King v. Select Medical Hospital - Columbus, Inc. et al
ORDER denying 13 Motion to File Document Under Seal. Signed by Magistrate Judge Kimberly A. Jolson on 7/21/2017. (ew)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
Civil Action 2:17-cv-382
Judge Algenon L. Marbley
Magistrate Judge Jolson
SELECT SPECIALTY HOSPITAL–
COLUMBUS, INC., et al.,
This matter is before the Court on a Joint Motion to File Settlement Documents under
Seal. (Doc. 13). The parties bear the heavy burden of overcoming a strong presumption in favor
of openness as to court records. Shane Grp., Inc. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mich., 825 F.3d
299, 305 (6th Cir. 2016).
In addition to establishing a compelling reason to justify non-
disclosure of the information, the parties must demonstrate that the seal is “narrowly tailored to
serve that reason.” Id. Even upon joint motion, this Court must set forth specific findings and
conclusions justifying nondisclosure to the public. Id. at 306.
With respect to FLSA actions specifically, “the overwhelming majority of trial courts
have likewise favored a strong presumption in favor of public access,” even where the parties
have negotiated a confidentiality provision concerning the settlement. Darner v. The Twins
Grp., No. 2:16-cv-450, Doc. 20 at 2 (S.D. Ohio Jan. 19, 2017); see also Zego v. MeridianHenderson, No. 2:15-CV-3098, 2016 WL 4449648, at *1 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 24, 2016) (finding
that “a confidentiality provision in an FLSA settlement agreement … contravenes the legislative
purpose of the FLSA”) (internal quotations and citation omitted); Lipker v. Columbus Auto
Source, No. 2:15-cv-890, Doc. 21 at 1–2 (S.D. Ohio June 27, 2017) (denying motion to file
settlement paperwork under seal). Here, the parties state only that “a significant element of the
consideration for the [Confidential Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims] is the parties’
mutual confidentiality regarding the Agreement and its terms.” (Doc. 13 at 2). Because the
parties have failed to demonstrate that their desire to file the documents under seal outweighs the
public interest in allowing access to the documents, the Joint Motion to File Settlement
Documents under Seal is DENIED. (Doc. 13).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Date: July 21, 2017
/s/ Kimberly A. Jolson
KIMBERLY A. JOLSON
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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