Durham DA loses again in bid to block judge from case
Posted January 13, 2012
Updated January 15, 2012
Durham, N.C. — For the second time in a month, a Superior Court judge has ruled that Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline doesn't have enough evidence to prevent another judge from hearing a case.
Cline filed a motion Monday requesting that Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson recuse himself from presiding over the case of Clint Edward Pollard, who is accused of molesting a boy.
She alleged that Hudson is biased against her office – he has criticized Cline's handling of at least two cases in his written rulings – but Judge Henry Hight ruled Friday morning that she showed no evidence of that and dismissed the motion.
Cline declined to comment after the ruling.
She filed similar motions in November, asking that Hudson be barred from hearing criminal cases in Durham County.
Superior Court Judge Carl Fox found no basis for Cline's previous motions, clearing the way for Hudson to handle a request for a new trial last month from Mike Peterson, a Durham novelist and one-time mayoral candidate who was convicted of killing his wife a decade ago.
Durham attorney Scott Holmes, who has been critical of Cline's actions, said he hopes her latest setback will discourage her from filing similar motions.
"Judge Hight has delivered a message to her that, clearly, these motions are frivolous, in no uncertain terms," Holmes said.
Other local attorneys have suggested seeking to have Cline removed from office for her actions, Holmes said, but he said no decision has been made.
The North Carolina State Bar recently requested more than 1,250 pages of documents from the Durham County Clerk of Superior Court related to cases Cline cited in her initial complaints against Hudson. The State Bar cannot publicly comment on whether it is investigating her actions.
Cline also has filed a complaint with the state Judicial Standards Commission over Hudson's actions.