SEALED DOCUMENTS AND PUBLIC ACCESS
This Rule applies to documents filed electronically or those filed in paper format.
(a) General Provisions
(1) Motion to file under seal.
Parties seeking to file a document under seal shall file a motion to seal, along with supporting memorandum and a proposed order, and file the document with the clerk of court. Said motion must contain “MOTION TO SEAL” in bold letters in the caption of the pleading.
(2) Motion to seal existing documents.
Parties seeking to place a pending case or previously filed document under seal shall file a “MOTION TO SEAL”, along with supporting memorandum and proposed order. Portions of a document cannot be placed under seal. Instead, the entire document must be placed under seal in order to protect confidential information.
(3) Public information.
Unless otherwise ordered, the motion to seal will be noted in the public record of the court. The filing party or the clerk of court shall be responsible for restricting public access to the sealed documents, as ordered by the court.
(b) Procedure for the Electronic Filing of Sealed Documents
(1) Sealed documents and sealed cases will be filed in electronic format, with access restricted to the Court and authorized staff, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
(2) A motion to seal a document or case shall be submitted electronically in CM/ECF. If a party wishes to file a document under seal in CM/ECF, they shall first contact the clerk’s office for instructions regarding how to file the document and how to maintain the confidentiality of the information. The document submitted under seal shall be filed separately from the motion to seal.
(3) Documents submitted to the Court for in camera review shall be submitted in the same fashion as sealed documents.
(4) The presiding judge may request paper copies of documents for in camera inspection.
(5) Additional instructions for the electronic submission of sealed and in camera documents are contained in the ECF Procedures.
(c) Documents submitted in Paper Format
(1) If the material to be sealed is presented in paper, counsel shall submit the material in an UNSEALED 8½ x 11 inch manilla envelope. The envelope shall contain the title of the court, the case caption, and case number.
(2) Absent any other court order, sealed documents submitted in paper format will be returned to the submitting party after the case is closed and the appeal time has expired, or if appealed, after the conclusion of all appeals.