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May 28, 2008

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Says he can’t work near church
Jefferson store owner sues state over sex offender law
A Jefferson store owner has sued the state because he can’t work at his business which is located within 1,000 feet of a church. Narinder Chahal, Lawrenceville, is a registered sex offender and is not allowed to work at his business, Chicken King, which is located across from the First Christian Church of Jefferson.
In 2003, Chahal pled guilty to one count of transporting obscene matter to a minor. He was sentenced to serve 21 months in jail followed by three years of probation. He was also required to register as a sex offender. The state law limits where he is allowed to work and live. The law prohibits sex offenders from being employed by any business which operates within 1,000 feet of a church.
Chahal and his wife own Chicken King, located at 95 Lee Street in Jefferson.
In the lawsuit, Chahal contends that Chicken King is not open at any time that First Christian Church is holding services. He asks for a ruling that he be allowed to work at the store.
At the present, the store is open from 5 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and is operated by two employees. The employees are unable to work after 2:30 p.m. and Chahal is not allowed to work. The store owner said this is hurting his business.
“Because the store cannot be operated after 2:30 p.m. for the second half of the business day and is thus losing a substantial portion of its income, the store cannot cover its operating expenses,” the lawsuit states. “…Plaintiff and his wife have been forced to over-extend their credit to cover monthly living expenses, including their mortgage, food, fuel and their daughter’s college tuition.”
In Chahal’s lawsuit against the state, he also lists Jackson County Sheriff Stan Evans as a defendant. He states that the sheriff informed him he can’t work at the business because it violates the state law.


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