G. Settlement records

Overview

The Supreme Court has not addressed the issue, though lower courts have distinguished between settlement agreements that are “filed with, interpreted or enforced by the district court” and those that are not. Pansy v. Borough of Stroudsburg, 23 F.3d 772, 781 (3rd Cir. 1994). In that case, the settlement agreement “was never filed with, interpreted or enforced by the district court. The district court has not ordered any of the terms of the Settlement Agreement to be complied with. Accordingly … the Settlement Agreement is not a judicial record, and the right of access doctrine cannot be a basis for the Newspapers to obtain access to the Agreement.” Id. The court contrasted another case where “we found that the settlement agreement was a judicial record because it had been filed with and enforced by the district court.” Id. (citing Bank of Am. Nat’l Trust and Sav. Ass’n v. Hotel Rittenhouse Assocs., 800 F.2d 339 (3rd Cir. 1986)).

6th Cir.