Chapter 5.68
FORTUNETELLING AND RELATED PRACTICES

Sections:

5.68.010    Permit—Required.

5.68.020    Intent and purpose.

5.68.030    Definitions.

5.68.040    Permit—Application.

5.68.050    Permit—Investigation.

5.68.060    Appeal procedure.

5.68.070    Permit—Nontransferable.

5.68.080    Term of permit.

5.68.090    Permit—Fee.

5.68.100    Renewal of permit.

5.68.110    Permit exhibiting requirements and posting of fees.

5.68.120    Receipts.

5.68.130    Clients record of consultation.

5.68.140    Exception—Entertainment.

5.68.150    Exception—Religious practice.

5.68.010 Permit—Required.

It is unlawful for any person to engage in, carry on or practice fortunetelling for pay within the city without first having been issued a permit as described in this chapter. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.020 Intent and purpose.

A.    It is the purpose and intent of this chapter to regulate the practice of fortunetelling and related practices in such manner as to reduce the risks to clients while allowing fortunetellers and related practitioners to provide their services to clients with only minimal restrictions.

B.    The provisions of this chapter requiring a permit, posting of fees, providing receipts and allowing client recordation of the consultation, will make it more difficult for an unscrupulous fortuneteller to commit fraud or larceny, and yet, as informal regulations, will not affect the nature of the information conveyed by the fortuneteller nor the manner in which it is conveyed. These regulations require only minimal expense and effort on the part of the fortuneteller and related practitioner and will not, therefore, impose any undue burden on such practices.

C.    The provisions of this chapter are necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.030 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following words, phrases or terms shall have the meanings set forth in this section.

“Director” shall mean the city director of public safety.

“For pay” shall mean for a fee, reward, donation, loan or receipt of anything of value.

“Fortunetelling” shall mean and include telling of fortunes, forecasting of future events or furnishing of any information not otherwise obtainable by the ordinary process of knowledge, by means of any occult or psychic power, faculty or force, including, but not limited to, clairvoyance, clairaudience, cartomancy, phrenology, spirits, tea leaves or other such reading, mediumship, seership, prophecy, augury, astrology, palmistry, necromancy, mind-reading, telepathy, or other craft, art cards, talisman, charm, potion, magnetism, magnetized article or substance, crystal gazing, or magic, of any kind or nature. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.040 Permit—Application.

Every natural person who, for pay, conducts, engages in, carries on or practices fortunetelling shall submit an application to the director on forms provided by the director. The application shall include the following:

A.    The date of the application;

B.    The true name of the applicant;

C.    The status of the applicant as being an individual, firm, association, co-partnership, joint venture, corporation or religious institution;

D.    Full and complete description of the applicant, including age, sex, height, weight, color of hair and eyes. If the applicant is an individual, the residence and business address of the applicant, including telephone number of the applicant;

E.    If the applicant is other than an individual, the name, residence and business address of each of the copartners or members of the firm, copartnership, joint venture or religious institution and the name, residence and business address, including telephone number of:

1.    Each of the principal officers and directors of the association or corporate applicant, and

2.    Each shareholder thereof;

F.    Four photographs in duplicate of the applicant, taken within sixty days immediately prior to the date of the filing of the application, which photographs shall be two inches by two inches, showing head and shoulders of the applicant in a clear distinguishing manner;

G.    The location of the business for which the permit is sought;

H.    The fingerprints of the applicant, taken by the director;

I.    All criminal convictions within five years immediately preceding the filing of the application, of offenses related to:

1.    Fraud or deceit,

2.    Any gambling offense,

3.    Any felony, or

4.    Any other crime involving moral turpitude;

J.    A statement that the applicant understands and agrees that any business or activity conducted or operated under any permit issued under such application shall be operated in full conformity with all laws of the state and the laws and regulations of the city applicable thereto, and that any violation of any such laws or regulations in such place of business, or in connection therewith, shall render any permit subject to immediate revocation;

K.    Any application filed on behalf of a partnership shall be signed by each of the partners and any application filed on behalf of a corporation or religious institution shall be signed by the chairperson and secretary of the board of directors of the body or the equivalent thereof. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.050 Permit—Investigation.

A.    Upon receipt of the application provided for in Section 5.68.040, in duplicate, the director shall cause such investigation of the applicant’s business and moral character to be made as the director deems necessary for the protection of the public good.

B.    All property owners within three hundred feet of any proposed fortunetelling operation shall be given notice in writing of an application. Within fifteen days after receipt of such notice, any property owner or tenant within three hundred feet of a proposed fortunetelling operation may protest to the director the proposed application for a fortunetelling operation stating the reasons therefor.

C.    If, as a result of the investigation, the applicant’s character or business responsibility is found to be unsatisfactory, the director shall endorse on the application his disapproval and his reasons for same, and return the application to the applicant with the notification that his application is disapproved and that no permit will be issued.

D.    If, as a result of the investigation, the character and business responsibility of the applicant are found to be satisfactory, the director shall endorse on the application his approval and return the application to the applicant. Upon payment of the permit fees prescribed by this chapter, the director shall issue and deliver to the applicant a serially numbered permit. The permit shall contain the signature of the director, or his designee thereof, issuing the same, the name, address and photograph of the permittee, a description of the permittee, including age, sex, height, weight, and color of hair and eyes, and the name of the organization or entity which has applied for said permit, the amount of the fee paid, the date of the issuance, and the length of time the same shall be operative. If the permittee is other than self-employed, the name and address, both permanent and temporary, of the firm, person, corporation or association by which he/she is employed, or which he/she represents shall also be listed on the permit. The permit shall also be signed by the permittee in ink. The director shall keep a record of all permits issued.

E.    If the director has not either approved or disapproved the application as provided in this section within forty-five days of his receipt of the application, he shall forthwith report in duplicate his reasons for the delay to the applicant. The applicant shall thereupon have the right to appeal to the city council as provided in Section 5.68.060.

F.    The director may deny the application if the director makes any of the following determinations:

1.    The applicant has knowingly misstated, misrepresented, concealed or withheld any material fact on the application for the permit.

2.    The applicant, or any of them, within five years immediately preceding the date of filing the application, has been convicted in a court of competent jurisdiction of any offense:

a.    Which relates to the applicant, within five years from the date of the application, being convicted of any violation of this chapter or crimes, involving prediction of future by the occult arts, larceny, perjury, bribery, extortion, fraud or other similar crimes involving moral turpitude;

b.    Which is a felony; or

c.    Any other crime involving moral turpitude.

3.    The applicant, or any of them, within five years immediately preceding the date of filing of the application, has had any fortunetelling permit or permit issued within the state, United States of America or any of its territories, suspended or revoked.

4.    The applicant, or any of them, is not a fit and proper person to engage in the operation of a fortunetelling operation, taking into consideration the financial stability of the applicant and personal history including business experience and reputation for habits and character traits.

5.    The fortunetelling operation is to be located within any area of the city which is wholly residential; or if the fortunetelling operation location is adjacent to a residential area and, in the opinion of the director, the operation of a fortunetelling operation in such location would tend to cause a public nuisance or law enforcement problem.

6.    The fortunetelling operation is to be located within two thousand feet of a public school, church, hospital, children’s playground, or any other public facility where the presence of the fortunetelling operation might tend to cause a law enforcement problem, or create a public nuisance, or where the granting of the permit would be contrary to the public interest.

7.    The fortunetelling operation is to be located in an area not zoned for such activities as determined by the appropriate planning administrator or commission. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.060 Appeal procedure.

A.    Any applicant or person claiming to be affected by the proposed fortunetelling permit and dissatisfied with the action of the director in approving or disapproving an application shall have the right of appeal to the city council.

B.    An appeal from the action of the director in approving or disapproving an application shall be taken by filing with the city clerk, within ten days after notice of the action of the director has been mailed to the applicant at the address shown on the application, a written statement setting forth fully the grounds for appeal.

C.    The clerk shall set a time for hearing on an appeal before the city council and written notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given to the applicant at least five days prior to the hearing.

D.    The city council shall either affirm or reverse the action of the director. Should the city council approve the issuance of a permit, notice thereof shall be given to the director, who shall, upon payment of the required fee, issue the permit. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.070 Permit—Nontransferable.

No permit issued under this chapter is transferable, and such permit shall be used only by the person under whom it has been issued. If the permittee is the employee of another, the permit shall be valid only so long as the permittee continues in the employ of such employer. Upon termination of the employment of the permittee, the employer shall immediately give the city clerk notice of such termination, and the permittee shall forthwith surrender the permit to the city clerk. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.080 Term of permit.

A.    The term of the permit shall be for a period of one year from July 1st to June 30th. The initial permit shall be for one year or portion of such year.

B.    For the purposes of clarification, the permit fee set forth in this section is for regulation purposes to reimburse the city for its costs and not for revenue purposes. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.090 Permit—Fee.

The permit fee for fortunetelling for pay, as defined in this chapter, shall be determined by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.100 Renewal of permit.

On July 1, 1996 and on July 1st of each succeeding calendar year, the holder of any existing fortunetelling or related practice permit shall apply for renewal of such permit and shall pay such fees as required by this chapter. The director shall notify in writing all existing permit holders of the requirement of this subsection no later than fifteen days following the effective date of this section. Such notices may be given at any time following the adoption of this section by the city council. The notice may be hand delivered or mailed by first class mail to the permittee at an address of the permittee as shown on the application for permit or to the business location of the permittee. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.110 Permit exhibiting requirements and posting of fees.

A.    Every person issued a permit under this chapter shall, while engaged in any business for which he/she is a permittee, keep his/her permit in his/her possession at all times, and shall, upon demand by any peace officer, exhibit such permit. The permittee shall also exhibit his/her permit upon request to any person who enters the premises of the fortunetelling or related practices operation.

B.    Each person required to obtain a permit shall post on his or her business premises a sign containing the following information:

1.    The true name of the fortunetelling practitioner;

2.    Each service provided by the fortunetelling practitioner;

3.    The fees charged for each service charged by the fortunetelling practitioner; and

4.    The statement, “by law, this business is prohibited from charging or soliciting any fee, payment or remuneration beyond these established rates.”

C.    The sign required by this section shall be prominently posted in the interior of the business premises at a point near the entry and shall be conspicuously visible to every person seeking the services of the fortuneteller. The sign lettering shall be of uniform size with each letter at least one-half inch in height.

D.    If the fortunetelling services are provided at a location other than the fortuneteller’s permanent place of business, the fortuneteller shall provide the information required by this section on eight and one-half by eleven-inch paper and legibly printed or typewritten. The paper shall also include the name and permanent address of the person providing the fortunetelling services. A true, correct and complete copy of such paper shall be given to each client prior to providing any fortunetelling services.

E.    No person shall charge any fee, payment, remuneration or item of value for fortunetelling services in excess of the fee set forth on the sign or paper required by this section. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.120 Receipts.

Prior to the acceptance of any money or item of value from a client, other than the acceptance of a gratuitous tip given voluntarily by the client, the fortuneteller shall issue a written receipt to the client, clearing showing the:

A.    Date;

B.    Name of client;

C.    Amount of money received; and

D.    Purpose for which the money or item of value was received. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.130 Clients record of consultation.

No person engaging in fortunetelling services shall prohibit a client from making an audio recording or taking written notices of the information conveyed by the fortuneteller. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.140 Exception—Entertainment.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any person engaged solely in the business of entertaining the public by demonstrations of fortunetelling and in the presence of and within the hearing of all other persons in attendance, and in which no questions are answered as part of such entertainment except in a manner to permit all persons present at such public place to hear such answers. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.68.150 Exception—Religious practice.

The provisions of this chapter shall not be applicable to any person conducting or participating in any religious ceremony or service when such person holds a certificate of ordination as a minister, missionary, medium, healer, clairvoyant, or similar position from any bona fide church or religious association having a creed or set of religious principles that is recognized by all churches of like faith which provides for fortunetelling. (Ord. 95-9 § 1 (part), 1995)