Dell Inc. et al v. LG Chem, LTD et al

Northern District of California, cand-4:2015-cv-02987

ORDER by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers denying without Prejudice {{3}} Administrative Motion to File Under Seal

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 7 8 IN RE: LITHIUM ION BATTERIES Master File No.: 13-MD-2420 YGR ANTITRUST LITIGATION 9 Case No.: 15-CV-02987 10 ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE This Order Relates to: ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO SEAL 11 DELL INC., et al., Northern District of California 12 Plaintiffs, United States District Court 13 LG CHEM, LTD, et al., Defendants. 14 15 Plaintiff has moved the Court for an Order sealing various portions of its Complaint. (Dkt. 16 No. 3.) While the Ninth Circuit has not squarely addressed the appropriate standard to apply in 17 considering a request to seal portions of a complaint, the Court agrees with others in this District 18 that have applied the "compelling reasons" standard. See Delfino Green & Green v. Workers 19 Compansation Solutions, LLC, No. 15-CV-02302-HSG, 2015 WL 4235356, at *2 (N.D. Cal. July 20 13, 2015); In re NVIDIA Corp. Derivative Litig., No. 06-CV-06110-SBA, 2008 WL 1859067, at *3 21 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 23, 2008); In re Google Inc. Gmail Litig., No. 13-MD-02430-LHK, 2013 WL 22 5366963, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 25, 2013) ("The Ninth Circuit has not explicitly stated the 23 standard—good cause or compelling reasons—that applies to the sealing of a complaint, but this 24 Court and other courts have held that the compelling reasons standard applies because a complaint 25 is the foundation of a lawsuit."). Under that standard, a "party seeking to seal judicial records must 26 show that 'compelling reasons supported by specific factual findings. . . outweigh the general 27 history of access and the public policies favoring disclosure.'" Id. (quoting Kamakana v. City and 28 County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178-79 (9th Cir. 2006)). The trial court must weigh relevant 1 factors including the "public interest in understanding the judicial process and whether disclosure 2 of the material could result in improper use of the material for scandalous or libelous purposes or 3 infringement upon trade secrets." Id. at 679 n.6 (quoting Hagestad v. Tragesser, 49 F.3d 1430, 4 1434 (9th Cir. 1995)). While the decision to grant or deny a motion to seal is within the trial 5 court's discretion, the trial court must articulate its reasoning in deciding a motion to seal. Id. at 6 679. Given the importance of the competing interests at stake, any sealing order must be narrowly 7 tailored. Civ. L.R. 79-5 (a). 8 Plaintiffs seek to seal four of their six causes of action—namely those asserting breach of 9 contract—including the identities of the defendant(s) against whom those claims are asserted. The 10 logical effect of plaintiffs' request would be to seal almost the entirety of their case, including all 11 proceedings related thereto. Plaintiffs have provided insufficient justification for sealing the 12 identities of the defendant(s) or the entirety of the purported "highly confidential" contract terms at Northern District of California United States District Court 13 issue, particularly where doing so would necessarily result in almost this entire case being tried 14 outside of the public's view. The motion is therefore DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to plaintiffs 15 filing of a renewed request within seven (7) days of the date of this Order. If plaintiffs do not file a 16 renewed request, they shall file an un-redacted version of the Complaint on the public docket by 17 that same deadline. 18 This Order terminates Docket Number 3. 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. 20 Dated: August 27, 2015 _______________________________________ YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS 21 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2