Per Local Rule 9018-1(b), any party who seeks to file documents under seal must file a motion to that effect with the Clerk. A Motion to File Document Under Seal should be e-filed with hearing date, time, and location and objection deadline. Do NOT attach the document you are requesting to have filed under seal, only attach the MOTION with the notice, proposed order, and certificate of service1.
If no objections have been filed by the objection deadline, a Certificate of No Objection (CNO) should be e-filed. Then the following should be delivered to chambers: the CNO, Motion, Proposed Order, and Sealed Document with Cover Sheet attached to envelope (if filed in a Chapter 11 or a Chapter 7 ASSET case, these must only be sent by debtor's counsel in CNO binder).2,3
If one or more objections have been filed, deliver the following to chambers for hearing: the Motion, Proposed Order, and Sealed Document with Cover Sheet attached to envelope (if filed in a Chapter 11 or a Chapter 7 ASSET case, these must only be sent by debtor's counsel in the Hearing Binder).2,3
If an order is signed granting the motion, the Clerk will keep the documents segregated and under seal until further order of the Court. The Court will docket the document under seal attaching the image of the Cover Sheet only. The image of the document will not be made available in CM/ECF.
If an order is signed denying the motion, the sealed document will be returned to the filer at the hearing. The filer may then decide whether or not to unseal and e-file the document.
A Cover Sheet must be attached to all documents being filed under seal. The Cover Sheet must contain the caption, the related document number of the motion, the title of the document being filed under seal, and the following statement in bold "DOCUMENT TO BE KEPT UNDER SEAL". If an order has been signed granting the filing of future documents under seal, the related document number of the order must also be included on the Cover Sheet. Any document being filed under seal that relates to a previously entered order should be delivered to the Clerk's Office to be docketed by the Court.
1. If the debtor is not privy to the sealed document, the movant should send the sealed document to chambers at the appropriate time.
2. Judge Fitzgerald requires the motion be noticed (if case management order has been entered, select date from order), and a C.N.O. be filed if applicable. However, counsel should not wait to deliver the documents to chambers. Immediately upon e-filing, deliver the following to Pittsburgh with a duplicate copy to the Courtroom Deputy in Delaware: the Motion, Proposed Order, and Sealed Document with Cover Sheet attached to envelope.
E-Filing Instructions (Motion to File Document Under Seal)
These instructions assume you have already accessed and logged into CM/ECF (see How to Access CM/ECF).
Select [Bankruptcy] or [Adversary] - depending on what type of case you're filing in
Enter the Case # and click [Next]
Select [File Under Seal - Motion] and click [Next]
The Select the Party screen displays
Verify the case name & number are correct [Next]
If the name of the party you are searching for is listed, click on the name, then click [Next] to continue
If the name of the party you are searching for is not listed, click Add/Create New Party
Click [Browse] to associate the PDF of the motion, then click the "Yes" button
REMINDER: Do NOT attach the document you are requesting to have filed under seal, only attach the MOTION!
Add any attachments:
For example, click [Browse] and select the certificate of service. In the Description field type "Certificate of Service". Click [Add to List].
Enter hearing information
If this motion/application is amended, check the box next to, [Refer to existing event(s)?] and click [Next]. If the motion is not amended, do not click the box, click [Next] and skip to step #10.
Select "motions" for the category of documents to which this document refers and click [Next]
Check the box next to the original motion (the entry to which this motion refers) and click [Next]
The docket text appears:
If needed, click on the Prefix Text box and click on the appropriate selection (ex. Amended)
If needed, click inside the Free Text box and enter additional descriptive information
The Final Docket Text screen displays.
Proof this screen carefully! No further editing is allowed after this screen. If the docket text is correct, click [Next] to submit.
If any part of the docket text is incorrect, click the browser [Back] button to return to the screen you need to correct. Then process the screens again with the respective [Next] or [Submit] buttons.
NOTE: To abort or restart the transaction at any time up until the final docket text screen, click the Bankruptcy or Adversary hyperlink on the Menu Bar.
The Notice of Electronic Filing screen displays.
Print a copy of this notice by clicking the browser [Print] button.
NOTE: You must enter your PACER login and password to view any documents or reports or perform any queries.
September 25, 2006 to reflect change in Local Rule numbering [changed from 5003-1(b) to 9018(b)].
September 8, 2006 to add link to Hearing Information page and to remove instructions from visiting judges no longer with the court.
March 19, 2004