Judge overturns Alexandria fortunetelling ban

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Posted: Jul 13, 2012 9:37 AM by The Associated Press

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Topics: WBRZ, Alexandria, fortunetelling, palm reading, astrology, federal judge, ordinance

ALEXANDRIA - A federal judge has struck down an Alexandria ordinance banning fortunetelling, palm reading, astrology and similar activities in the city.

U.S. District Judge Dee Drell's ruling Wednesday concurs with a magistrate's conclusion that the ordinance is unconstitutional.

Rachel Adams, a fortune-teller who says she accepts donations but doesn't charge for her services, sued the city after a police officer issued her a court summons in 2011 for violating the ordinance. A violation can result in daily penalties of up to $500.

The city argued the business of fortunetelling is a fraud and inherently deceptive, but U.S. Magistrate James Kirk concluded that fortunetelling is free speech protected by the First Amendment.

Adams told The Town Talk last year that she is a fifth-generation psychic.

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