United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
PENG Z. ANDERSON PLAINTIFF
MISSISSIPPI BAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER and BETHANY HILL DEFENDANTS
MICHAEL T. PARKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to Seal
. Having considered the parties' submissions, the
record, and the applicable law, the Court finds that the
Motion  should be denied.
brought this action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act,
42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., alleging she was
terminated from her employment as a nurse with Mississippi
Baptist Medical Center (“MBMC”) because of her
race and national origin. On July 20, 2011, Defendants filed a
Motion for Summary Judgment , and on August 18, 2011, the
Court granted the Motion  and dismissed this action with
prejudice. See Opinion and Order ; Judgment
than five years later, on February 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed
the instant Motion , requesting that the Court seal the
entire record in this case. Plaintiff asserts that her
“old case” is accessible through public search
engines and has greatly affected her life. According to
Plaintiff, this action has put her reputation, life, and
career in “jeopardy.” Plaintiff requests that the
Court seal this case so that she “can get [her] life
have recognized that the public has a common law right to
inspect and copy judicial records.” S.E.C. v. Van
Waeyenberghe, 990 F.2d 845, 848 (5th Cir. 1993) (citing
Nixon v. Warner Commc'ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589,
597 (1978)). This right of public access serves to
“promote trustworthiness of the judicial process, to
curb judicial abuses, and to provide the public with a more
complete understanding of the judicial system, including a
better perception of fairness.” Id. at 849.
The right of public access, however, is not absolute.
“Every court has supervisory power over its own records
and files, and access has been denied where court files might
have become a vehicle for improper purposes.”
Nixon, 435 U.S. at 598. Thus, courts must balance
the public's right to access against the factors favoring
secrecy. Van Waeyenberghe, 990 F.2d at 848.
party seeking to seal court documents bears the burden of
establishing that the public's right to access is
overcome by the need for secrecy. “With respect to
dispositive matters, the parties seeking nondisclosure must
provide sufficiently compelling reasons to override the
presumption of public access to court.” 360 Mortg.
Grp., LLC v. Bivona-Truman, 2016 WL 7616575, at *1 (W.D.
Tex. May 24, 2016) (citing Apple Inc. v. Samsung Elecs.
Co., 727 F.3d 1214, 1221 (Fed. Cir. 2013)); see also
Oliner v. Kontrabecki, 745 F.3d 1024, 1025-26 (9th Cir.
2014) (“most judicial records may be sealed only if the
court finds ‘compelling reasons'”)
Perez-Guerrero v. U.S. Att'y Gen., 717 F.3d
1224, 1235 (11th Cir. 2013) (“We have explained that,
at least in the context of civil proceedings, the decision to
seal the entire record of the case . . . must be necessitated
by a compelling governmental interest and [be] narrowly
tailored to the interest.”) (internal quotations and
to Local Rule 79, “[e]xcept as otherwise provided by
statute, rule, . . . or order, all pleadings and other
materials filed with the court (‘court records')
become a part of the public record of the court[, and] [a]ny
order sealing a document must include particularized findings
demonstrating that sealing is supported by clear and
compelling reasons and is narrowly tailored to serve those
reasons.” L.U. Civ. R. 79(a)&(b). “The
decision as to access is one left to the sound discretion of
the trial court, ” Nixon, 435 U.S. at 599, but
the “‘court's discretion to seal the record
of judicial proceedings is to be exercised
charily.'” Van Waeyenberghe, 990 F.2d at
848 (quoting Federal Savings & Loan Ins. Corp. v.
Blain, 808 F.2d 395, 399 (5th Cir. 1987)).
seeks to have the record in this case sealed because of the
alleged negative impact it has had on her reputation and
career. Specifically, Plaintiff asserts as follows:
[My] old case against my former employer has been put on
Google public search engine and become something everyone can
see. It has greatly affect [sic] my life. I can no longer
function normally to care for my patients because of this.
They put my reputation, my life, and my career to [sic]
complaints regarding the perceived consequences of her
lawsuit do not constitute compelling reasons to seal the
record in this case. See Macias v. Aaron Rents,
Inc., 288 Fed. App'x. 913, 915 (5th Cir. 2008)
(“the concerns [plaintiff] mentions-the lack of
importance to the public and the potential for employer
retaliation against litigious employees-could apply to nearly
all cases filed in the federal courts, especially those
involving title VII.”). Plaintiff has failed to
overcome the presumption of public access to court records.
THEREFORE, ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion to Seal