Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Marsteller v. MD Helicopter Inc.

United States District Court, D. Arizona

November 14, 2017

Philip A Marsteller, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
MD Helicopter Inc., Defendant.

          ORDER

          Douglas L. Rayes, United States District Judge

         Before the Court are Defendant MD Helicopter Incorporated's motions to seal (Docs. 439, 460, 467, 472), and Plaintiffs Philip and Ruth Marsteller's motions to seal (Docs. 444, 462, 470, 475). No responses were filed to either party's motions. For the following reasons, the motions are denied.

         I. Legal Standard

         Two standards generally govern requests to seal documents. “First, a ‘compelling reasons' standard applies to most judicial records.” Pintos v. Pac. Creditors Ass'n, 605 F.3d 665, 678 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing Kamakana v. City & Cty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006)).

This standard derives from the common law right “to inspect and copy public records and documents, including judicial records and documents.” To limit this common law right of access, a party seeking to seal judicial records must show that “compelling reasons supported by specific factual findings . . . outweigh the general history of access and the public policies favoring disclosure.”

Id. (quoting Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178-79).

         The second standard applies to discovery materials. “‘Private materials unearthed during discovery' . . . are not part of the judicial record.” Id. (quoting Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1180). The “good cause” standard set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c) applies to this category of documents. Id. For good cause to exist under Rule 26(c), “the party seeking protection bears the burden of showing specific prejudice or harm will result if no protective order is granted.” Phillips v. G.M. Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1210-11 (9th Cir. 2002). “Broad allegations of harm, unsubstantiated by specific examples or articulated reasoning, do not satisfy the Rule 26(c) test.” Beckman Indus., Inc. v. Int'l Ins. Co., 966 F.2d 470, 476 (9th Cir. 1992) (quotation and citation omitted). Instead, the party seeking protection must make a “particularized showing of good cause with respect to [each] individual document.” San Jose Mercury News, Inc. v. U.S. Dist. Court - N. Dist. (San Jose), 187 F.3d 1096, 1103 (9th Cir. 1999).

         The good cause standard also applies to documents attached to non-dispositive motions because those documents are often “‘unrelated, or only tangentially related, to the underlying cause of action.'” Phillips, 307 F.3d at 1213 (citation omitted). Documents attached to dispositive motions, by contrast, are governed by the compelling reasons standard. See Pintos, 605 F.3d at 678-79. This higher standard applies because the resolution of a dispute on the merits “is at the heart of the interest in ensuring the ‘public's understanding of the judicial process and of significant public events.'” Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179 (citation omitted).

         II. Amended Protective Order

         In addition to the legal standards governing motions to seal, the Court's Amended Protective Order (Protective Order) outlines the requisite procedure for sealing information designated as confidential by the opposing party. Specifically, the Protective Order provides, in relevant part:

If a Party wishes to use any CONFIDENTIAL or ATTORNEYS EYES ONLY information designated by another Party in any papers filed in this Action, such Party shall provide the designating Party reasonable notice of such intention and seek to obtain a stipulation to have CONFIDENTIAL or ATTORNEYS EYES ONLY information under seal. To the extent a stipulation cannot be reached, or should the Court deny a stipulated request to file a document or information under seal, the Party seeking to file the CONFIDENTIAL or ATTORNEYS EYES ONLY information must contact the designating Party, inquire into whether the designating Party intends to file its own motion to seal the CONFIDENTIAL or ATTORNEYS EYES ONLY information, give the designating Party the opportunity to file its own motion, and refrain from filing such documents or information on the public docket until the Court has ruled on the designating Party's motion.

(Doc. 158 at 6-7 ¶ 12.) Notably, the Protective Order appropriately aligns the burden of moving to seal with the party who initially designated the information as confidential.

         III. Plaintiffs' Motions to Seal

         Plaintiffs' motions to seal are denied for two reasons. First, Plaintiffs' motions do not comply with the Protective Order's procedure for sealing documents designated as confidential by the opposing party. Plaintiffs' motion to file their summary judgment memorandum, statement of facts, and exhibits under seal (Doc. 444) is based entirely on the fact that these items contain information designated confidential by Defendant. Likewise, Plaintiffs' remaining motions seek, in part, to seal filings that rely on material designated by Defendant. (See e.g., Doc. 462 (“The exhibits to the instant motion are materials that Defendant . . . designated as protected”); Docs. 470, 475 (“The motions contain materials that Defendant . . . designated as protected”).) For these ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.