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Peterson v. City of Minot

United States District Court, D. North Dakota

April 3, 2017

CITY OF MINOT, a Political Subdivision, and OFFICER BRANDON SCHMITT, a Minot Police Officer, in his individual capacity, Defendants



         In order to expedite the flow of discovery, facilitate the resolution of disputes over confidentiality, protect material entitled to be kept confidential (including protected health information as defined in 45 C.F.R. § 160.103 (“PHI”) and confidential personnel, records and other employment related records) and ensure that protection is afforded only to material entitled to protection, the Court hereby enters this Qualified Protective Order (“Protective Order”) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c) and 45 C.F.R. § 164-512(e):

         A. Scope of the Protective Order

         1. This Protective Order shall govern all methods for the exchange of confidential information in this case, including without limitation: documents and records produced, answers to interrogatories, responses to requests for admission, information obtained from inspection of premises or things, deposition testimony, information produced in any other form in response to discovery, and information disclosed pursuant to a subpoena or as part of any motions, briefs or other filings. The terms “documents”, “information”, and “materials” used in this Protective Order refer to all such methods for the exchange of information described in this paragraph.

         2. This Protective Order applies to all parties (and their attorneys, agents, and representatives) to this litigation and to nonparties who produce discovery materials pursuant to subpoenas from the parties. It also applies to any individual who executes the Acknowledgment and HIPAA Affidavit attached as Exhibit 1.

         B. Designation and Protection of Confidential Information

         3. A party may designate documents as CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION if it determines in good faith that the documents contain sensitive commercial, proprietary, personal information (including but not limited to PHI). CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION, together with the HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION - PHI described in paragraph 13, is referred to as “Protected Material.”

         4. A nonparty that produces documents or appears for a deposition in this litigation, whether formally or informally, may designate documents as Protected Material pursuant to the standards described in the proceeding paragraphs. Further, if a party determines in good faith that discovery documents produced by a nonparty contain Protected Material, that party may designate such documents even if they have not been so designated by the nonparty that produced them. The designating party shall make this designation as soon as reasonably practicable.

         5. The designation of documents containing CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION shall be made by placing on each page of the document (in such manner as will not interfere with its legibility) the word “CONFIDENTIAL”.

         6. Whenever a portion of a deposition involves a disclosure of Protected Material, a party may designate such portions of the deposition. This designation shall be made on the record whenever possible, but following delivery of the transcribed deposition, the parties may also designate portions of the deposition transcript or deposition exhibits as by written notice to all counsel of record specifying which portions of the transcript are to be kept as such.

         7. The categorization of Protected Material and the designation of said Material as CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION, or HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION - PHI in this Protective Order and the restrictions regarding Protected Material are made without prejudice to further categorization and additional restrictions. In the event discovery proceeds into documents and information that a party believes warrant further protections, the parties will meet and confer to discuss appropriate additional protections. If they cannot agree on such protections, they may present the issue to the Court.

         8. Material pertaining to other litigation and/or disputes involving City of Minot, Brandon Schmitt, and/or Joshua Peterson, and third-parties constitutes CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION subject to this Order.

         C. Use and Disclosure of Protected Material

         9. Documents that are designated as Protected Material shall not be used for any purpose except for the prosecution or defense of this litigation unless authorized by further order of this Court. Unless authorized by Court order, the parties are prohibited from using or disclosing the protected health information for any purpose other than the litigation or proceeding for which such information was requested. Nothing in this agreement shall preclude the defendant from requiring a separate Qualified Protective Order in any other litigation arising from the same or similar operative facts. The designation of documents as Protected Material shall not restrict their use by the party producing them.

         10. Documents that are designated as CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION may be disclosed only to:

(a) the parties;
(b) Legal counsel of record for the parties in this action;
(c) persons regularly employed or associated with the law firms of such counsel for the parties, whose assistance is requested by legal counsel in the ...

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