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Critical Nurse Staffing v. Four Corners Health Care Crop.

United States District Court, D. Utah

November 4, 2019

CRITICAL NURSE STAFFING, Plaintiff,
v.
FOUR CORNERS HEALTH CARE CORPORATION, a Utah Corporation; and FOUR CORNERS HEALTH CARE - NM, a New Mexico Limited Liability Company, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO SUBSTITUTE REDACTED VERSIONS OF DOCUMENTS

          TED STEWART, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. BACKGROUND

         This matter is before the Court on Four Corners Health Care Corporation and Four Corners Health Care's (collectively “Defendants”) Motion to Substitute Redacted Versions of Documents, filed October 14, 2019.[1] This Motion is in reference to a case dismissed on December 1, 2016.[2] For the reasons discussed below, the Court will deny the Motion.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Defendants seek substitution of documents on the Court's docket with alternate versions that redact patient names. As Defendants point out, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2 requires that a person or entity who submits a court filing containing “an individual's social-security number, taxpayer-identification number, or birth date, the name of an individual known to be a minor, or a financial-account number” redact certain information.[3] The patient names that Defendants seek to redact are not included among the protected information types listed under Rule 5.2, and Defendants did not redact these names when originally submitting their filings.[4]The Court has no information to suggest any of the relevant patient names are for minors. While Defendants point to language in the local rules that “[t]he court may order redaction of additional personal identifiers by motion and order in a specific case or as to a specific document or documents, ”[5] they do not provide justification for the Court to take such an action.

         The local rules note that “[t]he records of the court are presumptively open to the public. . . . Unless restricted by statute or court order, the public shall have access to all documents filed with the court and to all court proceedings.”[6] The local rules further elaborate that “[o]n motion of a party and a showing of good cause, a judge may order that a Document be sealed.”[7] These rules consistently reflect a strong policy interest in preserving public access to complete court documents.[8]

         “Courts have long recognized a common-law right of access to judicial records.”[9] While not an absolute right, there is a “strong presumption in favor of public access.”[10] “The party seeking to overcome the presumption of public access to the documents bears the burden of showing some significant interest that outweighs the presumption.”[11] This presumption is one of access to complete court documents.[12] Absent any showing of an interest that outweighs presumptive public disclosure, the Court cannot favor redaction.

         III. CONCLUSION

         It is therefore

         ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to Substitute Redacted Versions of Documents (Docket No. 186) is DENIED.

---------

Notes:

[1] Docket No. 186.

[2] See Docket No. 185.


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