How Long Under Seal is Too Long?

On October 16, a Philadelphia federal district court rejected the government’s eleventh request for an extension of the seal so that it could continue to investigate five-year-old allegations brought under the False Claims Act qui tam provisions.  See United States ex rel. Brasher v. Pentec Health, Inc., No. 13-05745, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177118 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 16, 2018).  The suit, first filed by relator in 2013, alleges that Pentec Health defrauded Medicare when it submitted fraudulent bills to the government health insurance program.  In denying the request, U.S. Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania determined the government had failed to show good cause for an eleventh extension of the seal period and ordered it to decide within 30 days if it will intervene in the suit. (more…)

California District Court Denies Government’s Request to Maintain Documents Under Seal

On September 25, 2015, a Central District of California judge denied the government’s request to maintain documents under seal in a declined qui tam suit, on the basis that the documents describe only routine investigative methods of the government.  See United States ex rel. Hong v. Newport Sensors, Inc. et al., No. 13-cv-01164-JLS-JPR (C.D. Cal. Sept. 25, 2015).  This order followed the court’s prior denial of an attempt by the government to maintain the seal for a failure to show good cause to limit the unsealing to only specific documents.