Grove Fresh Distributors, Inc. v. Everfresh Juice Co., Nos. 92-4038

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore BAUER, COFFEY, and RIPPLE; BAUER
Citation24 F.3d 893
Parties, RICO Bus.Disp.Guide 8552, 22 Media L. Rep. 1754 GROVE FRESH DISTRIBUTORS, INCORPORATED, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. EVERFRESH JUICE COMPANY and Hugo Powell, Defendants-Appellees. GROVE FRESH DISTRIBUTORS, INCORPORATED, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JOHN LABATT LIMITED, A Canadian Corporation, et al., Defendants-Appellees. Appeal of AD HOC COALITION OF IN DEPTH JOURNALISTS, Intervenor-Appellant. GROVE FRESH DISTRIBUTORS, INCORPORATED, Plaintiff, v. EVERFRESH JUICE COMPANY and Hugo Powell, Defendants-Appellees. Appeal of Leslie DONLEY, Barry Shore, Sybil Shore, et al., Intervenors-Appellants.
Docket NumberNos. 92-4038,93-2438
Decision Date12 May 1994

Page 893

24 F.3d 893
62 USLW 2722, RICO Bus.Disp.Guide 8552, 22
Media L. Rep. 1754
GROVE FRESH DISTRIBUTORS, INCORPORATED, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
EVERFRESH JUICE COMPANY and Hugo Powell, Defendants-Appellees.
GROVE FRESH DISTRIBUTORS, INCORPORATED, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JOHN LABATT LIMITED, A Canadian Corporation, et al.,
Defendants-Appellees.
Appeal of AD HOC COALITION OF IN DEPTH JOURNALISTS,
Intervenor-Appellant.
GROVE FRESH DISTRIBUTORS, INCORPORATED, Plaintiff,
v.
EVERFRESH JUICE COMPANY and Hugo Powell, Defendants-Appellees.
Appeal of Leslie DONLEY, Barry Shore, Sybil Shore, et al.,
Intervenors-Appellants.
Nos. 92-4038, 93-2438.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Argued Jan. 14, 1994.
Decided May 12, 1994.

Page 894

Dale R. Crider, Warren S. Radler, Rivkin, Radler & Kremer, John P. Messina, Chicago, IL, for plaintiff-appellee.

Jeffrey E. Stone, Bruce H. Weitzman, David J. Stetler, Lazar Pol Raynal (argued), McDermott, Will & Emery, Chicago, IL, for Everfresh Juice Co., Hugo Powell, John Labatt Ltd.

Daniel G. Litchfield, Steven M. Kowal, Burditt & Radzius, Chicago, IL, for American Citrus Products Corp., Henry Lang.

John S. Elson, Karen Taylor, Jack Doppelt, Chicago, IL, Mindy S. Trossman, Evanston, IL, for Ad Hoc Coalition of In Depth Journalists.

Kristi L. Browne, Lawrence Walner (argued), Julie L. Murphy, Robert J. Walner, Walner & Associates, Chicago, IL, for Leslie Donley, Barry Shore, Sybil Shore, Don Shifris, Lorraine Wallace, Thomas Scorzo, Pat Gordon, Catherine Thomas, Sam Gordon, Michele Chroman, Melissa Chroman.

Page 895

Before BAUER, COFFEY, and RIPPLE, Circuit Judges.

BAUER, Circuit Judge.

This appeal requires us to determine the rights of third parties who wish to intervene in pending litigation for the limited purpose of obtaining access to documents which have been shielded from public scrutiny either by seal or by a protective order. At the heart of this dispute are a pair of lawsuits filed by Grove Fresh Distributors, Inc. against various of its competing orange juice manufacturers. The lawsuits are based on allegations that the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to unlawfully adulterate and misbrand orange juice in violation of federal unfair competition laws, Food and Drug Administration regulations, and the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute (RICO). 18 U.S.C. Secs. 1961 et seq. In the first of these cases, filed in 1989 (the " '89 case"), the district court issued a protective order limiting Grove Fresh's ability to disclose information obtained from the defendants by virtue of the discovery process which the defendants classified as confidential. In a subsequent lawsuit involving similar claims, filed in 1990 (the " '90 case"), the district court sealed the entire court file.

Two different sets of intervenors requested leave to intervene in the cases for the purposes of modifying the protective order in the '89 case and vacating the seal in the '90 case. The first group of intervenors are plaintiffs in a separate group of class action cases. Also citing unlawful adulteration and labelling practices, these intervenors ("Consumers") are suing many of the same orange juice manufacturers for consumer fraud and breach of warranty. The Consumers wish to spare the time and expense of a separate pre-trial discovery process by obtaining access to the discovery produced in the Grove Fresh cases. They believe that due to the factual similarity between their case and the Grove Fresh cases, much of the relevant material will be the same. The trial court rejected the Consumers' motion to intervene because the court believed that they lacked standing and that they would not suffer any prejudice from the denial.

The second group of intervenors, The Ad Hoc Coalition of In-depth Journalists ("Coalition") represent a group of professional journalists. Their attempt to vacate the seal in the '90 case and modify the protective order in the '89 case was denied by the district court on November 20, 1992. In its opinion, the court recognized that the Coalition had a right to any court decisions in the case and any documents upon which the court relied in making its decisions. Despite this acknowledged right, for reasons of expedience, the court refused to grant access to the Coalition until the proceeding was completed. The district court also denied the Coalition's motion to modify the protective order in the '89 case because in its view the Coalition had no standing nor any rights on the merits to have access to materials which were part of the discovery process.

The '89 case was dismissed pursuant to the defendants' successful motion for summary judgment on February 21, 1992. In late April of 1993, the '90 case was dismissed pursuant to a settlement among the litigants. The Coalition renewed its request to vacate the seal on June 1, 1993. The district court denied the request.

The differences between the two types of intervenors require us to analyze their claims separately. We begin with the Consumers.

I.

We address, as a preliminary matter, our appellate jurisdiction here because in their briefs, the defendants in the Grove Fresh case, The Everfresh Juice Company and John Labatt Limited, suggest that the order denying the Consumers' motion was not an appealable order. At oral argument, counsel for the defendants acknowledged that the proceedings in the two cases are now complete and it is not clear whether they adhere to their original position on jurisdiction. Nevertheless even if proceedings below were not complete, our decisions make it evident that an order granting or refusing to grant access in favor of an intervening party is appealable under the collateral order doctrine. Wilk v. American Medical Ass'n, 635 F.2d 1295 (7th Cir.1980) (refusing to modify a protective order); American Tel. &

Page 896

Tel. Co. v. Grady, 594 F.2d 594 (7th Cir.1978) (modifying a protective order), cert. denied, 440 U.S. 971, 99 S.Ct. 1533, 59 L.Ed.2d 787 (1979). Thus, even though the order did not end the litigation on its merits, the order was immediately appealable. Everfresh and John Labatt also suggest without elaboration that the Consumers lacked standing to intervene in this case. It is apparent, however, that intervention is the procedurally appropriate course for third-party challenges to protective orders. See id.; United Nuclear Corp. v. Cransford Ins. Co., 905 F.2d 1424 (10th Cir.1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1073, 111 S.Ct. 799, 112 L.Ed.2d 860 (1991); Public Citizen v. Liggett Group, Inc., 858 F.2d 775 (1st Cir.1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 1030, 109 S.Ct. 838, 102 L.Ed.2d 970 (1989). Hence, Everfresh and John Labatt's jurisdictional challenges are unavailing.

Everfresh and John Labatt also argue that because the Consumers failed to serve them with its motion to intervene, the motion was properly denied. This claim ignores the facts of the case. As originally filed, the motion...

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164 practice notes
  • Bond v. Utreras, No. 07-2651.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • November 10, 2009
    ...993, 996-97 (7th Cir.2000); In re Associated Press, 162 F.3d 503, 507 (7th Cir.1998); Grove Fresh Distribs., Inc. v. Everfresh Juice Co., 24 F.3d 893, 896 (7th Cir.1994), that was in the context of requests for access to sealed records in the court file (Jessup, Associated Press) and reques......
  • Associated Press, In re, Nos. 98-1267
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • December 7, 1998
    ...the "public's right of access to court proceedings and documents is well-established." Grove Fresh Distribs., Inc. v. Everfresh Juice Co., 24 F.3d 893, 897 (7th Cir.1994); see also Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court, 464 U.S. 501, 104 S.Ct. 819, 78 L.Ed.2d 629 (1984); Nixon v. Warner Co......
  • NBC Subsidiary (KNBC-TV), Inc. v. Superior Court, KNBC-TV
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 27, 1999
    ...) [records related to "hybrid summary judgment motion"]; cf. Grove Fresh Distributors, Inc. v. Everfresh Juice Co. (7th Cir.1994) 24 F.3d 893 [assuming both a First Amendment and a common law right of access to civil litigation documents].) Similarly, in Copley Press, Inc. v. Superior Court......
  • Mercury Interactive Corporation v. Klein, No. H031175.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 19, 2007
    ...[records related to `hybrid summary judgment motion']; cf. Grove Fresh Distributors, Inc. v. Everfresh Juice Co. (7th Cir. 1994) 24 F.3d 893 ([Grove Fresh] [assuming both a First Amendment and a common law right of access to civil litigation documents].) Similarly, in [Copley Press, supra,]......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
163 cases
  • Bond v. Utreras, No. 07-2651.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • November 10, 2009
    ...993, 996-97 (7th Cir.2000); In re Associated Press, 162 F.3d 503, 507 (7th Cir.1998); Grove Fresh Distribs., Inc. v. Everfresh Juice Co., 24 F.3d 893, 896 (7th Cir.1994), that was in the context of requests for access to sealed records in the court file (Jessup, Associated Press) and reques......
  • Associated Press, In re, Nos. 98-1267
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • December 7, 1998
    ...the "public's right of access to court proceedings and documents is well-established." Grove Fresh Distribs., Inc. v. Everfresh Juice Co., 24 F.3d 893, 897 (7th Cir.1994); see also Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court, 464 U.S. 501, 104 S.Ct. 819, 78 L.Ed.2d 629 (1984); Nixon v. Warner Co......
  • NBC Subsidiary (KNBC-TV), Inc. v. Superior Court, KNBC-TV
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 27, 1999
    ...) [records related to "hybrid summary judgment motion"]; cf. Grove Fresh Distributors, Inc. v. Everfresh Juice Co. (7th Cir.1994) 24 F.3d 893 [assuming both a First Amendment and a common law right of access to civil litigation documents].) Similarly, in Copley Press, Inc. v. Superior Court......
  • Mercury Interactive Corporation v. Klein, No. H031175.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 19, 2007
    ...[records related to `hybrid summary judgment motion']; cf. Grove Fresh Distributors, Inc. v. Everfresh Juice Co. (7th Cir. 1994) 24 F.3d 893 ([Grove Fresh] [assuming both a First Amendment and a common law right of access to civil litigation documents].) Similarly, in [Copley Press, supra,]......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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