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Walker v. City of Los Angeles

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 10, 2019

CATHERINE WALKER; and QUINTUS MOORE, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES; and DOES 1- 10, inclusive, DEFENDANTS.

          Hon. Stephen V. Wilson Judge.

          [PROPOSED] PROTECTIVE ORDER

          HONORABLE ALKA SAGAR UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         ORDER ON STIPULATION

         The Court, finding good cause, Orders as follows:

         1. A. PURPOSES AND LIMITATIONS

         Discovery in this action is likely to involve production of confidential, proprietary or private information for which special protection from public disclosure and from use for any purpose other than prosecuting this litigation may be warranted. Accordingly, the parties hereby stipulate to and petition the Court to enter the following Stipulated Protective Order. The parties acknowledge that this Order does not confer blanket protections on all disclosures or responses to discovery and that the protection it affords from public disclosure and use extends only to the limited information or items that are entitled to confidential treatment under the applicable legal principles.

         B. GOOD CAUSE STATEMENT

         This action involves the City of Los Angeles and members of the Los Angeles Police Department. Plaintiff is seeking materials and information that Defendants the City of Los Angeles et al. (“City”) maintains as confidential, such as personnel files of the police officers involved in this incident, Internal Affairs materials and information, video recordings, audio recordings, Force Investigation Division materials and information 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. 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.

         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). The City has not publicly released the materials and information referenced above except under protective order or pursuant to a court order, if at all. 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.

         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.

         The City also contends that the 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.

         Accordingly, to expedite the flow of information, to facilitate the prompt resolution of disputes over confidentiality of discovery materials, to adequately protect information the parties are entitled to keep confidential, to ensure that the parties are permitted reasonable necessary uses of such material in preparation for and in the conduct of trial, to address their handling at the end of the litigation, and serve the ends of justice, a protective order for such information is justified in this matter. It is the intent of the parties that information will not be designated as confidential for tactical reasons and that nothing be so designated without a good faith belief that it has been maintained in a confidential, non-public manner, and there is good cause why it should not be part of the public record of this case.

         C. ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PROCEDURE FOR FILING UNDER SEAL

         The parties agree that any pleadings, motions, briefs, declarations, stipulations, exhibits or other written submissions to the Court in this litigation which contain or incorporate Confidential Material shall be lodged with an application and/or joint stipulation to file the papers or the portion thereof containing the Confidential Material, under seal.

         The parties agree that they will meet and confer regarding the necessity of seeking an order from the Court filing under seal any pleadings, motions, briefs, declarations, stipulations, exhibits or other documents and/or materials at least five (5) days prior to filing any application and/or joint stipulation to file under seal.

         The parties further acknowledge, as set forth in Section 12.3, below, that this Stipulated Protective Order does not automatically entitle them to file confidential information under seal and that Local Civil Rule 79-5 sets forth the procedures that must be followed and the standards that will be applied when a party seeks permission from the Court to file material under seal.

         2. DEFINITIONS

         2.1 Action: Catherine Walker, et al. v. City of Los Angeles, et al. CV19-01064 SVW (ASx).

         2.2 Challenging Party: a Party or Non-Party that challenges the designation of information or items under this Order.

         2.3 “CONFIDENTIAL” Information or Items: information (regardless of how it is generated, stored or maintained) or tangible things that qualify for protection under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c), and as specified above in the Good Cause Statement. This also includes (1) any information copied or extracted from the Confidential information; (2) all copies, excerpts, summaries, abstracts or compilations of Confidential information; and (3) any testimony, conversations, or presentations that might reveal Confidential information.

         2.4 Counsel: Counsel of record for the parties to this civil litigation and their support staff.

         2.5 Designating Party: a Party or Non-Party that designates information or items that it produces in disclosures or in responses to discovery as “CONFIDENTIAL.”

         2.6 Disclosure or Discovery Material: all items or information, regardless of the medium or manner in which it is generated, stored, or maintained (including, among other things, testimony, transcripts, and tangible things), that are produced or generated in disclosures or responses to discovery in this matter

         2.7 Expert: a person with specialized knowledge or experience in a matter pertinent to the litigation who has been retained by a Party or its counsel to serve as an expert witness or as a consultant in this Action.

         2.8 Final Disposition: when this Action has been fully and completely terminated by way of settlement, dismissal, trial, appeal and/or remand to state court.

         2.9 House Counsel: attorneys other than Counsel (as defined in paragraph 2.4) and who are employees of a party to this Action.

         2.10 Non-Party: any natural person, partnership, corporation, association or other legal entity not named as a Party to this action.

         2.11 Outside Counsel of Record: attorneys who are not employees of a party to this Action but are retained to represent or advise a party to this Action and have appeared in this Action on behalf of that party or are affiliated with a law firm that has appeared on behalf of that party, and includes support staff.

         2.12 Party: any party to this Action, including all of its officers, directors, boards, departments, divisions, employees, consultants, retained experts, and ...


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