published Friday, October 8th, 2010

Fortune teller, ACLU sue city of East Ridge


by Adam Crisp

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is suing the City of East Ridge on behalf of a fortune teller, who claims the city denied her a business license and infringed on her constitutional rights.

East Ridge city ordinance bars fortune tellers and, after a year of reading tarot cards at the East Ridge Flea Market, Candice Wohlfeil was told she had to give up her space because of the law, according to an ACLU release.

In September, a city code enforcer threatened to fine Wohlfeil $500 if she continued to operate the business, the release states.

“All I want to do is practice my trade of spiritual counselor,” Wohlfeil said in the release. “The government is not allowed to dictate what I can and can’t say and I look forward to this being resolved so that I can get back to helping people.”

The ACLU filed the suit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Adam Crisp...

Adam Crisp covers education issues for the Times Free Press. He joined the paper's staff in 2007 and initially covered crime, public safety, courts and general assignment topics. Prior to Chattanooga, Crisp was a crime reporter at the Savannah Morning News and has been a reporter and editor at community newspapers in southeast Georgia. In college, he led his student paper to a first-place general excellence award from the Georgia College Press Association. He earned ...

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Salsa said...

If she was a real fortune teller she would have seen it coming.

October 8, 2010 at 12:19 p.m.
harrystatel said...

While I believe all fortune telling to be bunk and hokum (sounds like a law firm) this is an example of government interference between individuals.

Sunday mornings in many churches are also examples of fortune telling with the exchange of money for good luck and to feed the preacher. I don't want the government interfering in that relationship either.

Harry Statel http://harrystatel.com

October 8, 2010 at 12:40 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

If the end of the world death cult christains can have a booth, so should the other woo craft

October 8, 2010 at 12:42 p.m.
signalmtnman said...

I see a very hefty payout in the future for East Ridge.

October 8, 2010 at 1:15 p.m.
TwinkleTN said...

This is just an example where the council, attorney and city manager of East Ridge don't respond to problems brought to them by the citizens. We could save a lot of money if we did away with all of them and put up cardboard characters with recordings of "We will get back with you." It is amazing the city attorney did not respond to this woman. She gave the city a chance at the meeting. It is time for new leadership in East Ridge. We need a new council, a new city manager and separate fire and police chiefs who don't have other businesses on the side.

October 8, 2010 at 2:55 p.m.

Chattanooga has a similar law on the books, but the tarot and palm readers operating in the city suggest it is not enforced. I've never been to a fortune teller, but I'm glad it's not enforced. It's just silly.

October 8, 2010 at 4:33 p.m.
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