United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO SEAL
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff The Mold Pros
Franchising, Inc.'s (“The Mold Pros”) motion
to file exhibits under seal. Dkt. 14. The Court has
considered the pleadings filed in support of and in
opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and
hereby denies the motion for the reasons stated herein.
22, 2019, The Mold Pros filed suit against Defendants
MycoSolutions, Inc. (“MycoSolutions”), Marc Core
(“Core”), and William Treinen
(“Treinen”). Dkt. 1. The Mold Pros allege that
Treinen and Core operated a Mold Pros franchise in Olympia,
Washington using their proprietary,
“eco-friendly” mold removal and inspection system
which “safely and effectively treats indoor mold issues
without the use of harmful chemicals or toxins” Id.
¶ ¶ 2-3. The Mold Pros allege that Trenin and
Core later misappropriated The Mold Pros' proprietary
systems in the operation of MycoSolutions. Id.
¶ 2-3, 6.
3, 3019, The Mold Pros filed the instant motion to seal
exhibits filed in support of its motion for preliminary
injunction. Dkt. 14. On July 15, 2019, Treinen responded.
Dkt. 22. On July 19, 2019, The Mold Pros replied. Dkt. 26.
is a presumption of access to judicial records related to
motions help the public understand the disposition of the
merits of the case- motions which are “more than
tangentially related to the merits of the case.”
Center for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Group, LLC, 809
F.3d 1092, 1099, 1101-03 (9th Cir. 2016). “[T]he common
law right of access promotes the ‘public interest in
understanding' the judicial process itself . . . .”
Id. at 1102 (internal citations omitted). However,
filing documents under seal may be justified by compelling
reasons such as “to prevent judicial documents from
being used ‘as sources of business information that
might harm a litigant's competitive standing.'”
Microsoft Corp. v. Motorola, Inc., No. C10-1823JLR,
2012 WL 5476846, at *1 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 12, 2012) (quoting
In re Electronic Arts, 298 Fed.Appx. 568, 569 (9th
Cir. 2008)). A motion to seal must include (1) a
certification that the parties have conferred on the need to
file the document under seal and (2) “a specific
statement of the applicable legal standard and the reasons
for keeping a document under seal.” Local Rules W.D.
Wash. LCR 5(g)(3).
Mold Pros seek to seal Exhibits H and I to the Declaration of
John Bohde. Dkt. 19.Exhibit H consists of an example of a
MycoSolutions “Proposal for Environmental Treatment,
” essentially, a customer contract. Dkt. 15. Exhibit I
consists of an example of The Mold Pros' Proposal for
Environmental Treatment. Dkt. 16.
for The Mold Pros certifies that he attempted to meet and
confer with Core, who is appearing pro se, MycoSolutions,
which is appearing pro se, and counsel for Treinen prior to
filing this motion. Dkt. 14 at 1. The Mold Pros argue that
the Proposals for Environmental Treatment contain
“information outlining and detailing [The Mold Pros]
trade secret bio-remediation protocol” and public
release of this information would result in irreparable harm
to its business interests. Id. at 2 (citing Dkt. 19,
¶ 6). The Mold Pros argue that Exhibit I is its
boilerplate contract modified on a project-by-project basis
and so does not reach customers in the particular form filed.
Dkt. 26 at 4. However, Treinen is correct that The Mold Pros
has failed to establish how a contract shared with potential
and actual customers is non-public, Dkt. 22 at 3,
particularly when those customers are “not only
homeowners and small businesses, but also big box retailers,
national restaurant chains, department stores, realtors and
property managers, ” Dkt. 1, ¶ 17.
Therefore, the Court denies the motion to seal.
Mold Pros request that if the Court does not grant the motion
to seal, it withdraw the exhibits at issue rather than unseal
them pursuant to Local Rule 5(g)(6) and permit The Mold Pros
to substitute versions of the exhibits at issue redacting
information under the “Treatment” and
“Clean-up and post testing” headings. Dkt. 26 at
8. The Court grants this request. Therefore, it is hereby
ORDERED that The Mold Pros' motion to
seal, Dkt. 14, is DENIED. The Clerk shall
withdraw Dkts. 15 and 16. The Mold Pros may file redacted
versions in the electronic docket as described by September
 The Declaration of John Bohde is filed
at Dkt. 19, but Exhibit H is filed under seal at Dkt. 15 and
Exhibit I is filed ...