United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
S. SNEED UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant's Unopposed
Motion for Extension to File Administrative Record and to
Permit Filing of Unredacted Administrative Record on CD Under
Seal (“Motion”). (Dkt. 11.) Defendant moves for
an extension of time to file its administrative record under
seal, without redactions. (Dkt. 11.) In accordance with the
Court's ERISA Case Management and Scheduling Order,
Defendant is compiling an administrative record to be filed
by December 11, 2017. (See Dkt. 10.) Defendant contends that
the administrative record contains 1, 255 pages of documents,
many of which contain confidential and sensitive financial,
medical, and personally identifying information of Plaintiff.
(Dkt. 11 at 2.) Defendant requests an extension through
December 22, 2017 to file its un-redacted administrative
record under seal. (Dkt. 11 at 2.) Defendant asserts that it
will provide Plaintiff with a complete, un-redacted copy of
the non-privileged portions of the administrative record and
a privilege log of documents withheld from production. (Dkt.
11 at 2.) In the alternative, Defendant requests an extension
through January 12, 2018 to fully redact the administrative
record for filing. (Dkt. 11 at 3.) Plaintiff does not oppose
the requested relief. (Dkt. 11 at 3.)
Middle District of Florida Local Rule 1.09, a party seeking
to file any paper or other matter under seal must: (1)
identify and describe each item proposed for sealing; (2)
state the reason that filing each item is necessary; (3)
state the reason that sealing each item is necessary; (4)
state the reason that a means other than sealing is
unavailable or unsatisfactory to preserve the interest
advanced by the movant in support of the seal; (5) state the
proposed duration of the seal; and (6) provide a memorandum
of legal authority supporting the seal. M.D. Fla. Local R.
1.09(a). No order sealing any item shall extend beyond one
year, but a seal may be renewed upon filing a proper motion.
M.D. Fla. Local R. 1.09(c).
because “[t]he operations of the courts and the
judicial conduct of judges are matters of utmost public
concern, ” “[m]aterial filed in connection with
any substantive pretrial motion, unrelated to discovery, is
subject to the common law right of access, ” which
includes the right to inspect and copy public records and
documents. Romero v. Drummond Co., 480 F.3d 1234,
1245 (11th Cir. 2007). However, “[t]his right of access
is not absolute” and “may be overcome by a
showing of good cause, ” taking into consideration the
public interest in accessing court documents and the
party's interest in keeping the information confidential.
Id. at 1245-46. In particular, “[a]
party's privacy or proprietary interest in information
sometimes overcomes the interest of the public in accessing
the information.” Id. at 1246.
consideration, the Court finds that Defendant has shown good
cause concerning why portions of the administrative record
should be filed under seal. Specifically, the items to be
sealed are described in the Motion, and Defendant has
adequately explained why portions of the administrative
record must be filed under seal, as they contain confidential
and sensitive financial or medical information related to
Plaintiff. See Barkley v. Pizza Hut of Am., Inc.,
No. 614CV376ORL37DAB, 2015 WL 5915817, at *3 (M.D. Fla. Oct.
8, 2015) (granting a motion to file under seal documents that
contained confidential information regarding the party's
business operations and confidential and competitively
sensitive information); Local Access, LLC v. Peerless
Network, Inc., No. 614CV399ORL40TBS, 2015 WL 5897743, at
*1 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 7, 2015) (“A party's interest in
the privacy of its financial records and the terms of
confidential agreements oftentimes outweighs the public's
right of access.”); Clark v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of
Am., 3:14-CV-1037-J-34PDB, 2014 WL 12609869, at *1-2
(M.D. Fla. Oct. 16, 2014) (granting motion to file
administrative record under seal because allowing public
access to the personal information in the file would harm
plaintiff's privacy interests). However, Defendant has
not shown good cause to file the entire administrative record
under seal. Defendant represents that not every page of the
1, 255 administrative record contains confidential and
sensitive information. (Dkt. 11 at 2.) A court has discretion
to determine which parts of the record should be sealed, but
its discretion is guided by the presumption of public access.
Perez-Guerrero v. U.S. Attorney General, 717 F.3d
1224, 1235 (11th Cir. 2013). Accordingly, it is
Defendant's Unopposed Motion for Extension to File
Administrative Record and to Permit Filing of Unredacted
Administrative Record on CD Under Seal (Dkt. 11) is
GRANTED in part and DENIED
or before January 12, 2018, Defendant is directed to submit
to the Clerk, and the Clerk is directed to accept under seal,
those portions of the administrative record that contain
confidential and sensitive financial or medical information
related to Plaintiff. Those portions of the administrative
record shall remain under seal for a period not to exceed one
(1) year. See M.D. Fla. Local R. 1.09(c).
Defendant is directed to file the remaining portions of the
administrative record that do not contain confidential and
sensitive financial or medical information related to
Plaintiff on or before January 12, 2018.