Constititutional Law

Judge Benches Embattled DA, Finds Probable Cause She Should Be Permanently Removed From Office


A judge brought in to hear a lawyer’s petition for removal of a North Carolina district attorney has suspended her from office, finding probable cause that she should be permanently removed from her elected office.

A hearing on whether Durham DA Tracey Cline should be permanently removed will be held Feb. 13, the News & Observer reports.

Three other judges had previously taken a dim view of Cline’s campaign against Judge Orlando Hudson, the senior jurist in Durham, the newspaper notes, and one admonished her that she must take care to be accurate in court filings. Then attorney Kerry Sutton filed an unusual affidavit: It invoked a rarely used state law, and it called for a judge to determine whether Cline’s conduct created grounds for her removal from office.

Cline had sought to have Hudson removed from all of Durham’s criminal cases, claiming that he is biased and runs his court “without legal consciousness of right and wrong, having a total and reckless disregard of the law, and a reprobate mind of a monarch, (that) aims to destroy and will destroy, the heart of our justice system if left unchecked.”

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Skeptical Judge Hears DA’s Motions to Disqualify Top Jurist, Cites ‘Magic 8 Ball’”

ABAJournal.com: “2 Lawyers Seek Removal From Office of DA Who Sought Top Judge’s Recusal in Multiple Cases”

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