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Godoy-Guzman v. Unified Government of Wyandotte County

United States District Court, D. Kansas

April 26, 2018

Kemuel Godoy-Guzman, Plaintiff,
Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, Defendant.

          Christopher Dove Counsel for: Plaintiff

          Henry E. Couchman Jr. Counsel for: Defendant


          James P. O'Hara U.S. Magistrate Judge

         The parties agree that during the course of discovery it may be necessary to disclose certain confidential information relating to the subject matter of this action. They agree that certain categories of such information should be treated as confidential, protected from disclosure outside this litigation, and used only for purposes of prosecuting or defending this action and any appeals. The parties jointly request entry of this proposed Protective Order to limit the disclosure, dissemination, and use of certain identified categories of confidential information.

         The parties assert in support of their request that protection of the identified categories of confidential information is necessary because disclosure and use of the information is restricted by statute or could potentially cause harm to the interests of the disclosing party or nonparties. Plaintiff Kemuel Godoy-Guzman formerly was employed by Defendant Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas. Mr. Godoy-Guzman, who is Hispanic, has brought Title VII claims for retaliation, hostile work environment, and disparate treatment against the Unified Government. He seeks compensatory damages, including damages for emotional distress.

         Discovery is likely to include documents that are not open records under the Kansas Open Records Act, K.S.A. 45-215 et seq., such as personnel records. Discovery also is likely to include employment, education, medical, financial, and tax records maintained by parties or non-parties, which contain personal information and the confidentiality of which may be protected by law. The privacy interests in these documents and the information in them substantially outweigh the public's right of access to judicial records.

         For good cause shown under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c), the court grants the parties' joint request and hereby enters the following Protective Order:

         1. Scope.

         All documents and materials produced in the course of discovery of this case, including initial disclosures, responses to discovery requests, all deposition testimony and exhibits, and information derived directly therefrom (hereinafter collectively “documents”), are subject to this Order concerning Confidential Information as set forth below. As there is a presumption in favor of open and public judicial proceedings in the federal courts, this Order will be strictly construed in favor of public disclosure and open proceedings wherever possible.

         2. Definition of Confidential Information.

         As used in this Order, “Confidential Information” is defined as information that the producing party designates in good faith has been previously maintained in a confidential manner and should be protected from disclosure and use outside the litigation because its disclosure and use is restricted by statute or could potentially cause harm to the interests of disclosing party or nonparties. For purposes of this Order, the parties will limit their designation of “Confidential Information” to the following categories of information or documents:

(a) Medical, employment, education, financial, and tax records;
(b) Personnel records, performance ratings, or individually identifiable records pertaining to current or former employees of the Unified Government, except those designated as open records by K.S.A. 45-221(a)(4) and amendments thereto;
(c) Complaints made by current or former employees of the Unified Government and records maintained by the Unified Government pertaining to the investigation and resolution of those complaints;
(d) Other documents that are not required to be open under K.S.A. 45-221(a) and amendments thereto and are not maintained by the Unified Government as open records or whose disclosure is restricted or prohibited by law.

         Information or documents that are available to the public may not be designated as Confidential Information.

         3. Form and Timing of Designation.

         The producing party may designate documents as containing Confidential Information and therefore subject to protection under this Order by marking or placing the words “CONFIDENTIAL - SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER” (hereinafter “the marking”) on the document and on all copies in a manner that will not interfere with the legibility of the document. As used in this Order, “copies” includes electronic images, duplicates, extracts, summaries or descriptions that contain the Confidential Information. The marking will be applied prior to or at the time the documents are produced or disclosed. Applying the marking to a document does not mean that the document has any status or protection by statute or otherwise except to the extent and for the purposes of this Order. Copies that are made of any designated documents must also bear the marking, except that indices, electronic databases, or lists of documents that do not contain substantial portions or images of the text of marked documents and do not otherwise disclose the substance of the Confidential Information are not required to be marked. By marking a designated document as confidential, the designating attorney or party appearing pro se thereby certifies that the document contains Confidential Information as defined in this Order.

         4. Inadvertent Failure to Designate.

Inadvertent failure to designate any document or material as containing Confidential Information will not constitute a waiver of an otherwise valid claim of confidentiality pursuant to this Order, so long as a claim of confidentiality is asserted within 10 days after discovery of the inadvertent failure.

         5. Depositions.

         Deposition testimony will be deemed confidential only if designated as such when the deposition is taken or within a reasonable time period after receipt of the deposition transcript. Such designation must be specific as to the portions of the transcript and/or any exhibits to be protected.

         6. Protection of Confidential Material.

         (a) ...

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