Fortune-Telling Ban Repealed in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

December 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Tommy and Marie Costello have won their battle against the fortune-telling ban in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Last September they filed suit against the City claiming that the ban was an illegal restriction of free speech in violation of both the U.S. and Mississippi constitutions.

On Tuesday, a federal court agreed, and handed down a preliminary injunction against the ban, prompting Hattiesburg City Attorney Charles Lawrence to recommend that the ordinance be repealed.

According to City Councillor Kim Bradley, it will take another 90 days before the ban is lifted. In the meantime, Council will come up with zoning regulations for new psychic establishments.

As of Tuesday, however, the Costellos and their shop are open and ready for business.

I congratulate them on their win and thank them for their courage to take a stand.

This ban has been in place for almost 100 years, and as Councillor Bradley acknowledges in the news clip below, the change is overdue.

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Fortune-telling Ban Challenged in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

September 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

State of Mississippi State Seal

Mississippi State Seal

Last week, Tommy and Marie Costello filed suit in U.S. District Court against Hattiesburg, Mississippi, claiming its fortune-telling ban is illegal.

The couple was issued a notice of violation on December 29th of last year for their business, Marie – Psychic Reader.

Though they went ahead and closed down their shop, they feel that the law against fortune-telling is illegal censorship, and in violation of both the U.S. and Mississippi constitutions.

Further, they claim that their rights to due process have been violated, and that their ability to discuss their skills and to advertise their professional services have been silenced.

The Costellos seek a declaration that the city ordinance is illegal prior restraint of free speech, an injunction requiring repeal of the ordinance, and unspecified damages.

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