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Missing Supreme Court litigant denied a rehearing

WASHINGTON — The case of the missing Supreme Court litigant who sued the city of Baltimore appeared to end Monday when the court denied the man's request for a hearing.

Bobby Chen sued the city in U.S. District Court in 2011 for $2.5 million after a contractor demolished a home he had purchased in the 1600 block of E. Chase St. 11 years earlier.

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Chen, who represented himself, appealed the case to the Supreme Court and won a hearing in November. But then he disappeared, and the court said it could not locate him. His case was dismissed.

Chen re-emerged this month with a high-profile attorney, former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, and told the court he had suffered an injury and wasn't aware that his case had been accepted. He requested another chance to make his case.

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His "inadvertent failure to respond to this court's communications or comply with its briefing schedule can and should be excused," Chen's attorney argued in the petition. He "had no intention of abandoning his case."

The court, which dismissed the case without comment on Monday, was apparently unswayed.

Neither Chen, who now lives in New York, nor Clement responded to a request for comment.

Chen was battling with the city of Baltimore over a technical matter in how his case was handled.

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A lower court had granted him an extended deadline to serve notice on the defendants. But when his case was transferred, a subsequent judge ruled that he had not shown adequate cause for missing the first deadline.

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