Scottsdale Insurance Company v. Hudson Specialty Insurance Company

Northern District of California, cand-4:2015-cv-02896

ORDER by Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS ADMINISTRATIVE {{62}} MOTION TO FILE UNDER SEAL.

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 SCOTTSDALE INSURANCE COMPANY, 7 Case No. 15-cv-02896-HSG Plaintiff, 8 ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND v. DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S 9 ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO FILE HUDSON SPECIALTY INSURANCE UNDER SEAL 10 COMPANY, Re: Dkt. No. 62 11 Defendant. 12 Pending before the Court is an administrative motion to file under seal documents relating Northern District of California United States District Court 13 to Plaintiff Scottsdale Insurance Company's ("Plaintiff") motion for summary judgment ("MSJ"). 14 See Dkt. Nos. 62, 63. The motion to file under seal is unopposed. Having carefully considered 15 each of the requested redactions, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART the 16 administrative motion to file under seal. 17 I. LEGAL STANDARD 18 Courts generally apply a "compelling reasons" standard when considering motions to seal 19 documents. Pintos v. Pac. Creditors Ass'n, 605 F.3d 665, 677-78 (9th Cir. 2010). "This standard 20 derives from the common law right 'to inspect and copy public records and documents, including 21 judicial records and documents.'" Id. (quoting Kamakana v. City & Cnty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 22 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006)). "[A] strong presumption in favor of access is the starting point." 23 Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). To overcome this 24 strong presumption, the moving party must "articulate compelling reasons supported by specific 25 factual findings that outweigh the general history of access and the public policies favoring 26 disclosure, such as the public interest in understanding the judicial process." Id. at 1178-79 27 (citations, internal quotation marks, and alterations omitted). "In general, compelling reasons 28 sufficient to outweigh the public's interest in disclosure and justify sealing court records exist 1 when such court files might have become a vehicle for improper purposes, such as the use of 2 records to gratify private spite, promote public scandal, circulate libelous statements, or release 3 trade secrets." Id. at 1179 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). The Court must 4 "balance the competing interests of the public and the party who seeks to keep certain judicial 5 records secret. After considering these interests, if the Court decides to seal certain judicial 6 records, it must base its decision on a compelling reason and articulate the factual basis for its 7 ruling, without relying on hypothesis or conjecture." Id. (citations, brackets, and internal 8 quotation marks omitted). 9 Civil Local Rule 79-5 supplements the "compelling reasons" standard. The party seeking 10 to file under seal must "establish[ ] that the document, or portions thereof, are privileged, 11 protectable as a trade secret or otherwise entitled to protection under the law. . . . The request 12 must be narrowly tailored to seek sealing only of sealable material. . . ." Civ. L.R. 79-5(b). Northern District of California United States District Court 13 Finally, records attached to motions that are only "tangentially related to the merits of a 14 case" are not subject to the strong presumption of access. Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., 15 LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1101 (9th Cir. 2016). Accordingly, parties moving to seal such records must 16 meet the lower "good cause" standard of Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Id. at 17 1097. The "good cause" standard requires a "particularized showing" that "specific prejudice or 18 harm will result" if the information is disclosed. Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. Gen. Motors 19 Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1210-11 (9th Cir. 2002) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); see 20 also Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c). 21 II. DISCUSSION 22 Here, the Court applies the "compelling reasons" standard because Plaintiff's MSJ has 23 more than a tangential relation to the merits of the case. See Ctr. for Auto Safety, 809 F.3d at 24 1101. The Court rules as follows: 25 // 26 // 27 // 28 // 2 Motion Document Ruling Reason 1 62 MSJ, Ex. M GRANTED Attorney-Client Privilege and Attorney Work Product 2 62 MSJ, Ex. P GRANTED Attorney Work Product 62 MSJ, Ex. Q GRANTED Attorney Work Product 3 62 MSJ, Ex. R GRANTED Attorney-Client Privilege and Attorney Work Product 4 62 MSJ, Ex. S GRANTED Attorney-Client Privilege and Attorney Work Product 5 62 MSJ, Ex. T GRANTED Attorney-Client Privilege and Attorney Work Product 6 62 MSJ, Ex. U GRANTED Attorney-Client Privilege and Attorney Work Product 7 62 MSJ, Ex. V DENIED No Declaration in Support 62 MSJ, Ex. W GRANTED Attorney-Client Privilege and 8 Attorney Work Product 62 MSJ, Ex. Y GRANTED Confidential Settlement Information 9 62 MSJ, Memorandum of Points GRANTED as to 6:1-8, 6:19- Attorney-Client Privilege, Attorney and Authorities 28, 7:1-10, 7:13-19, 7:21-28, Work Product, and/or Confidential 10 8:1, 8:6-11, 8:13-22, 9:3-14, Settlement Information 9:17-20, 10:11-18, 18:1-5, 11 18:7-8, 18:12-18 12 III. CONCLUSION Northern District of California United States District Court 13 For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART 14 Plaintiff's administrative motion to file under seal the specified documents. Pursuant to Civil 15 Local Rule 79-5(f), Exhibit V to Plaintiff's MSJ will not be considered by the Court unless 16 Plaintiff files an unredacted version of the document that comports with the above ruling within 7 17 days. See Civ. L.R. 79-5(f). 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 Dated: 3/6/2017 20 ______________________________________ HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. 21 United States District Judge 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3