Planned Parenthood of the Great Nw. & the Hawaiian Islands v. Azar, No. 18-1627, 2018 WL 6249845 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 29, 2018) (Coughenour, J.)
Re: Reverse FOIA action seeking injunctive relief to preclude HHS from publicly disclosing plaintiff's application for FY18 Title X grant
Disposition: Granting plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction; granting plaintiff's motion to seal
- Litigation Considerations, Preliminary Injunctions: "[T]he Court concludes that both the balance of the equities and the public interest weigh in favor of a preliminary injunction." The court finds that "Plaintiff has raised serious questions going to the merits of whether HHS' decision to disclose the FY18 Application was arbitrary and capricious" and "contrary to law." Additionally, the court finds that "Plaintiff has demonstrated that release of the confidential commercial information contained in the FY18 Application would put it at a competitive disadvantage in future rounds of Title X bidding." Finally, the court finds that "Plaintiff has demonstrated that the balance of equities sharply tips in its favor." "Conversely, Defendants have provided no substantive response to Plaintiff's motion, leaving the Court to guess as to how HHS would be harmed by the issuance of a preliminary injunction."
The court also finds that, "[f]or the same reason a preliminary injunction is appropriate to protect against irreparable harm, Plaintiff has demonstrated a compelling reason to maintain its FY18 Application under seal that outweighs the public's general interest in access to the Court's records."