United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO RESTRICT
Guirola, Jr. United States District Judge.
THE COURT is the  Motion to Restrict Access to
Exhibit filed by the Plaintiffs pursuant to Local Rule 79.
For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is well-taken and
will be granted.
Under the Protective Order entered by the Court, parties may
designate as “Confidential” materials containing
commercially sensitive and proprietary information. (See
Protective Orders at ¶ 1, ECF Nos. 32 and 104.) Once a
document is so designated, it generally may not be disclosed
to parties outside of the litigation unless a change in
designation occurs. (Id. at ¶¶ 1, 6.) Per
the Protective Orders, all “Confidential”
documents must be filed under seal. (Id. at ¶
August 31, 2018, Plaintiffs filed their  Response and
Memorandum in Opposition to Chevron U.S.A., Inc.'s 
Motion for Summary Judgment. In it, Plaintiffs relied on
excerpts from the Master Contractor Services and Equipment
Lease Contract No. CW980469 between Chevron and United
Chevron produced the Contract through discovery and
designated it as “Confidential.” Chevron has
represented that it chose this designation because the
Contract details confidential business arrangements and
pricing data between Chevron and one of its vendors. To date,
no one has contested Chevron's “Confidential”
designation of this document.
Plaintiffs acknowledge that Courts have recognized a
common-law right to inspect and access certain court records.
See SEC v. Van Waeyenberghe, 990 F.2d 845, 848 (5th
Cir. 1993). This common-law rule establishes a presumption of
public access to judicial records. Nixon v. Warner
Commc'ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978). But it is
well-established that “‘[e]very 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.'” Van Waeyenberghe,
990 F.2d at 849 (quoting Nixon, 435 U.S. at 598).
Plaintiffs also acknowledge that federal courts routinely
limit the public's access to commercially sensitive and
proprietary information. Citizens First Nat'l Bank v.
Cincinnati Ins. Co., 178 F.3d 943, 945-46 (7th Cir.
1999). Plaintiffs are aware of the concern of businesses like
Chevron that a competitor could use such information for the
improper purpose of obtaining a business advantage over the
disclosing party. See Local Rule 79; PIC Group, Inc. v.
Landcoast Insulation, Inc., No. 1:09cv662-KS-MTP, 2010
WL 4791710 (S.D.Miss. Nov. 18, 2010) (“The Uniform
Local Rules allow parties to file sensitive documents under
seal.”); Westside-Marrero Jeep Eagle, Inc. v.
Chrysler Corp., No. 97-3012, 1998 WL 186728, *1 (E.D.
La. Apr. 17, 1998) (maintaining exhibit under seal because
the document contained sensitive and proprietary financial
information about individual dealerships that, if unsealed,
could cause commercial and competitive harm to such dealers);
Shell Expl. & Prod. Co. v. Robinson, No.
01-1417, 2001 WL 1490954, *1 (E.D. La. Nov. 21, 2001)
(granting motion to seal portion of trial transcript
containing confidential technological information).
Court finds that the document at issue contains commercially
sensitive and proprietary information and finds that the
Motion to Restrict Access should be granted in its entirety.
IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that Plaintiffs' 
Motion to Restrict Access is GRANTED. The
Clerk of the Court is directed to restrict, until further
order from this Court, access to Exhibit “2” to
Plaintiffs'  Response and Memorandum in Opposition
to Chevron U.S.A. Inc.'s  Motion for Summary
Judgment so that such document is accessible only to the
Court and the Parties.
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED.
 The document at issue in the present
Motion was identified as Exhibit “2” in
Plaintiffs' Memorandum but was not conventionally filed
with the Court, pursuant to the ...