United States District Court, D. Kansas
ASHLEY FOSTER, individually and on behalf of other similarly situated persons, Plaintiff,
ROBERT BROGDEN'S OLATHE BUICK GMC, INC., Defendant.
P. O'HARA U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
has filed an unopposed motion for leave to file under seal
the parties' joint motion for preliminary approval of
proposed collection action settlement agreement, including
all attached exhibits (ECF No. 33). Because the motion does
not mention, let alone analyze, the factors relevant to
sealing court filings, the motion is denied.
undersigned informed counsel on the telephone yesterday,
there is well-settled precedent in the Tenth Circuit and the
District of Kansas setting forth the standards applicable to
a party's request to seal court documents. “A party
seeking to file court records under seal must overcome a
presumption, long supported by courts, that the public has a
common-law right of access to judicial
records.” This right derives from the public's
interest “in understanding disputes that are presented
to a public forum for resolution” and is intended to
“assure that the courts are fairly run and judges are
honest.”“The overriding concern [is] with
preserving the integrity of the law enforcement and judicial
processes.” To overcome the presumption in favor of
open records, “the parties must articulate a real and
substantial interest that justifies depriving the public of
access to the records that inform our decision-making
process.” This burden is a “heavy”
public's interest in open proceedings generally
“outweighs any interest of the parties in keeping
confidential the amount of settlement.” “The fact
that the parties agreed to keep documents confidential, by
itself, is insufficient to overcome the public interest in
access to the documents.” “That a party's request
to seal ‘is unopposed or that it refers to material
protected from disclosure by a protective order is not, in
itself, sufficient basis for this Court to
has not articulated any facts upon which the court could
conclude that its interest in keeping the settlement
discussions confidential would overcome the public's
right of access to the documents. Defendant's request to
seal the documents is therefore denied.
 Eugene S. v. Horizon Blue
Cross Blue Shield, 663 F.3d 1124, 1135 (10th Cir. 2011);
accord Hatfield v. Price Mgmt. Co., No. 04-2563-JWL,
2005 WL 375665, at *1 (D. Kan. Feb. 16, 2005). See also
Mann v. Boatright, 477 F.3d 1140, 1149 (10th Cir. 2007)
(recognizing, “Courts have long recognized a common-law
right of access to judicial records, ” and citing
Nixon v. Warner Commc'ns, 435 U.S. 589, 597
(1978)); United States v. Apperson, 642 F. App'x
892, 898 (10th Cir. 2016) (“Courts have long recognized
a common-law right of access to judicial records.”).
Crystal Grower's Corp. v. Dobbins, 616 F.2d 458,
461 (10th Cir. 1980); accord Booth v. Davis, Nos.
10-4010-KHV, 10-4011-KHV, 10-4124-KHV, 10-41-4125-KHV, 2016
WL 1170949, at * 1 (D. Kan. March 23, 2016); Ramirez v.
Bravo's Holding Co., No. 94-2396, 1996 WL 507238, at
*1 (D. Kan. Aug. 22, 1996).
Apperson, 642 F. App'x at 899 (quoting
United States v. Hickey, 767 F.2d 705, 708 (10th
Cir. 1985)); Riker v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 315 F.
App'x 752, 754-55 (10th Cir. 2009) (same).
Colony Ins. Co. v. Burke, 698 F.3d 1222, 1241 (10th
Cir. 2012); Helm v. Kansas, 656 F.3d 1277, 1292
(10th Cir. 2011); accord Booth, 2016 WL 1170949, at
Helm, 656 F.3d at 1292B93.
McCaffrey v. Mortgage Sources, Corp., No.
08-2660-KHV, 2010 WL 4024065, at *2 (D. Kan. Oct. 13, 2010);
accord Gambrell v. Weber Carpet, Inc., No.
10-2131-KHV, 2011 WL 3518172, at *1 (D. Kan. Aug. 11, 2011);
Barnwell v. Corr. Corp. of Am., No. 08-2151-JWL,
Memorandum & Order (doc. 236), at *6 (D. Kan. Aug. 27,
2009). But see Friedland v. TIC-The Indus. Co., 566
F.3d 1203, 1205 n.1B2 (10th Cir. ...