WJTV News Channel 12 - Court of Appeals denies appeal by Durham's Cline

Court of Appeals denies appeal by Durham's Cline

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DURHAM, N.C. -

Tracey Cline's appeal has been denied by the North Carolina Court of Appeals in a ruling released Tuesday.

"The trial court's rulings did not violate appellant's right to due process," the Court of Appeals wrote.

Cline, the former Durham district attorney, was suspended in January 2012 and removed from office in March 2012. Her downfall began after a series of articles in The News & Observer critical of her performance and after she blasted Durham Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson, claiming he was biased against her.

Cline, who became Durham's district attorney in 2008, wanted Hudson removed from cases in her county.

Read the Court of Appeals ruling here

Recently, Cline, who has served as DA since 2008, made what some consider inflammatory accusations against Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson, claiming a bias against her. She wanted him removed from cases in her county.

The trial court noted that Cline accused Hudson of "moral turpitude, dishonesty and corruption" and "kidnapping the rights of victims and their families." The trial court found those words to be a "malicious, direct attack" on Hudson.

The appeals ruling included some harsh words for Cline. The court wrote, "We hold that the findings of fact supported the trial court's conclusion that Cline acted with actual malice. Statements made with actual malice are not protected by the First Amendment."

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