In re Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland, 657 F.3d 1008 (2011)

Documents that were produced in discovery and filed in the bankruptcy court contained allegations that Fathers “M” and “D” (two priests who were not parties to the Portland Archdiocese’s bankruptcy case) had sexually abused children. The bankruptcy court held that the discovery documents could be disclosed to the public because the public’s interest in disclosure outweighed the priests’ privacy interests and that the documents filed in court could be disclosed to the public because they did not contain “scandalous” allegations for purposes of 11 U.S.C. § 107(b). The district court affirmed, but the Ninth Circuit reversed in part, holding that the bankruptcy court should have redacted the name of one of the two priests (who is 88 years old and has been retired since 1989). However, the Court upheld disclosure of the information relating to the other priest, who is not retired and who continues to work as a priest in his community, where his clerical duties may bring him into contact with children.