United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
J. Shelby, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DENYING MOTION TO
UNSEAL GRAND JURY PROCEEDINGS
C. Wells, United States Magistrate Judge.
matter is referred to the undersigned in accordance with 28
U.S.C. 636(b)(1)(A) from Judge Robert Shelby. Pending before
the court is Defendants' Motion to Unseal Grand Jury
Proceedings. The court will deny the motion as set
Supreme Court has consistently “recognized that the
proper functioning of the grand jury system depends upon the
secrecy of the grand jury proceedings.” There are
exceptions, however, to this guiding principle. A court may
authorize disclosure of grand jury proceedings under Rule
6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure if a
“party demonstrates necessity for them with
particularity.'” Determining whether to release grand
jury materials involves balancing competing interests that
are unique from case to case. The Tenth Circuit has set forth
these competing interests:
“Specifically, a party seeking grand jury materials
must show (1) the materials are needed to avoid a possible
injustice in another judicial proceeding, (2) the need for
disclosure is greater than the need for continued secrecy,
and (3) the request is structured to cover only material so
needed. Relevance alone is not sufficient; secrecy will not
be broken absent a compelling necessity for the materials.
Further, the request must amount to more than a request for
authorization to engage in a fishing
seek a “copy of the grand jury transcripts/recording .
. . for the purpose of use in a judicial
proceedings.” Defendants argue the “information
testified to in the grand Jury proceeding is critical in
avoiding injustice in the pending civil rights
suit.” Further, at issue is not only
Defendants' civil rights, “but also the integrity
of the Grand Jury proceedings” And, the need for the grand
jury transcripts “is apparent”, “the
obscure and suspicious nature of the indictment
necessitates” disclosure especially since defendants
“have reason to believe that false evidence was
provided to the Grand Jury.” Finally, Defendants point to
Douglas Oil Co .v Petrol Stops,  asserting
continued secrecy in the grand jury proceeding is less
relevant after a grand jury's investigation is completed.
court is not persuaded by Defendants arguments. They are
conclusory without offering evidence of a particularized need
for the release of the grand jury proceedings. Blanket
assertions of “harming civil rights” in another
proceeding are not enough to shift the balance in favor of a
release. As noted in the case cited to by Defendants,
“disclosure is appropriate only in those cases where
the need for it outweighs the public interest in secrecy, and
that the burden of demonstrating this balance rests upon the
private party seeking disclosure.” Defendants
have failed to meet that burden. At best, it appears the
materials may be relevant to the other matter and relevance
alone is not sufficient.
Defendants' Motion is DENIED.
 ECF No. 45.
 ECF No. 77.
 Douglas Oil Co. v. Petrol Stops
Northwest, 441 U.S. 211, 218, 99 S.Ct. 1667, 1662, 60
L.Ed.2d 156 (1979).
In re Special Grand Jury
89-2, 143 F.3d 565, 569 (10th Cir. 1998) (quoting
United States v. Procter & Gamble Co., 365 U.S.
677, 682, 78 S.Ct. 983, 986-87, 2 ...