Sheriff’s deputies seizing records in Harpersville city court case

Published 10:46 am Friday, August 10, 2012

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

HARPERSVILLE — Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies began seizing documents and other records related to the Harpersville Municipal Court system the night of Aug. 9 after county Circuit Judge Hub Harrington signed a restraining order.

Harrington signed the order as part of a lawsuit by Dana Burdette and three other former Harpersville inmates against the town of Harpersville. The other inmates are Richard Garrett, Terrance Datcher and Debra Ford. The lawsuit claims the city routinely violated indigent inmates’ civil rights by improperly holding them in the Shelby County Jail.

According to the restraining order, the town of Harpersville has enacted an ordinance to abolish the Harpersville Municipal Court. However, as that abolition solves some but not all of the pending issues in the lawsuit, the restraining order ensures that records and documents related to the Harpersville Municipal Court system cannot be destroyed or altered.

Such records include police records, traffic citations, warrants, complaints, court orders, accounting records, account histories, receipts, any correspondence with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and any other documents relating to the court.

The restraining order was signed Aug. 9.

Harpersville’s attorney Morris “Bo” Shaw Jr. said a statement will be released later today.

Harpersville Mayor Theoangelo Perkins did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.

Harrington declined to comment.

This story is still developing and updates will be posted as they are received.