Shelby County investigators seize Harpersville court documents and records

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office along with the Attorney General's office seized documents and court records in a search of Harpersville City Hall as part of an ongoing investigation, according to Shelby County officials Friday.{}

The search is related to a judge's August 9th restraining order prohibiting documents and court records from being destroyed after the town of Harpersville decided to abolish its municipal court system due to ongoing litigation.

Litigation includes a 2010 lawsuit filed by former Harpersville indigent inmates who claimed the town violated civil rights by repeatedly keeping them in custody of the Shelby County Jail for failure to pay court fines.

The restraining order states if Harpersville officials, including the mayor and city council members, violate the order, they will be held in contempt of court and face possible incarceration.

The mayor of Harpersville said the word "abolish" is misleading and that the court system will be transferred to the District of Shelby County. The transfer is not effective for 90 days.{}