ORDER GRANTING PHILIP A. DOWNEY'S REQUEST TO SEAL DOCUMENTS
(Doc. No. 117)
Currently before the Court is the ex parte request by Philip A. Downey, counsel for Plaintiffs Isaias Vasquez and Linda Hefke, to file the "Declaration of Philip A. Downey ISO Unopposed Motion to Continue Hearing Date" and all documents attached thereto under seal pursuant to Local Rule 141. (Doc. No. 117.) For the reasons that follow, Mr. Downey's request is GRANTED.
"Historically, courts have recognized a 'general right to inspect and copy public records and documents, including judicial records and documents.'" Kamakana v. City & Cty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Nixon v. Warner Commc'ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 & n.7 (1978)). "[J]udicial records are public documents almost by definition, and the public is entitled to access by default." Id. at 1180. This "federal common law right of access" to court documents generally extends to "all information filed with the court," and "creates a strong presumption in favor of access to judicial documents which can be overcome only by showing sufficiently important countervailing interests." Phillips ex. Rel. Estates of Byrd v. Gen. Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1212 (9th Cir. 2002) (citations and quotation marks omitted). Two standards govern whether documents should be sealed: a "compelling reasons" standard, which applies to dispositive motions, and a "good cause" standard, which applies to non-dispositive discovery type motions. Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179; see also Pintos v. Pac. Creditors Ass'n, 605 F.3d 665, 677-78 (9th Cir. 2010). The "good cause" standard, which is applicable here, presents a lower burden for the party wishing to seal documents. Pintos, 605 F.3d at 678. Courts determine whether good cause exists to protect the information from being disclosed to the public by "balancing the needs for discovery against the need for confidentiality." Id. (quoting Phillips, 307 F.3d at 1213).
Mr. Downey asserts that there is good cause to seal the documents at issue because they "concern health information relating to members of [Mr. Downey's] immediate family" who are non-parties to this case. (Doc. No. 117.) Having considered the documents at issue, the Court concludes that counsel has sufficiently shown good cause for filing under seal. Accordingly, good cause being shown, Mr. Downey's request to seal is HEREBY GRANTED. The Court orders that the "Declaration of Philip A. Downey ISO Unopposed Motion to Continue Hearing Date" and the documents attached thereto be filed and maintained under seal. Mr. Downey will email the documents requested to be sealed to ApprovedSealed@caed.uscourts.gov for filing under seal. IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: November 26 , 2019
/s/ Barbara A . McAuliffe
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE