PHILLIPS v. N.J. STATE PAROLE BOARD
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER, Granting 14 Motion to Seal Document. Signed by Judge Renee Marie Bumb on 10/6/17. (js)
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
N.J. STATE PAROLE BOARD,
Civil No. 16-5446 (RMB)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ON MOTION TO SEAL
This matter comes before the Court upon Respondents’ Motion
to File Confidential Documents Under Seal Pursuant to L. Civ. R.
5.3 ((“Mot. to Seal”) (ECF No. 14.) Petitioner did not oppose
On September 7, 2016, Petitioner filed a Petition for Writ
of Habeas Corpus Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging the May
2014 decision of the New Jersey Parole Board, denying parole and
setting a ten-year future eligibility term.
(Pet., ECF No. 1.)
relevant portions of the state court record.
(Answer, ECF No.
Respondent has requested that the Court file under seal
Prosecutor’s Office, a document entitled “Confidential Reports
addendum, dated June 5, 2014. (Declaration of Christopher C.
Josephson, ECF No. 14-1, ¶5.)
Local Civil Rule 5.3(c)(2) and (3) requires the court to
consider, upon a motion to seal, (1) the nature of the materials
or proceedings at issue; (2) the legitimate private or public
alternative to relief is not available.
presentence report, Petitioner’s medical records, and documents
discussing Petitioner’s medical records.
confidential from third parties.
State v. DeGeorge, 274 A.2d
593 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 1971).
The Supreme Court of New
Jersey has determined there is a public interest in maintaining
State v. Kunz, 55 A.2d 895, 902 (N.J. 1969).
make a copy available to Petitioner upon his request, but the
report is otherwise confidential and no alternative is available
to sealing the presentence report.
Petitioner has an interest in the privacy of his medical
Doe v. Delie, 257 F.3d 309, 315 (3d Cir. 2001) (“There
can be no question that ... medical records, which may contain
intimate facts of a personal nature, are well within the ambit
of materials entitled to privacy protection”) (quoting United
States v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 638 F.2d 570, 577 (3d Cir.
prohibiting disclosure of an inmate’s mental health evaluations
safety of others, compromise the privacy of others or have a
substantial impact on the orderly operation of the correctional
See N.J.A.C. 10A:22-2.7(d).
Therefore, both parties’
interests warrant sealing Petitioner’s medical records.
Petitioner’s right to medical privacy would be injured if
correctional facilities is also compromised by disclosure of an
inmate’s mental health evaluation.
Finally, the Court finds
Plaintiff’s medical records, and the documents discussing those
IT IS therefore on this 6th day of October 2017;
ORDERED that the motion to seal (ECF No. 14) is GRANTED,
and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall maintain under
Exhibit “B” to the Declaration of Christopher C. Josephson (ECF
No. 15); and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall serve this Memorandum
and Order on Petitioner by regular mail.
s/Renée Marie Bumb
RENÉE MARIE BUMB
United States District Judge
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