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Brown v. City of Los Angeles

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 2, 2017

STEVE BROWN, individually, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES; OFFICER RODRIGUEZ, in his individual and official capacity; OFFICER MARTINEZ, in his individual and official capacity; and DOES 1 through 50, inclusive, Defendants.

          Honorable Christina A. Snyder Judge

          PROTECTIVE ORDER RE: DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

          HONORABLE SUZANNE H. SEGAL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff is seeking materials and information that Defendant City of Los Angeles (“City”) maintains as confidential, such as personnel files of the police officers involved in this incident, Force Investigation Division materials (i.e., Use of Force Report) and information, Internal Affairs materials and information, video recordings, and other administrative materials and information currently in the possession of the City and which the City believes need special protection from public disclosure and from use for any purpose other than prosecuting this litigation;

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff is also seeking official information contained in the personnel files of the police officers involved in the subject incident, which the City maintains as strictly confidential and which the City believes need special protection from public disclosure and from use for any purpose other than prosecuting this litigation;

         WHEREAS, the City asserts that the confidentiality of the materials and information sought by Plaintiff is recognized by California and federal law, as evidenced inter alia by California Penal Code section 832.7 and Kerr v. United States Dist. Ct. for N.D. Cal., 511 F.2d 192, 198 (9th Cir. 1975), aff'd, 426 U.S. 394 (1976);

         WHEREAS, the City has not publicly released the materials and information referenced above except under protective order or pursuant to court order, if at all;

         WHEREAS, the City contends that these materials and information are of the type that has been used to initiate disciplinary action against Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) officers, and has been used as evidence in disciplinary proceedings, where the officers' conduct was considered to be contrary to LAPD policy;

         WHEREAS, the City contends that absent a protective order delineating the responsibilities of nondisclosure on the part of the parties hereto, there is a specific risk of unnecessary and undue disclosure by one or more of the many attorneys, secretaries, law clerks, paralegals and expert witnesses involved in this case, as well as the corollary risk of embarrassment, harassment and professional and legal harm on the part of the LAPD officers referenced in the materials and information;

         WHEREAS, the City contends that unfettered disclosure of the materials and information, absent a protective order, would allow the media to share this information with potential jurors in the area, impacting the rights of the City herein to receive a fair trial.

         ORDER ON STIPULATION

         The Court, having found good cause, ORDERS as follows: Defendants (hereinafter “Disclosing Party(ies)”) may designate and redact as confidential any personnel files, videos, Force Investigation Division materials, Internal Affairs materials or any other materials or writing that they, in good faith, believe is protected from disclosure within the meaning of FRCivP 26(g), in that they believe the material contains confidential or private information. Such materials may be classified as subject to this protective order by marking and redacting each document or writing, or portions thereof, with a watermark that includes words such as “Confidential, ” “Confidential Documents, ” “Confidential Material, ” “Subject to Protective Order, ” or words of a similar effect, and that includes the case name and case number. Materials and writings so designated, and all privileged information derived therefrom [hereinafter collectively referred to as “Confidential Material”], shall be treated in accordance with the terms of this Stipulation. In making this designation, the Disclosing Parties are also representing that no portion of the materials is segregable and, therefore, subject to production without restriction as “Confidential.” 1. Confidential Material may be used by the persons receiving such information [hereinafter “Receiving Party(ies)”] only for the purpose of litigation of this case, and for such other purposes as permitted by law.

         3. This ORDER applies not only to the Confidential Material, but also to (1) any information copied or extracted from the Confidential Material; (2) all copies, excerpts, summaries or compilations of Confidential Material; and (3) any testimony, conversations, or presentations by Receiving Parties that might reveal Confidential Material.

         4. Subject to the further conditions imposed by this ORDER, the Confidential Material may only be disclosed to the Court and ...


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