SCHIRNHOFER v. PREMIER COMP SOLUTIONS, LLC
MEMORANDUM ORDER denying 39 MOTION for Leave to File Documents Under Seal. Signed by Magistrate Judge Cynthia Reed Eddy on 6/1/2017. (ajt)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
PREMIER COMP SOLUTIONS, LLC,
Presently before the court is Defendant Premier Comp Solutions, LLC’s (“PCS”) motion
for leave to file documents under seal [ECF No. 39]. PCS seeks to file its forthcoming motion
for summary judgment, concise statement of material facts, brief in support of its motion and
appendix under seal.
PCS asserts that it intends to include or reference documents and
deposition transcripts which are the subject of a protective order previously entered. See Am.
Stipulated Protective Order [ECF No. 27].
While the information that PCS seeks to file under seal may be the subject of the
previously entered protective order, “the public’s right to inspect judicial records may not be
evaded by a wholesale sealing of court papers. . . . [T]he district court must be sensitive to the
rights of the public in determining whether any particular document, or class of documents, is
appropriately filed under seal.” Leucadia, Inc. v. Applied Extrusion Technologies, Inc., 998 F.2d
157, 165 (3d Cir. 1993) (quoting United States v. Corbitt, 879 F.2d 224, 228 (7th Cir.1989)). See
also Bank of America National Trust and Savings Ass'n v. Hotel Rittenhouse Associates, 800
F.2d 339, 343 (3d Cir.1986) (“The right of the public to inspect and copy judicial records
antedates the Constitution.”).
This right applies in particular context to documents and
evidentiary materials submitted in support of summary judgment. Republic of Philippines v.
Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 949 F.2d 653, 662-663 (3d Cir. 1991). See also Mine Safety
Appliances Co. v. North River Ins. Co., 73 F.Supp.3d 544, 559 (W.D.Pa. 2014) (“the need for
public scrutiny is at its zenith when the motion is dispositive and is of a comparable level when
the motion is denied because the ruling tends to shape the scope and substance of the litigation as
the parties proceed to trial”). In cases involving “ordinary civil litigation,” before a district court
takes the “unusual step” of sealing records, the court must articulate “the compelling
countervailing interests to be protected, ma[k]e specific findings on the record concerning the
effects of disclosure, and provide an opportunity for interested third parties to be heard.” Miller
v. Indiana Hosp., 16 F.3d 549, 551 (3d Cir. 1994).
IT IS ORDERED that in light of the undeniable right of the public to inspect judicial
records, and the unusual and extraordinary remedy of sealing motions for summary judgment
and attendant materials in ordinary civil litigation, it is not appropriate to permit PCS to file its
motion for summary judgment and attendant materials under seal and said motion is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the parties may redact any information subject to the
protective order which include any materials containing “sensitive or proprietary business,
commercial, or personal information (e.g., private medical information or private identifying
information) which, if disclosed, might adversely affect the competitive position or business
operations of the Party or Third Party producing such materials, or invade the privacy rights of
any person” ECF No. 27 at ¶ 3 in the summary judgment motion, brief in support, response
brief(s), reply brief(s), concise statements of material facts and appendices, and shall handdeliver to the court a courtesy un-redacted hard copy of the materials.1
The court also notes that the Protective order requires that “[a] receiving Party intending
DATED this 1st day of June, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
s/Cynthia Reed Eddy
United States Magistrate Judge
cc: all registered counsel via CM-ECF
to file documents or portions thereof designated as Confidential Material or ConfidentialAttorney Eyes’ Only Material with the Court shall first seek the agreement of the opposing
counsel to waive the Confidentiality designation” prior to filing a motion to seal. Am. Stipulated
Protective Order [ECF No. 27] at ¶ 18. It is unclear whether PCS sought the agreement of
opposing counsel prior to filing the present motion to seal. PCS is directed to confer with
opposing counsel to determine exactly what information is deemed Confidential under the
Amended Stipulated Protective Order and necessary to redact and also determine the extent to
which opposing counsel will waive any Confidentiality designation. Moreover, nothing in this
order prevents the Court from striking from the record any motion for summary judgment and
attendant materials if the redaction is so overbroad that it renders the submissions as effectively
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