Manley v. State of Nevada et al
ORDER granting 252 Motion to File Exhibit C1 Under Seal. Signed by Magistrate Judge William G. Cobb on 12/22/2014. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - KR)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEVADA
ALAN ZIMMER, et. al.,
Before the court is Plaintiff's Motion to Submit Exhibit C1 Under Seal. (Doc. # 252.)1
Exhibit C1 contains Plaintiff's medical records, which he wants to submit under seal in
support of his cross-motion for summary judgment and opposition to Defendants' motion for
“Historically, courts have recognized a general right to inspect and copy public records
and documents, including judicial records and documents.” See Kamakana v. City and County of
Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
“‘Throughout our history, the open courtroom has been a fundamental feature of the American
judicial system. Basic principles have emerged to guide judicial discretion respecting public
access to judicial proceedings. These principles apply as well to the determination of whether to
permit access to information contained in court documents because court records often provide
important, sometimes the only, bases or explanations for a court’s decision.’” Oliner v.
Kontrabecki, 745 F.3d 1024, 1025(9th Cir. Mar. 20, 2014) (quoting Brown & Williamson
Tobacco Corp. v. F.T.C., 710 F.2d 1165, 1177 (6th Cir. 1983)).
Documents that have been traditionally kept secret, including grand jury transcripts and
warrant materials in a pre-indictment investigation, come within an exception to the general right
Refers to court's docket number.
of public access. See Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178. Otherwise, “a strong presumption in favor of
access is the starting point.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
A motion to seal documents that are part of the judicial record, or filed in connection with
a dispositive motion, must meet the “compelling reasons” standard outlined in Kamakana. Thus,
a party seeking to seal judicial records must show that “compelling reasons supported by specific
factual findings...outweigh the general history of access and the public policies favoring
disclosure.” Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178-79. The trial court must weigh relevant factors
including “the public interest in understanding the judicial process and whether disclosure of the
material could result in improper use of the material for scandalous or libelous purposes or
infringement upon trade secrets.” Pintos v. Pacific Creditors Ass’n, 605 F.3d 665, 679 n. 6 (9th
Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). While the decision to grant or deny a
motion to seal is within the trial court’s discretion, the trial court must articulate its reasoning in
deciding a motion to seal. Pintos, 605 F.3d at 679.
The court recognizes that the need to protect medical privacy has qualified as a
“compelling reason,” for sealing records. See, e.g., San Ramon Regional Med. Ctr., Inc. v.
Principal Life Ins. Co., 2011 WL89931, at *n.1 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 10, 2011); Abbey v. Hawaii
Employers Mut. Ins. Co., 2010 WL4715793, at * 1-2 (D. HI. Nov. 15, 2010); G. v. Hawaii, 2010
WL 267483, at *1-2 (D.HI. June 25, 2010); Wilkins v. Ahern, 2010 WL3755654 (N.D. Cal.
Sept. 24, 2010); Lombardi v. TriWest Healthcare Alliance Corp., 2009 WL 1212170, at * 1
(D.Ariz. May 4, 2009).
Here, Exhibit C1 contains Plaintiff’s sensitive health information, medical history, and
treatment records. Balancing the need for the public’s access to information regarding Plaintiff’s
medical history, treatment, and condition against the need to maintain the confidentiality of
Plaintiff’s medical records weighs in favor of sealing these exhibits. Therefore, the motion to
file Exhibit C1 (Doc. # 252) under seal is GRANTED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: December 22, 2014.
WILLIAM G. COBB
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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