UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
October 24, 2011
MATTHEW CATE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO SEAL, WITH PREJUDICE (Doc. 3)
Plaintiff, Bilal Ahdom (Plaintiff) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se in this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on October 17, 2011. With his complaint, Plaintiff filed a motion requesting that the complaint and all documents associated with the action be filed under seal. (Doc. 3).
In his complaint, Plaintiff states that correctional officer Torres informed Plaintiff that correctional officer Longoria made a threat to dump Plaintiff out of his wheelchair. (Doc. 1 at 6). Plaintiff vaguely states in his complaint that there are "PC gangs" that infiltrate the Special Needs Yard and that he has been extorted. (Doc. 1 at 6-7). Plaintiff states that although he has requested a heightened protective custody status ("PC status") he only has the protective status of "Special Needs" which is inadequate protection against the "PC gangs." (Doc. 1 at 6-7). In his request for sealing the complaint and all documents in the case, Plaintiff vaguely asserts that he will be killed if the general population or officials knew about the nature of his complaint. (Doc. 3). Additionally, in Plaintiff's motion to seal, Plaintiff requests the court to provide him with copies of his complaint, motions and exhibits due to the sensitive subject matter of the complaint. (Doc. 3).
Filings in cases such as this are a matter of public record absent compelling justification. United States v. Stoterau, 524 F.3d 988, 1012 (9th Cir. 2008). While the complaint in this action concerned safety issues, Plaintiff's allegations were general and non-specific, and no gangs or individual inmates were identified by name. (Doc. 1). Moreover, as evidenced from the director's level decision and other grievance documents attached to Plaintiff's complaint, the substance of Plaintiff's concern regarding the prison gangs in general was brought to the attention of prison officials through the grievance procedure. (Doc. 1 at 13-20).
As there are no grounds supporting the sealing of the record in this case, Plaintiff 's motion to seal is HEREBY DENIED, with prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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