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Trulove v. D'Amico

United States District Court, N.D. California

February 23, 2018

Jamal Rashid Trulove, Plaintiff,
v.
Maureen D'Amico, ET AL. Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART ADMINISTRATIVE MOTIONS TO SEAL; GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION TO SEAL AT TRIAL DKT. NOS. 170, 175, 176, 177, 198, 207, 211, 264, 265, 266, 267, 277, 294, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 314, 320, 322, 324, 325, 339, 340, 361, 364, 365, 370, 371, 377

          YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court in this matter are the motion of plaintiff to seal limited portions of witness testimony at trial (Dkt. No. 277) and the administrative motions to file under seal (hereinafter “AMFUS”) documents filed in connection with the parties' motions to strike expert declarations, briefing and evidentiary submissions in support of and in opposition to defendants' motion for summary judgment, and pre-trial filings (Dkt. Nos. 170, 175, 176, 177, 198, 207, 211, 264, 265, 266, 267, 294, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 314, 320, 322, 324, 325, 339, 340, 361, 364, 365, 370, 371, 377).

         A motion to seal documents that are part of the judicial record is governed by the “compelling reasons” standard. Pintos v. Pacific Creditors Ass'n, 605 F.3d 665, 678 (9th Cir. 2010). A “party seeking to seal judicial records must show that ‘compelling reasons supported by specific factual findings ... outweigh the general history of access and the public policies favoring disclosure.'” Id. (quoting Kamakana v. City and County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178-79 (9th Cir. 2006)). The trial court must weigh relevant factors including the “public interest in understanding the judicial process and whether disclosure of the material could result in improper use of the material for scandalous or libelous purposes or infringement upon trade secrets.” Id. at 679 n. 6 (quoting Hagestad v. Tragesser, 49 F.3d 1430, 1434 (9th Cir.1995)). Given the importance of the competing interests at stake, any sealing order must be narrowly tailored. Civ. L.R. 79-5 (a).

         With respect to the motion to seal witness testimony at trial, the motion itself is Granted In Part and Denied In Part. The real name of the person identified in this Court's Order of December 12, 2016 (Dkt. No. 101) shall be sealed and hereinafter referred to as “John Doe.” John Doe, if called to testify, shall be sworn by his true name during a sealed session and outside the presence of the jury. Thereafter the parties shall refer to him as John Doe since his actual identity is not relevant to this case. Second, the Court shall inquire of the jury pool orally at voir dire whether any of them know them this witness by his real name. The remainder of the requests in the motion to seal witness testimony at trial are Denied. The public interest in an open judicial process requires that the Court narrowly limit matters that are sealed. The Court does not find closing or altering the courtroom proceedings beyond these steps to be warranted. The requests to seal the motion, opposition, and reply to the motion are Granted as to the entirety of the documents under the lower “good cause” standard applicable to non-dispositive matters. (Dkt. Nos. 277, 294, 340.)

         As to the administrative motions to file under seal (“AMFUS”), having carefully reviewed the submissions and finding compelling reasons for their sealing, the Court Orders that they are Granted In Part, as stated below, for the specified categories of information, and for the filings associated with these motions and pre-trial submissions only, unless otherwise stated:

         1. the Court will permit redaction of the real name of John Doe and any photographs of John Doe. However, sealing is not granted as to any nicknames or more general discussion of John Doe.

         2. sealing is granted as to any crime scene or autopsy photographs covered by California Code of Civil Procedure section 129.;

         3. sealing is granted as to any juvenile criminal records, for all purposes, absent further order of the Court;

         4. sealing is granted as to the medical history of witness Latisha Meadows as stated in her deposition; and

         5. sealing is granted as to the medical history and records of plaintiff stated in the expert reports of Drs. Berg and Kriegler, submitted in connection with plaintiff's motion to exclude Dr. Berg's testimony.

         The motions are otherwise Denied for failure to establish compelling reasons to seal the information. The matters in these filings go to the heart of the merits of the case. They will not be shielded from public scrutiny. The Court sets forth in detail the rulings on the pending motions below:

         Defendants' AMFUS Dkt. No. 170 Defendants' Daubert Motions

Document or Portion of Document South to be Sealed

Evidence Offered in Support of Sealing

Order

Page 221 of Plaintiff's Expert James Trainum's Deposition

12/12/16 Order, DE 101

Denied, p. 221 is not included in excerpt submitted

Portions of Plaintiff's Expert James Trainum's Expert Report: Page 3, paragraph 10; 15, paragraph 67; page 19, paragraph 83; page 22, paragraph 94; and page 23, paragraph 96

12/12/16 Order, DE 101

Granted In Part as to John Doe name and/or photograph only

Section J of Plaintiff's Expert James Trainum's Expert Report, Pages 32-38, paragraphs 124-146

12/12/16 Order, DE 101

Granted In Part as to John Doe name and/or photograph only

         Plaintiff's AMFUS Dkt. No. 175 Plaintiffs' Motion to Exclude Fries

Document or Portion of Document South to be Sealed

Evidence Offered in Support of Sealing

Order

Dr. Judy Melinek expert report, pictures on pages 10, 12, 17, 19, 27.

California Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”) § 129

Granted

Craig Fries expert report, pictures on pages 7, 9, 11, 12, 42; unnumbered pages in Exhibits: D, F, H, I, M, HH

CCP § 129

Granted

James Norris expert report, pictures on pages 10, 11, 22.

CCP § 129

Granted

Dr. Dan Kruger expert report, pictures on pages 14, 51, 54, 56.

CCP § 129

Granted

Dr. Judy Melinek rebuttal expert report, pictures on pages 7, 8.

CCP § 129

Granted

Exhibit of Priscilla Lualemaga drawings and photos with markings on page 4

CCP § 129

Granted

         Plaintiff's AMFUS Dkt Nos. 176 Plaintiff's Motion to Exclude Berg

Document or Portion of Document to be Sealed

Evidence Offered in Support of Sealing

Order

Expert Report of Berg

Decl. of Jael Humphrey-Skomer Dkt. No. 176-1

Granted

Expert Report of Dr. Julie A Kriegler

Decl. of Jael Humphrey-Skomer Dkt. No. 176-1

Granted

Plaintiff's AMFUS Dkt Nos. 177 Plaintiff's Motion to Exclude Unretained Experts

Document or Portion of Document to be Sealed

Evidence Offered in Support of Sealing

Order

Emails between Plaintiff's counsel and Defendants' counsel

Decl. of Jael Humphrey-Skomer Dkt. No. 176-112/12/16 Order, DE 101

Granted In Part as to John Doe name and/or photograph only

Deposition of Chief Toney Chaplin, September 8, 2017, page 67

Decl. of Jael Humphrey-Skomer Dkt. No. 176-112/12/16 Order, DE 101

Granted In Part as to John Doe name and/or photograph only

Emails from Margaret Baumgartner to counsel for Plaintiff, September 22 & 28, 2017

Decl. of Jael Humphrey-Skomer Dkt. No. 176-112/12/16 Order, DE 101

Granted In Part as to John Doe name and/or photograph only

Email from Anna Benvenutti Hoffman to counsel for Defendants, August 10, 2017

Decl. of Jael Humphrey-Skomer Dkt. No. 176-112/12/16 Order, DE 101

Granted In Part as to John Doe name and/or photograph only

         Defendants' AMFUS Dkt. No. 198 Opposition to ...


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