UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
OAKLAND DIVISION SEALED RECORDS PROCEDURE
A recent CM/ECF Upgrade introduced a new functionality regarding Sealed Records. This module permits documents to be
electronically filed on the Court’s CM/ECF System without exposing private information to the public. The new functionality
allows the judges to review sealed or redacted records electronically for individual cases. In addition, parties will no longer have
to produce and submit extra copies to the court unless the presiding judge requires chambers copies. Furthermore, the court will
no longer have to physically secure sealed or redacted records.
NOTE: A party wishing to file a document under seal should comply with Civ. L.R. 79-5 (incorporated by B.L.R. 1001-2).
See also Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9018. Sealing or redacting filed documents is disfavored under the law and by this court (see 11
U.S.C. § 107); accordingly, the motion must satisfactorily explain why the court should disregard the policy of open access
to public documents. Parties opposing such a request should respond as soon as possible, since the court will normally act
on any such matter promptly and without a hearing.
The procedures for sealing documents in cases pending in the Oakland Division Sealed Records Procedures are as follows:
1. The filing party shall electronically file a Motion to Seal Records via CM/ECF. A filing party who is not a registered
CM/ECF participant may submit the motion in paper form. The motion will be viewable on the court’s docket.
2. The filing party shall electronically upload an Order to Seal Records via CM/ECF. A filing party who is not a
registered CM/ECF participant may submit the order in paper form. The order, when signed, will be viewable on the
3. Upon entry of an Order to Seal Records, the filing party shall contact the Division Manager (or a designee) to arrange for
the submission of sealed or unredacted documents electronically. The sealed or unredacted documents may be submitted
in the form of an email, compact disc, or flash drive, depending on the size of the sealed records.
4. All sealed or unredacted documents shall be clearly marked: “DOCUMENT UNDER SEAL per ORDER TO SEAL
RECORDS (Dkt. No. ),” and must be converted to PDF. Note: The maximum size per file should not exceed 3MB
(approximately 20-25 pages of text documents) and scanned documents should be set no lower than 300dpi.
5. When only a portion of a document is sealed from public view, the submitter should highlight (in yellow) that
portion. This enables the court to distinguish between the public and confidential material and minimizes the
possibility that the court will accidentally disclose the sealed information in open court or in an order or decision.
6. The sealed records will be entered on the CM/ECF System using the court’s secured docket event codes.
7. For documents filed under seal, registered participants will receive an electronic notification (NEF) only. The entry
and PDF hyperlink will be viewable on the court’s docket. When clicking on the PDF hyperlink, the user will see the
following message: “You do not have access to the restricted document.”
8. When redacting is authorized, the filing party should file the redacted document electronically. A filing party who is not a
registered CM/ECF participant may submit the redacted document in paper form. In either case, the document should be
clearly marked “REDACTED DOCUMENT per ORDER TO SEAL RECORDS (Dkt. No. ).”
9. Upon completion of the sealed filing process, the court will notify the submitting party and will return any compact
discs or flash drives that have been previously submitted. The court will dispose of any sealed records submitted via
Oakland Division Sealed Records Procedure – 2/2014