United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER RE: ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO FILE UNDER SEAL
Re: Dkt. No. 48
MARIA-ELENA JAMES United States Magistrate Judge
11, 2017, the Court denied Plaintiff Ryan McBain's Motion
to File under Seal portions of his Motion for
Court-Authorized Notice (“Notice Motion”) and
exhibits 1 through 7 to the McBain Declaration in support of
the Notice Motion. Order, Dkt. No. 58; see Mot. to
Seal, Dkt. No. 48. Counsel for Defendants Behr Paint
Corporation and Behr Process Corporation (together,
“Defendants”) argued the exhibits should be
sealed in their entirety because they contained
“sensitive proprietary and confidential information
relating to Defendants' sales and marketing strategy,
tactics, and methods.” First DeLaney Decl. ¶ 12,
Dkt. No. 55-1.
Court found Defendants had not met their burden of
demonstrating the information was sealable. Order at 4-5.
Notably, Defendants' request to seal was inconsistent:
while Defendants sought to seal information in the exhibits,
they did not request to seal portions of the publicly-filed
McBain Declaration which discussed and even quoted the same
information. See Id. at 4 (citing McBain Decl.
¶¶ 12(c), 28, 30, Dkt. No. 48-5 (redacted
version)). In denying the Motion, the Court permitted
Defendants to file a supplemental declaration by July 19,
2017 “requesting narrowly-tailored redactions and
setting forth specific reasons for sealing.”
Id. at 4-5.
20, 2017, Defendants filed the Declaration of Damien DeLaney.
See Second DeLaney Decl., Dkt. No. 61. DeLaney
declares Exhibits 1 and 3-7 and portions of the Notice Motion
“contain sensitive proprietary and confidential
information relating to Defendants' sales and marketing
strategy, plans, and methods. It would severely and
irreparably damage Defendants' business if this
information became public and accessible to Defendants'
competitors.” Id. ¶ 11. The Court
considers each exhibit and relevant portion of the McBain
Court applies the good cause standard to the Notice Motion,
as it is only “tangentially related to the underlying
cause of action.” Center for Auto Safety v.
Chrysler Grp., LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1099 (9th Cir.),
cert. denied sub nom. FCA U.S. LLC v. Ctr. for Auto
Safety, 137 S.Ct. 38 (2016). Determining whether or not
to provide notice to a putative collective under the Fair
Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, is not
“directly related to the merits of the case[.]”
Center for Auto Safety, 809 F.3d at 1099.
initial matter, Defendants do not request to seal Exhibit 2.
See Second DeLaney Decl. Accordingly, the Court
DENIES the Motion as to Exhibit 2.
the remaining exhibits, the Court finds Defendants have not
set forth specific reasons for sealing. DeLaney's broad
assertion that Defendants' business will be harmed if
this information is publicly disclosed is
“unsubstantiated by specific examples or articulated
reasoning, [and] do[es] not satisfy the Rule 26(c)
test.” Beckman Indus., Inc. v. Int'l Ins.
Co., 966 F.2d 470, 476 (9th Cir. 1992); see
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c). DeLaney does not, for instance,
explain how Defendants would be harmed if information about
its sales and marketing practices were made public. This
falls short of the requisite “particularized
showing” that “specific prejudice or harm will
result” if the information is disclosed. Kamakana
v. City & Cty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1180 (9th
such, the Court DENIES the Motion to Seal. Plaintiff shall
file the Notice Motion and the exhibits to the McBain
Declaration in the public docket within seven days of this
Order. See Civ. L.R. 79-5(f)(3).
IS SO ORDERED.
 Moreover, the Court notes
inconsistencies in Defendants' request. Exhibit 3
consists of “a confidential and proprietary internal
job description” which “contains specific
information about the job functions, necessary skills, and
necessary experience for the sales representative position as
[it] relates to Behr Paint's sales and marketing
strategies, plans, and methods.” Second DeLaney Decl.
¶ 6. The Court previously noted that “[p]aragraph
28 of the McBain Declaration discusses and even quotes
information contained in Exhibit 3” but that
“Defendants d[id] not request paragraph 28 be
sealed.” Order at 4. DeLaney's assertion that the
entirety of Exhibit 3 “contains sensitive competitive
information” is therefore undermined by the fact that
Defendants do not request to seal paragraph 28 of the McBain
Declaration. See ...