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Sealed Document Guidance

LR 5.4, Filing Documents Under Seal, governs the filing of documents, or portions of documents under seal. The rule prescribes how parties should move for court permission to file documents under seal and when documents can be filed under seal without a motion or order.  In addition, LR 5.4 requires parties to discuss issues of confidentiality raised in the case and the potential need for filing documents under seal, and then file a Local Rule 5.5 Report presenting their plan for managing these issues.

The Clerk’s Office has prepared two aids for filing sealed documents:

First, the Guidelines for the Filing of Confidential Information in Civil Cases provide specific procedures and instructions for filing various sealed and redacted documents. The Guidelines are presented in a frequently asked questions format. In addition, the Guidelines highlight the 2021 Amendments to the Local Rules, specifically: (1) the requirement of a Report under LR 5.5; (2) the requirement of a LR 5.4 Checklist when filing documents under seal; and (3) additional guidance for how to file and docket documents for which sealing is sought.

Second, the Sealed Document Examples show the CM/ECF entry screens used for filing a confidential brief with confidential attachments.

In the future, this page will be updated to include interactive videos to demonstrate how sealed documents should be filed under seal and the order in which the documents should be filed.

If you receive a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) for a sealed document and you have been given access to the sealed document in CM/ECF, you are permitted one “free look” at the document by clicking on the associated hyperlink document number. To access the document, you must first enter your CM/ECF login and password not the PACER login and password. Your CM/ECF login is required to authenticate your access to the document.