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Attorney claims warrant mismanagement

December 15, 2010

An attorney filed an amendment Wednesday requesting additional warrants in the Zahra Baker case be unsealed for the public eye.

Attorney Amanda Martin, who represents several area media outlets, amended a motion filed Tuesday to include four additional sealing orders related to the case.

According to the motion, these sealed warrants, which include information related to Gaston and Burke county departments of social service claims against Elisa Baker, as well as cell phone data, were submitted to superior court judges on Nov. 10 and 29. Martin wants these sealing orders to be included in her request for the unsealing of 35 additional warrants in the case.

According to Martin's motion, "The Office of the District Attorney or law enforcement are obtaining sealing orders but not promptly filing them with the court, in some cases waiting almost two months to file the sealing order. Upon information and belief, there are at least two warrants that have been issued and proactively sealed, but for which, the clerk of court does not have a sealing order."

Martin, through the motion, asks that all court orders be promptly filed and docketed in accordance with Administrative Order.

The request requires that information about sealing orders, including the law enforcement agency responsible, the date and time signed and when the order expires. The sealing orders, according to Martin, are required by law to be filed with the clerk of court within one business day after the seal was ordered.

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