23 III. CONCLUSION 24 The motion to seal as currently presented fails to satisfy the good cause standard. Petitioners 25 provide conclusory statements regarding the need for secrecy without articulating the harm that 26 would arise from disclosure, and fail to explain why redaction of certain documents is not possible. 27 28 3 1 The Court hereby INSTRUCTS the Clerk’s Office to keep the subject documents sealed for the time 2 being. 3 particularized reasons showing good cause for sealing the documents or portions of documents 4 Petitioners ask the Court to seal, and supported by a declaration or other competent evidence. For 5 the documents that Petitioners ask the Court to seal in their entirety, Petitioners must explain why 6 redaction of those documents is not possible. No later than March 27, 2017, Petitioners shall submit a supplemental brief with 7 IT IS SO ORDERED. 8 DATED: March 21, 2017. 9 ______________________________________ NANCY J. KOPPE United States Magistrate Judge 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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