Chesterfield psychic appeals decision to shut down business - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Chesterfield psychic appeals decision to shut down business

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

A psychic fighting to overturn a Chesterfield Court's decision to shut down her business was in federal appeals court Tuesday.

Lawyers for Patricia King, also known as "Psychic Sophie" argued for a panel of three judges. They say Chesterfield's ordinance that restricts where fortune tellers can practice violates King's first amendment rights.

"We're hoping for a resolution that recognizes the government cannot decide which speech is good and which speech is bad and then regulate accordingly," said one of King's attorneys, Roman Storzer.

King isn't allowed to operate at her current location. Her business is in an office building where she is mostly surrounded by psychologists and therapists. To open her business at all in Chesterfield, King must obtain a business permit, a police permit, references, a background check and police chief approval.

"We believe these laws are just an obsolete overreaction to Sophie's services," said her lawyer John Stepanovich. "We're confident this court will recognize that and protect her First Amendment rights."

King says she's not looking to "legitimize" her business but to get the same treatment as anyone else.

It could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for the judges to make a decision at the appellate level.

Until then, Patricia King will continue to operate as "Psychic Sophie" in that Chesterfield location.

The Chesterfield County Attorney's Office did not respond to requests for comments.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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