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Totten v. Lowe's Home Centers Inc.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


August 9, 2010

RICHARD AND JUDY TOTTEN PLAINTIFF
v.
LOWE'S HOME CENTERS INC. DEFENDANT

The opinion of the court was delivered by: John A. Gorman United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

The parties have filed a Motion for Protective Order (#40). Ruling on that motion is DEFERRED as stated below.

A proposed protective order is attached to the motion. Paragraph 5 of that proposed Order states that any document designated by the parties as confidential that is to be submitted to the Court "shall be filed under seal." That paragraph is inconsistent with the Rules of this Court. See, CDIL LR 5.10A(2).

Rule 5.10A(2) is based on the law of the Seventh Circuit that sealing of documents is an "exceptional measure," Grove Fresh Distributors, Inc. v. Everfresh Juice Co., 24 F.3d 893, 897 (7th Cir.1994). "Information that affects the disposition of litigation belongs in the public record unless a statute or privilege justifies nondisclosure." U.S. v. Maurice Foster, 564 F.3d 852 (7th Cir. 2009). The Court will not, therefore, enter a protective order that allows the parties to determine whether a document or pleading should be filed under seal.

Nor will the Court approve the filing of documents under seal as a general matter. See, Citizens First Nat. Bank v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 178 F.3d 943, 944-45 (7th Cir. 1999). The law of this Circuit sets out certain standards that must be met before the court will allow documents to be filed and remain under seal. See, Jessup v. Luther, 277 F.3d 926 (7th Cir. 2002); Baxter Intern'l Inc. v. Abbott Laboratories, 297 F.3d 544 (7th Cir. 2002); Union Oil Co. v. Leavell, 220 F.3d 562, 567-68 (7th Cir. 2000); United States v. Eppinger, 49 F.3d 1244, 1252-53 (7th Cir.1995); B.H. v. McDonald, 49 F.3d 294, 301 (7th Cir.1995).

Parties are directed to re-submit within 14 days an amended proposed protective order that complies with Rule 5.10A(2) and the law on which that Rule is based.

ENTERED ON August 9, 2010

20100809

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