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RPA International Pty Ltd. v. Compact International

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 18, 2009

RPA INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
COMPACT INTERNATIONAL, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge

ORDER

On February 10, 2009, Plaintiffs filed the Amended Ex Parte Motion for Permission to File Documents under Seal ("Ex Parte Motion") (Doc. # 120). The Ex Parte Motion requests permission to "file documents under seal" pursuant to "the January 31, 2007 Protective Order, the Local Rules, and this court's request." Ex Parte Motion, p. 1. In support of the Ex Parte Motion, Plaintiffs submitted the declaration of Amanda L. Lowerre, who attests:

The Motion for Summary Judgment and its supporting documents contain information and exhibits that have been designated by the parties as "confidential" or "highly confidential - for counsel only" pursuant to the Protective Order entered by the Court in this action on January 31, 2007. In accordance with the terms of the Protective Order, [Plaintiff] seeks an order from the Court permitting the filing of its Motion for Summary Judgment, Supporting Declarations and Exhibits under seal.

Lowerre Decl., ¶ 2.

Courts in the Ninth Circuit apply "a strong presumption in favor of access to court records." Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 2003). This presumption "is not rebutted where . . . documents subject to a protective order are filed under seal as attachments to a dispositive motion." Id. at 1136. A party seeking to seal documents that are part of a dispositive motion must identify a "compelling reason to justify sealing the documents." Id. at 1138; see also Kamakana v. City & County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1180 (9th Cir. 2006) ("Those who seek to maintain the secrecy of documents attached to dispositive motions must meet the high threshold of showing that compelling reasons support secrecy.").

Plaintiffs request permission to seal the Motion for Summary Judgment and supporting documents. However, Plaintiffs have failed to satisfy the "high threshold" of showing that "compelling reasons" justify sealing the Motion for Summary Judgment and supporting documents. Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1180.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Ex Parte Motion for Permission to File Documents under Seal (Doc. # 120) is DENIED. The Clerk of the Court shall return the documents submitted with this Ex Parte Motion to the Plaintiff.

WILLIAM Q. HAYES United States District Judge

20090218

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