McCollum, et al. v. Robeson County, et al.
ORDER denying 151 Motion to Seal; denying 156 Motion to Seal; denying 162 Motion to Seal Document ; denying 168 Motion to Seal; denying 176 Motion to Seal; denying 179 Motion to Seal; denying 181 Motion to Seal; denying 186 Motion to Seal. Signed by US District Judge Terrence W. Boyle on 5/5/2015. (Stouch, L.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
HENRY LEE MCCOLLUM and J. DUANE
GILLIAM, as guardian of the estate of LEON
TOWN OF RED SPRINGS, et al.
This matter comes before the Court following a hearing before the undersigned held May
5, 2017, at Raleigh, North Carolina, at which all parties and their counsel appeared. Now
pending before the Court are a number of motions to file documents under seal. [DE 151, 156,
162, 168, 176, 179, 181, 186]. The majority of these motions reference the consent protective
order denominating as confidential the Innocence Inquiry Commission files as justification for
filing motions, including motions for summary judgment, supporting memoranda,. and exhibits
under seal. [DE 122].
"The common law presumes a right to inspect and copy judicial records and documents."
Stone v. Univ. ofMaryland Med Sys. Corp., 855 F.2d 178, 180 (4th Cir. 1988). Documents filed
in connection with a summary judgment motion in a civil case are subject to a more rigorous
First Amendment standard when determining whether to limit a right of access of the public to
the document. Rushfordv. New Yorker Magazine, Inc., 846 F.2d 249, 253 (4th Cir. 1988).
Thus, a denial of access to these documents must serve an important governmental interest, and
there must be "no less restrictive way to serve that governmental interest." Id
In seeking to file documents under seal, the parties have extended their reliance on the
consent protective order in this case too far, resulting in a docket on which a large number of
documents are now provisionally sealed. In so doing, the parties have failed to comply with
Local Civil Rule 79.2 and Section V(G) of the CM/ECF Policy Manual, which requires parties to
specify the exact document or item, or portions thereof, requested to be sealed, how such request
overcomes the presumption of access, and the reasons why alternatives to sealing are inadequate.
For these reasons, the motions to seal are DENIED. Any party may, within ten (10) days of the
date of entry of this order, identify specific documents or portions thereof which they request to
be sealed and provide justification for so doing bey~nd the consent protective order entered in
For the foregoing reasons and failure to demonstrate cause, the pending motions to seal
[DE 151, 156, 162, 168, 176, 179, 181, 186] are DENIED.
SO ORDERED, this~ day of May,.2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?