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Sourgoutsis v. United States Capitol Police

United States District Court, District of Columbia

September 28, 2018

CHRISAVGI SOURGOUTSIS, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES CAPITOL POLICE, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ROBIN M. MERIWEATHER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court is Defendant, the United States Capitol Police's (“USCP”), request that the Court enforce the Stipulated Protective Order, approved in edited form by the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson on February 24, 2017. See Def.'s Mot. to Enforce Protective Order and for Sanctions (“Def.'s Mot.”), ECF No. 36; see also Order (“Protective Order”), ECF No. 12 (docket text directing parties to edits in Paragraphs 10 and 13). The USCP seeks the redaction of certain information filed as part of Plaintiff Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis's (“Plaintiff” or “Ms. Sourgoutsis”) Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Defendant's Third and Fourth Affirmative Defenses. See Def.'s Mot. ¶¶ 6-8; see also Pl.'s Mot. Partial Summ. J. (“Pl.'s Mot. Summ. J.”), ECF No. 29. United States District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson referred the USCP's Motion to Enforce Protective Order and for Sanctions (“Motion to Enforce”) to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for resolution. See 11/16/17 Minute Order. Having considered the parties' submissions and attachments thereto, the Court GRANTS the USCP's Motion to Enforce.[1]

         BACKGROUND

         The factual background underlying this case has previously been set forth in Sourgoutsis v. United States Capitol Police, 323 F.R.D. 100 (D.D.C. 2017). The Court incorporates that factual background here by reference. Sourgoutsis, 323 F.R.D. at 104.

         The current dispute arises out of information included in Ms. Sourgoutsis's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment filed on October 20, 2017. See Def.'s Mot. ¶ 4. On October 23, 2017, counsel for the USCP notified Plaintiff's counsel that her filing contained information identified as confidential under the Protective Order. See Id. ¶ 5; Pl.'s Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. (“Pl.'s Opp'n”) at 1, ECF No. 41; see also Def.'s Reply in Supp. of Def.'s Mot. (“Def.'s Reply”), Ex. 1 (“Scindian Decl.”) at 5, ECF No. 44-1.[2] On October 25, 2017, the parties conferred on the matter, and Plaintiff agreed to make redactions. See Def.'s Mot. ¶¶ 6-7; Pl.'s Opp'n at 1. Upon review of Plaintiff's proposed redactions, on October 27, 2017, the USCP identified three additional paragraphs in Exhibit 12 - paragraphs 18, 26, and 28 - that required redaction. Scindian Decl. ¶ 5 & at 11-12 (Ex. 2). Likewise on October 30, 2017, the USCP identified three more paragraphs for redaction in Plaintiff's Brief in Support of Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, specifically in the Brief's Statement of Undisputed Facts - Paragraphs 42, 43, and 44. Scindian Decl. ¶ 6 & at 14-17 (Ex. 3); see also Def.'s Mot. ¶ 7.

         On October 30, 2017, Ms. Sourgoutsis filed a Motion to Substitute to replace the previously-filed versions of Exhibits 8 and 12. Mot. to Substitute Docket Nos. 29-10 and 29-14 (“Pl.'s Mot. to Substitute”) ¶ 4, ECF No. 34. That motion indicated that the parties disagreed about additional redactions in Exhibit 12. See Pl.'s Mot. to Substitute at 1 n.1. The Court granted the Motion to Substitute. See 10/31/17 Minute Order.

         The USCP subsequently filed the instant Motion to Enforce Protective Order and for Sanctions, alleging that Ms. Sourgoutsis's filings included information designated as confidential, contrary to the procedures established in the Protective Order. See Def.'s Mot. ¶¶ 6-8. In her opposition, Ms. Sourgoutsis principally asserted that there was no basis to apply the protective order's confidentiality requirement to “all deposition transcripts and exhibits.” Pl.'s Opp'n at 4. Ms. Sourgoutsis also argued that the parties had agreed to protect as confidential only certain information, such as names of comparator employees, “despite the language of the protective order.” Id. at 1. The USCP filed a reply. See generally Def.'s Reply, ECF No. 44. The matter is ripe for resolution.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 provides that “for good cause” a court may issue a protective order “to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1). The Court “has inherent power to enforce its own lawful orders.” Adem v. Bush, No. 05-723 (RWR)(AK), 2006 WL 1193853, at *8 (D.D.C. Apr. 28, 2006). That power permits the Court to interpret the terms of a court-issued protective order. See id.

         DISCUSSION

         The parties have not clearly identified the precise statements that are within the scope of their dispute. However, based on the briefing, proposed order, and the attachments to the USCP's Reply, the Court has determined that the parties dispute whether the filings cited below contain information that must be treated as confidential under the Protective Order:

         In the Statement of Undisputed Facts of Plaintiff s Brief in Support of Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, ECF No. 29-1:

• Paragraph 42
• Paragraph 43
• Paragraph 44

         In Plaintiffs Exhibit 12 to its Motion for Partial Summary ...


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