United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER (MOT. FILE EXCESS PAGES - ECF NO. 151; MOT.
FILE UNDER SEAL - ECF NO. 152)
A. LEEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the court on Defendant Benjamin
Galecki's Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages (ECF No.
151) and Motion for Leave to File Exhibits Under Seal (ECF
No. 152). These motions are referred to the undersigned
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and LR IB 1-3 of
the Local Rules of Practice.
Galecki and Charles Burton Ritchie were initially charged in
this district in an eight-count Indictment (ECF No. 1)
returned October 13, 2015. A Superseding Indictment (ECF No.
56) was returned August 24, 2016, charging Galecki and
Ritchie with the same 26 counts and four corresponding
April 11, 2017, Ritchie filed a Motion to Dismiss (ECF No.
111) on behalf of himself. Although the motion frequently
referred to him, Galecki did not request to join in
Ritchie's substantive arguments or brief the issues on
his own behalf. Therefore, the undersigned issued a Report of
Findings and Recommendation (ECF No. 116)
(“R&R”) addressing Ritchie individually and
recommending that the motion be denied. Mr. Ritchie filed an
Objection (ECF No. 133) to the R&R on September 18, 2017,
which is pending before the district judge. Mr. Galecki did
not request to join in the substantive arguments set forth in
Ritchie's Objection, brief the issues on his own behalf,
or otherwise request an extension of time to do so.
to the parties' stipulation, the district judge recently
extended the pretrial motion deadline until February 23,
2018. Trial in this matter is currently set for May 21, 2018.
Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages
must secure the court's permission before filing a brief
that exceeds this District's established page limits.
See, e.g., King Co. v. Rasmussen, 143
F.Supp.2d 1225, 1227 (W.D. Wash. 2001). The Local Rules of
Criminal Practice state that motions and responses are
limited to 30 pages unless the court orders otherwise. LCR
47-2. Motions to exceed page limits are disfavored; thus,
permission to do so is not routinely granted. LR 7-3(c). Such
motions must be “accompanied by a declaration stating
in detail the reasons for, and number of, additional pages
requested” and will only be granted “upon a
showing of good cause.” Id.
Galecki asks the court for leave to file a 51-page motion to
dismiss, not including the table of contents and table of
authorities. He asserts there is good cause to exceed the
30-page limit because this case involves complex issues, the
motion to dismiss includes several grounds for dismissal and
also addresses the R&R related to Ritchie's Motion to
Galecki's motion does not show good cause to exceed the
standard 30-page limit. The Local Rules were drafted with
knowledge that many-if not most-of the criminal cases under
federal jurisdiction involve complex legal questions. Longer
page limits merely invite repetitive arguments, verbosity,
string citation, and excessive block quotation. In addition,
Galecki did not join in the substantive arguments related to
Ritchie's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 111) and the
briefing deadlines on Ritchie's Objection (ECF No. 133)
passed months ago. Galecki's stated reasons for exceeding
the 30-page limit by 21 pages, more than two-thirds the
limitation, do not provide good cause. The motion is denied.
Motion for Leave to File Exhibits Under Seal
Galecki's motion asks the court for permission to file
certain exhibits under seal in relation to his Motion for
Specific Discovery (ECF No. 155). The motion states it was
filed out of an abundance of caution since the
“documents are publicly available online”;
however, counsel is informed and believe that another
district court ordered that the exhibits be redacted in a
different criminal case. The motion references the case,
United States v. Douglas Jason Way, No.
1:14-cr-0101-DAD-BAM, and the electronic case filing, ECF No.
355, but does not specify the district where the case was
document or the information contained in it has entered the
public domain, either through presentation at trial or
through the parties' commercial activities, judicial
secrecy is not appropriate. See, e.g., Kamakana
v. City & Cty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1184 (9th
Cir. 2006) (sealing was not appropriate for names or
references that “were either already publicly available
or were available in other documents being produced” to
the media); In re Nat'l Consumer Mortg., LLC,
512 B.R. 639, 642 (D. Nev. 2014) (documents admitted into
evidence in open court had “been publicly
released” and were therefore unsealed); Williams v.
U.S. Bank Nat. Ass'n, 290 F.R.D. 600, 608-09 (E.D.
Cal. 2013) (information defendant had “freely disclosed
elsewhere” did not meet standard for sealing). Given
the burden that sealing imposes on the court and, more
importantly, the public, parties are obligated to inform the
court if the information they ask to file under seal is
publicly available, or if previously sealed materials becomes
the motion expressly states that the documents Galecki seeks
to file under seal are publicly available online. The court
appreciates that the motion was filed in an abundance of
caution because counsel was aware of an order in another
case; however, when documents are “publicly available,
” a movant “fails to establish that the documents
should be placed under seal.” Starkey v. U.S.
Dep't of Interior, 238 F.Supp.2d 1188, 1196 (S.D.
Cal. 2002). As it appears that the documents were sealed at
the government's request, the court will give the
government an opportunity to filed a response, if it believes
the documents should be filed under seal, supported by an
appropriate memorandum of points and authorities making a
particularized showing why the documents should remain under
seal. The government will be required to meet the standards
articulated by the Ninth Circuit in Kamakana and its
progeny, either good cause or compelling reasons, to overcome
the presumption of public access to judicial files, ...