Manley v. State of Nevada et al

Filing 282

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)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 6 CHARLES MANLEY, 7 8 9 3:11-cv-00636-RCJ-MMD Plaintiff, ORDER v. ALAN ZIMMER, et. al., 10 Defendants. 11 Before the court is Plaintiff's Motion to Submit Exhibit C1 Under Seal. (Doc. # 252.)1 12 Exhibit C1 contains Plaintiff's medical records, which he wants to submit under seal in 13 support of his cross-motion for summary judgment and opposition to Defendants' motion for 14 summary judgment. 15 “Historically, courts have recognized a general right to inspect and copy public records 16 and documents, including judicial records and documents.” See Kamakana v. City and County of 17 Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 18 “‘Throughout our history, the open courtroom has been a fundamental feature of the American 19 judicial system. Basic principles have emerged to guide judicial discretion respecting public 20 access to judicial proceedings. These principles apply as well to the determination of whether to 21 permit access to information contained in court documents because court records often provide 22 important, sometimes the only, bases or explanations for a court’s decision.’” Oliner v. 23 Kontrabecki, 745 F.3d 1024, 1025(9th Cir. Mar. 20, 2014) (quoting Brown & Williamson 24 Tobacco Corp. v. F.T.C., 710 F.2d 1165, 1177 (6th Cir. 1983)). 25 Documents that have been traditionally kept secret, including grand jury transcripts and 26 warrant materials in a pre-indictment investigation, come within an exception to the general right 27 28 1 Refers to court's docket number. 1 of public access. See Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178. Otherwise, “a strong presumption in favor of 2 access is the starting point.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 3 A motion to seal documents that are part of the judicial record, or filed in connection with 4 a dispositive motion, must meet the “compelling reasons” standard outlined in Kamakana. Thus, 5 a party seeking to seal judicial records must show that “compelling reasons supported by specific 6 factual findings...outweigh the general history of access and the public policies favoring 7 disclosure.” Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178-79. The trial court must weigh relevant factors 8 including “the public interest in understanding the judicial process and whether disclosure of the 9 material could result in improper use of the material for scandalous or libelous purposes or 10 infringement upon trade secrets.” Pintos v. Pacific Creditors Ass’n, 605 F.3d 665, 679 n. 6 (9th 11 Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). While the decision to grant or deny a 12 motion to seal is within the trial court’s discretion, the trial court must articulate its reasoning in 13 deciding a motion to seal. Pintos, 605 F.3d at 679. 14 The court recognizes that the need to protect medical privacy has qualified as a 15 “compelling reason,” for sealing records. See, e.g., San Ramon Regional Med. Ctr., Inc. v. 16 Principal Life Ins. Co., 2011 WL89931, at *n.1 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 10, 2011); Abbey v. Hawaii 17 Employers Mut. Ins. Co., 2010 WL4715793, at * 1-2 (D. HI. Nov. 15, 2010); G. v. Hawaii, 2010 18 WL 267483, at *1-2 (D.HI. June 25, 2010); Wilkins v. Ahern, 2010 WL3755654 (N.D. Cal. 19 Sept. 24, 2010); Lombardi v. TriWest Healthcare Alliance Corp., 2009 WL 1212170, at * 1 20 (D.Ariz. May 4, 2009). 21 Here, Exhibit C1 contains Plaintiff’s sensitive health information, medical history, and 22 treatment records. Balancing the need for the public’s access to information regarding Plaintiff’s 23 medical history, treatment, and condition against the need to maintain the confidentiality of 24 Plaintiff’s medical records weighs in favor of sealing these exhibits. Therefore, the motion to 25 file Exhibit C1 (Doc. # 252) under seal is GRANTED. 26 IT IS SO ORDERED. 27 28 DATED: December 22, 2014. ____________________________________ WILLIAM G. COBB UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE -2-

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