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Proposed Local Rules Amendment - Sealed Documents

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Local Rules Committee has met and discussed an amendment to the Local Rules.  The proposed amendment changes Rule 9(a)  Sealed Documents to clarify who has access to sealed documents and how a document may become a sealed document.

Below is the current rule and, in red print, the proposed amendment to the current rule.

(Current rule)

Rule 9.  Sealed Documents                                                 
The following procedures govern documents under seal in criminal and civil cases in this Court.   
(a) General.  A “sealed document” is a document in the form of a pleading, exhibit or other paper access to which is prohibited or restricted other than by the Court or its authorized personnel. Portions of a document cannot be filed or placed under seal—only the entire document may be sealed. No sealed document may be disclosed except upon order of the Court.   

(Proposed Amendment)

Rule 9. Sealed Documents
The following procedures govern documents under seal in criminal and civil cases in this Court.
(a) General. A “sealed document” is a document in the form of a pleading, exhibit or other paper to which access is restricted to the Court and authorized court personnel. A document may be sealed only by order of the Court, except where otherwise permitted by law or as set forth in paragraph (c) of this Rule. Portions of a document cannot be filed or placed under seal—only the entire document may be sealed. No sealed document may be disclosed except upon order of the Court.


Comments regarding these proposed amendments should be sent to:  public-comment@vawd.uscourts.gov by June 19, 2016.