U.S. Bankruptcy Court - Western District of Washington
Western District of Washington

Hon. Brian D. Lynch, Chief Judge Mark L. Hatcher, Clerk of Court
Seattle Office
Seattle Courthouse
700 Stewart St., #6301
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 370-5200
Tacoma Office
Tacoma Courthouse
1717 Pacific Ave., Ste 2100
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 882-3900
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New Procedure for Filing Documents Under Seal
[last updated: 05/22/2014]

Local Bankruptcy Rule 5005-1 currently requires sealed documents to be filed conventionally, in paper. Effective June 3, 2014, electronic filers will have the ability to file sealed documents electronically. See General Order 2014-1.

New ECF Procedure

1. Filer uploads a motion to file documents under seal using Event:
Bankruptcy>Motions/Applications>Seal Document (motion). Note that this event is a public entry and the contents of the Motion are not restricted on the docket.

2. After filing the motion to seal, the filer uploads the confidential or protected documents using a restricted access event: Bankruptcy >Other> Sealed Document. Access to the sealed document(s) is limited to the filing attorney, staff in the assigned judge's chambers and limited administrative staff in the Clerk's office.

3. Filer uploads an order on the motion to file under seal using Event: Bankruptcy>Order Upload>Single Order Upload. When signed, the order will be available to the public

Outcome of Motion to File under Seal

1. If the court GRANTS the motion to file under seal, the documents remain on the docket with restricted access.

2. If the court DENIES the motion to file under seal, the documents remain on the docket with restricted access and a notation is made that the documents are not to be considered for any purpose.

3. If an order denying the authority to file under seal is entered, and the filer wishes to have the documents made public, the filer may redocket the subject documents using a public event.

See the interactive training lesson for more information at Sealed Documents Lesson.
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