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Tracey Cooper-Harris and Maggie Cooper-Harris v. United States of America

October 24, 2012

TRACEY COOPER-HARRIS AND MAGGIE COOPER-HARRIS, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS ATTORNEY GENERAL; AND
HON. CONSUELO B. MARSHALLERIC K. SHINSEKI, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, DEFENDANTS. BIPARTISAN LEGAL ADVISORY GROUP OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES INTERVENOR-DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Consuelo B. Marshall United States District Judge

NOTE: CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE TO THIS DOCUMENT NOTE: CHANGES MADE BY THE COURT

[PROPOSED] PROTECTIVE ) ORDER

NOTE: CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE TO THIS DOCUMENT NOTE: CHANGES MADE BY THE COURT

The Court, having reviewed the Joint Stipulation Re Protective Order ("Stipulation"), entered into on October 17, 2012 between Tracey Cooper-Harris and Maggie Cooper-Harris ("Plaintiffs"); and The United States of America; Eric H. Holder, Jr., in his official capacity as Attorney General; and Eric K. Shinseki, in his official capacity as Secretary of Veterans Affairs ("Defendants"); and the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives ("Intervenor-Defendant") (collectively, the "parties"), and for good cause shown, and to facilitate discovery and particularly to facilitate the exchange during discovery of documents, things, information, testimony, and other evidence, hereby rules as follows:

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: WHEREAS, this is an action that asserts violations of equal protection secured by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution;

WHEREAS, discovery in this action may require the disclosure by the parties of nonpublic and sensitive personal information;

WHEREAS, Intervenor-Defendant seeks to discover information and records from Defendant the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that are protected from disclosure by the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a and 38 U.S.C. § 5701; and

WHEREAS, in order to allow the discovery of confidential personal information by the parties and to permit Intervenor-Defendant to discover such protected information without making this information public, the Court hereby enters this Protective Order, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(11), 38 U.S.C. § 5701(b)(2) and Rules 5.2 and 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for the purpose of assuring the confidentiality of such information.

1. This Protective Order shall govern the production and use in the above-captioned action of "Protected Materials," produced or provided by any party in response to a discovery request or as a required disclosure.

2. As used in this Order, the term "Protected Materials" means records, documents, and/or information, including computerized or electronic information, that are protected from disclosure under any applicable law or regulation, including the Privacy Act and 38 U.S.C. § 5701, or the disclosure of which might otherwise intrude upon the privacy interests of individuals to whom such records, documents, and/or information pertain. Such Protected Materials may include, but are not limited to, documents, records, tangible things, deposition testimony and exhibits, responses to interrogatories, responses to requests for admission, responses to requests for production of documents or inspection, and summaries or descriptions of such documents and information. Any Protected Materials shall be marked according to the terms of Paragraph 7 or designated according to the terms of Paragraph 8 in order to qualify as Protected Materials.

3. As used in this Order, the term "record" as it relates to Privacy Act and 38 U.S.C. § 5701 protected materials shall have the same meaning as set forth in the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a(a)(4).

4. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(11), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs is hereby authorized to release Protected Materials consistent with the terms of this Order. Plaintiffs' attorneys represent that they are authorized by Plaintiffs to receive such records related to the Plaintiffs.

5. To the extent that Protected Materials contain Plaintiffs' social security numbers, the producing party shall redact such information.

6. To the extent that Protected Materials contain information that pertains to anyone other than Plaintiffs, the producing party shall redact those individuals' names, social security numbers, ...


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