Sealed Documents

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Pursuant to Local Rule 79-5.1, no case or document shall be filed under seal unless authorized by statute, rule, or prior Court order.  If a Court order is required, the filer must submit a written application for leave to file under seal, together with a proposed order.

Before submitting any document under seal, or any application for leave to file under seal, every filer should review both Local Rule 79-5.1 and the assigned judge’s standing orders and specific procedures (which can be found here.)  Many judges are participating in a pilot program for the electronic submission of under seal documents, and require that such documents be presented in a manner different from that spelled out in the local rules.

If the assigned judge has not provided specific directions for the submission of sealed documents or applications for leave to file under seal, all such documents must be filed in paper format, rather than electronically, see L.R. 5-4.2(b)(3), and must comply with the requirements of Local Rule 11 and all of it subsections.  The original and judge’s copy of all such documents must be sealed in separate envelopes, with a copy of the title page attached to the front of each envelope (see sample attachment), which must be clearly marked "ORIGINAL" and "COPY."  Attorneys filing any documents in this manner must also file electronically a Notice of Manual Filing (form G-92).

You must provide additional copies if you wish conformed copies.  Conformed copies need not be placed in sealed envelopes. They must not be placed in the envelope containing the original or judge’s copy of the document.

If the document is being filed under seal pursuant to a prior order of the Court (for example, a continuing protective order), counsel must submit either a copy of the protective order or, under the case number on the title page, type “Filed Under Seal Pursuant To Protective Order Dated _______________.”  Otherwise, the Clerk’s Office will not know whether there was a previous order allowing the document to be filed under seal.

Please include language in the proposed order for the desired disposition of the underlying application, proposed order, and document(s) requested to be sealed.  For example:


    The underlying document and the sealing application shall be returned to ____________________ without filing. Or,

    The underlying document and sealing application shall be filed, but not under seal.