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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.

The Clerk’s Office has prepared three 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. The Sealed Document Examples show the CM/ECF entry screens used for filing a confidential brief with confidential attachments under two scenarios: 1) basic filing, and 2) steps when a party files a document in which another party has a confidentiality interest and the parties have not been able to confer. Third, the following interactive videos are being provided to demonstrate how sealed documents should be filed under seal and the order in which the documents should be filed.

Step 1:  Filing a Redacted Document

Step 2:  Filing a Motion to Seal

Step 3:  Filing a Brief to a Motion to Seal

Step 4:  Filing Sealed Unredacted Documents

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.