United States District Court, D. New Jersey
A.S., a minor, individually and by his parents H.S. and M.S., Plaintiffs,
HARRISON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF EDUCATION and EAST GREENWICH SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendants.
EPSTEIN, ESQ. Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08002 Counsel for
LEVENSON, P.A., William S. Donio, Esq. Atlantic City, New
Jersey 08401 Counsel for Defendant East Greenwich School
McCAY, P.A., Brett Gorman, Esq. Counsel for Defendant
Harrison Township Board of Education
NOEL L. HILLMAN, United States District Judge
before the Court are Plaintiffs' Motions to Seal [Docket
#s 184, 200] the financial terms of their settlement of this
Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, 20 U.S.C.
§ 1400, et seq., (“IDEA”), suit. For the
reasons stated herein, the motions will be granted.
have brought this suit against the public school districts of
Harrison Township and East Greenwich Township on behalf of
their 9 year-old child, A.S., who is undisputedly disabled.
Harrison Township has settled with Plaintiffs. East Greenwich
has not, and continues with active litigation of this suit.
December 8, 2016 the Settlement Agreement between Plaintiffs
and Defendant Harrison Township Board of Education was filed
with the Court (under temporary seal) in support of those
parties' joint motion for approval of the
settlement. A publicly-available version of the
Settlement Agreement, with only the dollar figures redacted,
has been filed separately on the docket.
well established that there is “a common law public
right of access to judicial proceedings and records.”
In re Cendant, Corp., 260 F.3d 183, 192 (3d Cir.
2001). In order to overcome the presumption of a public right
to access, the movant must demonstrate that “good
cause” exists for the protection of the material at
issue. Securimetrics, Inc. v. Iridian Technologies,
Inc., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22297at *2 (D.N.J. Mar. 30,
2006). Good cause exists when a party makes a particularized
showing that disclosure will cause a “clearly defined
and serious injury to the party seeking closure.”
Id. (citing Pansy v. Borough of
Stroudsburg, 23 F.3d 772, 786 (3d Cir. 1994)).
Civil Rule 5.3(c)(3) requires that a motion to seal describe
(a) the nature of the materials or proceedings at issue; (b)
the legitimate private or public interest which warrant the
relief sought; (c) the clearly defined and serious injury
that would result if the relief sought is not granted; (d)
why a less restrictive alternative to the relief sought is
not available; (e) any prior order sealing the same materials
in the pending action; and (f) the identity of any party or
nonparty known to be objecting to the sealing request.
settlement agreement filed with the Court or incorporated
into an order shall, absent an appropriate showing under
federal law, be deemed a public record and available for
public review.” L. Civ. R. 5.3(d)(2).
and Defendant Harrison Township request that the financial
terms of the settlement agreement be sealed. Defendant East
Greenwich Township opposes sealing, asserting that the
financial terms of the settlement must be disclosed ...