Archive for Thursday, October 7, 1999

INJUNCTION FILED IN BRAIDING CASE

October 7, 1999

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Two woman who were ordered to stop braiding hair are fighting the State Board of Cosmetology in court.

Two women who were ordered to stop braiding hair at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival have filed a restraining order against the Kansas State Board of Cosmetology.

The women, Deb Jennings and Wendy Moody, are hoping to be able to braid hair during the last two weekends of the festival.

"That's what the fight is for now," Jennings said.

A Shawnee County district judge will decide on the restraining order at 9 a.m. today in Topeka.

The State Board of Cosmetology in mid-September formally ordered the women to "cease and desist" from braiding hair at the festival, following a unanimous vote by the board.

Jennings, of Lawrence, and Moody, of Bonner Springs, have operated the "Braidin' Maidens" booth at the festival for the last five years, without a problem until this year.

The board took action after receiving a complaint this year from a licensed cosmetologist, said Mary Lou Davis, executive director of the board.

She said the transfer of head lice and scalpworm and other problems could result without proper licensing and regulations.

Jennings and Moody say hair-braiding is not cosmetology.

Through their attorney, David Brown of Lawrence, the women are arguing that the State Board of Cosmetology does not have the legal authority to order them to stop braiding hair.

"There is no statute allowing or granting the State Board of Cosmetology to issue cease and desist orders to (the women)," their motion says. "(State law) requires the board to bring an action for an injunction if it believes any person is practicing cosmetology without a license."

In addition to seeking the temporary restraining measure, the women have filed a 26-page petition arguing that the board has no authority to interfere with hair-braiding.

That measure could be taken up by a judge later, Brown said.

If the judge rules in favor of the women, they should be able to braid hair at the festival this weekend, Brown said.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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