United States District Court, D. Utah, Northern Division
B. Pead, United States Magistrate Judge.
matter was referred to the Court under 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A). (ECF No. 12.) The matter is presently before
the court on Plaintiffs' request for leave to file their
Motion for Summary Judgment and accompanying exhibits under
seal. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART
Plaintiffs' “Ex Parte Motion for Leave to File
Under Seal.” (ECF No. 47.)
Supreme Court has explained that “the courts of this
country recognize a general right to inspect and copy public
records and documents, including judicial records and
documents.” Nixon v. Warner Commc'ns,
Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597, (1978) (footnote omitted).
“This right is premised upon the recognition that
public monitoring of the courts fosters important values such
as respect for the legal system.” Vega v.
Wiley, No. 07-1357, 2007 WL 4287730, at *1 (D. Colo.
Dec. 5, 2007) (citing In re Providence Journal Co.,
293 F.3d 1, 9 (1st Cir.2002)). In recognition of this right
of access, the District of Utah's Civil Rules state:
“The records of the court are presumptively open to the
public [and sealing court documents] is highly
discouraged.” D.U. Civ. R. 5-3(a)(1). “To
overcome this presumption against sealing, the party seeking
to seal records ‘must articulate a real and substantial
interest that justifies depriving the public of access to the
records that inform our decision-making process.'”
JetAway Aviation, LLC v. Bd. of Cty. Comm'rs of Cty.
of Montrose, Colo., 754 F.3d 824, 826 (10th Cir. 2014).
A party seeking to seal information bears a “heavy
burden.” Id. at 827.
contend the information in their Motion for Summary Judgment
and the exhibits filed in support of that motion should be
sealed because the materials contain records of juvenile
proceedings, which are statutorily protected. (ECF No. 47 at
4). Plaintiffs also argue that the Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act requires the court to seal any educational
information. (Id.) Finally, Plaintiffs claim the
“United States Supreme Court has upheld the
constitutional protection of personal health
information.” (Id. at 5).
Acucom contends Plaintiffs have failed to overcome the strong
presumption against sealing court records. (ECF No. 50).
Acucom also argues the court should refrain from sealing
Plaintiffs' documents because Plaintiffs failed to keep
some of the information at issue private. (Id. at
The court will deny Plaintiffs' request to seal their
entire Motion for Summary Judgment and all supporting
exhibits because the request is overbroad.
attempt to abandon the District of Utah's local rules,
Plaintiffs ask the court to seal the entirety of their Motion
for Summary Judgment and all attached materials. The first
requirement in District of Utah Civil Rule 5-3 for motions to
seal is that such motions “be narrowly tailored to seek
protection of only the specific information that the party
alleges is truly deserving of protection.” D.U. Civ. R.
5-3(b)(2)(A). The court rejects Plaintiff's blanket
request to seal because it is entirely overbroad. The Motion
for Summary Judgment, and many exhibits, contains entirely
mundane information not deserving of protection. For example,
much of the “legal argument” section of
Plaintiffs' memorandum contains discussion of the law and
generalized discussion of the circumstances of this case.
See (ECF No. 47 at 13-30). Indeed, Plaintiffs do not
identify a single word in their legal argument that should be
redacted in the event the court adopts their alternative
request to seal only portions of the memorandum. Also, some
exhibits appear to be website printouts that contain no
information related to Plaintiff. See,
e.g., (ECF No. 47, Ex. 4). Thus, the court declines
Plaintiffs' blanket request to seal.
The court will grant in part and deny in party
Plaintiffs' request to seal portions of their Motion for
Summary Judgment and exhibits individually
Exhibits 1, 2, 5-7, 10, 12, 13, and 15-24 must be
1, 2, 5-7, 10, 12, 13, and 15-24 will remain sealed
temporarily, but Plaintiffs must file copies of these
exhibits on the public docket with I.F.'s birthdate,
photograph, and all minors' names redacted. Rule 5.2
provides that a minor's name and any individual's
date of birth are protectable. Fed.R.Civ.P.
5.2(a). Yet Rule 5.2 and the District of
Utah's Civil Rules provide for a balanced approach that
respects the open nature of courts. When protectable
information is not directly pertinent to issues before the
court, counsel should redact it. See D.U. Civ. R.
5-3(a)(2)(B) & (C). Further, even when a document
contains protectable information that is pertinent to the
legal issues before the court, counsel must file a copy of
the document with the protectable information redacted, even
if an unredacted copy is filed. See D.U. Civ. R.
5-3(a)(2)(D). Counsel has not even attempted to comply with
this requirement. Accordingly, counsel must redact each
instance of I.F.'s birthdate, photograph, and all
minors' names from Exhibits 1, 2, 5-7, 10, 12, 13, and
15-24 and then file redacted copies of those exhibits on the
public docket. Failure to file redacted copies within
fourteen days will result in the court unsealing these
exhibits without further notice.
The court will not seal Plaintiffs' brief in support
of their motion for summary judgment and the unredacted