The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Seng United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER GRANTING RESPONDENT'S REQUEST TO FILE LODGED DOCUMENTS UNDER SEAL
Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner is represented by counsel Seth N. O'Dell, Esq. Respondent is represented in this action by Brook A. Bennigson, Esq. of the Office of the Attorney General for the State of California.
Petitioner filed the instant federal petition for writ of habeas corpus on August 28, 2009. (Pet., ECF No. 1.) On July 9, 2010, Respondent filed an answer to the petition. (Answer, ECF No. 17.) On the same date, Respondent lodged documents in support of his answer as required by Rule 5(c)-(d) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings. (Notice of Filing Lodged Docs., ECF No. 18.) Respondent also filed a request to file Lodged Documents 15 and 18 under seal. (Req., ECF No. 19.) Petitioner did not file an opposition to the request.
Local Rule 141 allows the Court to seal documents only upon written order of the Court, upon the showing required by applicable law. See also Fed. R. Civ. P. 5.2, 26(c).
Upon reviewing the request, the Court will file in the publicly available case file an order granting or denying the Request. However, the order shall identify the document for which sealing has been granted or denied by page number without revealing its contents. Local Rule 141(d).
Generally, the content of sealed documents are of a nature that require the Court to maintain the confidentiality of the document. With regard to Lodged Document 15, Respondent has provided the Court with a March 27, 2007 order of the California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District holding that the information contained in Lodged Document 15 shall be treated as confidential and sealed. This Court shall respect the ruling of the California Court of Appeal, and seal the documents for the reasons set forth by the Court of Appeal.
Additionally, with regard to Lodged Document 18, the State of California has deemed the information contained in the document as confidential and limited access to the document to a limited number of individuals. See Cal. Penal Code § 1203.05; People v. Connor, 115 Cal. App. 4th 669 (2004). "[T]he [California] Legislature intended to restrict access to private information... and thereby restore a measure of the privacy lost during the initial period of public access. However, this material also indicates that the Legislature rejected a total restriction on access... and opted instead to simply limit the period of open access." Connor, 115 Cal. App. 4th at 684. This Court shall respect the privacy interests of Petitioner created by California state law.
Based on the showing of good cause, Respondent's request to file Lodged Documents 15 and 18 under seal is GRANTED.
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