The Northern District of Illinois has amended Local Rule 5.8 (Filing Materials Under Seal) to require that all documents filed either by counsel or a non-represented party with an e-filing account be filed electronically pursuant to Local Rule 26.2, unless the Court has held that the documents need not be filed electronically pursuant to Local Rule 26.2(d). Local Rule 26.2 requires that documents only be filed under seal where the party has a Court order sealing the document or where the party contemporaneously files a motion to seal. Local Rule 26.2(c). In the latter case, a party must contemporaneously:
- provisionally files the document under seal
- file a public record version of the submission with only the sealed document excluded; and
- file a motion for leave to file under seal, which must be noticed “promptly.”
Any sealed document filed without a motion to seal may be stricken. And pursuant to Local Rule 5.8, any document that does not follow the sealing procedures and / or that is not filed electronically will be processed like any other document and filed as unsealed and publicly available on Pacer. That is a big stick. I would expect that compliance will be high.