Hernandez v. Baylor University Board of Regents et al
ORDER GRANTING 76 Motion for Leave to File Sealed Document. Signed by Judge Robert Pitman. (tb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY, et al.,
Before the Court in the above-entitled action is Plaintiff’s Request to Seal Plaintiff’s SurReply and Correspondence to Defendants, (Dkt. 76), and Defendant Baylor University’s Response
in Opposition, (Dkt. 80).
“Courts have recognized that the public has a common law right to inspect and copy judicial
records.” S.E.C. v. Van Wayenberghe, 990 F.2d 845, 848 (5th Cir.1993) (citing Nixon v. Warner
Commc'ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978) and Belo Broad. Corp. v. Clark, 654 F.2d 423, 429 (5th
Cir.1981)). However, the right is not absolute, and the court has discretion to seal records when
“files might . . . become a vehicle for improper purposes.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).
Accordingly, a motion to seal records requires the court to “balance the public’s common law right
of access against the interests favoring nondisclosure.” Id. “The movant ‘may overcome the
presumption of access by providing sufficiently compelling reasons that override the public policies
favoring disclosure.’” Jeanbaptiste v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 3:14–CV–264–K, 2014 WL 6790737,
at *4 (N.D.Tex. Dec. 1, 2014) (quoting Bianco v. Globus Med., Inc., No. 2:12–CV–147–WCB, 2013 WL
3422000, at *2 (E.D.Tex. July 14, 2014)).
In support of the instant motion, Plaintiff states that Defendant “has publicly disclosed
information in collateral litigation that would undoubtedly fall under the protection of the non1
finalized terms of the protective order negotiated to this point.” (Dkt. 76, at 4). Plaintiff states that
her instant request is predicated on the need to “maintain the confidentiality of information received
on a temporary basis” based on the parties’ prior agreement. (Id.). Defendant responds that
Plaintiff’s allegations are inaccurate and that it “has not violated any signed protective order or any
proposed protective order.” (Dkt. 80, at 2). However, Defendant does not specifically object to the
relief sought by Plaintiff in her Request to Seal. (See generally id.).
As such, and because there is no protective order currently active in this case, the Court
hereby GRANTS the Request to Seal Plaintiff’s Sur-Reply and Correspondence to Defendants,
SIGNED on March 6, 2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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