United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ARNOLD SANSONE United States Magistrate Judge
Marvin Kaplan, Kathryn Kaplan, R1A Palms, LLC, Triple Net
Exchange, LLC, MK Investing, LLC, BNK Smith, LLC, and MIK
Advanta, LLC (collectively, “Kaplan Defendants”),
request the court renew the sealing of certain documents.
(Doc. 154). Specifically, the Kaplan Defendants request that
Exhibits A-D, I, K, L, N, P-Z, AA-HH, JJ, MM-OO, and
transcripts from Marvin Kaplan's trial testimony
(collectively, the “subject documents”), filed in
support of Regions Bank's Motion for Preliminary
Injunction (Docs. 35, 36), remain under seal.
January 31, 2017, the court entered an order granting Regions
Bank's request to seal certain documents filed in
connection with its motion for preliminary injunction. (Doc.
38). The order provided that the sealing “shall not
extend beyond one year, but the parties may move the court to
extend this timeframe by, prior to the expiration of this
Order, filing a motion pursuant to Local Rule 1.09(c), M.D.
Fla.” (Id.). On January 31, 2018, the Kaplan
Defendants filed the instant motion to renew the sealing of
the subject documents. (Doc. 154). The court reviewed the
documents in camera. (Doc. 157).
the deadline expires, a party may move to extend a sealing
period, provided the motion complies with Local Rule 1.09(b).
Local Rule 1.09(c), M.D. Fla. Strict adherence to this
court's procedure is necessary because“‘[t]he
common-law right of access to judicial proceedings, an
essential component of our system of justice, is instrumental
in securing the integrity of the process.'”
Romero v. Drummond Co., Inc., 480 F.3d 1234, 1245
(11th Cir. 2007) (quoting Chicago Tribune Co. v.
Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., 263 F.3d 1304, 1311 (11th
Cir. 2001)). “The common law right of access may be
overcome by a showing of good cause, which requires
‘balanc[ing] the asserted right of access against the
other party's interest in keeping the information
confidential.'” Romero, 480 F.3d at 1246
(quoting Chicago Tribune Co., 263 F.3d at 1309).
case shifts from the discovery period to the adjudication on
the merits by way of summary judgment motions or trial, the
court's balancing of a party's right to
confidentiality of its records and the public's right of
access also shifts. See Alvey v. Gualtieri, No.
8:15-cv-1861-T-33MAP, 2016 WL 4129273, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Aug.
3, 2016); Diaz-Granados v. Wright Med. Tech., Inc.,
No. 6:14-cv-1953-Orl-28TBS, 2016 WL 1090060, at *3 (M.D. Fla.
Mar. 21, 2016). This action is currently in the summary
judgment stage of litigation. (Docs. 130, 134).
cause exists for the transcripts from Marvin Kaplan's
trial testimony to remain under seal to continue the
implementation of United States District Judge Elizabeth A.
Kovachevich's order denying Regions Bank's motion to
unseal those transcripts. See Regions v. Kaplan, et
al., No. 8:12-cv-1837-T-17MAP (Doc. 867). However, good
cause does not exist for the remaining documents to remain
remaining documents consist of either bank statements
(Exhibits A-D, K, N, X-Z, AA, BB, CC, DD, EE, FF, HH),
checkbook ledgers (Exhibits W, GG), Marvin Kaplan's IRA
restructuring statements (Exhibits I, L, Q), corporate
balance sheets (Exhibit JJ), operating agreements (Exhibits
P, R, V), and 2012-13 tax returns for R1A Palms, LLC, Triple
Net Exchange, LLC, and BNK Smith, LLC (Exhibits S-U, MM, NN,
and OO). After reviewing the documents and the parties'
briefing, the court concludes that unsealing is not unduly
prejudicial to the Kaplan Defendants, and the public interest
in maintaining a public docket far outweighs any privacy
concerns. See Aldora Aluminum & Glass Prod., Inc. v.
Poma Glass & Specialty Windows, Inc., No.
3:14-CV-1402-J-34JBT, 2016 WL 7666128, at *2 (M.D. Fla. June
13, 2016) (“Defendant's blanket assertion that the
filings contain confidential business and/or financial
information does not show good cause for sealing the
Kaplan Defendants may partially redact any financial account
numbers in compliance with Rule 5.2(a) and the court's
Administrative Procedures for Electronic Filing, but there is
not good cause to shield from disclosure any other portions
in the face of the presumptive right of public access.
it is ORDERED that Kaplan Parties'
Renewed Motion to Seal Confidential Documents (Doc. 145) is
GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. The
excerpts of transcripts from Marvin Kaplan's trial
testimony shall remain under seal. Exhibits A-D, I, K, L, N,
P-Z, AA-HH, JJ, MM-OO, filed in support of Regions ...