David James Elliot case does not exist in North Dakota court public record system

Clerk of Court: Scheduling of David Elliot case being done by email

by Timothy Charles Holmseth on April 6, 2015 at 2:28 P.M.

Is there really a criminal case against David James Elliot?

There appears to be no entry whatsoever in the North Dakota Court Records system for David Elliot; the unarmed man that was shot by police in the Altru hospital parking lot.

The phantom case does not appear to even have an official case number.

Both the Grand Forks Herald and Valley News reported David Elliot was being charged with felonies; announced his arrest and incarceration; and subsequently reported he would be in court today.

News agencies refer to ‘court documents’ to support news stories.

Early this afternoon Valley News reported that David Elliot’s court hearing had been cancelled, adding he had bonded out over the weekend.

Write Into Action visited the Grand Fork County Courthouse today and asked the attending Clerk about the David Elliot case.

Write Into Action was seeking public documents and information today's scheduled court hearing for David Elliot.

The Clerk said she was not familiar with the name or the case and suggested I (Timothy Charles Holmseth) look up the name on the computer in the hallway.

I (Timothy Charles Holmseth) had been monitoring the North Dakota Court Records system since Grand Forks County State’s Attorney David Jones announced, through the media, David Elliot was being charged with felonies, but conducted another search on Elliot’s name as the Clerk asked – nothing appeared.

I returned to the Clerk and told her the name does not come up in the system. She again told me she was not familiar with the case. I advised the Clerk that David Elliot is the man that was shot by the police at Altru and it is covered regularly in the Grand Forks Herald and Valley News Live.

The Clerk reiterated that she had no idea what I was talking about and continued to suggest I use the computer in the hallway. She accompanied me into the hallway and watched me enter the information into the system. She said she didn’t know why it wasn’t appearing and suggested perhaps I was spelling it wrong.

I then asked to speak to her superior, suggesting maybe her superior would know why David Elliot’s name was not appearing in the system.

The Clerk then told me she remembered something.

"We got an email," she said. "He was bonded out".

Write Into Action will continue to investigate why the David James Elliot criminal case can be covered to a national audience, if the Grand Forks County Clerk of Court cannot produce a case number.

Without a case number - the case does not actually exist.

Because the case did not exist in the system, I was denied public information and records that other news agenies appear to be privately obtaining by email.

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