Under the recently enacted Court of Chancery Rule 5.1, the Court of Chancery has set forth a new procedure for the filing of complaints under seal. For a previous post concerning Rule 5.1, click here. Under the previous rule, a party seeking to file a complaint under seal was required to contemporaneously file a motion to seal to accompany such pleading.
Now, under Rule 5.1(e), such a motion is no longer required. Instead, the filing party can file the complaint under seal, provided that a confidential cover page is included, along with a confidential footer. Moreover, the filing party is required to provide a notice to “each person who could have a legitimate interest in designating information” as confidential information on the same day as the filing of the complaint. Such notice must also include a proposed redacted version of the complaint, a copy of Rule 5.1, and a statement that if no redactions are provided by 3:00 p.m. on the third day after the filing, plaintiff’s proposed redacted version of the complaint will be filed with the Court. See Court of Chancery Rule 5.1(e)(2). This notice should not be filed with the Court.
In addition to providing notice to any interested parties, plaintiff must file a cover letter with the Court certifying compliance with Rule 5.1. See Court of Chancery Rule 5.1(e)(1). In addition, when filing the complaint, plaintiff must publicly file the supplemental information sheet referenced in Rule 3(a)(2), and such cover sheet “shall summarize the claims asserted in the complaint in sufficient detail to inform the public of the nature of the dispute.” See Court of Chancery Rule 5.1(e)(1).
If no party designates redactions by 3:00 p.m. on the third day after notice has been given, then the public version filed will be plaintiff’s proposed redacted version of the complaint. Plaintiff must file a redacted version of the complaint within three days after initially filing the complaint under seal.