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United States v. Bacon, 950 F.3d 1286 (10th Cir. Feb. 21, 2020)

Feb 21, 2020

In this criminal appeal, the Tenth Circuit held that the district court’s denial of the criminal defendant’s challenge to filing the supplement to his plea agreement under seal was plain error.  The court detailed the burden that a party seeking to have a court record sealed must carry to overcome the presumption that court records are available to the public.  It was plain error for the district court not to apply these requirements.  The court refused to modify the common law to create an exception for plea supplements and held that the District of Utah’s local rule providing for such documents to be sealed as a matter of course could not supplant the common law.