IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
July 7, 2011
ANI CHOPOURIAN, PLAINTIFF,
CATHOLIC HEALTHCARE WEST, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
On June 30, 2011, the undersigned ordered that a review of certain documents "shall be videotaped, on mute and without audio," and ordered that "[t]he video recording shall be 'zoomed out' enough so as not to reveal the specific contents of the documents being reviewed." (Dkt. No. 58.)
On July 1, 2011, counsel for defendant Catholic Healthcare West (the
"defendant" or "CHW")*fn1 delivered a sealed box to
the court, without any pending motion or notice pertaining ////
thereto, which purportedly contained a video camera.*fn2
Later that same day, counsel for the defendant filed a Motion
for Protective Order explaining that the box contained a video camera,
describing the parties' discovery dispute relating thereto, and
setting the matter for hearing on August 4, 2011.*fn3
(Dkt. No. 59.)
On July 6, 2011, the parties filed a document entitled "Stipulation and Order Relating To Video Recording Of Document Review And Defendant's Motion For Protective Order Regarding The Video Recording" (the "Stipulation"). (Stipulation, Dkt. No. 60.) The Stipulation provides, in part, that the court will keep a particular compact disc (the "CD") "under seal until such time as this matter is fully concluded . . . ." (Stipulation ¶ 4.)*fn4
To date, there has been no formal request that the particular CD referenced in the stipulation be filed under seal in accordance with Local Rule 141.*fn5 Paragraph 4 of the Stipulation would allow the parties to sidestep the requisite procedures for filing and maintaining documents under seal. The parties are reminded that the Local Rules, specifically Local Rule 141, govern requests to file documents under seal. A stipulation between litigants does not automatically render the court a custodian of documents or CDs connected with the litigants' discovery disputes. A stipulation between litigants that certain documents should be kept "under seal" does not automatically render those documents filed under seal. The undersigned is not inclined to approve a stipulation that imposes special requirements on the undersigned and/or the Clerk of Court insofar as the maintenance of the parties' documents is concerned.
For the foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the parties' Stipulation is not approved, but without prejudice to the refiling of a sufficient stipulation (or, if necessary, a proposed stipulated protective order)*fn6 if the parties are unable to reach a private agreement regarding the ongoing storage of both the video camera and CD at issue.
IT IS SO ORDERED.