United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
C. COUGHENOUR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for a
protective order (Dkt. No. 37). Having thoroughly considered
the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court
GRANTS the motion in part and DENIES the motion in part.
seeks certain financial information from Plaintiff to assist
in his defense to Plaintiff's action seeking enforcement
of her I-864 support obligation. (Dkt. No. 40 at 1-2.)
Namely, Defendant seeks Plaintiff's Free Application for
Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”) application, PayPal
transaction history, bank statements, and food assistance
applications. (Dkt. No. 37 at 6.) Plaintiff agrees the
information is discoverable. (Dkt. No. 41 at 2.) But she
believes Defendant will misuse this information.
(Id. at 2-4.) Plaintiff sought a stipulated
protective order, which Defendant refused to provide.
(Id.) Plaintiff now moves the Court for a protective
order precluding disclosure of the information described
above for purposes outside of this dispute. (See
Dkt. No. 37-2.)
A party or any person from whom discovery is sought may move
for a protective order in the court where the action is
pending -- or as an alternative on matters relating to a
deposition, in the court for the district where the
deposition will be taken . . . The court may, for good cause,
issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance,
embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c).
“has the burden of proving ‘good cause, '
which requires a showing that specific prejudice or harm will
result if the protective order is not granted.” In
re Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, 661
F.3d 417, 424 (9th Cir. 2011). Plaintiff has demonstrated
good cause for entering the order Plaintiff seeks, but only
to the extent Defendant does not have a disclosure obligation
for that information. See Phillips Estates of Byrd v.
Gen. Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1211 (9th Cir. 2002)
(the Court must balance “the public and private
interests to decide whether a protective order is
foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's motion
(Dkt. No. 37) in part and DENIES the motion in part. The
Clerk is DIRECTED to enter the protective order below. The
discovery period for the documents referenced in the order,
see infra section 2, is EXTENDED as necessary for
Plaintiff to produce the documents, but not for any other
purpose. The Court DENIES Plaintiff's request for
attorney fees. (Dkt. No. 37 at 7.) The parties reasonably
dispute whether Plaintiff has shown good cause for a
protective order. As such, an award of fees would be unjust.
PURPOSES AND LIMITATIONS
in this action is likely to involve production of
confidential, proprietary, or private information for which
special protection may be warranted. Accordingly the Court
enters the following Protective Order. This Order is
consistent with Local Civil Rule 26(c). It does not confer
blanket protection on all disclosures or responses to
discovery, the protection it affords from public disclosure
and use extends only to the limited information or items that
are entitled to confidential treatment under the applicable
legal principles, and it does not presumptively entitle
parties to file confidential information under seal.
material shall include the following documents and tangible
things produced or otherwise exchanged: all Free Application
for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applications signed by
Plaintiff; Plaintiff's applications for food assistance;
and Plaintiff's PayPal transaction history and bank
statements (including those jointly held with Plaintiff's
husband Adam Higley).
protections conferred by this agreement cover not only
confidential material (as defined above), but also (1) any
information copied or extracted from confidential material;
(2) all copies, excerpts, summaries, or compilations of
confidential material; and (3) any testimony, conversations,
or presentations by parties or their counsel that might
reveal confidential material.
the protections conferred by this agreement do not cover
information that in the public domain or that which becomes
part of the public domain through trial or otherwise.
ACCESS TO AND USE OF CONFIDENTIAL MATERIAL
Basic Principles. A receiving party may use confidential
material that is disclosed or produced by another party or by
a non-party in connection with this case only for
prosecuting, defending, or attempting to settle this
litigation. Confidential material may be disclosed only to
the categories of persons and under the conditions described
in this agreement. Confidential material must be stored and
maintained by a receiving party ...