United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER DENYING RESPONDENT'S MOTIONS TO SEAL
DOCUMENTS, WITHOUT PREJUDICE [Re: ECF 37, 38]
LAB SON FREEMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Respondent Adil Hiramanek
(“Respondent”)'s motions to file under seal
various documents in this case. Respondent has filed two
motions: (1) “Respondent's Rule 5.2, Civil L.R.
7-11, 79-5, Administrative Motion to Seal Documents, ”
ECF 37, and (2) “Ex Parte Emergency, Expedited &
Supplemental Administrative Motion To Seal Certain Documents
With An Order That Petitioner Shall File Respondent &
Third Parties Private Information Under Seal, ” ECF 38.
For the reasons discussed below, the Court DENIES
Respondent's motions without prejudice.
is a “strong presumption in favor of access” to
judicial records. Kamakana v. City & Cnty. of
Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting
Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d
1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 2003)). A party seeking to seal judicial
records bears the burden of overcoming this presumption by
articulating “compelling reasons supported by specific
factual findings that outweigh the general history of access
and the public policies favoring disclosure.”
Id. at 1178-79. Compelling reasons for sealing court
files generally exist when such “‘court files
might have become a vehicle for improper purposes, ' such
as the use of records to gratify private spite, promote
public scandal, circulate libelous statements, or release
trade secrets.” Id. (quoting Nixon v.
Warner Commc'ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 598 (1978)).
However, “[t]he mere fact that the production of
records may lead to a litigant's embarrassment,
incrimination, or exposure to further litigation will not,
without more, compel the court to seal its records.”
Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179. Ultimately,
“[w]hat constitutes a ‘compelling reason' is
‘best left to the sound discretion of the trial
court.'” Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrslyer Grp.,
LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1097 (9th Cir. 2016).
this strong preference for public access, [the Ninth Circuit
has] carved out an exception, ” id. at 1097,
for judicial records attached to motions that are
“tangentially related to the merits of a case, ”
id. at 1101. Parties moving to seal such records
need only make a “particularized showing” under
the “good cause” standard of Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 26(c). Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1180
(quoting Foltz, 331 F.3d at 1138).
District, parties seeking to seal judicial records must
furthermore follow Civil Local Rule 79-5, which requires,
inter alia, that a sealing request be
“narrowly tailored to seek sealing
only of sealable material.” Civil L.R. 79-5(b)
Court has reviewed Respondent's sealing motions and
declarations in support thereof. Respondent requests that the
Court seal this entire case and its related case United
States v. Hiramanek, 5:17-cv-03392 (N.D. Cal. filed June
12, 2017). ECF 37. Respondent does not argue or establish
compelling reasons for the Court to seal these cases
entirely. In the alternative, Respondent requests that the
Court seal documents listed “under ¶2” of
his administrative motion to seal documents. Id. The
documents Respondent seeks to seal include the underlying
petition (ECF 1), “Respondent's Preliminary Quick
Notice & Request for Time To Respond, ” (ECF 3),
certificates of service (ECF 15, ECF 16), the order to show
cause (ECF 23), and Respondent's motion to dismiss,
inclusive of all declarations and exhibits (ECF 31). ECF 37.
These documents are related to the merits of the case, and
must be resolved under the compelling reasons standard.
Ctr. for Auto Safety, 809 F.3d at 1101-2 (holding
that “public access will turn on whether the motion is
more than tangentially related to the merits of a
requests are not narrowly tailored to sealable material.
Although Respondent lists the “kind of information
contained in the questioned document(s)” and summarizes
the documents into “high level
categories” that may constitute compelling reasons to
seal, he does not tailor his requests to sealable information
but rather requests the Court to seal all information,
including legal arguments, contained in the identified
documents. ECF 37. Respondent's request is overbroad and
does not satisfy the compelling reasons standard or comply
with Civil Local Rule 79-5(b). Respondent's sealing
motions are DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. No later than 7 days
from the filing of this order, Respondent may renew his
motion so as to more narrowly tailor his request to seal. If
Respondent does not renew his motion, he must file the
unredacted documents into the public record. Alternatively,
Respondent may withdraw the documents he filed in this case.
there is no authority for Respondent's request that the
Court seal “Petitioner's future filings that
contain any private information of the kind listed under
section ¶1.” ECF 38. Such a request is premature.
If Petitioner files sealable information in this ...