United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
UNITED STATES EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff,
FAVORITE FARMS, INC., Defendant AND EULALIA SALAZAR-SANTIAGO, Intervenor-Plaintiff,
ARNOLD SANSONE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”) moves to seal briefing that reveals
Eulalia Salazar-Santiago's immigration status. (Doc. 45).
Ms. Salazar-Santiago and RCMA agree with the EEOC's
motion to seal; Favorite Farms does not. (Id. at
relevant part, Local Rule 1.09(a) states:
Unless filing under seal is authorized by statute, rule, or
order, a party seeking to file under seal any paper or other
matter in any civil case shall file and serve a motion, the
title of which includes the words “Motion to
Seal” and which includes: (i) an identification and
description of each item proposed for sealing; (ii) the
reason that filing each item is necessary; (iii) the reason
that sealing each item is necessary; (iv) 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; (v) a statement of the proposed duration of the
seal; and (vi) a memorandum of legal authority supporting the
the EEOC requests the court file under seal: (1) Favorite
Farms' motion to compel RCMA to respond to its subpoena
duces tecum, and attached exhibits (Doc. 41); (2) the
EEOC's forthcoming motion for protective order and motion
to modify Favorite Farms' subpoena on RCMA; (3) responses
to Favorite Farms' motion to compel; (4) motions from
Favorite Farms for leave to reply to its motion to compel and
Favorite Farms' following replies; and (5) hearing
transcripts and orders relating to Favorite Farms' motion
to compel. (Doc. 45, pp. 4-6).
filings the EEOC wishes to seal are necessary because each
would be responsive to Favorite Farms' current motion to
compel discovery from RCMA. The EEOC argues documents
revealing Ms. Salazar-Santiago's immigration status must
be sealed, otherwise there would be a “chilling
effect” on similarly-situated immigrants likely to
request future assistance from the EEOC. (Id. at 8)
(citations omitted). The EEOC asks the court to seal the
documents for ten years. (Id. at 4). Also, the EEOC
provided a memorandum of law to support its motion.
(Id. at 3-12).
responses to Favorite Farms' motion to compel are due
presently, and those responses involve Ms.
Salazar-Santiago's immigration status, the EEOC provided
sufficient reason to temporarily seal documents under Local
Rule 1.09(a). However, the court will not grant the
EEOC's motion to seal Favorite Farms' motion for
leave to reply and following reply because no replies are
forthcoming. Also, the court will not grant the EEOC's
motion to seal hearing transcripts; instead, the sealing of
hearing transcripts will be addressed at those hearings.
Order sealing documents is temporary. Favorite Farms may move
for reconsideration of this Order after parties and RCMA
submit responses to Favorite Farms' motion to compel.
Even if Favorite Farms does not move for reconsideration, the
court will reconsider the Order sua sponte. The public has a
presumptive right to view judicial records. Nixon v.
Warner Commc'ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978).
Although time constraints imposed by the response deadline to
Favorite Farms' motion to compel weigh toward temporarily
granting the EEOC's motion to file documents under seal,
the EEOC failed to explain why means other than permanently
sealing documents are unavailable under Local Rule 1.09(a).
it is ORDERED that:
EEOC's motion to seal briefing related to Ms.
Salazar-Santiago's immigration status (Doc. 45) is
GRANTED in part and DENIED in
Clerk is directed to temporarily seal the following documents
pending reconsideration of this Order:
a. Favorite Farms' motion to compel RCMA to respond to a
subpoena duces tecum, and attached exhibits (Doc. 41);
b. The EEOC's forthcoming motion for protective order
concerning Ms. Salazar-Santiago's immigration status, and
all responses to that motion;
c. The EEOC's forthcoming motion to modify Favorite
Farms' subpoena on RCMA, and all responses ...