Attorney Thomas “Tommy” Davenport, Jr., Wins Federal Suit Over Fortunetelling Ban in Alexandria, Louisiana; City Settles

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City of Alexandria settles fortunetelling ban case after receiving two unfavorable rulings by the United States Courts. Thomas “Tommy” Davenport, Jr., represented the fortuneteller.

The Davenport Firm, APLC

It is a shame that the City sought to punish Mrs. Adams when she attempted to exercise her constitutional rights. Hopefully, a lesson was learned, but if not, I will continue to vigorously fight against such oppression.

Thomas “Tommy” Davenport, Jr., wins federal challenge over a fortunetelling ban in Alexandria, Louisiana. Tommy obtained a favorable result for Rachel Adams, doing business as Readings by Faith, who was threatened with arrest and issued a criminal summons after seeking a business permit to offer fortunetelling to the public.

Both U.S. District Judge Drell and U.S. Magistrate Judge Kirk agreed that Mrs. Adams has a constitutional right to free speech, and they declared the fortunetelling ban “unconstitutional.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kirk issued a 10 page Report and Recommendation that stated, in part “To apply the ordinance literally would outlaw every ‘amateur psychiatrist, parlor sage and barstool philosopher’ in Alexandria who dares to suggest to another what the future may hold.” Kirk continued dismantling the city’s argument by noting, “This attempt at ‘alchemy’ by the city to turn content-based speech into commercial speech just doesn’t shine ….” Adams d/b/a Readings by Faith v. City of Alexandria, Civil Action No., 11-1484, U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana, Alexandria Division; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97042.

“My use of allegory and analogy is intended to demonstrate why we cannot afford to allow government to squelch free thought and speech without a compelling interest, and why even a fortuneteller’s speech must be protected …” and “For a government to believe that it knows all that is true and real, no matter how obvious it thinks it is, is arrogance, pure and simple. Our Constitution protects us from such government oppression,” Kirk wrote.
U.S. District Judge Drell accepted Kirk’s Recommendation and added, “…that the ‘art’ of fortune telling proliferates in front of St. Louis Cathedral, in the City of New Orleans, apparently without incident.” ….” Adams d/b/a Readings by Faith v. City of Alexandria, Civil Action No., 11-1484, U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana, Alexandria Division; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97059

The City of Alexandria settled with Mrs. Adams paying damages and attorney’s fees in the amount of $16,000

Mrs. Adams was represented by Thomas “Tommy” Davenport, Jr., of Alexandria, Louisiana.

More about Thomas “Tommy” Davenport, Jr.: Tommy has fought for his clients in criminal defense and personal injury cases in Alexandria, Louisiana since 2002. Tommy has an AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell® and was recently awarded the 2012 Martindale-Hubbell "Client Distinction Award" for quality service to his clients in a national client survey. Tommy provides aggressive and effective representation tailored to the particular needs of each of his clients. For more information about Mr. Davenport and his firm, please visit http://www.davenportfirm.com.

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