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Gregory v. City of Vallejo

United States District Court, E.D. California

August 21, 2014

ERIKA GREGORY and LOREN MOLLNER, Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF VALLEJO, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

KIMBERLY J. MUELLER, District Judge.

This matter is before the court on plaintiffs' August 7, 2014 request to seal. ECF No. 35. On August 12, 2014, the court issued a minute order directing defendants to respond to the request no later than August 15, 2014. ECF No. 40. Defendants did not file a reply. The court considers the request unopposed but now DENIES it.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiffs seek to seal two exhibits in support of their opposition to defendants' July 25, 2014 motion for summary judgment. They also seek to redact portions of the following opposition papers to defendants' motion for summary judgment that reference these exhibits: (1) the memorandum of points and authorities, (2) response to defendants' separate statement of undisputed facts; and (3) separate statement of undisputed material facts. ECF No. 35. The exhibits concern twenty-eight pages of defendant Calhoun's personnel file that are related to an internal investigation and reasons for his termination. See ECF No. 28 at 2. Plaintiffs contend sealing is appropriate because the parties have entered into a protective order signed by the magistrate judge assigned to this action. ECF No. 35 at 1 (citing ECF Nos. 17, 28). Plaintiffs also argue in support of sealing based on a police officer's reasonable expectation of privacy of information contained in his personnel file and internal affairs materials under California Penal Code section 832.7, California Government Code section 6254 and California Evidence Code section 1043; and because public access to the documents would "remove the protections for officers to be candid in order to improve the department."

II. AMENDED PROTECTIVE ORDER

On June 19, 2014, the magistrate judge assigned to this action entered an amended stipulation and protective order designating the following records subject to the protective order:

a. Critical Incident Report-CI 2012-02
b. Internal Affairs Files Report as to Officer Calhoun in the last five years, related to excessive force, if any exists.
c. A selected portion of Officer Calhoun's personnel file related to the investigation and reasons for his termination.

ECF No. 28. These designated confidential materials may only be disclosed to specified individuals. Id. ¶ 2. Any individual to whom disclosure is made shall, inter alia, be provided with a copy of the amended protective order. Id. ¶ 3. Following the conclusion of the trial the confidential materials shall be delivered back to the City of Vallejo. Id. ¶ 4. With regard to sealing, the amended protective order provides:

In the event that either party wishes to file Confidential Material with the court, as an exhibit to a pleading or otherwise, the filing party shall first seek an order to file under seal pursuant to Local Rule 141. The Request to Seal Documents shall refer to this stipulation and protective order.

Id. ¶ 5.

III. LEGAL STANDARDS

As a threshold matter, the parties are reminded of this court's standing order regarding ...


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