781 F.3d 25 (2nd Cir. 2015), 14-1732, Ricci v. Teamsters Union Local 456

Docket Nº14-1732
Citation781 F.3d 25
Opinion JudgePER CURIAM
Party NamePeter Ricci, Barbara Ricci, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Teamsters Union Local 456, GoDaddy.com, LLC, Defendants-Appellees. [*]
AttorneyPeter 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.
Judge PanelBefore: JACOBS and LOHIER, Circuit Judges, and SWAIN, District Judge.[**]
Case DateMarch 18, 2015
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Page 25

781 F.3d 25 (2nd Cir. 2015)

Peter Ricci, Barbara Ricci, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

Teamsters Union Local 456, GoDaddy.com, LLC, Defendants-Appellees. [*]

No. 14-1732

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

March 18, 2015

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 web servers. Soon after, on December 6, 2012, Peter Ricci left the Union.

The Riccis do not allege that GoDaddy had any role in creating the allegedly defamatory newsletters. To the contrary, their complaint repeatedly alleges that the newsletters were drafted and distributed by others. See Compl. ¶ 9 (alleging that " Teamsters Union Local 456" is " the creator of the newsletters" ); see also id. ¶ 10 (alleging that GoDaddy (eventually) " decided to reveal the . . . identity of the publisher and creators of the newsletters" ). As to GoDaddy, the only allegations in the complaint are: (1) GoDaddy hosted a website that published the allegedly defamatory newsletters, see id. ¶ ¶ 9-10; (2) GoDaddy " refused to remove the newsletter" from its servers, id. ¶ 9; and (3) GoDaddy " completely refused to investigate Barbara Ricci's complaints," id. None of those allegations are disputed by the parties.

On July 8, 2013, the Riccis filed this lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York. The Teamsters, with GoDaddy's consent, removed the case to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Each then moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The district court (Romá n, J.) granted both motions; dismissed all claims against GoDaddy, and all federal claims against the Teamsters Union; and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over any remaining state law claims.

II

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28 practice notes
  • 364 P.3d 129 (Wash.App. Div. 3 2015), 32922-4-III, Life Designs Ranch, Inc. v. Sommer
    • United States
    • Washington Court of Appeals of Washington
    • November 12, 2015
    ...of the defamatory [191 Wn.App. 356] statement, even if the author is the administrator of the site. Ricci v. Teamsters Union Local 456, 781 F.3d 25 (2d Cir. 2015); Cisneros v. Sanchez, 403 F.Supp.2d 588, 591-92 (S.D. Tex. 2005). Other courts have held defamatory factual statements posted on......
  • Life Designs Ranch, Inc. v. Sommer, 111215 WACA, 32922-4-III
    • United States
    • Washington Court of Appeals of Washington
    • November 12, 2015
    ...shield the author of the defamatory statement, even if the author is the administrator of the site. Ricci v. Teamsters Union Local 456, 781 F.3d 25 (2d Cir. 2015); Cisneros v. Sanchez, 403 F.Supp.2d 588, 591-92 (S.D. Tex. 2005). Other courts have held defamatory factual statements posted on......
  • 913 N.W.2d 211 (Wis.App. 2018), 2017AP344, Daniel v. Armslist, LLC
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • April 19, 2018
    ...if the statute’s barrier to suit is evident from the face of the complaint." Ricci v. Teamsters Union Local 456, 781 F.3d 25, 28 (2d Cir. 2015). [ ¶ 25] Our standard of review and the substantive standard for consideration of a motion to dismiss for failure ......
  • Daniel v. Armslist, LLC, 041918 WICA, 2017AP344
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • April 19, 2018
    ...to dismiss if the statute's barrier to suit is evident from the face of the complaint." Ricci v. Teamsters Union Local 456, 781 F.3d 25, 28 (2d Cir. 2015). ¶25 Our standard of review and the substantive standard for consideration of a motion to dismiss for fail......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
28 cases
  • 364 P.3d 129 (Wash.App. Div. 3 2015), 32922-4-III, Life Designs Ranch, Inc. v. Sommer
    • United States
    • Washington Court of Appeals of Washington
    • November 12, 2015
    ...of the defamatory [191 Wn.App. 356] statement, even if the author is the administrator of the site. Ricci v. Teamsters Union Local 456, 781 F.3d 25 (2d Cir. 2015); Cisneros v. Sanchez, 403 F.Supp.2d 588, 591-92 (S.D. Tex. 2005). Other courts have held defamatory factual statements posted on......
  • Life Designs Ranch, Inc. v. Sommer, 111215 WACA, 32922-4-III
    • United States
    • Washington Court of Appeals of Washington
    • November 12, 2015
    ...shield the author of the defamatory statement, even if the author is the administrator of the site. Ricci v. Teamsters Union Local 456, 781 F.3d 25 (2d Cir. 2015); Cisneros v. Sanchez, 403 F.Supp.2d 588, 591-92 (S.D. Tex. 2005). Other courts have held defamatory factual statements posted on......
  • 913 N.W.2d 211 (Wis.App. 2018), 2017AP344, Daniel v. Armslist, LLC
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • April 19, 2018
    ...if the statute’s barrier to suit is evident from the face of the complaint." Ricci v. Teamsters Union Local 456, 781 F.3d 25, 28 (2d Cir. 2015). [ ¶ 25] Our standard of review and the substantive standard for consideration of a motion to dismiss for failure ......
  • Daniel v. Armslist, LLC, 041918 WICA, 2017AP344
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • April 19, 2018
    ...to dismiss if the statute's barrier to suit is evident from the face of the complaint." Ricci v. Teamsters Union Local 456, 781 F.3d 25, 28 (2d Cir. 2015). ¶25 Our standard of review and the substantive standard for consideration of a motion to dismiss for fail......
  • Request a trial to view additional results