Banneck v. Hsbc Bank USA, N.A. et al

Northern District of California, cand-4:2015-cv-02250


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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 JAMES BANNECK, Case No. 15-cv-02250-HSG Plaintiff, 8 ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' v. ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO SEAL 9 10 HSBC BANK USA, N.A., et al., Re. Dkt. No. 45 Defendants. 11 12 Northern District of California United States District Court 13 Defendant Experian Information Solutions, Inc. ("Experian") has filed an administrative 14 motion to seal several exhibits attached to the Declaration of Douglas L. Clark (Dkt. No. 48) filed 15 in connection with its motion for partial summary judgment (Dkt. No. 46). Dkt. No. 45. Experian 16 contends that these exhibits contain private financial and personal information regarding Plaintiff 17 James Banneck and a mortgage application he filed that is at issue in its partial summary judgment 18 motion. Dkt. No. 45 at 3-4. Experian also contends that these exhibits should be sealed because 19 they contain proprietary and confidential information about non-party Fannie Mae's and its own 20 business practices. Id. 21 I. LEGAL STANDARD 22 Under Civil Local Rules 79-5(d) and 7-11, a party may seek leave to file documents under 23 seal by filing an administrative motion, a declaration establishing that the documents are sealable, 24 and redacted and unredacted versions of the documents. When a movant seeks to file documents 25 under seal in connection with a dispositive motion, a strong presumption in favor of public access 26 applies, and the movant must state "compelling reasons supported by specific factual findings that 27 outweigh the general history of access and the public policies favoring disclosure[.]" Kamakana 28 v. City and Cnty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178-79 (9th Cir. 2006) (quotations marks and 1 citations omitted). But when a movant seeks to file documents under seal in connection with a 2 motion that is only "tangentially related to the merits of a case," Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler 3 Grp., LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1101 (9th Cir. 2016), "the usual presumption of the public's right of 4 access is rebutted," Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179. "The application of a strong presumption of 5 access to sealed records, not directly relevant to the merits of the case, would eviscerate the broad 6 power of the district court to fashion protective orders." Id. at 1180 (internal quotation marks and 7 citations omitted). For that reason, "a particularized showing. . . under the good cause standard of 8 Rule 26(c) will suffice[] to warrant preserving the secrecy of sealed discovery material attached to 9 non-dispositive motions." Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted; brackets original). 10 "Broad allegations of harm, unsubstantiated by specific examples of articulated reasoning" will 11 not suffice. Beckman Indus., Inc. v. Int'l Ins. Co., 966 F.2d 470, 476 (9th Cir. 1992). 12 Additionally, under Civil Local Rules 79-5(e) and 7-11, a party seeking to file a document Northern District of California United States District Court 13 designated as confidential by another party under a protective order must file an administrative 14 motion and declaration identifying the document or portions thereof which contain the designated, 15 confidential material. The submitting party must serve the declaration on the designating party on 16 the same day it is filed and file proof of such service. Civ. L.R. 79-5(e). Within four days of 17 filing the sealing motion, the designating party must file a declaration compliant with Local Rule 18 79-5(d)(1)(A) establishing that all of the designated material is sealable under Local Rule 79-5(b). 19 Civ. L.R. 79-5(e)(1). If the designating party does not file a responsive declaration as required and 20 the sealing motion is accordingly denied, the submitting party may file the document in the public 21 record no earlier than 4 days, and no later than 10 days, after the motion is denied. Civ. L.R. 79- 22 5(e)(2). Courts may delay public docketing upon a showing of good cause. Id. 23 When courts in this district find that documents contain sealable information, a motion to 24 seal must still be "narrowly tailored" such that only sealable information is redacted from public 25 access. Civ. L.R. 79-5(b). The failure to narrowly tailor a proposed sealing order will result in a 26 denial of the sealing motion, subject to renewal and revision only at the Court's discretion. 27 II. DISCUSSION 28 Experian requests to seal documents that it contends are sealable, as well as documents that 2 1 a third party has designated as confidential under a protective order. The documents that Experian 2 contends are sealable include: (1) Banneck's complete credit report; (2) Banneck's debts and 3 personal identifying information; and (3) Fannie Mae's automated analysis of Banneck's mortgage 4 application, which includes Banneck's home address, income, credit scores, and debts. Dkt. Nos. 5 45 at 4 & 45-1, Exs. A-C. Experian is correct that confidential, personal financial information is 6 sealable. See Transperfect Global, Inc. v. MotionPoint Corp., No. C 10-2590, 2014 WL 4950082, 7 at *1 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 25, 2014). Mortgage documents containing sensitive personal information 8 are also sealable. See Lane v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. C 12-04026, 2013 WL 2627487, at *1 9 (N.D. Cal. Jun. 11, 2013). Accordingly, the Court grants the motion to seal on those bases.1 10 III. CONCLUSION 11 For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS Experian's administrative motion to seal. 12 The documents filed under seal will remain under seal. See Civ. L.R. 79-5(f)(1). Northern District of California United States District Court 13 IT IS SO ORDERED. 14 Dated: June 20, 2016 15 16 HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. 17 United States District Judge 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 1 Because the documents are sealable on these bases, the Court need not reach the alternative 28 argument that the documents contain confidential information of Fannie Mae or Experian, and no party has satisfied the requirements of Local Rule 79-5(e) as to this second ground. 3