United States District Court, N.D. California
CHARLOTTE B. MILLINER, et al., Plaintiffs,
MUTUAL SECURITIES, INC., Defendant.
ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO ENFORCE SETTLEMENT
AGREEMENT AND STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER REDACTED VERSION
RE: DKT. NO. 176
M. Ryu United States Magistrate Judge.
a settlement conference before the undersigned, Plaintiffs
Charlotte B. Milliner and Joann Brem executed a written
settlement agreement with Defendant Mutual Securities, Inc.
(“MSI”) on June 1, 2018. The parties subsequently
consented to have this court conduct all further proceedings
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). [Docket Nos. 167, 168.]
MSI now moves for an order enforcing the settlement agreement
and the stipulated protective order entered in this case,
arguing that Plaintiffs and their counsel have breached them.
[Docket No. 176.] This matter is appropriate for resolution
without oral argument. Civ. L.R. 7-1(b). Having carefully
considered the parties' submissions, the motion is
granted in part and denied in part, and partially held in
ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO SEAL
moves to seal the settlement agreement at issue in its
entirety, as well as the portions of its motion quoting the
settlement agreement. [See Docket Nos. 173, 185.]
Given the particular circumstances of this case, where MSI
argues that Plaintiffs and their counsel have breached the
settlement agreement's confidentiality provision, good
cause exists to permit filing the actual agreement and
certain references to it under seal. See Kamakana v. City
& Cty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1179-80 (9th Cir.
2006) (“good cause” standard applies to requests
to seal records attached to non-dispositive motions);
Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. General Motors
Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1212 (9th Cir. 2002) (noting that
courts have granted protective orders to protect confidential
settlement agreements). For the same reason, the court
redacts the specific terms of the settlement agreement that
appear in this order. MSI's administrative motion to file
under seal is granted, and MSI is granted leave to file the
following filings under seal: Exhibit 2 to the April 5, 2019
Fredricks declaration (Docket No. 173-5, ECF pp. 19-23);
Exhibit 7 to the Gilotti statement of claim, attached as
Exhibit 3 to the Fredricks declaration (Docket No 173-5, ECF
pp. 149-153); and portions of MSI's motion (Docket No.
173-3), as follows: 2:3-4, 3:7-8, 3:18-20, 4:8-13, and
and Brem filed this putative class action against MSI on July
21, 2015, alleging claims stemming from MSI's brokerage
agreement with Plaintiffs. See Compl. ¶ 2. The
undersigned conducted a settlement conference on June 1, 2018
which resulted in a full resolution of Plaintiffs'
individual claims. [Docket No. 166.] Milliner, Brem, and MSI
executed a settlement agreement the same day. Fredricks
Decl., Apr. 5, 2019, ¶ 3, Ex. 2 (Settlement Agreement).
On June 5, 2018, with the parties' consent pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(c), the matter was reassigned to this court
for all purposes. [Docket Nos. 167-169.] The case was
dismissed on September 11, 2018. [Docket No. 172.]
relevant part, the settlement agreement provides for
settlement agreement included a confidentiality provision, as
Settlement Agreement ¶ 11.
settlement agreement also provides that [XXXXX] Id. at ¶ 9.
February 5, 2019, Plaintiffs' counsel David
Sturgeon-Garcia filed a statement of claim with FINRA against
MSI and five individuals on behalf of a different client,
Vincent F. Gilotti. Fredricks Decl. ¶ 4, Ex. 3 (Gilotti
claim). Gilotti's FINRA claim includes the history of
this litigation. It notes that Milliner and Brem settled
their individual claims against MSI and dismissed the class
claims without prejudice. In support of the statement that
“any and all claims held by putative class members,
like Mr. Gilotti, were preserved, ” Gilotti cites the
settlement agreement and attached a complete copy as an
exhibit to his claim. Gilotti claim 9, Ex. 7. Additional
exhibits to Gilotti's claim include portions of
transcripts of depositions taken in this case as well as what
MSI describes as “documents . . . produced in response
to a subpoena during the Milliner litigation, and which were
marked as confidential.” See Gilotti claim
Exs. 2, 5, 6, 7; Fredricks Decl. ¶ 6.
moves to enforce the settlement agreement, as well as the
parties' stipulated protective order which was entered on
January 31, 2016. [See Docket No. 23 (Protective
Order).] It contends that Plaintiffs and/or their counsel
have violated the terms of the settlement agreement as
follows: 1) Sturgeon-Garcia attached the settlement agreement
along with confidential documents and deposition transcripts
produced and/or used in this case and marked as confidential
to the Gilotti claim in violation of the settlement
agreement's confidentiality provision; and 2) the
settlement agreement requires Milliner to dismiss her FINRA
statement of claim but to date she has not done so. MSI
further argues that Sturgeon-Garcia violated the protective
order by attaching as exhibits to the Gilotti claim documents
and deposition transcripts used in this litigation and marked
as confidential. MSI asks the court to order Plaintiffs and
Sturgeon-Garcia to pay MSI its attorneys' fees and costs
incurred in enforcing the settlement agreement.
Jurisdiction to Enforce the Settlement Agreement
parties do not dispute that the court has jurisdiction to
enforce the settlement agreement. See Kokkonen v.
Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 380-81
(1994) (explaining that a court has ancillary jurisdiction to
enforce a settlement agreement ...