United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DENYING, WITHOUT PREJUDICE, DEFENDANT’S
RENEWED MOTION FOR REMOTE APPEARANCE UNDER RULE 43 ORDER
DENYING, WITHOUT PREJUDICE, REQUEST TO SEAL UNDER LOCAL RULE
141 (ECF Nos. 17, 22)
MICHAEL J. SENG, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
February 17, 2017, renewed request to appear remotely at
trial under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 43(b)(2) is
before the Court as well as a request to seal documents
presented by Defendant in support of his rule 43 request.
12, 2016, Defendant was given a citation for speeding under
36 C.F.R. § 4.21. On August 8, 2016, he filed a request
to appear remotely at all court proceedings relating to the
citation and his defense of it. On September 13, 2016, the
Court denied the request without prejudice on the ground that
it provided no justification for the request. (ECF Nos. 3-4.)
On September 15, 2016, Defendant filed an amended request
which on September 30, 2016, the court granted insofar as to
allow Defendant to appear remotely at his initial appearance
and other pretrial proceedings. (ECF No. 7.)
February 17, 2017, Defendant filed a third request for remote
appearance at trial. The government filed an opposition and
Defendant a reply. In support of his motion, Plaintiff filed
a notice of request to seal documents under local Rule 141.
(ECF No. 22.) On February 24 and 27, 2017, Plaintiff provided
heavily redacted copies of documents to the Court’s
chambers in support of his Rule 43 request.
Request to Seal
the Court redacted copies of the documents he requested be
sealed is contrary to Court rules. Under Local Rule 141,
parties are required to provide the Court clean copies of the
documents covered by the sealing request. Local Rule 141(b).
In this case, Defendant has only provided redacted copies of
the documents in question. Without complete copies of the
documents, the Court is unable to determine whether they
should be sealed (and, further, whether they support the
request they were tendered to justify, i.e., whether there
may be good cause to allow Defendant to appear remotely at
proposes to provide documents indicating that he and a
witness suffer medical conditions that would make travel to
Court to attend trial a hardship. The Court appreciates that
medical records can be sensitive and deserving of protection
and will not make any medical records provided by Defendant
in support of his request to appear remotely available to the
Government or the public without further order of the Court.
has not provided the Court clean, un-redacted copies of the
documents or any documents which are in any way enlightening
as to the ability or inability of Defendant or his witness to
appear remotely. Local Rule 141 requires parties to submit
copies of the documents to be sealed via e-mail to the
Judge’s proposed orders box. This Court requires
un-redacted copies so that it can determine if there may be
good cause to seal the documents.
Defendant is hereby ordered to provide the Court, by way of
private e-mail, un-redacted copies of the relevant medical
records. Upon receipt of un-redacted copies of documents, the
Court will rule on the request to seal them and undertake to
rule on the underlying motion for remote appearance under
Findings and Conclusion
requests for remote appearance at trial under Rule 43 and to
seal documents are denied without prejudice.
seven (7) days of the date of issuance of this order,
Defendant shall file a renewed request to seal documents and
provide the Court, via e-mail to the Judge’s proposed
orders box, un-redacted copies of all medical documents he