Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Ind. Decisions - Ruling of SD Ind. on filings under seal
In Planned Parenthood of Ind. and Ky. v. Comm. Indiana State Dept. Mental Health, a 4-page, 10/15/13 order, Judge Magnus-Stinson writes:
On October 11, 2013, the Defendants filed a Response to Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction and a First Stipulation of the Parties. Two issues with those filings require the Court’s attention.Note: The ILB has added the emphasis to the phrase "trade secrets" in light of the ILB post earlier this afternoon from the Indiana Tax Court.
A. Filings Under Seal The Defendants’ response brief, the stipulation, and all exhibits attached to those filings were filed under seal without a motion requesting to do so. The Court recognizes that the parties’ Joint Motion for Protective Order is presently pending. [Dkt. 36.] It is highly unlikely, however, that the proposed protective order or prevailing Seventh Circuit precedent would justify filing all of those materials under seal. * * *
As the Seventh Circuit has observed, “How else are observers to know what the suit is about or assess the [judge’s] disposition of it? Not only the legislature but also students of the judicial system are entitled to know what the heavy financial subsidy of litigation is producing.” Id.
Very few categories of documents are to be kept confidential once “their bearing on the merits of a suit has been revealed.” Id. In civil litigation, “only trade secrets, information covered by a recognized privilege (such as the attorney-client privilege), and information required by statute to be maintained in confidence (such as the name of a minor victim of a sexual assault), is entitled to be kept secret.” Id. A party seeking to maintain confidentiality must explain what harm will result from the disclosure as well as why that harm is the sort that presents a legal justification for secrecy in presumptively public litigation. Id. at 547.
The Defendants’ description of the exhibits attached to their brief does not facilitate the Court’s review. * * *
C. Amended Brief For the reasons detailed herein, the Court ORDERS the Defendants to file an Amended Response Brief by noon on October 17, 2013.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 16, 2013 04:41 PM
Posted to Ind Fed D.Ct. Decisions