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Sealed Records & Proceedings
Case records generally are public records and all documents filed with a court are available to the public for inspection upon request unless a statute, rule, or order provides otherwise. This report summarizes federal and state court rules on sealing documents in trial courts files. It also describes early stages of research on sealed settlement agreements in federal district court. The research was conducted at the request of the Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on Civil Rules.
For the completed 2004 report on federal sealed settlement agreements, see Sealed Settlement Agreements in Federal District Court.
This report to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules summarized work underway at the Federal Judicial Center concerning protective orders, confidential settlement agreements, and other sealed court records. The general purpose of the work was to provide the information necessary to evaluate the efficacy of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c) and to address the potential need for additional provisions in the rules relating to sealed court records and sealed settlement agreements.
Interim report to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules providing information that was used in evaluating the need for additional provisions in the rules relating to sealed court records and sealed settlement agreements.
The 1996 final report is available here: Protective Order Activity in Three Federal Judicial Districts: Report to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules (1996).