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Lenox v. Group Health Plan

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

July 7, 2015

JAYSON LENOX and KELLY LENOX, Plaintiffs,
v.
GROUP HEALTH PLAN and COVENTRY HEALTH CARE, INC. and MHNET BERA VIORAL HEALTH, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

RONNIE L. WHITE, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Response to Court's Order of June 23, 2015, ordering the parties to indicate which documents should remain sealed in this matter. Plaintiffs request that the matters previously filed in this matter remain sealed. They also ask that, instead of using the minor child's initials as required by this Court's local rules, the Court allow the child to be called Minor Child and allow Plaintiffs/parents to be identified as Parent 1 and Parent 2. Plaintiffs further request that all mental health records be confidential and have Plaintiffs names, as well as the minor child's name, redacted from all records. Finally, they ask that Plaintiff Jayson Lenox's employer, Niedner, Bodeux, Carmichael, Huff, Lenox, Pashos and Simpson, LLP, also be redacted from all pleadings and exhibits. Mr. Lenox is also serving as Plaintiffs' attorney in this matter.

The Court finds that all future pleadings incorporating the minor child's name shall use the initials, J.L., in accordance with E.D. Mo. L.R. 2.17. Further, while Plaintiffs request their identities and the identity of Mr. Lenox's employer be kept anonymous, the Court notes that Plaintiffs have not sufficiently demonstrated that they'" [have] a substantial privacy right which outweighs the customary constitutionally-embedded presumption of openness in judicial proceedings.'" Roe v. St. Louis Univ., No. 4:08CV1474 JCH, 2009 WL 910738, at *3 (E.D. Mo. April 2, 2009) (quoting Doe v. Frank, 951 F.2d 320, 323 (11th Cir. 1992) (internal quotations and citations omitted)). Courts have identified several factors common to those cases where courts allow a plaintiff to proceed under a fictitious name. Id. Applicable to this case would be a situation "where the plaintiff is required to disclose information of the utmost intimacy.'" Id. (quoting Doe H.M. v. St. Louis Cnty., No. 4:07-CV-2116 (CEJ), 2008 WL 151629, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 14, 2008)). While the Court understands that Plaintiffs desire to remain anonymous in this case due to their son's medical condition, they have not made the requisite showing that the disclosure of Plaintiffs' identities or Mr. Lenox's employer would reveal information of the utmost intimacy which outweighs the presumption of openness in court proceedings. Likewise, with regard to the redaction of medical records, the Court finds that the records shall be redacted in compliance with E.D. Mo. L.R. 2.17. To the extent that Plaintiffs wish to keep the medical records confidential, they may file an appropriate motion for a protective order, with an attached proposed order for the Court's review.

Accordingly,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Documents 1 through 15 and Document 17 shall remain sealed.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall unseal the remainder of the case, including future pleadings, unless the parties file appropriate motions to file under seal in accordance with E.D. Mo. L.R. 13.05(A).

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs shall resubmit their redacted Amended Complaint in compliance with this Court's Memorandum and Order and E.D. Mo. L.R. 2.17 no later than July 14, 2015.


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