Judge dismisses Cline’s appeal

Apr. 08, 2013 @ 06:09 PM

During a short hearing Monday in Durham County Civil Superior Court, one of Hudson’s attorneys, Jay Ferguson, told Gessner that Friday, the N.C. Court of Appeals denied her motion to extend the time she had to file certain documents.

“She has essentially lost her right to appeal as a matter of law because only the Court of Appeals can grant that extension,” Ferguson said.

In coming to the Durham County court, Ferguson said they were seeking an order that would reflect and confirm what the Court of Appeals already did in denying the extension.

Cline, who was acting as her own attorney in the matter, did not attend the hearing, and Ferguson told the judge he had spoken to Cline Friday morning and she informed him she was going to file her own request to withdraw her appeal Monday morning. Gessner asked his courtroom clerk to call downstairs to check if Cline had filed any motions in the clerk’s office, and by 10:35 a.m., she had not.

Cline told Ferguson she would withdraw her appeal if Ferguson agreed not to file for her to pay attorney’s fees, Ferguson told the judge.

“I said that was acceptable to us,” Ferguson told Gessner.

Gessner agreed to sign the order dismissing Cline’s appeal.

After the hearing, Ferguson and co-attorney William Thomas II declined to comment and said they would offer no legal opinion as to whether Cline could re-file the suit against Hudson. Her first attempt was dismissed because Hudson was not properly served with her suit.

A clerk at the courthouse signed for the documents when Cline tried to serve it through the U.S. Post Office on Hudson at the courthouse, and since the clerk was not Hudson’s authorized agent, Hudson successfully moved to have the suit dismissed,.

It was her appeal of that dismissal that was dismissed Monday.

Cline did not respond to an email asking for comment.

Cline began requesting the emails through the public records law after the News & Observer published a series of articles critical of Cline in September 2011. Cline wanted to see emails between Hudson, his secretary Peggy Bullock, N&O reporter Andrew Curliss, defense attorney, Lisa Williams, Public Defender Lawrence Campbell and several others.

Cline still has other outstanding legal issues. She is appealing a decision to remove her from office and once that appeal is decided, she will be facing a disciplinary hearing with the N.C. State Bar, the agency that regulates the practice of law in the North Carolina.