United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION
TO SEAL RE. DKT. NO. 45
HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge
Experian Information Solutions, Inc. ("Experian")
has filed an administrative motion to seal several exhibits
attached to the Declaration of Douglas L. Clark (Dkt. No. 48)
filed in connection with its motion for partial summary
judgment (Dkt. No. 46). Dkt. No. 45. Experian contends that
these exhibits contain private financial and personal
information regarding Plaintiff James Banneck and a mortgage
application he filed that is at issue in its partial summary
judgment motion. Dkt. No. 45 at 3-4. Experian also contends
that these exhibits should be sealed because they contain
proprietary and confidential information about non-party
Fannie Mae's and its own business practices. Id.
Civil Local Rules 79-5(d) and 7-11, a party may seek leave to
file documents under seal by filing an administrative motion,
a declaration establishing that the documents are sealable,
and redacted and unredacted versions of the documents. When a
movant seeks to file documents under seal in connection with
a dispositive motion, a strong presumption in favor of public
access applies, and the movant must state "compelling
reasons supported by specific factual findings that outweigh
the general history of access and the public policies
favoring disclosure[.]" Kamakana v. City and Cnty.
of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178-79 (9th Cir. 2006)
(quotations marks and citations omitted). But when a movant
seeks to file documents under seal in connection with a
motion that is only "tangentially related to the merits
of a case, " Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp.,
LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1101 (9th Cir. 2016), "the
usual presumption of the public's right of access is
rebutted, " Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179.
"The application of a strong presumption of access to
sealed records, not directly relevant to the merits of the
case, would eviscerate the broad power of the district court
to fashion protective orders." Id. at 1180
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted). For that
reason, "a particularized showing . . . under the good
cause standard of Rule 26(c) will suffice to warrant
preserving the secrecy of sealed discovery material attached
to non-dispositive motions." Id. (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted; brackets original).
"Broad allegations of harm, unsubstantiated by specific
examples of articulated reasoning" will not suffice.
Beckman Indus., Inc. v. Int'l Ins. Co., 966 F.2d
470, 476 (9th Cir. 1992).
under Civil Local Rules 79-5(e) and 7-11, a party seeking to
file a document designated as confidential by another party
under a protective order must file an administrative motion
and declaration identifying the document or portions thereof
which contain the designated, confidential material. The
submitting party must serve the declaration on the
designating party on the same day it is filed and file proof
of such service. Civ. L.R. 79-5(e). Within four days of
filing the sealing motion, the designating party must file a
declaration compliant with Local Rule 79-5(d)(1)(A)
establishing that all of the designated material is sealable
under Local Rule 79-5(b). Civ. L.R. 79-5(e)(1). If the
designating party does not file a responsive declaration as
required and the sealing motion is accordingly denied, the
submitting party may file the document in the public record
no earlier than 4 days, and no later than 10 days, after the
motion is denied. Civ. L.R. 79-5(e)(2). Courts may delay
public docketing upon a showing of good cause. Id.
courts in this district find that documents contain sealable
information, a motion to seal must still be "narrowly
tailored" such that only sealable information is
redacted from public access. Civ. L.R. 79-5(b). The failure
to narrowly tailor a proposed sealing order will result in a
denial of the sealing motion, subject to renewal and revision
only at the Court's discretion.
requests to seal documents that it contends are sealable, as
well as documents that a third party has designated as
confidential under a protective order. The documents that
Experian contends are sealable include: (1) Banneck's
complete credit report; (2) Banneck's debts and personal
identifying information; and (3) Fannie Mae's automated
analysis of Banneck's mortgage application, which
includes Banneck's home address, income, credit scores,
and debts. Dkt. Nos. 45 at 4 & 45-1, Exs. A-C. Experian is
correct that confidential, personal financial information is
sealable. See Transperfect Global, Inc. v. MotionPoint
Corp., No. C 10-2590, 2014 WL 4950082, at *1 (N.D. Cal.
Sept. 25, 2014). Mortgage documents containing sensitive
personal information are also sealable. See Lane v. Wells
Fargo Bank, N.A., No. C 12-04026, 2013 WL 2627487, at *1
(N.D. Cal. Jun. 11, 2013). Accordingly, the Court grants the
motion to seal on those bases.
foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS Experian's
administrative motion to seal. The documents filed under seal
will remain under seal. See Civ. L.R. 79-5(f)(1).
 Because the documents are sealable on
these bases, the Court need not reach the alternative
argument that the documents contain confidential information
of Fannie Mae or Experian, and no party has satisfied the
requirements of ...