UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
October 16, 2012
PHIL'S BBQ OF POINT LOMA, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION; PHILLIP C. PACE AND JEFFREY A. LOYA, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Larry Alan Burns United States District Judge
ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE MOTION TO FILE DECLARATION UNDER SEAL
Defendants Pace and Loya have moved ex parte for an order permitting the declaration of John Cheng (offered in support of their opposition to Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment), and the motion is unopposed. The motion does not brief the standard for sealing of documents submitted in connection with dispositive motions, and the parties' consent to have it sealed is insufficient. See Kamakana v. City and Cnty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006).
The Court notes that the declaration contains confidential financial information that is subject to a protective order. But the mere fact that a protective order is in place does not mean that the standard for filing documents under seal is met. See Pintos v. Pacific Creditors Ass'n, 605 F.3d 665, 678--79 (9th Cir. 2010) (discussing "compelling reasons" standard that applied to motion to seal documents in support of motion for summary judgment, and contrasting this standard with standard for protective order). Before sealing, the Court "must weigh relevant factors, base its decision on a compelling reason, and articulate the factual basis for its ruling, without relying on hypothesis or conjecture." Id. at 679 (quoting Hagestad v. Tragesser, 49 F.3d 1430, 1434 (9th Cir. 1995)) (quotation marks omitted).
Because Pace's and Loya's application does not explain in any detail the reason why sealing is needed, the Court cannot undertake the required analysis. The application is therefore DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. No later than noon on Friday, October 19, 2012, Pace and Loya may renew their application, which must be filed in the docket. The Court will retain the lodged materials, however, and they need not refile those.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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