United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
DOUGLAS E. ARPERT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on a Motion by Plaintiffs
Carlton and Letitia Yancey (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”) to seal certain materials. ECF No.
101. Specifically, Plaintiffs seek to permanently seal
Plaintiffs' letter to the Court dated January 22, 2019.
ECF No. 95. Defendant Wal-Mart Corporation has not responded
to the Motion. The Court has fully considered Plaintiffs'
motion and, having declined to hold oral argument pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b), for the reasons specified below,
Plaintiffs' Motion to Seal is GRANTED.
Civil Rule 5.3 governs requests to seal documents filed with
the Court. Under Rule 5.3(c)(2), a party seeking to seal
documents must show “(a) the nature of the materials or
proceedings at issue; (b) the legitimate private or public
interests which warrant the relief sought; (c) the clearly
defined and serious injury that would result if the relief
sought is not granted; and (d) why a less restrictive
alternative to the relief sought is not available.” L.
Civ. R. 5.3(c).
is a common law right of public access to judicial records,
although the right is not absolute.” Carson v. New
Jersey State Prison, 2018 WL 4343313, at *1 (D.N.J.
Sept. 10, 2018), (citing In re Cendant Corp., 260
F.3d 183, 194 (3d Cir. 2001)). To override that common law
right of access, a party seeking to seal the judicial record
“‘bears the burden of showing that the material
is the kind of information that courts will protect' and
that ‘disclosure will work a clearly defined and
serious injury to the party seeking closure.'”
Carson, 2018 WL4343313, at *1 (citing Miller v.
Indiana Hosp., 16 F.3d 549, 551 (3d Cir. 1994);
Publicker Indus., Inc. v. Cohen, 733 F.2d 1059, 1071
(3d Cir. 1984)). “In delineating the injury to be
prevented, specificity is essential.” Carson,
2018 WL4343313, at *1 (citing Publicker, 733 F.2d at
1071)). “Broad allegations of harm, bereft of specific
examples or articulated reasoning, are insufficient.”
Carson, 2018 WL4343313, at *1. Additionally, where a
party moves to seal pretrial motions of a “nondiscovery
nature” the moving party must make a showing sufficient
to overcome a “presumptive right of public
access.” See Leucadia v. Applied Extrusion
Technologies, Inc., 998 F.2d 157, 164 (3d Cir.1993). To
overcome this presumption, the moving party must demonstrate
that “good cause” exists. Good cause exists when
it “is demonstrated that disclosure will cause a
clearly defined and serious injury.” Glenmede Trust
Co. v. Thompson, 56 F.3d 476, 483 (3d Cir. 1995)
(citing Pansy v. Borough of Stroudsburg, 23 F.3d
772, 786 (3d Cir.1994)).
provide further clarity, the Third Circuit has set forth the
following additional factors to consider in determining
whether “good cause” exists:
(1) Whether disclosure will violate any privacy interests;
(2) Whether the information is being sought for a legitimate
purpose or for an improper purpose;
(3) Whether disclosure of the information will cause a party
(4) Whether confidentiality is being sought over information
important to public health and safety;
(5) Whether the sharing of information among litigants will
promote fairness and efficiency;
(6) Whether a party benefitting from the order of
confidentiality is a public entity or official; and
(7) Whether the case involves issues important to the public.
See Glenmede, 56 F.3d at 483 (citing Pansy,
23 F.3d at 787-91) and Archbrook Laguna LLC v. New Age
Elecs., Inc., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61074, *5-8 ...