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Moon strikes another blow for judicial openness

U.S. District Judge Norman Moon has again declined an invitation to pull a cloak over the process of civil litigation in his court.

Moon last week refused to seal records of a settlement in a Fair Labor Standards Act case where an accountant claimed he’d been denied overtime pay for 27 years. Moon said the parties advanced no reason for their confidentiality request other than a general interest in keeping their business private.

“The Court finds that the parties’ interest in keeping legal proceedings private does not overcome the strong presumption of openness of judicial records and documents that is presented by the circumstances in this case,” Moon wrote. He noted the “strong public interests” underlying the FLSA bolstered the public’s rights of access to court records in those cases.

It was May of last year when Moon refused to vacate court decisions in a long-term disability case after the parties resolved their dispute out of court.

By Peter Vieth

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