Renewed motion for temporary restraining order filed against White Hall Town Council

Published 7:32 pm Thursday, February 18, 2016

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
Following the recent installment of a new town clerk and the changing the locks on town hall by the White Hall Town Council, White Hall Mayor James Walker renewed a motion in Lowndes County Circuit Court for a temporary restraining order against the council Thursday.
Walker is represented by Highland Home attorney Arlene Richardson. And according to court documents, the renewed motion for a temporary restraining order was filed in Lowndes County Circuit Court Feb. 18 at 2:35 p.m.
Walker previously filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and for a hearing on a request for a preliminary injunction against the council on Thursday, Feb. 11. The hearing on the requested preliminary injunction against the council was set by Lowndes County Circuit Court Judge Terri Bozeman Lovell for Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 10:30 a.m.
When told of the renewed motion for a temporary restraining order against the council filed on Feb. 18, White Hall Mayor Pro Tem Eli Seaborn said, “The only thing I know is we’ve got to wait until we get in a hearing. Other than that, we ain’t moving.”
According to court documents, the renewed motion was based on the council’s hiring of a locksmith to change the locks on the doors at White Hall Town Hall, council persons standing outside White Hall Town Hall the entire day of Feb. 16 and that “The council persons do intend to take over the town’s offices.”
Also according to the renewed motion, the town clerk is charged as custodian of the town’s records and accounts and “the town can suffer irreparable injury if the books, records, minutes or other records are manipulated.”
The motion alleges that “unless this court grants an order restraining defendants from wrongfully occupying town hall and/or removing and changing the locks on the doors to town hall, it shall suffer irreparable injury.”
The renewed motion states that Shanavia Sellers was dismissed at a Dec. 29 special meeting “not called in accordance with Alabama law governing specially called meetings” and that the position “can only be terminated on the mayor’s recommendation to the council and a majority vote of the council after due process hearing.”
In addition to prohibitions against and requirements of the council sought in the Feb. 11 motion, the renewed motion seeks the court to issue an order that all matters voted and passed at meetings illegally conducted are void, an order enjoining the defendants from changing the locks on town hall doors and otherwise obstructing the day to day operations of the town and issue an order “prohibiting the defendants (council) from occupying town hall.”
Seaborn confirmed that the locks to town hall were changed on Tuesday. He also said on Tuesday it was the intention of the council to keep dismissed personnel out of the building until a hearing on a requested preliminary injunction against the council is held.
Seaborn also confirmed on Wednesday that Bertha White is now working as White Hall Town Clerk and that the building is open for business.

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