United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO ENTER INTO AGREED ORDER OF
L. ROBART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is Defendants Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc.,
Hilton Management Services (CIS), dba Hilton Management
Services, Hilton Hospitality, LLC dba Hilton Hospitality,
Inc., and Hilton International Holdings (“Hilton
Defendants”) and Plaintiffs Andrew Maxell Clay and
Tonja Clay (“the Clays”) motion to enter into an
agreed order of protection. (Mot. (Dkt. # 29).) The court has
reviewed the motion and the applicable law. Being fully
advised, the court DENIES the parties' motion.
5 of the parties' proposed stipulated order of protection
violates Local Rule LCR 5(g) concerning the sealing and
redacting of court records. See Local Rules W.D.
Wash. LCR 5(g); (see also Prop. Stip. Order (Dkt. #
29-1) ¶ 5.) Under the parties' proposed stipulated
order of protection, Hilton Defendants may designated certain
documents as “confidential.” (Prop. Stip. Order
¶ 1.) Paragraph 5 of the porposed order then states that
“[a]ny . . . document disclosing information subject to
this Order, which may be submitted to the [c]ourt, . . .
shall be filed in a sealed envelope appropriately marked as
confidential and subject to protective order, ” and
“[t]he Clerks are directed to maintain such documents
under seal, to be made available only to the [c]ourt and to
counsel in this proceeding.” (Id. ¶ 5.)
Thus, under the parties proposed order, Hilton Defendants, in
their sole discretion, determine which documents are
maintained under seal on the court's docket. This
provision violates not only the court's local rules, but
Ninth Circuit authority as well.
the court's local rules, a party may only file a document
under seal (1) if a statute, rule, or prior court order
expressly authorizes the party to file the document under
seal, or (2) if the party files a motion or stipulated motion
to seal the document before or at the same time the party
files the sealed document. Local Rules W.D. Wash. LCR
5(g)(2). Any such motion, must include (1) certification that
the party has met and conferred with all other parties in an
attempt to reach agreement on the need to file the document
under seal, to minimize the amount of material filed under
seal, and to explore redaction and other alternatives to
filing under seal, and (2) a specific statement of the
applicable legal standard and the reasons for keeping a
document under seal. See id. LCR 5(g)(3). In the
Ninth Circuit, courts apply a presumptive “compelling
reasons” standard when considering whether to seal
records attached to a motion that is “more than
tangentially related to the merits of a case.” Ctr.
for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., 809 F.3d 1092, 1101
(9th Cir. 2016). The court must find “good cause”
for sealing records attached to a discovery motion unrelated
to the merits of the case. See Id. at 1097. The
parties' proposed order, which allows Hilton Defendants
to designated records in their sole discretion as
“confidential” and then requires the court Clerk
to maintain such records under seal once filed with the
court, does not comport with either the court's local
rules or the foregoing case authority.
the parties have failed to comply with Local Rule LCR
26(c)(2). See Local Rules W.D. Wash. LCR 26(c)(2).
Pursuant to this rule, “[p]arties are encouraged to use
this district's model protective order, available on the
court's website.” Id. “Parties that
wish to depart from the model order must provide the court
with a redlined version identifying departures from the
model.” Id. Here, the parties failed to
provide a redlined version as required under the local rules.
(See Mot.; see also Prop. Stip. Order.)
reasons stated above, the court DENIES the parties'
motion to for an agreed order of protection (Dkt. # 29). The
parties may re-file a motion for a protective order so long
as it comports with the court's local rules and Ninth
Circuit authority. The court encourages, but does not
require, the parties to utilize the model protective order
found on the court's website. See Local Rules
W.D. Wash. LCR 26(c)(2). However, the parties must identify
any departures from the model protective order in a redlined
version of their proposed order. See id.
court was required to expend limited judicial resources
denying a stipulated motion that was patently in violation of
the court's local rules. The conduct of counsel in filing
such a motion fell below the standard the court expects of
counsel admitted to the Western District of Washington.
Therefore, before engaging in further motion practice before
this court, the court encourages counsel for Hilton
Defendants and counsel for ...