Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure

Rule 53. Protective Orders Regarding Discovery Requests

(a) Generally. A party or any person from whom discovery is sought may move for a protective order in the court where the action is pending–or alternatively, on matters relating to a deposition, the court in the county where the deposition will be taken. Subject to Rule 53(b), the court for good cause may enter an order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following:

(1) forbidding the discovery;

(2) specifying terms and conditions, including time and place, for the discovery;

(3) prescribing a discovery method other than the one selected by the party seeking discovery;

(4) forbidding inquiry into certain matters, or limiting the scope of discovery to certain matters;

(5) designating the persons who may be present while the discovery is conducted;

(6) requiring that a deposition be sealed and opened only on court order;

(7) requiring that a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information not be revealed or be revealed only in a specified way; and

(8) requiring that the parties simultaneously file specified documents or information in sealed envelopes, to be opened as the court directs.

(b) Ordering Discovery. If a motion for a protective order is wholly or partly denied, the court may, on terms that are just, order that any party or person provide or permit discovery.

(c) Awarding Expenses. Rule 65(a)(4) applies to the award of expenses on a motion for a protective order.

(d) Confidentiality Orders.

(1) Burden of Proof. Before the court may enter an order that limits a party or person from disclosing information or materials produced in the action to a person who is not a party to the action and before the court may deny an intervenor’s request for access to such discovery materials:

(A) the party seeking confidentiality must show why a confidentiality order should be entered or continued; and

(B) the party or intervenor opposing confidentiality must show why a confidentiality order should be denied in whole or in part, modified, or vacated. The burden of showing good cause for an order remains with the party seeking confidentiality.

(2) Findings of Fact. When ruling on a motion for a confidentiality order, the court must make findings of fact concerning any relevant factors, including but not limited to:

(A) any party’s or person’s need to maintain the confidentiality of such information or materials;

(B) any nonparty’s or intervenor’s need to obtain access to such information or materials; and

(C) any possible risk to the public health, safety, or financial welfare that such information or materials may relate to or reveal.
No such findings of fact are needed if the parties have stipulated to such an order or if a motion to intervene and to obtain access to materials subject to a confidentiality order is unopposed. A party moving for entry of a confidentiality order must submit with its motion a proposed order containing proposed findings of fact.

(3) Least Restrictive Means. An order restricting release of information or materials to nonparties or intervenors must use the least restrictive means to maintain any needed confidentiality.