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Durham DA apologizes for mistaken motions

Posted December 14, 2011

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— 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Cline withdrew her requests for prison records in the cases, and Superior Court Judge Jim Hardin rescinded the orders he issued in all three.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.


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  • westernwake1 Dec 14, 2011

    "where did she study law?" - cantstandya

    N.C. Central University School of Law


  • cantstandya Dec 14, 2011

    Feel for you all up there in Durham you got your hands full with this one,where did she study law and if so what was her background before this job?

  • airbornemonty Dec 14, 2011

    When someone tells you they didn't look at something...they did.

  • Cautious Dec 14, 2011

    She is lying. Since when is a motion for visitation records a form motion? Wouldn't a form motion be somethings that requested "all" records as opposed to some specific type of records?

  • durham citizen Dec 14, 2011

    This woman is so incompetent that it is beyond belief! Since Hardin left it has been one quack after another. Remember Nifong? She is doing real harm to Durham, and she needs to be stopped.

  • davido Dec 14, 2011

    Yeah, I wouldn't last long there. It would be like "Motion to adjourn for coffee break..." "Motion to hit the bar..."

  • Tax Man Dec 14, 2011

    She is just not the quality we need in a DA - she needs to go back to private practice and get out of the government service.

  • westernwake1 Dec 14, 2011

    Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline needs to RESIGN immediately. She has totally abused the justice system in Durham and is incompetent. The N&O has outlined her failures and injustice in a series called "Twisted Truth".


    At this point even the leading Defense Attorneys in Durham are demanding that she step down or they will start removal petition under state law.


  • davisgw Dec 14, 2011

    One mistake after another. She is making her office and Durham county look foolish.