Chesterfield psychic takes fight to appeals court

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - A local psychic has taken her fight with Chesterfield County to the top and now it’s in the hands of three federal judges.

Patricia Moore-King, also known as Psychic Sophie, now practices her spiritual counseling in an office complex next to Chesterfield Town Center on Mall Drive.

She said an ordinance prohibiting her from practicing fortune telling in that location is what sparked the fight.

Current zoning and licensing regulations for fortune tellers dictate that she set up shop in areas where you would normally see tow yards, utility buildings and mobile home parks.

“We believe these laws are an obsolete overreaction to Sophie’s services,” John Stepanovich, one of her attorneys, said.  “We feel confident that this court will recognize that and protect her First Amendment rights.”

Another of her attorneys, Roman Storzer, spoke with CBS 6 on behalf of Moore-King.

“She’s not allowed to practice in most of these districts,” he said. “This Mall Drive location suited her and her clients' needs well. “

“There’s no shred of evidence that it has created any harm to the surrounding community or to local businesses or the population at large,” Storzer explained.

Moore-King said the Mall Drive location is ideal because if her clients need services that if she can’t provide as a spiritual counselor, there are psychologists close by that she can refer them to.

“Yes, it’s helpful and it's a comfortable place to be for me and for my clients when we’re not in an auto reclamation center area like that,” she said. “It’s comfortable and it has an ease of access for my clients.

“They feel safe because it’s in a nice area” Moore-King added.

Previously a U.S. District Court judge ruled against her, calling Chesterfield’s regulations minimal and characterizing her fortune telling business as deceptive.

Moore-King disagreed.

"I hope in the end people end up understanding what it is that I do because the more education there is, it removes the fallacy about a lot of things"  she added.

Now that a federal three-judge panel has heard oral arguments from both sides, it will issue an opinion in writing. There’s no word on how long that will take.

In the meantime, Moore-King said she has worked out an agreement with Chesterfield County to continue working at the Mall Drive location until the court makes a ruling.

We reached out to a Chesterfield attorney comments for comment but they declined to comment since the litigation is pending.

Stay with CBS 6 for the latest updates on this story.

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