Durham DA apologizes for mistaken motions
Posted December 14, 2011
Durham, N.C. — Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline apologized Wednesday for seeking confidential records in three criminal cases, saying motions she filed for court orders in the cases were a mistake.
Cline withdrew her requests for prison records in the cases, and Superior Court Judge Jim Hardin rescinded the orders he issued in all three. He also warned Cline to make sure motions she files in the future are accurate.
"I know that you are aware lawyers should not knowingly make a false statement," Hardin told her. "As professionals, we have to rely on each other's character."
Cline said she thought attorneys for Keith Kidwell, Angel Richardson and David Yearwood were seeking new trials, so she requested records using a "form motion" and mistakenly obtained some sealed documents.
She said she hasn't reviewed any of the documents, but at least one defense attorney asked that she be removed from her client's case.
"The damage has been done," said Heather Rattelade, who represents Yearwood.
Hardin rejected Rattelade's motion.