Spiritual advisor or psychic?  Lawsuit in Chesterfield County

By Jackie Tomlin

Sophie King is suing Chesterfield County for violation of her Constitutional Rights to operate as a spiritual advisor.
Sophie moved to Chesterfield County from Los Angeles in 2008 where she has worked for several years as a
psychic and spiritual advisor.

Unfamiliar with the laws in our area, she opened her business without a business license. When visiting the
Commissioner of the Revenue in Chesterfield County, she found that her business license would be classified as a

King’s argument is that she is not a fortuneteller, but a spiritual advisor. King has since closed down her business in
August due to the business license tax and zoning ordinance.

Chesterfield County defines a fortuneteller as: “any person or establishment engaged in the occupation of occult
sciences, including a fortuneteller, palmist, astrologist, numerologist, clairvoyant, craniologist, phrenologist, card
reader, spiritual reader, tea-leaf reader, prophet, psychic or adviser or who in any other manner claims or pretends
to tell fortunes or claims or pretends to disclose mental faculties of individuals for any form of compensation.”

In her lawsuit King feels that she falls under the category of religion, as she does not predict the future. She refers to
this as relaying information. Chesterfield County’s argument appears that she does offer readings and works with the
Tarot, classifying her business as a fortuneteller.

What constitutes being a spiritual counselor or advisor? Are we all spiritual advisors to some extent even if we are
not psychic?

Throughout most Counties and Cities in Virginia, businesses have to fall under a classification. These classifications
determine the zoning ordinances. With each business classification there are various business license fees that must
be paid in order to receive your business license, based on how you are classified. This is not specifically targeted to
fortunetellers but every business in Chesterfield County.
For example if you wish to open a bar, you have to comply with Chesterfield County’s zoning ordinance and
guidelines as well as the ABC Board.

In this lawsuit King says she should not fall under the fortuneteller classification, as she is a Spiritual Counselor. What
do you think? Spiritual counselor/advisor or psychic?

© 2010-2019 Jackie Tomlin..  Examiner.com.  January 2010
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