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Obiefuna v. Wilkie

United States District Court, D. Kansas

December 18, 2019

NDIDI OBIEFUNA, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT L. WILKIE, SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, Defendant.

          WE SO MOVE AND AGREE TO ABIDE BY THE TERMS OF THIS ORDER WENDY LYNN COUNSEL FOR: DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN'S AFFAIRS

          WE SO MOVE AND AGREE TO ABIDE BY THE TERMS OF THIS ORDER GEORGE SMITH COUNSEL FOR: PLAINTIFF

          AGREED PROTECTIVE ORDER

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

         The parties agree during the course of discovery it may be necessary to disclose certain confidential information relating to the subject matter of this action. They agree 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 a 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 based on the claims and defenses raised in this matter, it is anticipated that the parties may seek discovery of and/or utilize documents of a sensitive or protected nature related to Plaintiff or other non-parties, including employee personnel files. This information is, or may be, covered by the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, or other law. Accordingly, the parties seek a protective order to shield these potentially sensitive materials from public view.

         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 are restricted by statute or could potentially cause harm to the interests of the 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:

• Personnel files and records
• Records and documents containing sensitive employment information
• Records and information subj ect to the Privacy Act
• Tax returns and other sensitive personal financial information
• Documents that have been previously designated as confidential or that contain confidentiality clauses

         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 ...


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