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Rebecca Mazalin v. Safeway

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


August 29, 2011

REBECCA MAZALIN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SAFEWAY, INC., A CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.

ORDER

This matter is before the court upon plaintiff's request to seal documents. (ECF 43.) For the following reasons, plaintiff's request is DENIED and paragraph 5 of the court's protective order (ECF 11) is STRICKEN.

Local Rule 141(b) provides that the notice of request to seal documents must "describe generally the documents sought to be sealed." Local Rule 141.1(c) instructs parties to include the following in proposed protective orders: "(1) A description of the types of information eligible for protection under the order, with the description provided in general terms sufficient to reveal the nature of the information []; (2) A showing of particularized need for protection as to each category of information proposed to be covered by the order; and (3) A showing as to why the need for protection should be addressed by a court order . . . ." Local Rule 141(f) provides that the court may sua sponte "upon a finding of good cause or consistent with applicable law, order documents unsealed."

Paragraph 5 of the protective order stipulated to by the parties and previously adopted by the court*fn1 goes beyond the provisions of Local Rules 141 and 141.1. This paragraph essentially calls for a document that a party deems is "confidential" to be sealed, without acknowledging the need for the parties to provide concrete reasons or show good cause to the court to justify sealing. This provision is insufficient to overcome the presumption in favor of public access. See Phillips v. GMC, 307 F.3d 1206, 1210 (9th Cir. 2002) ("Generally, the public can gain access to litigation documents and information produced during discovery unless the party opposing disclosure shows 'good cause' why a protective order is necessary.").

Moreover, the court does not find good cause for granting plaintiff's present request to seal. (ECF 43.) The only information in this document, a termination list, that might be used to identify someone appears to be birth dates. Plaintiff may move to have these redacted if appropriate in accordance with Local Rule 140.

Accordingly, plaintiff's request to seal is DENIED and paragraph 5 of the protective order is STRICKEN. The termination list will not be considered by the court in connection with the pending motion for summary judgment unless and until it is properly filed in compliance with the Local Rules and paragraph 7 of the protective order.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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