Banerjee et al v. Continental Incorporated, Inc. et al
ORDER Denying Plaintiffs' 22 Motion to File Under Seal. Defendants have until 7/14/2017 to file a motion to seal Plaintiffs' Opposition. Signed by Magistrate Judge George Foley, Jr on 7/6/2017. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - SLD)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEVADA
ADRISH BANERJEE, et al.,
CONTINENTAL INCORPORATED, INC., et al., )
Case No. 2:17-cv-00466-APG-GWF
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs’ Motion to File Under Seal (ECF No. 22), filed
on June 27, 2017.
Plaintiffs request leave to file its Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss under seal
because it contains reference to testimony in a related matter that is subject to a protective order.
Plaintiffs filed a redacted version of their Opposition on June 27, 2017. ECF No. 18. Although
Plaintiffs do not agree with Defendants’ assertion that portions of Plaintiffs’ Opposition are subject to
a protective order, Plaintiffs filed their Motion to Seal out of an abundance of caution. 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).
Plaintiffs fail to provide sufficient compelling reasons to justify sealing its Opposition to
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. The designation of documents or information as confidential for
discovery purposes does not automatically result in a finding that such information should be sealed
under Kamakana’s higher compelling reasons standard. Krause v. Nevada Mut. Ins. Co., 2013 WL
3776416, at *5 (D. Nev. July 16, 2013). The Court, therefore, denies Plaintiffs’ request to file its
Opposition under seal without prejudice to Defendants filing a motion to seal. Accordingly,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ Motion to File Under Seal (ECF No. 22) is
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants have until July 14, 2017 to file a motion to
seal Plaintiffs' Opposition.
DATED this 6th day of July, 2017.
GEORGE FOLEY, JR.
United States Magistrate Judge
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