Morton & Bassett, Llc-V-Organic Spices Inc

Northern District of California, cand-4:2015-cv-01849

ORDER by Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART THE PARTIES ({{65}}, {{69}}) ADMINISTRATIVE MOTIONS TO FILE UNDER SEAL.

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 MORTON & BASSETT, LLC, Case No.15-cv-01849-HSG Plaintiff, 8 ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND v. DENYING IN PART THE PARTIES' 9 ADMINISTRATIVE MOTIONS TO 10 ORGANIC SPICES, INC., FILE UNDER SEAL Defendant. Re: Dkt. Nos. 65, 69 11 12 Pending before the Court are two administrative motions, Dkt. Nos. 65, 69, to file under Northern District of California United States District Court 13 seal certain documents relating to the motion for summary judgment filed by Defendant and 14 Counterclaimant Organic Spices, Inc., Dkt. No. 66 ("Mot. for SJ"), and the opposition thereto filed 15 by Plaintiff and Counterclaim-Defendant Morton & Bassett, LLC, Dkt. No. 70 ("SJ Opp."). The 16 administrative motions to file under seal are unopposed. See Dkt. Nos. 65, 69. Although the 17 parties did not submit declarations pursuant to Civil Local Rule 79-5(e)(1), the parties have 18 stipulated that the documents and exhibits listed in both administrative motions should be filed 19 under seal. See Dkt. Nos. 65-10, 69-2. 20 Having carefully considered each of the requested redactions, the Court GRANTS IN 21 PART and DENIES IN PART the administrative motions to seal. 22 I. LEGAL STANDARD 23 Courts generally apply a "compelling reasons" standard when considering motions to seal 24 documents. Pintos v. Pac. Creditors Ass'n, 605 F.3d 665, 677-78 (9th Cir. 2010). "This standard 25 derives from the common law right 'to inspect and copy public records and documents, including 26 judicial records and documents.'" Id. (quoting Kamakana v. City & Cnty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 27 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006)). "[A] strong presumption in favor of access is the starting point." 28 Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). To overcome this 1 strong presumption, the moving party must "articulate compelling reasons supported by specific 2 factual findings that outweigh the general history of access and the public policies favoring 3 disclosure, such as the public interest in understanding the judicial process." Id. at 1178-79 4 (citations, internal quotation marks, and alterations omitted). "In general, compelling reasons 5 sufficient to outweigh the public's interest in disclosure and justify sealing court records exist 6 when such court files might have become a vehicle for improper purposes, such as the use of 7 records to gratify private spite, promote public scandal, circulate libelous statements, or release 8 trade secrets." Id. at 1179 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). The court must 9 "balance the competing interests of the public and the party who seeks to keep certain judicial 10 records secret. After considering these interests, if the court decides to seal certain judicial 11 records, it must base its decision on a compelling reason and articulate the factual basis for its 12 ruling, without relying on hypothesis or conjecture." Id. (citations, brackets, and internal Northern District of California United States District Court 13 quotation marks omitted). 14 Civil Local Rule 79-5 supplements the "compelling reasons" standard. The party seeking 15 to file under seal must "establish[ ] that the document, or portions thereof, are privileged, 16 protectable as a trade secret or otherwise entitled to protection under the law. . . . The request 17 must be narrowly tailored to seek sealing only of sealable material. . . ." Civ. L.R. 79-5(b). 18 Finally, records attached to motions that are only "tangentially related to the merits of a 19 case" are not subject to the strong presumption of access. Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., 20 LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1101 (9th Cir. 2016). Accordingly, parties moving to seal such records must 21 meet the lower "good cause" standard of Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Id. at 22 1097. The "good cause" standard requires a "particularized showing" that "specific prejudice or 23 harm will result" if the information is disclosed. Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. Gen. Motors 24 Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1210-11 (9th Cir. 2002) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); see 25 also Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c). 26 II. DISCUSSION 27 Here, the Court applies the "compelling reasons" standard because the documents at issue 28 have more than a tangential relation to the merits of the case. See Ctr. for Auto Safety, 809 F.3d at 2 1 1101. The Court rules as follows: 2 Motion Document Ruling Reason 65 Mot. for SJ, Kanach Decl., GRANTED as to 36:12-24, 38:2- Confidential Business Information 3 Ex. 1 12, 39:19-25, 40, 41, 49-54, 55:9- (including Confidential Product 25, 56-59, 60:1-13, 61:20-25, 62- Development Information, 4 66, 67:1-20, 68:15-25, 69:1-6, 113, Manufacturer Information, and 114:1-5, 134:21-23, 135:12-25, Competition Evaluation) 5 136, 147-148, 150-158 6 DENIED as to remaining portions Not Confidential Information and pages thereof 7 65 Mot. for SJ, Kanach Decl., GRANTED as to 43:24-25, 44:1- Confidential Business Information Ex. 2 14, 66:4-21, 101, 251:4-10, 318:1- 8 17 9 DENIED as to remaining portions Not Confidential Information and pages thereof 10 65 Mot. for SJ, Kanach Decl., GRANTED as to 248:19-25, Confidential Business Information Ex. 3 250:21-25, 252:6-12 11 DENIED as to remaining portions Not Confidential Information 12 and pages thereof Northern District of California 65 Mot. for SJ, Kanach Decl., GRANTED as to 54:10-21, 55:4- Confidential Business Information United States District Court 13 Ex. 4 25, 56:1-3, 249:9-25, 250, 252 DENIED as to remaining portions Not Confidential Information 14 and pages thereof 65 Mot. for SJ, Kanach Decl., GRANTED as to 250:3-9, 287-88 Confidential Business Information 15 Ex. 5 DENIED as to remaining portions Not Confidential Information 16 and pages thereof 65 Mot. for SJ, Kanach Decl., DENIED Not Confidential Information 17 Ex. 6 65 Mot. for SJ, Kanach Decl., DENIED Not Confidential Information 18 Ex. 7 65 Mot. for SJ, Kanach Decl., GRANTED as to 30, 157:21-25, Confidential Business Information 19 Ex. 8 158:1-14, 185-86, 211:3-6, 212:10- 22, 216:1-4 20 DENIED as to remaining portions Not Confidential Information 21 and pages thereof 69 SJ Opp., Salvatore Decl., GRANTED as to 70:6-11 Confidential Business Information 22 Ex. A DENIED as to remaining portions Not Confidential Information 23 and pages thereof 69 SJ Opp., Salvatore Decl., GRANTED Confidential Business Information 24 Ex. B 69 SJ Opp., Salvatore Decl., GRANTED as to 180:8-25, 181 Confidential Business Information 25 Ex. C DENIED as to remaining portions Not Confidential Information 26 and pages thereof 27 28 3 69 SJ Opp., Salvatore Decl., GRANTED as to 221-26, 290:7- Confidential Business Information 1 Ex. D 25, 291, 293, 294:1-5, 315:20-25, 316-17, 319:21-25, 320, 395-96, 2 428:20-25, 429-430, 431:1-18, 588:10-25, 589-90, 593:16-25, 3 594-597, Ex. 36, Exs. 42-45, Ex. 53, Ex. 56, Exs. 82-84 4 DENIED as to remaining portions Not Confidential Information 5 and pages thereof 69 SJ Opp., Salvatore Decl., GRANTED as to 44:5-25, 45 Confidential Business Strategy 6 Ex. E DENIED as to remaining portions Not Confidential Information 7 and pages thereof 69 SJ Opp., Campbell GRANTED Confidential Business and Financial 8 Springfield Decl., Ex. A Information 9 III. CONCLUSION 10 For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART the 11 administrative motions to file under seal the specified documents. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 12 79-5(f)(1), Salvatore Declaration Exhibit B and Campbell Springfield Declaration Exhibit A of Northern District of California United States District Court 13 Plaintiff's summary judgment opposition will remain under seal, and the public will have access 14 only to the redacted versions accompanying the motion. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 79-5(f)(2), 15 Defendant must file the unredacted versions of Kanach Declaration Exhibits 6 and 7 within 7 days. 16 Finally, pursuant to Civil Local Rule 79-5(f)(3), the parties must file the necessary revised 17 redacted versions of the remaining documents listed in the chart above within 7 days. 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 Dated: 1/31/2017 20 21 22 HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge 23 24 25 26 27 28 4