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Supreme Court denies missing litigant Bobby Chen a second chance

WASHINGTON -- The case of a missing Supreme Court litigant with ties to Baltimore appeared to end Monday when the court denied the man's request for a re-hearing.

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

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Despite representing himself in federal court, Chen 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. So his case was dismissed.

Earlier this month, Chen reemerged 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. And 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 by the argument.

Neither Chen nor Clement immediately responded to a request for comment.

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