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Sealed Cases and Documents

  1.      General Information
    1. A sealed case, including the docket and all documents, may only be viewed by certain court users and by the party who filed the sealed case.  Access may be given to other users as needed; but once a user is given access, he/she will have access to the entire docket and all documents.  The party who filed the case and any other party given access must then file subsequent documents electronically.  All other filing parties must file all documents non-electronically with wet signatures, and the Clerk will scan and docket the documents.
    2.  A sealed document filed in a non-sealed case may only be viewed by certain court users and by the party who filed the document.  Access may be given to other users as needed.  The docket entry for the sealed document will be available on the public docket.
  2.      Filing a BANKRUPTCY CASE under Seal
    1. Option A:  Sealing an Entire Bankruptcy Case before the Filing of the Bankruptcy Petition:
      1. File a Motion to Seal a Case non-electronically with wet signatures.  The bankruptcy petition must be submitted with this motion.  The Chief Judge or designee is alerted to the filing and will consider and rule upon the motion.
      2. If the motion is granted, the Clerk opens a new case in ECF.  If the motion is denied, the requesting attorney must file the case electronically. The Motion to Seal and Order are scanned by the Clerk and added to the docket.
    2. Option B:  Sealing an Entire Case after the Bankruptcy Petition has been filed:
      1. File a Motion to Seal a Case electronically.  That motion will be ruled upon by the Judge assigned to the case upon its filing.
      2. If the motion is granted, the bankruptcy petition and any previously filed document are sealed immediately upon issuance of the order sealing the case.  If a sealed case is later unsealed by Order of the Court, the docket and all of the documents previously filed in the case will also be unsealed.
  3.      Filing a MISCELLANEOUS CASE under Seal
    1. File a Motion to Seal a Case non-electronically with wet signatures.  The opening document (or miscellaneous case) must be submitted with this motion.  The Chief Judge or designee is alerted to the filing and will consider and rule upon the motion.
    2.  If the motion is granted, the Clerk opens a new miscellaneous case in ECF.  The Motion to Seal and Order are scanned by the Clerk and added to the docket. 
  4.      Filing and Serving a Document in a BANKRUPTCY CASE or MISCELLANEOUS CASE which is under Seal

Any attorney, other than the attorney who filed the sealed case or anyone given access to the sealed case, wishing to file a document in a case that has previously been sealed must do so non-electronically by submitting paper documents to the Clerk.  This document must be served as required by Fed.R.Bankr.P. 7004.

  1.      Filing and Serving a Sealed Document in a BANKRUPTCY CASE or MISCELLANEOUS CASE which is NOT under Seal

Before submitting a sealed document, a Motion to Seal Document must be filed electronically and served as required by Fed.R.Bankr.P. 7004.  The Motion to Seal Document must include a description of the document to be sealed and a date on which the document may be unsealed.  If approved, the sealed documents must be filed electronically using the Sealed Document event.


History of Changes

01/22/2013 - Revisions made to #3, Filing and Serving a Dealed Document in a Case which is NOT under Seal.

01/27/2014 - Procedures under development.

02/26/2014 - New procedures for Sealed Cases and/or Documents.

04/02/2014 - Language about adding "Sealed" as the name of the new bankruptcy case under seal or miscellaneous case under seal was removed.   Names of these cases under seal are entered as usual and the event will change them to "Sealed" automatically.