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Revelation of Plaintiff's Gambling Addiction Doesn't Justify Pseudonymity or Sealing

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Right of Access

Eugene Volokh | 9.21.2021 8:01 AM

Roe v. Skillz, Inc., decided earlier this month by a Ninth Circuit panel (Judges Morgan Christen and Danielle Forrest, and Sixth Circuit Judge Eugene Siler), held that "a district court's decision not to seal judicial records and its denial of leave to proceed anonymously" was not "an abuse of discretion":

"[W]e allow parties to use pseudonyms in the 'unusual case' when nondisclosure of the party's identity 'is necessary … to protect a person from harassment, injury, ridicule or personal embarrassment.'" Because there is a presumption that parties' identities are public information, anonymity is only proper under "special circumstances when the party's need for anonymity outweighs prejudice to the opposing party and the public's interest in knowing the party's identity."

Roe maintains that special circumstances warrant her need for anonymity........

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