Olson v. Agri-Service LLC et al

Filing 23

ORDER DENYING THE PARTIES' STIPULATED MOTION FOR ENTRY OF LIMITED PROTECTIVE ORDER, denying 22 Motion for Protective Order. Signed by Judge Stanley A Bastian. (LR, Case Administrator)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 EASTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON 8 9 RENA OLSON, an individual, 10 Plaintiff, 11 v. NO. 4:17-cv-05069-SAB ORDER DENYING THE 12 AGRI-SERVICE LLC, a Washington PARTIES’ STIPULATED 13 Limited Liability Company; CLINT MOTION FOR ENTRY OF 14 SCHNOOR, an individual; LISA LIMITED PROTECTIVE 15 SCHMITZ, an individual, and TRINA ORDER 16 FLORES, an individual, Defendants. 17 18 Before the Court is the parties’ Stipulated Motion for Entry of Limited 19 20 Protective Order Re: Plaintiff’s First Set of Interrogatories and Requests for 21 Production, ECF No. 22. The parties request the Court enter a limited protective 22 order with respect to certain documents and information to be produced in 23 response to Plaintiff’s Interrogatories and Requests for Production. According to 24 Defendants, this information may contain or constitute trade secrets, confidential 25 and/or privileged information, and other confidential, sensitive or proprietary 26 information. The motion was heard without oral argument. 27 // 28 ORDER DENYING THE PARTIES’ STIPULATED MOTION FOR ENTRY OF LIMITED PROTECTIVE ORDER ^ 1 The product of pretrial discovery is presumptively public, though Federal 1 2 Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 26(c) permits a district court to override this 3 presumption upon a showing of “good cause.” San Jose Mercury News, Inc. v. 4 U.S. Dist. Court—N. Dist. (San Jose), 187 F.3d 1096, 1103 (9th Cir. 1999). Rule 5 26(c) provides that a “court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party 6 or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or 7 expense.” Prior to the grant of a protective order, the moving party must certify it 8 has “conferred or attempted to confer with other affected parties in an effort to 9 resolve the dispute without court action.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c) (emphasis added). Where the parties agree, as here, that certain information should remain 10 11 confidential, it may be prudent to enter into an agreement setting forth in writing 12 what information shall remain private. It is unnecessary, however, for such an 13 agreement to have this Court’s imprimatur. A court issued protective order is less 14 necessary since Rule 5(d) was amended to only require filing discovery material 15 actually used in support of an action. Because not all discovery material need be 16 filed, most discovery material is not readily accessible to the public. Therefore, the 17 primary concern regarding confidential materials is how the parties themselves 18 handle such material. This Court will not hesitate to issue a protective order when 19 it is necessary; however, the moving party or parties must demonstrate good cause 20 exists and must bear the “burden of showing specific prejudice or harm” that will 21 result if no protective order is granted. Phillips v. G.M. Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 22 1210-11 (9th Cir. 2002). In other words, the moving party must demonstrate why 23 the parties cannot resolve the issue without court action—a standard that will 24 generally not be met when the parties agree to the terms of a proposed protective 25 order. 26 The motion at hand fails to demonstrate specific harm or prejudice that will 27 result if no protective order is granted. Additionally, the parties appear to be in 28 ORDER DENYING THE PARTIES’ STIPULATED MOTION FOR ENTRY OF LIMITED PROTECTIVE ORDER ^ 2 1 agreement on what material is appropriate for discovery and how it should be 2 handled. Accordingly, the Court denies the stipulated motion for protective order. The proposed protective order also contained instructions for filing certain 3 4 materials under seal. A higher standard applies to sealing orders as they relate to 5 discovery materials in support of dispositive motions. In order for a court to seal 6 records associated with a dispositive motion, it must base its decision on a 7 compelling reason tied to an articulated factual basis without relying on 8 conjecture. Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 9 2003). The compelling basis standard is more stringent than the Rule 26(c) good 10 cause standard. See Pintos v. Pac. Creditors Ass’n, 605 F.3d 665, 679 (9th Cir. 11 2009). Because the parties have failed to demonstrate that even good cause exists 12 to support this motion, they have also failed to provide a compelling basis for 13 sealing any records that may be filed in support of any dispositive motions. The Court encourages the parties to continue cooperating with respect to the 14 15 handling of potentially sensitive discovery material. The parties may, upon proper 16 showing tied to specific discovery material, move the Court to seal certain 17 discovery filings. 18 // 19 // 20 // 21 // 22 // 23 // 24 // 25 // 26 // 27 // 28 // ORDER DENYING THE PARTIES’ STIPULATED MOTION FOR ENTRY OF LIMITED PROTECTIVE ORDER ^ 3 1 Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED: 2 1. The parties’ Stipulated Motion for Entry of Limited Protective Order RE: 3 Plaintiff’s First Set of Interrogatories and Requests for Production, ECF No. 22, is 4 DENIED. 5 IT IS SO ORDERED. The District Court Clerk is hereby directed to enter 6 this Order and to provide copies to counsel. 7 DATED this 13th day of November 2017. 8 9 10 11 12 13 Stanley A. Bastian United States District Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER DENYING THE PARTIES’ STIPULATED MOTION FOR ENTRY OF LIMITED PROTECTIVE ORDER ^ 4

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