PHILADELPHIA - A plaintiff who sued a prominent e-commerce company and former President Barack Obama for anti-trust and breach of contract claims has had the dismissal of his case affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

On March 23, Judges Patty Shwartz, Robert E. Cowen and Julio M. Fuentes issued a per curiam ruling stating judgment was entered in favor of the defendants and against plaintiff Domenic Tricome.

On Oct. 7, 2015, Tricome filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleging antitrust and contract claims against eBay and then-U.S. President Barack Obama. The district court directed its clerk to suspend the matter pending Tricome’s submission of a complete copy of the complaint, noting that several pages were missing.

After Tricome failed to file a complete complaint, the district court again ordered Tricome to file such a complete copy and warned him if he failed to comply, his complaint would be subject to dismissal for failure to prosecute. Tricome failed to comply with this order and thus the district court dismissed Tricome’s complaint without prejudice for failure to prosecute, which Tricome appealed.

“Although it is difficult to discern Tricome’s exact claims, it appears that a four-year statute of limitations applied," the Third Circuit said in its decision. "In his complaint, Tricome alleged that his claims arose on May 7, 2007. Accordingly, Tricome’s claims are effectively barred as the statute of limitations had run at the time of the District Court’s dismissal." 

The court continued, “Tricome’s complaint provided no basis for an opposing party to respond, as it referred to 'Page 6' of the complaint for a detailing of the claim, but 'Page 6' was not filed as part of the complaint. The complaint as filed failed to present any clear articulation of actionable conduct by the defendants, injuries sustained by Tricome, or relief requested.

“Tricome failed to correct the defect in his complaint that was pointed out in two explicit orders of the District Court, and he clearly was advised that he faced dismissal of his complaint if he failed to submit a complete copy (of) it. Tricome’s failure to file a complete complaint in the nearly seven months provided by the District Court made adjudication of his case impossible. Under the circumstances, the District Court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing Tricome’s complaint." 

The defendants were represented by Richard Mentzinger Jr. and Thomas F. Johnson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit case 16-2710

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case 2:15-cv-05614

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com.

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
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U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
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