United States District Court - Northern District Court of California

Claudia Wilken, Chief Judge

Richard W. Wieking, Clerk of Court

Amendments to Civil and Criminal Local Rules Update Under-Seal Filing Procedures, Replace General Order 62

Effective October 1, 2013

The Court has approved amendments to the local rules that consolidate and update the procedures for filing under-seal documents. General Order 62 is abrogated as of October 1, 2013, when the amendments to Civil Local Rule 79-5, and the new Criminal Local Rule 56-1, take effect. 

Civil practitioners experienced with the existing procedures should make note of the following important changes to Civil Local Rule 79-5. The new civil process (effective October 1, 2013) requires the administrative motion and all supporting documents to be filed electronically; documents will no longer be lodged with the Clerk, but courtesy copies are still required for chambers. The most significant change in the process is that litigants will be permitted to e-file under seal, without first obtaining a court order, the unredacted version of a document sought to be sealed. After the motion is ruled upon, it is the moving party's responsibility to e-file the document(s) sought to be sealed in a manner that comports with the Court's order.

Revised instructions for e-filing documents under seal in civil cases will be published on September 30, 2013 on this web page: cand.uscourts.gov/ecf/underseal. Civil litigants should visit this page and review the instructions before attempting to e-file an administrative motion to file under seal under the revised rule. 

For criminal practitioners, the new Criminal Local Rule 56-1 codifies existing practice: administrative motions to file a document under seal are filed electronically unless "the sealing of the motion itself is desired," in which case the administrative motion is filed manually. Until further notice, there is still no e-filing of under-seal documents in criminal cases. 

The amended rules that become effective October 1 may be viewed below:

Civil L.R. 79-5, as amended:

 

 

Criminal L.R. 56-1, as amended: