Not a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Miller v. Indiana Hosp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

December 23, 1993, Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1 ; February 23, 1994, Filed

No. 93-3398

Opinion

 [*550]  OPINION OF THE COURT

SLOVITER, Chief Judge.

In this case the district court denied appellant's Motion to Lift Seal which in effect denied him access to the court records of his own lawsuit. Because we can find no justification for the initial closure of the record, nor for the order on appeal, we will reverse.

In July 1981, appellant Ralph Miller filed suit in federal court against the Indiana Hospital and various of its doctors and administrators alleging constitutional and antitrust violations stemming from the termination and subsequent denial of his staff privileges at the Hospital. On January 29, 1982, defendants, coincident with submitting their responses to Miller's first set of interrogatories, requests for admissions and production of documents, filed a motion to impound the record claiming that "the details related to this action constitute private and confidential information which should not be  [**2]  disclosed to third parties or the general public." Although defendants filed allegations in support of its motion, those allegations were general in nature and set forth no specific details. 1 

 [**3]   [*551]  On February 8, without a hearing or even a response from Miller, the court entered an order directing the Clerk of the Court to "seal and secure all Court papers filed of record and to allow access to any such papers only by counsel of record and/or their authorized representatives. Access to the same records by any other person is prohibited and shall be allowed only by further Order of Court and upon good cause shown."

Although the order was never rescinded, the numerous decisions of the district court and the court of appeals in this case were published in the official reporters with the names of the parties listed and with references to, and quotations from, the complaint and response, transcripts of hearings, expert reports, depositions and affidavits filed in the case. 2 Indeed, on the parties second appearance in this court, the Clerk of the Court explicitly unsealed all portions of the record on appeal because no party had shown good cause for continuing to maintain a sealed record.

Read The Full CaseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.

16 F.3d 549 *; 1994 U.S. App. LEXIS 3106 **; 1994-1 Trade Cas. (CCH) P70,518

RALPH J. MILLER, M.D., Appellant v. INDIANA HOSPITAL, a corporation; HENRY F. HILD; DONALD F. SMITH; WILLIAM R. McMILLEN; JOHN S. SIMPSON; THOMAS S. BARBOR; SAMUEL W. JACK, JR.; MRS. C. FRED HILDEBRAND; MRS. WANDA M. WEYANDT; HARRY C. McCREARY; C. WILMER JOHNSTON; GEORGE M. EVANS; DONALD S. BRODY; ROGER J. RESCHINI; JOSEPH KOVALCHICK; WILLIAM G. EVANS, M.D.; MELVIN C. WILLIAMS, M.D.; ROBERT G. GOLDSTROHM, M.D.; DAVID C. HUGHES, M.D.; RALPH F. WALDO, M.D.; HERBERT L. HANNA, M.D.; RICHARD N. FREDA, M.D.; FRANK WEINER, M.D.; HENRY MITCHELL, M.D.; RALPH R. BROWN, M.D.; COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: H. ARNOLD MULLER, M.D.

Prior History:  [**1]  On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. (D.C. Civ. No. 81-01091).

CORE TERMS

district court, parties, seal, impounded, records

Governments, Courts, Court Records