In re: NC Swine Farm Nuisance Litigation
ORDER denying 121 Motion to Seal. Signed by Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones, Jr on 6/17/2016. All counsel should read order in its entirety for critical information and deadlines. (Marsh, K)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
IN RE: NC SWINE FARM
Master Case No. 5:15-CV-00013-BR
0 R DE R
THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO:
This matter is before the court on Plaintiffs' motion for leave to file under seal. [D E-121].
Plaintiffs filed a motion to compel and requests that the court seal Plaintiffs' brief in support and
exhibit 13, which contain information produced by Defendant as "Confidential" under the Protective
Order [DE-27]. Pls.' Mot. [DE-121]
1-2. Plaintiffs asserts they dispute the confidentiality
designation but must abide by the Protective Order and, therefore, request the documents be sealed.
On May 21, 2015, the court entered the parties' consent Protective Order governing the
disclosure of confidential or proprietary information in discovery.
contemporaneously entered an order particularizing in greater detail the parties' obligations in filing
such materials under seal in accordance with Local Civil Rule 79.2 and Section T of the CM/ECF
Policy Manual ("Section T") (the "Supplemental Order"). [DE-28]. The Supplemental Order recites
the appropriate procedure "[i]n the event a filing party seeks to file materials that have been
designated confidential by another party or individual," as is the case here. /d. at 1 (citing CM/ECF
Policy Manual § T(l )(a)6). Plaintiffs failed to follow the requisite procedure, which is as follows:
The filing party is required to file a notice of filing pursuant to Section T, in lieu of
filing a motion to seal, and the filing party need not file a motion to seal or otherwise
defend another party's or individual's request that the materials remain sealed. Id.
Within seven (7) days after service of such notice, the party or individual desiring
that the materials be maintained under seal shall file a motion to seal and supporting
memorandum in accordance with Section T. !d. Documents submitted under seal
will remain under seal pending the court's ruling on the motion to seal. Id. Ifthe
party desiring that the information be maintained under seal does not timely file a
motion to seal, then the materials will be unsealed, without further order of the court.
Id. at 1-2 (citing CM/ECF Policy Manual§ T(1)(a)6). Additionally, unless the filing party cites a
statute or rule that requires the filing be sealed, the filing party must submit a supporting
memorandum that specifies: (i) the exact document or item, or portions thereof, for which filing
under seal is requested; (ii) how such request to seal overcomes the common law or the First
Amendment presumption to access; (iii) the specific qualities of the material at issue which justify
sealing such material, taking into account the balance of competing interest in access; (iv) the
reasons why alternatives to sealing are inadequate; and (v) whether there is consent to the motion.
!d. at 2 (citing CM/ECF Policy Manual§ T(l)(a)1); see also Stone v. Univ. ofMd., 855 F.2d 178 (4th
Cir. 1988). The filing party must also set out such findings in a proposed order to seal. Id.
Plaintiffs' motion fails to comply with Local Civil Rule 79.2 and Section T, as memorialized
in the Supplemental Order, and is, accordingly, denied. In the interests of efficiency, this order shall
serve as notice to Defendant that documents it asserts are confidential have been provisionally filed
under seal, and Defendant shall have until June 24, 2016 to file a motion to seal, with supporting
memorandum and proposed order, in conformity with Local Civil Rule 79.2 and Section T(l)(a)l.
SO ORDERED, the /"J day of June 2016.
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