Fourth Circuit Court Says “No” to Anonymous Parties
The Fourth Circuit Court decided that a business could not file suit anonymously to prevent the Consumer Product Safety Commission from releasing a finding that the company had injured a consumer with the sale of one of its products. The district court had allowed the entire litigation–all the way through judgment–to occur effectively in secret. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a database of injurious products that the district court effectively kept this company off of.
Three Consumer Advocates “intervened” post-judgment to get the identity of the company unsealed under a little-used mechanism invoking a little recognized right of non-parties to access to information about public proceedings.
The Fourth Circuit agreed with their right to intervene into the case, and ordered the identiy of the business unsealed for the purposes of public access.