Use this At A Glance Guide to learn the New York rules of civil procedure (New York Civil Practice Law and Rules and Uniform Rules) applicable to bringing a motion to file under seal in the New York Supreme Courts. For more detailed information, including local rules, on bringing a motion to file under seal in a specific New York Supreme Court, please see the SmartRules New York Supreme Court Motion to File Under Seal Guide for the court where your action is pending.
There are no statutory restrictions regarding the timing for motions to file documents under seal.
Motion to File Under Seal Rules:
The authority to seal documents filed with the court is strictly construed in favor of disclosure. The Uniform Rules of the New York State Trial Courts provide that a court shall not enter an order sealing court records in whole or in part, in any action, except upon a written finding of good cause specifying the grounds. Uniform R. 216.01(a).
In determining whether good cause has been shown the court must consider the interests of the public as well as the interests of the parties. Uniform R. 216.01(a).
For purposes of the uniform rules on sealing of documents the term “court records” includes all documents and records of any nature filed with the clerk in connection with an action. Uniform R. 216.01(b). Documents exchanged between the parties but not filed with the clerk are not addressed by the seal but may be made subject to a protective order. Uniform R. 216.01(a); CPLR 3103(a).