Central Freight Lines, Inc. v. Amazon Fulfillment Services, Inc., et al

Filing 215

ORDER granting parties' motions to seal (Dkts. 182 , 186 , 190 ). Further, the court ORDERS CFL to file the appropriately redacted version of its summary judgment response on the docket within seven days of the date of this order. Signed by Judge James L. Robart. (SWT) (Dkts. 183 , 187 , 188 , 189 , 194 shall remain under seal)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 8 9 10 CENTRAL FREIGHT LINES, INC., Plaintiff, 11 CASE NO. C17-0814JLR ORDER ON MOTIONS TO SEAL v. 12 13 AMAZON FULFILLMENT SERVICES, et al., 14 Defendants. 15 I. BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS 16 Before the court are: (1) Plaintiff Central Freight Lines, Inc.’s (“CFL”) motion to 17 seal documents related to its motions to exclude expert testimony (MTS 1 (Dkt. # 182)); 18 (2) CFL’s motion to seal its summary judgment response and documents filed in support 19 thereof (MTS 2 (Dkt. # 186)); and (3) Defendant Amazon Fulfillment Services’s (“AFS”) 20 motion to seal its summary judgment reply (MTS 3 (Dkt. # 190)). AFS filed responses to 21 CFL’s motions to seal. (Resp. (Dkt. # 195).) The court has considered the motions, the 22 ORDER - 1 1 parties’ submissions concerning the motions, the relevant portions of the record, and the 2 applicable law. Being fully advised, 1 the court GRANTS the motions to seal. 3 When deciding a motion to seal, courts “start with a strong presumption in favor 4 of access to court records.” Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 5 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing Hagestad v. Tragesser, 49 F.3d 1430, 1434 (9th Cir. 1995)). This 6 presumption, however, “is not absolute and can be overridden given sufficiently 7 compelling reasons for doing so.” Foltz, 331 F.3d at 1135 (citing San Jose Mercury 8 News, Inc. v. U.S. Dist. Ct. N. Dist. (San Jose), 187 F.3d 1096, 1102 (9th Cir. 1999)). 9 The standard for determining whether to seal a record depends on the filing that the 10 sealed record is attached to. See Foltz, 331 F.3d at 1136-37. Because the sealed 11 documents at issue here are attached to motions that are “more than tangentially related to 12 the merits of [this] case,” the court applies the compelling reasons standard to determine 13 if sealing is appropriate. See Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., 809 F.3d 1092, 14 1098-102 (9th Cir. 2016). 15 Under the compelling reasons standard, the party seeking to seal a judicial record 16 bears the burden of showing that “compelling reasons supported by specific factual 17 findings . . . outweigh the general history of access and the public policies favoring 18 disclosure.” Kamakana v. City & Cty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d at 1178-79 (internal 19 citations omitted). A failure to meet that burden means that the record will be filed in 20 21 22 1 No party requests oral argument on the motions (see MTS 1; MTS 2; MTS 3; Resp.), and the court concludes that oral argument would not be helpful to its disposition of the motions, see Local Rules W.D. Wash. LCR 7(b)(4). ORDER - 2 1 public. Id. at 1182. If a court decides to seal a record, it must “base its decision on a 2 compelling reason and articulate the factual basis for its ruling.” Id. at 1179 (quoting 3 Hagestad, 49 F.3d at 1434). 4 “In general, ‘compelling reasons’ sufficient to outweigh the public’s interest in 5 disclosure and justify sealing court records exist when such ‘court files might have 6 become a vehicle for improper purposes,’ such as the use of records to . . . release trade 7 secrets.” Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179 (quoting Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435 8 U.S. 589, 598 (1978)). The final determination of what constitutes a compelling reason is 9 “best left to the sound discretion of the trial court.” Nixon, 435 U.S. at 599. 10 In addition, in the Western District of Washington, parties seeking to file 11 documents under seal must follow the procedure laid out in Local Rule 5(g). See Local 12 Rules W.D. Wash. LCR 5(g). Pursuant to Local Rule 5(g), a party filing a motion to seal 13 must include “a certification that the party has met and conferred with all other parties in 14 an attempt to reach agreement on the need to file the document[s] under seal.” Id. LCR 15 5(g)(3)(A). The party seeking to seal the documents must also explain the bases for 16 requiring the relief. Id. LCR 5(g)(3)(B). 17 The court previously addressed prior motions to seal in this matter, which 18 implicated the same or similar documents and information that are presently at issue. 19 (See 7/15/19 Order (Dkt. # 204).) For the reasons explained in that order, the court finds 20 that there are compelling reasons to seal the material presently at issue. (See id. at 5-8.) 21 The court therefore concludes that the following materials should be placed under seal: 22 // ORDER - 3 1 • The June 25, 2019, declaration of Marc H. Kallish and the exhibits attached 2 3 thereto. (See Dkt. # 183.) • The July 1, 2019, declaration of Mr. Kallish and the exhibits attached thereto. 4 5 (See Dkt. # 187.) • CFL’s summary judgment response and the exhibits attached thereto. (See 6 Dkt. ## 188, 189.) 7 • AFS’s summary judgment reply. (See Dkt. # 194.) 8 The court notes that CFL failed to file a publicly available version of its summary 9 judgment response with the appropriate redactions. (See Dkt.; see also Dkt. ## 188, 189.) 10 The court therefore ORDERS CFL to file the appropriately redacted version of its 11 summary judgment response on the docket within seven days of the date of this order. 12 13 II. CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, the court GRANTS the parties’ motions to seal. (Dkt. 14 ## 182, 186, 190.) Further, the court ORDERS CFL to file the appropriately redacted 15 version of its summary judgment response on the docket within seven days of the date of 16 this order. 17 Dated this 1st day of August, 2019. 18 A 19 20 JAMES L. ROBART United States District Judge 21 22 ORDER - 4

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