S.623 - Sunshine in Litigation Act of 2011

A bill to amend chapter 111 of title 28, United States Code, relating to protective orders, sealing of cases, disclosures of discovery information in civil actions, and for other purposes. view all titles (3)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: A bill to amend chapter 111 of title 28, United States Code, relating to protective orders, sealing of cases, disclosures of discovery information in civil actions, and for other purposes. as introduced.
  • Short: Sunshine in Litigation Act of 2011 as introduced.
  • Short: Sunshine in Litigation Act of 2011 as reported to senate.

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Introduced
 
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House
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President
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03/17/11
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Official Summary

Sunshine in Litigation Act of 2011 - (Sec. 2) Amends the federal judicial code to prohibit a court, in any civil action in which the pleadings state facts relevant to protecting public health or safety, from entering an order restricting the disclosure of information obtained through discov

Official Summary

Sunshine in Litigation Act of 2011 -

(Sec. 2)

Amends the federal judicial code to prohibit a court, in any civil action in which the pleadings state facts relevant to protecting public health or safety, from entering an order restricting the disclosure of information obtained through discovery, approving a settlement agreement that would restrict such disclosure, or restricting access to court records, subject to exceptions, unless the court has first made independent findings of fact that:
(1) the order would not restrict the disclosure of information relevant to the protection of public health or safety; or
(2) the public interest in the disclosure of past, present, or potential health or safety hazards is outweighed by a specific and substantial interest in maintaining the confidentiality of the information, and the requested protective order is no broader than necessary to protect the confidentiality interest asserted. Prohibits a court from approving any party's stipulation or request to stipulate to an order that would violate this Act. Prohibits such a court from:
(1) approving or enforcing any provision of an agreement between or among parties, or an order entered under this Act, to the extent that it restricts a party from disclosing information to any federal or state agency with authority to enforce laws regulating an activity relating to such information (requires such information disclosed to a federal or state agency to be confidential to the extent provided by law); or
(2) enforcing any provision of a settlement agreement described under this Act between or among parties to such civil action that prohibits a party from disclosing that a settlement was reached or the terms of the settlement, other than the amount paid, or from discussing the civil action, or evidence produced in it, that involves matters relevant to the protection of public health or safety. Excepts from this enforcement prohibition (thus allowing enforcement of) a settlement agreement provision about which the court finds that the public interest in the disclosure of past, present, or potential health or safety hazards is outweighed by a specific and substantial interest in maintaining the confidentiality of the information or records in question, and the requested protective order is no broader than necessary to protect the confidentiality interest asserted. Creates a rebuttable presumption that the interest in protecting personally identifiable information relating to an individual's financial, health, or other similar information outweighs the public interest in disclosure. Declares that nothing in this Act shall be construed to permit, require, or authorize the disclosure of, and no court shall be prohibited from restricting disclosure of or access to:
(1) information classified under a secret Executive order concerning national defense or foreign policy, or
(2) intelligence sources and methods.

(Sec. 3)

Bars this Act from providing a basis for:
(1) granting a motion to reconsider, modify, amend, or vacate a protective or settlement order entered before the effective date of this Act; or
(2) reversing such an order retroactively on appeal.

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