Supreme Court rules Chesapeake tattoo law illegal

The Virginia Supreme Court Friday ruled that Chesapeake's city code governing tattoos is invalid, unenforceable, and therefore moot.

No ordinance is now in place in that city.

Chesapeake appealed the case after Chesapeake Circuit Court Judge Frederick Creekmore ruled the same way on June 5, 2001.

Chesapeake had used Section 46-22 of the city code to prohibit Ancient Art Tattoo Studio Ltd. from operating in the city.  The company was represented by Virginia Beach lawyer Kevin Martingayle.

Chesapeake appealed Creekmore's ruling on July 19 and the City Council repealed the ordinance on July 24.

The day before arguments  were held before the Supreme Court, Martingayle said he discovered the repeal.

In appearing before the court, Martingayle explained he was in the unusual position of arguing against the appeal of an ordinance that had been repealed and was therefore nonexistent.

The court ruled in Martingayle's favor.