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Fair Housing Justice Center, Inc. v. Zucker

United States District Court, S.D. New York

January 7, 2020

FAIR HOUSING JUSTICE CENTER, INC., JANE DOE and JOHN DOE, Plaintiffs,
v.
HOWARD A. ZUCKER, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ELM YORK LLC, MADISON YORK ASSISTED LIVING COMMUNITY, LLC, MADISON YORK REGO PARK LLC, and VILLAGE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT FUND CORPORATION, Defendants.

          FOR PLAINTIFFS: MOBILIZATION FOR JUSTICE, INC. Kevin M. Cremin Jota Borgmann Tanya Kessler

          LETITIA JAMES Attorney General of the State of New York Attorney for State Defendants John P. Gasior Erin R, McAlister Assistant Attorneys General O'Connell and Aronowitz Attorneys for Defendants Elm York LLC, Madison York Assisted Living Community LLC Madison York Rego Park LLC

          Michaol Y. Hawrylchak Hinman Straub, P.C. Attorneys for Defendant Village Housing Development Corporation David T. Luntz

          STIPULATION AND PROPOSED PROTECTIVE ORDER

          HON. VERNON S. BRODERICK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         WHEREAS, the Parties having agreed to the following terms of confidentiality, and the Court having found that good cause exists for the issuance of an appropriately tailored confidentiality order pursuant to Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, it is hereby

         ORDERED that the following restrictions and procedures shall apply to the information and documents exchanged by the parties in connection with the pre-trial phase of this action:

         1. Counsel for any party or non-party may designate any document or information, in whole or in part, as confidential if counsel determines, in good faith, that such designation is Confidential Information. "Confidential information" shall include (i) any party's tax returns; (ii) any party's non-public business information; (iii) any individual's (including without limitation, residents or applicants for residency at any adult care facility) "Personally Identifying Information" (individual contact information, current or former employment information, family history, date of birth, social security number, banking, credit, government benefits, and other financial information); (iv) all documents related to any testing conducted by the Fair Justice Housing Center, Inc. ("FHJC"), including, but not limited to, training materials for testers created by the FHJC, investigative documents created by the FHJC and any personally Identifying Information concerning FHJC testers or employees; (v) all documents reflecting medical information for Plaintiffs Jane Doe and John Doe or any resident or applicant for residency at any adult care facility; (vi) the names of Jane Doe and John Doe; (vii) all documents and information which concern or relate to the personal health information or mental health information of any individual, including but not limited to, documents and information covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"); (viii) all non-public documents and information derived therefrom, relating to the operations of the New York State Department of Health ("DOH"); (ix) any other documents or information which counsel in good faith reasonably contends is confidential; and (x) testimony, analysis, reports, or other documents about or which reference the documents and information covered by paragraph 1 (i) through (be) above. Nothing herein shall negate or obviate any requirement or obligation of confidentiality independent of this Stipulation and Order.

         2. "Non-public documents and information" shall be defined as records that are not available to the public under the Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law, Article 6).

         3. Information and documents designated by a party or non-party as confidential will be stamped "CONFIDENTIAL." To designate Confidential Material in testimony (or in exhibits referred to therein), the Producing Party shall either: (a) make an oral statement to that effect on the record, or (b) notify the Recipient in writing at any time up until thirty (30) days after receipt of the transcript.

         4. The terms of this Stipulation and Order are applicable to information produced by a Non-Party in this Action and designated as Confidential Material. Such information produced by Non-Parties in connection with this Action is protected by the remedies and relief provided by this Stipulation and Order. Nothing in these provisions should be construed as prohibiting a Non-Party from seeking additional protections. In the event that any party obtains information or documents from a Non-Party that another party believes is confidential, any party may designate such information Confidential Material pursuant to this Stipulation and Order and it shall be treated as such in accordance with this Agreement.

         5. The Confidential Information disclosed will be held and used by the person receiving such information solely for use in connection with the action.

         6. In the event a party challenges another party's designation of confidentiality, counsel shall make a good faith effort to resolve the dispute, and in the absence of a resolution, the challenging party may seek resolution by the Court. The challenged document or information shall remain Confidential Information until such time as the Court rules or the party or non-party producing the information agrees that it is not. Nothing in this Protective Order constitutes an admission by any party that Confidential Information disclosed in this case is relevant or admissible. Each party reserves the right to object to the use or admissibility of the Confidential Information.

         7. The parties should meet and confer if any production requires a designation of "For Attorneys' or Experts' Eyes Only." All other documents designated as "CONFIDENTIAL" shall not be disclosed to any person, except:

a. Personnel of Plaintiffs or Defendants who are actually assisting in the preparation of this action for trial or ...

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