09F

F. Privacy

F. Privacy

Overview

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania courts recognize that privacy interests may, in some circumstances, justify closure.  See Zdrok v. Zdrok, 829 A.2d 697, 700 (Pa. Super. 2003) (noting that closure may be justified to protect “the privacy and reputations of innocent parties”) (quoting Katz v. Katz, 356 Pa. Super. 461, 514 A.2d 1374 (Pa. Super. 1986) (citations omitted)).

In Commonwealth v. Hayes, 414 A.2d 318, 324-327 (Pa. 1980), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected the defendant’s contention that holding a pretrial suppression hearing in open court jeopardized his right of privacy, finding that such a privacy concern “does not warrant engrafting such a significant intrusion upon the basic right of access of the public in criminal proceedings.”

F. Privacy

Overview

New Jersey

Strong privacy interests may constitute “good cause” to overcome the presumption of openness. For example, one court sealed the plaintiff’s medical exhibits as presented by the defendant, recognizing the plaintiff had a right to privacy in his medical information and there were no alternatives to sealing to protect this privacy right. See Locascio v. Balicki, 2011 WL 2490832 (D.N.J. June 22, 2011). 

F. Privacy

Overview

Maryland

Privacy concerns are at the heart of many of the limitations placed on disclosure of court records contained in Rule 16-1006, which limits access to records concerning children, certain sensitive medical records, and tax returns. See Sections I.D., V.A. & VIII, supra.

F. Privacy

Overview

Kansas

A Kansas law provides that, after a hearing, a judge may deny access to court proceedings or records on the basis of an identified “privacy interest.”  K.S.A. 60-2617(d).    In addition, the Kansas Open Records Act authorizes withholding of information if it “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”  K.S.A. 45-221(a)(30).   However, in Wichita Eagle Beacon Co. v. Owens, 27 P.3d 881 (Kan.,2001), the Kansas Supreme Court said that trial judges need to weigh the public interest in openness against any asserted interest in closure of proceedings or records.  The state supreme court said that trial judges should have the

F. Privacy

Overview

D.C. Cir.

Much of the information that surfaces during pretrial discovery may be unrelated, or only tangentially related, to the underlying cause of action. Peskoff v. Faber, 230 F.R.D. 25, 33 (D.D.C.2005) (citing Seattle Times v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20 (1984). Some of this information is not only irrelevant, but, if publicly released, could be damaging to the reputation and privacy of opposing and third parties. Id. Access to discovery material therefore must be balanced against the privacy interests of civil litigants and third parties. See id; Willingham v.

F. Privacy

Overview

California

F. Privacy

Overview

Oklahoma

F. Privacy

Overview

1st Cir.

F. Privacy

Overview

Colorado

F. Privacy

Overview

Maine

No Maine cases.