D. Dispositive motions and records

Overview

Lower courts have been particularly likely to recognize a right of access to court records related to dispositive motions – such as a motion to dismiss or a summary judgment motion. In Leucadia, Inc. v. Applied Extrusion Technologies, Inc., 998 F.2d 157, 164 (3rd Cir. 1993), for example, the court found “a presumptive right of public access to pretrial motions of a nondiscovery nature, whether preliminary or dispositive, and the material filed in connection therewith.” Likewise in Rushford v. New Yorker Magazine, Inc., 846 F.2d 249, 253 (4th Cir. 1988), the court recognized a constitutional right of access to “documents filed in connection with a summary judgment motion in a civil case.” And in In re Continental Illinois Securities Litigation, 732 F.2d 1302, 1309 (7th Cir. 1984), the court recognized a presumption of access to evidence supporting a dispositive motion in a civil case.

6th Cir.