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Ricci v. Teamsters Union Local 456

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

March 18, 2015

Peter Ricci, Barbara Ricci, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
Teamsters Union Local 456, GoDaddy.com, LLC, Defendants-Appellees. [*]

 Submitted March 11, 2015

Appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Romá n, J.) dismissing defamation claims against GoDaddy.com, LLC, and federal labor law claims against the Teamsters Union Local 456. We affirm, holding that the Communications Decency Act of 1996 shields GoDaddy from defamation liability, and that all claims against the Teamsters Union are barred by the statute of limitations.

Peter Ricci and Barbara Ricci, Pro se, Yonkers, New York.

Christopher A. Smith, Trivella & Forte, LLP, White Plains, New York, for Defendant-Appellee Teamsters Union Local 456.

Aaron M. McKown and Paula L. Zecchini, Ring Bender LLLP, Irvine, California, for Defendant-Appellee GoDaddy.com, LLC.

Before: JACOBS and LOHIER, Circuit Judges, and SWAIN, District Judge.[**]

OPINION

Page 26

PER CURIAM

Plaintiffs Peter and Barbara Ricci (" the Riccis" ) bring this action pro se against GoDaddy.com, LLC (" GoDaddy" ) and the Teamsters Union Local 456 (the " Union" or the " Teamsters" ), alleging that false statements about the Riccis in a Union newsletter were republished on a website hosted on GoDaddy's servers. As relevant here, plaintiffs sue GoDaddy for defamation; they sue the Teamsters for retaliation in violation of sections 7 and 8 of the National Labor Relations Act (" NLRA" ), 29 U.S.C. § § 157, 158(b)(1)(A), and for breach of the NLRA's implied duty of fair representation. The defamation claims fail because GoDaddy enjoys immunity from this suit under the Communications Decency Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. § 230. The labor claims are barred by the NLRA's six-month statute of limitations, 29 U.S.C. § 160(b). We affirm.

I

The following facts are drawn from plaintiffs' complaint, and are assumed to be true for purposes of our de novo review of the district court's grant of defendants' motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Phillips v. City of New York, 775 F.3d 538, 542 (2d Cir. 2015).

Page 27

Peter Ricci, a Teamsters member since 1983, refused to endorse Union President Eddie Doyle at a meeting in September 2002. For the next ten years, Ricci was " blackballed" and suffered retaliation by the Union leadership. He was fired from jobs he should have kept; he was not placed in certain jobs he should have gotten; and he was generally disfavored, even as compared with members with less seniority.

In August and September 2012, members of the Union distributed newsletters containing defamatory statements about the Riccis (and their daughter). Those newsletters were also published on a website called thewestchesternewsletter.com (now defunct), which was hosted on GoDaddy's ...


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