IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
June 28, 2012
MARK A. GRANT, PLAINTIFF,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ET AL., DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
Presently before the court is defendants' ex parte application proposing a method, aside from seeking a sealing order, for referring to one or two of plaintiff's medical conditions that are implicated by plaintiff's privacy-related claims (Dkt. No. 78).*fn1 Plaintiff has designated those medical conditions as confidential pursuant to the parties' stipulated protective order, and defendants are in the process of preparing a motion for summary judgment that will touch on those conditions. (Ex Parte Appl. at 1; Himel Decl. ¶ 2.) Defendants have adequately shown their need to seek relief on an ex parte basis, as plaintiff has not responded to defendants' efforts to seek a stipulation regarding the preservation of the confidential information. (Himel Decl. ¶¶ 3-6.)*fn2
As reflected below, defendants propose that plaintiff's medical conditions at issue be referred to in publicly filed documents by the symbols "#1#" and "#2#," but that courtesy copies of filings that refer to the conditions and are submitted to the undersigned's chambers need not be redacted. The undersigned finds that defendants' proposed reference system adequately protects plaintiff, but defendants are advised to take great care in referring to, or describing, the medical conditions in any briefing or at any hearing.
The undersigned notes that defendants intend to notice their motion for summary judgment for an August 2, 2012 hearing (Ex Parte Appl. at 1), which is likely because the law and motion cutoff date in this case is August 9, 2012 (Status (Pretrial Sched.) Order at 3, Dkt. No. 61). Given that the court's August 2, 2012 calendar is already impacted, and in order to provide defendants (and plaintiff, if necessary) time to revise their forthcoming motion in light of this order, the court modifies the scheduling order on its own motion for good cause and extends the law and motion "completion" date to September 6, 2012. All other dates in the scheduling order shall remain the same.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Defendants' ex parte application (Dkt. No. 78) is granted.
2. Plaintiff's medical condition giving rise to this action may be referred to by number. References to that condition in the moving, opposition, and reply papers filed with the Clerk on the public record, including exhibits attached to those papers, shall be replaced by the symbol #1# or redacted; and redactions may be labeled with the number 1 or the symbol #1#.
3. Plaintiff's medical condition giving rise to his military discharge may be referred to by number. References to that condition in the moving, opposition, and reply papers filed with the Clerk on the public record, including exhibits attached to those papers, shall be replaced with the symbol #2# or redacted; and redactions may be labeled with the number 2 or the symbol #2#.
4. Materials submitted to chambers, such as courtesy copies required by Local Rule 130(b), need not be redacted. The undersigned and his staff will treat such materials with the appropriate level of care.
5. Either party, or both parties, may communicate the identity of the medical condition corresponding to the number 1 or 2, or both, to the court for chambers use, not on the Clerk's public record, but with notice to the other party of the substance of the communication.
6. The Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order is modified such that the law and motion completion deadline is continued to September 6, 2012. All other dates in the Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order shall remain the same.
IT IS SO ORDERED.