Fish pedicure

Garra Rufa and Chin Chin fish nibble on the skin on the foot of Mai Garcia of Gilbert during a spa fish treatment at LaVie Nails and Spa in Gilbert in 2009.

Tribune file

The Arizona Court of Appeals has decided to hear arguments Wednesday on a civil suit involving a Gilbert spa owner whose clients paid to have fish eat dead skin off their feet.

The suit was filed by the Goldwater Institute on behalf of spa owner Cindy Vong.

A lower court had earlier dismissed the suit.

The Arizona Republic reports the Arizona Board of Cosmetology threatened to pull Vong's license in early 2009 if she didn't stop offering the pedicure service. The board alleged the fish were unsafe because they could not be sterilized.

Vong says the board's ruling hurt her financially.

The Institute sued in December 2009, alleging the board lacked jurisdiction over the practice because it was not a cosmetic service and that it violated Vong's right to run her business.

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