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Brittni Cottle-Banks, An Individual, On v. Cox Communications

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


November 26, 2012

BRITTNI COTTLE-BANKS, AN INDIVIDUAL, ON BEHALF OF HERSELF AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COX COMMUNICATIONS, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION; DOES 1 THROUGH 100, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Gonzalo P. CURIELUnited States District Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO FILE DOCUMENTS UNDER SEAL [Dkt. Nos. 36, 41.]

This class action was transferred to the undersigned judge on October 12, 2012. Pursuant to a scheduling order filed by the prior judge*fn1 , on November 7, 2012, Plaintiff filed a motion for class certification and motion for spoilation sanctions. Concurrently, Plaintiff also filed a motion to seal the briefs and supporting documents in both motions. (Dkt. Nos. 36, 41.)

There is a presumptive right of public access to court records based upon the common law and the first amendment. See Nixon v. Warner Comm., Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978); Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. General Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1212-13 (9th Cir. 2002). Nonetheless, access may be denied to protect sensitive confidential information. Courts are more likely to protect information covered by Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but are not limited by items listed in protective orders. See KL Group v. Case, Kay, & Lynch, 829 F.2d 909, 917-19 (9th Cir. 1987) (letter to client from attorney); Kalinauskas v. Wong, 151 F.R.D. 363, 365-67 (D. Nev. 1993) (confidential settlement agreement).

Parties seeking a sealing order must provide a specific description of particular documents and affidavits showing good cause to protect those documents from disclosure. Documents filed under seal will be limited to only those documents, or portions thereof, necessary to protect such sensitive information.

Here, Plaintiff provides a one paragraph summary argument without a declaration or specific description of particular documents or information that need to be protected.*fn2 Accordingly, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's motion to file under seal her motion for class certification and motion for spoilation sanctions.*fn3

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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