Roe v. Wayne County Board of Education

Filing 45

MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER SEALING DOCUMENT granting Defendant's 44 MOTION to File Exhibit 3 Under Seal; directing that Exhibit 3 to Defendant's 42 MOTION to Compel Interrogatory and Request for Production Responses be filed as SEALED. Signed by Magistrate Judge Cheryl A. Eifert on 12/20/2017. (cc: defendant; counsel of record) (jsa)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA HUNTINGTON DIVISION JANE ROE, Plaintiff, v. Case No.: 3:17-cv-00094 WAYNE COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, Defendant. MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER SEALING DOCUMENT Pending is Defendant’s Motion to File “Exhibit 3” Under Seal. (ECF No. 44). According to Defendant, Exhibit 3 contains protected health information, which has been designated as confidential by Plaintiff. Due to the highly personal nature of Exhibit 3, the Court GRANTS the motion and ORDERS that Exhibit 3 be filed as SEALED. The undersigned is cognizant of the well-established Fourth Circuit precedent recognizing a presumption in favor of public access to judicial records. Ashcraft v. Conoco, Inc., 218 F.3d 288 (4th Cir. 2000). As stated in Ashcraft, before sealing a document, the Court must follow a three step process: (1) provide public notice of the request to seal; (2) consider less drastic alternatives to sealing the document; and (3) provide specific reasons and factual findings supporting its decision to seal the documents and for rejecting alternatives. Id. at 302. In this case, the attached document shall be sealed and will be designated as sealed on the Court’s docket. The Court deems this sufficient notice to interested members of the public. The Court has considered less drastic alternatives to sealing the Exhibit, but no alternatives to sealing the document are feasible. Moreover, the public’s right to be informed is greatly outweighed by (1) the interests to be protected in this circumstance; and (2) the fact that the Exhibit is attached to a motion to compel discovery, not a dispositive motion. Accordingly, the Court finds that sealing Exhibit 3 does not unduly prejudice the public’s right to access court documents. The Clerk is instructed to provide a copy of this Order to the defendant and all counsel of record. ENTERED: December 20, 2017

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