Gray v. Church Mutual Insurance Company et al

Filing 74

ORDER granting 62 Motion to Seal Document. Signed by the Honorable R Bryan Harwell on 9/15/2017. (hcic, )

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA FLORENCE DIVISION Rick Gray, d/b/a Rick Gray Ministries, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v. ) ) Church Mutual Insurance Company and ) Bob Jurick, ) ) Defendants. ) ____________________________________) Civil Action No.: 4:15-cv-01546-RBH ORDER ON MOTION TO SEAL This matter is before the court on the motion of Defendants’ Church Mutual Insurance Company and Bob Jurick to file a document entitled “Claims Best Practices” under seal. [ECF No. 62]. Plaintiff did not file a response in opposition. The court has reviewed the materials submitted on this matter. In accordance with In re Knight Publishing Company, 743 F.2d 231 (4th Cir. 1984), the court grants the foregoing motion to seal on a temporary basis. Because In re Knight requires the court to provide public notice of a party’s request to seal and allow interested parties an opportunity to object, this order temporarily grants the motion to seal until September 20, 2017. If in the interim period any interested party wishes to object to the permanent sealing of the document at issue, that party may file a notice of appearance and state its objections. In the event any objections are filed, the court will schedule a hearing on the motion to seal and hear the arguments of all parties. Should no objections be filed by September 20, 2017, the temporary order will automatically convert to a permanent order to seal. The court considered less drastic alternatives to sealing the requested document. The court found that less drastic alternatives were not appropriate in this case, as the documents concern confidential and proprietary information of Church Mutual Insurance Company that is used internally and is not otherwise available to the public or competitors of Church Mutual. The court has independently reviewed the document in camera and concludes that the document does not lend itself to selective redaction. The court finds persuasive the arguments of counsel in favor of sealing the document and rejecting the alternatives. The record contains confidential, proprietary information that could damage Church Mutual’s business if disclosed. The court notes that the litigant’s interest in nondisclosure of such proprietary information outweighs the public’s right to access to this document. See May v. Medtronic Inc., No. CA 6:05-794-HMH, 2006 WL 1328765, *1 (D.S.C. May 15, 2006). The confidential and sensitive nature of the information in the document at issue requires that the document be sealed. Therefore, the court grants Defendants’ motion to seal [ECF No. 62] in accordance with the limitations stated herein. Should no objections be filed by September 20, 2017, this temporary order will automatically convert to a permanent order to seal. IT IS SO ORDERED. September 15, 2017 Florence, South Carolina s/ R. Bryan Harwell R. Bryan Harwell United States District Judge 2

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