Jasso et al v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. et al

Filing 262

ORDER granting 238 , 243 , 254 Motions to Seal. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the hearing set for August 4, 2022 regarding only ECF Nos. 238 and 243 is VACATED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED the hearing set for September 1, 2022 regarding only ECF No. 254 is VACATED. Signed by Magistrate Judge Brenda Weksler on 8/1/2022. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - HAM)

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1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 3 *** 4 Mauricio Jasso, et al., 5 Plaintiffs, 6 7 Case No. 2:20-cv-00858-CDS-BNW ORDER re ECF Nos. 238, 243, and 254 v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., 8 Defendants. 9 10 Before the Court are several motions to seal and redact documents. 11 First is Plaintiffs’ motion seeking to seal exhibits to and redact portions of their Sixth 12 Motion to Compel. 1 ECF No. 238. Defendants do not oppose the request. ECF No. 242. Next is Defendants’ motion seeking to seal exhibits to and redact portions of their Response 13 14 to Plaintiffs’ Sixth Motion to Compel. 2 ECF No. 243. No opposition has been filed. Lastly, Defendants seek to seal exhibits to and redact portions of their Motion for Protective 15 16 Order. 3 ECF No. 254. No opposition has been filed. This Court applies the caselaw below to each of the motions addressed in this order. 17 18 I. Analysis 19 Generally, the public has a right to inspect and copy judicial records. Kamakana v. City & 20 Cnty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006). Such records are presumptively publicly 21 accessible. Id. Consequently, a party seeking to seal a judicial record bears the burden of 22 overcoming this strong presumption. Id. In the case of dispositive motions, the party seeking to 23 seal the record must articulate compelling reasons supported by specific factual findings that 24 outweigh the general history of access and the public policies favoring disclosure, such as the 25 26 27 28 1 The sealed and unredacted version of Plaintiffs’ Sixth Motion to Compel and exhibits is filed at ECF No. 239. The unsealed and redacted version is at ECF No. 237. 2 The sealed and unredacted version of Defendants’ response to Plaintiffs’ Sixth Motion to Compel and exhibits is filed at ECF No. 244. The unsealed and redacted version is at ECF No. 241. 3 The sealed and unredacted version of Defendants’ Motion for Protective Order is filed at ECF No. 252. The unsealed and redacted version is at ECF No. 253. 1 1 public interest in understanding the judicial process. Id. at 1178–79 (alteration and internal 2 quotation marks and citations omitted). The Ninth Circuit has further held that the full presumption 3 of public access applies to technically non-dispositive motions and attached documents as well if 4 the motion is “more than tangentially related to the merits of the case.” Ctr. for Auto Safety v. 5 Chrysler Grp., LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1101 (9th Cir. 2016). 6 Among the compelling reasons which may justify sealing a record are when such court 7 files might become a vehicle for improper purposes, such as the use of records to gratify private 8 spite, promote public scandal, circulate libelous statements, or release trade secrets. Kamakana, 9 447 F.3d at 1179 (quotation omitted). However, avoiding a litigant’s embarrassment, 10 incrimination, or exposure to further litigation will not, without more, compel the court to seal its 11 records. Id. 12 “[A] different standard applies to ‘private materials unearthed during discovery,’ as such 13 documents are not part of the judicial record.” Pintos v. Pac. Creditors Ass’n, 605 F.3d 665, 678 14 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1180). Under Rule 26(c), a court may enter a 15 protective order “to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or 16 undue burden or expense.” “The relevant standard for purposes of Rule 26(c) is whether good 17 cause exists to protect the information from being disclosed to the public by balancing the needs 18 for discovery against the need for confidentiality.” Pintos, 605 F.3d at 678 (internal quotation 19 marks and citation omitted). Given the “weaker public interest in nondispositive materials,” the 20 court applies the good cause standard in evaluating whether to seal documents attached to a 21 nondispositive motion. Id. “Nondispositive motions ‘are often unrelated, or only tangentially 22 related, to the underlying cause of action,’ and, as a result, the public’s interest in accessing 23 dispositive materials does ‘not apply with equal force’ to non-dispositive materials.” Id. (citing 24 Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179). It is within the court’s discretion whether to seal documents. Id. at 25 679. 26 // 27 // 28 2 1 A. Plaintiffs’ motion at ECF No. 238 seeking to seal exhibits to and redact portions of their Sixth Motion to Compel 2 Plaintiffs seek to seal Exhibits B-D, G, I, and R-T to their Sixth Motion to Compel and to 3 redact portions of their Motion to Compel discussing these exhibits. ECF No. 238. Defendants do 4 not oppose the request. ECF No. 242. 5 Because these documents are attached to a non-dispositive motion and are not more than 6 tangentially related to the merits of the case, the Court applies the good cause standard. Pintos, 7 605 F.3d at 678. 8 Here, the Court finds Plaintiffs and Defendants demonstrated good cause to seal Exhibits 9 B-D, G, I, and R-T to Plaintiffs’ Sixth Motion to Compel and to redact portions of the Motion to 10 Compel discussing these exhibits. These exhibits reference Defendants’ internal and nonpublic 11 investigative processes and procedures. These internal and nonpublic investigative processes and 12 procedures constitute sensitive, commercially related information. See Dannenbring v. Wynn Las 13 Vegas, LLC, No. 2:12-cv-00007-JCM-VCF, 2013 WL 2460401, at *4–6 (D. Nev. June 6, 2013) 14 (ordering that exhibit related to internal investigation into plaintiff was properly filed under seal 15 in light of “the sensitive nature of Defendant’s confidential internal investigations”). The Court 16 agrees that the public has no interest in having access to this information. 17 Like the referenced Exhibits, the text underlying the redactions on pages 8, 12–14, and 18– 18 22 to Plaintiffs’ motion relates to Defendants’ internal, nonpublic investigative processes. For the 19 same reasons discussed above, there is good cause for these redactions. 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 B. Defendants’ motion at ECF No. 243 seeking to seal exhibits to and redact portions of their Response to Plaintiffs’ Sixth Motion to Compel Defendants seek to seal Exhibits 4, 5, and 7 to their Response to Plaintiffs’ Sixth Motion to Compel. ECF No. 243. In addition, Defendants seek to redact information found in Exhibits 1, 3, and 6 and on pages 2, 6, 10–15, and 18–22 of their Response. Id. No opposition has been filed. Because the attached documents relate to a response to a non-dispositive motion and are not more than tangentially related to the merits of the case, the Court applies the good cause standard. Pintos, 605 F.3d at 678. 3 1 The Court finds Defendants demonstrated good cause to seal Exhibits 4, 5, and 7 to their 2 Response to Plaintiffs’ Sixth Motion to Compel and to redact information found in Exhibits 1, 3, 3 and 6 and on pages 2, 6, 10–15, and 18–22 of the Response. Exhibits 1 and 3–7 reference or set 4 forth Defendants’ internal and nonpublic investigative processes and procedures. These internal 5 and nonpublic investigative processes and procedures constitute sensitive, commercially related 6 information. Dannenbring, 2013 WL 2460401, at *4–6. The Court agrees that the public has no 7 interest in having access to this information. 8 Like the referenced Exhibits, the text underlying the redactions on pages 2, 6, 10–15, and 9 18–22 of the Response relates to Defendants’ internal, nonpublic investigative processes. For the 10 same reasons discussed above, there is good cause for these redactions. 11 C. Defendants’ motion at ECF No. 254 seeking to seal exhibits to and redact portions of their Motion for Protective Order 12 13 Defendants seek to file Exhibits 1, 2, and 4 under seal and redact the portions of their 14 Motion for Protective Order that discuss these Exhibits. ECF No. 254. No opposition has been 15 filed. 16 Because the attached documents relate to a non-dispositive motion and are not more than 17 tangentially related to the merits of the case, the Court applies the good cause standard. Pintos, 18 605 F.3d at 678. 19 The Court finds that Defendants demonstrated good cause to seal Exhibits 1, 2, and 4 to 20 their Motion for Protective Order. Exhibits 1, 2, and 4 reference personally identifying information 21 of third parties or reveal information about Defendants’ internal, non-public investigative 22 processes and procedures. These internal and nonpublic investigative processes and procedures 23 constitute sensitive, commercially related information. Dannenbring, 2013 WL 2460401, at *4–6. 24 The Court agrees that the public has no interest in having access to this information. 25 Like the referenced Exhibits, the text underlying the redactions in their Motion for 26 Protective Order also reference personally identifying information of third parties or reveal 27 28 4 1 information about Wells Fargo’s internal, non-public investigative processes and procedures. For 2 the same reasons discussed above, there is good cause for these redactions. 3 II. Conclusion and Order 4 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ Motion to Seal at ECF No. 238 is 5 GRANTED. The Clerk of Court is kindly directed to maintain under seal Plaintiffs’ unredacted 6 Sixth Motion to Compel and accompanying exhibits at ECF No. 239. 7 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants’ Motion to Seal at ECF No. 243 is 8 GRANTED. The Clerk of Court is kindly directed to maintain under seal Defendants’ unredacted 9 Response to Plaintiffs’ Sixth Motion to Compel and accompanying exhibits at ECF No. 244. 10 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants’ Motion to Seal at ECF No. 254 is 11 GRANTED. The Clerk of Court is kindly directed to maintain under seal Defendants’ unredacted 12 Motion for Protective Order and accompanying exhibits at ECF No. 252. 13 14 15 16 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the hearing set for August 4, 2022 regarding only ECF Nos. 238 and 243 is VACATED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED the hearing set for September 1, 2022 regarding only ECF No. 254 is VACATED. 17 18 DATED: August 1, 2022. 19 20 21 BRENDA WEKSLER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5

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