Chapter 5.60


5.60.010    Purposes and findings.

5.60.020    Definitions.

5.60.030    Permit – Compliance with conditions required.

5.60.040    Permit application.

5.60.050    Investigation.

5.60.060    Issuance of permit.

5.60.070    Permit revocation.

5.60.080    Posting of fees.

5.60.090    Receipts.

5.60.100    Client’s record of consultation.

5.60.110    Exceptions.

5.60.120    Appeals.

5.60.130    Authority to access and use summary criminal history information.

5.60.010 Purposes and findings.

The practice of fortune-telling, as defined in this chapter, has historically been subject to abuse by certain unscrupulous persons using the practice to commit fraud and larceny upon clients.

It is the purpose of this chapter to regulate the practice of fortune-telling in such a manner as to reduce the risk of fraud and larceny to clients, while allowing fortune-tellers to provide their services to clients with only minimal restrictions.

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

Fortune-telling for entertainment purposes, as defined in this chapter, does not create the same risk of fraud and larceny by an unscrupulous practitioner as would the practice with an individual client because it is done with a group at a public place for the purpose of entertaining and not to deal with the private concerns of an individual.

For these and other reasons, the provisions of this chapter are necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community. (Ord. 1739 § 1, 9-16-86. 1990 Code § 3-6300.)

5.60.020 Definitions.

(a)    “For pay” means for a fee, reward, donation, loan or anything of value.

(b)    “Fortune-telling” means:

(1)    Telling fortunes, forecasting futures, or furnishing any information not otherwise obtainable by ordinary rational process of knowledge; or

(2)    Use of any occult, psychic power, faculty, force, clairvoyance, clairaudience, cartomancy, psychology, psychometry, phrenology, spirits, tea leaves or other such reading, mediumship, seership, prophecy, augury, astrology, palmistry, necromancy, mind-reading, telepathy, craft, art, science, cards, talisman, charm, potion, magnetism, magnetized article, magnetized substance, gypsy cunning, foresight, crystal gazing, oriental mysteries, magic, or any other such unusual method.

(c)    “Police chief” means the chief of police of the city of Fremont, or any delegate of the chief of police. (Ord. 1739 § 1, 9-16-86. 1990 Code § 3-6301.)

5.60.030 Permit – Compliance with conditions required.

(a)    No person shall practice or allow fortune-telling in any way for pay without obtaining a permit to do so and posting that permit as required under this chapter.

(b)    No person shall violate any permit conditions imposed or any provisions outlined in this chapter. Each day violations occur constitutes a separate offense. (Ord. 1739 § 1, 9-16-86. 1990 Code § 3-6302.)

5.60.040 Permit application.

Every person who practices fortune-telling for pay shall file a verified permit application with the police chief. The application shall contain:

(a)    The name, home address, business address, home phone number, and business phone number of the applicant and any other person practicing or allowing fortune-telling in conjunction with the applicant;

(b)    The applicant’s fingerprints on a Fremont police department form;

(c)    The address, city, state, and approximate dates where and when the applicant has practiced similar businesses;

(d)    A sworn statement, submitted individually by the applicant and any other person practicing or allowing fortune-telling, verifying that the persons submitting the statements have not been convicted of the following crimes within the last five years: murder, mayhem, kidnapping, robbery, fraud, assault, perjury, battery, rape, arson, burglary, possession of burglarious instruments or deadly weapons, or attempts to commit any of the above. These crimes are defined in the California Penal Code. (Ord. 1739 § 1, 9-16-86. 1990 Code § 3-6303.)

5.60.050 Investigation.

The police chief may investigate the application. The investigation may be conducted only to verify sworn statements and facts in the application. The investigation shall be completed within 14 days after the complete application is filed, unless the applicant consents to an extension of that period. (Ord. 1739 § 1, 9-16-86. 1990 Code § 3-6304.)

5.60.060 Issuance of permit.

(a)    Within 14 days after the complete application is filed, the police chief shall issue the permit if:

(1)    The information contained in the application is true;

(2)    A sworn statement is provided that the applicant has not been convicted of the crimes listed in Section 9.50.040; and

(3)    The applicant agrees to comply with all permit conditions; provided, however, that the police chief must impose conditions representing the least restrictive means of accomplishing the safety of persons and property. The police chief shall state the reasons for any condition in writing. Applicants issued permits must agree to post their prices, issue receipts to customers for money received, upon request, and to allow notes or audio recordings to be made or taken during fortune-telling.

(b)    The police chief shall deny the permit only if one of the conditions set forth above cannot be met.

(c)    If the police chief approves the permit, the city’s tax and license collection supervisor shall issue the permit when the fee required by the master fee resolution has been paid.

(d)    The permit shall be valid for no more than the term of a regular business tax certificate. (Ord. 1739 § 1, 9-16-86. 1990 Code § 3-6305.)

5.60.070 Permit revocation.

The police chief may conduct a hearing upon 10 days’ written notice to the applicant (at the address listed on the application) to determine whether the permit should be revoked upon:

(a)    Discovery of any false or misleading statement in the application;

(b)    Discovery of any misrepresentation in procuring the permit; or

(c)    Violation of any provision of this chapter or condition of the permit. (Ord. 1739 § 1, 9-16-86. 1990 Code § 3-6306.)

5.60.080 Posting of fees.

Each person required to obtain a permit under Section 5.60.030 shall post on his or her business premises a sign containing the following information:

(a)    The true name of the fortune-telling practitioner;

(b)    Each service provided by the fortune-telling practitioner;

(c)    The fees charged for each service provided by the fortune-telling practitioner;

(d)    The statement, “By law, this business is prohibited from charging or soliciting any fee, payment or remuneration beyond these established rates.”

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 fortune-teller. The sign lettering shall be of uniform size with each letter at least one-half inch in height.

If the fortune-telling services are provided at a location other than the fortune-teller’s permanent place of business, the fortune-teller shall provide the information required by this section on eight and one-half by 11-inch paper and legibly printed or typewritten. The paper shall also include the name and permanent address of the person providing the fortune-telling services. A true, correct and complete copy of such paper shall be given to each client prior to providing any fortune-telling services.

No person shall charge any fee, payment, remuneration or item of value for fortune-telling services in excess of the fees set forth on the sign or paper required by this section. (Ord. 1739 § 1, 9-16-86. 1990 Code § 3-6307.)

5.60.090 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 fortune-teller shall issue a written receipt to the client, clearly showing:

(a)    The date;

(b)    The name of the client;

(c)    The amount of money received or a specific description of the item of value received; and

(d)    The purpose for which the money or item of value was received. (Ord. 1739 § 1, 9-16-86. 1990 Code § 3-6308.)

5.60.100 Client’s record of consultation.

No person engaging in fortune-telling services shall prohibit a client from making an audio recording or taking written notes of the information conveyed by the fortune-teller. (Ord. 1739 § 1, 9-16-86. 1990 Code § 3-6309.)

5.60.110 Exceptions.

(a)    This chapter shall not apply to any person doing all of the following: entertaining the public by demonstrations of mind-reading, mental telepathy, thought conveyance, or horoscopic readings; at public places; in the presence of and within the hearing of other persons; when no questions are answered, as part of such entertainment, except when all persons can hear the answers to those questions simultaneously.

(b)    This chapter shall not apply to persons conducting religious services when they both hold certificates of ordination as ministers, missionaries, mediums, healers, or clairvoyants, hereinafter referred to collectively as ministers; and when the certificate is from a bona fide religious association maintaining a church, holding regular services, and having a set of religious principles recognized by all churches of like faith; provided, that:

(1)    Except as provided in subsection (b)(3) of this section, things of value received for services shall be accounted for and paid solely for the benefit of the religious association;

(2)    Ministers shall file with the police chief a certified copy of their certificate of ordination with their names, ages, street addresses, and phone numbers where the activity is to be conducted; and

(3)    Such religious associations may pay their ministers compensation based upon some percentage, under an agreement with the ministers, embodied in a resolution and transcribed in the minutes of such churches or religious associations. (Ord. 1739 § 1, 9-16-86. 1990 Code § 3-6310.)

5.60.120 Appeals.

If the police chief denies an application for a permit filed under this chapter, or issues a permit with conditions, the applicant may appeal that determination by filing a notice of appeal with the city clerk as provided under Section 1.25.010. Likewise, any other aspect of the police chief’s or tax and license collection supervisor’s actions taken with respect to the application may be appealed in a similar manner. The provisions contained in Section 1.25.010 and following shall govern the city council’s consideration of such an appeal. (Ord. 1739 § 1, 9-16-86. 1990 Code § 3-6311.)

5.60.130 Authority to access and use summary criminal history information.

(a)    Findings. The city council of the city of Fremont makes the following findings in support of this chapter. First, the normal and efficient operations of the city require that criminal history information be obtained in the course of determining whether a fortune-telling permit should be issued. Second, Cal. Penal Code §§ 11105(b)(10) and 13300 authorize the city and its officials to seek access to summary criminal history information in fulfilling certification and licensing duties. Third, the provisions of state law set forth certain limitations on the access such public officials have to summary criminal history information in order to protect the rights to privacy of fortune-tellers; this is a policy expressly recognized by this chapter. Fourth, besides being an attempt to follow statutory and constitutional law and policies, this chapter is enacted to recognize and balance the privacy rights and safety of the citizens of Fremont and those of fortune-tellers.

(b)    Under the above sections of the California Penal Code, the police chief, the city manager, the city council, and the city attorney are authorized hereby to have access to and utilize summary criminal history information when it is needed to assist those persons in fulfilling their licensing duties set forth in this chapter.

(c)    Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 5.60.120, if an applicant appeals the denial or conditional issuance of his or her permit and it is reasonably foreseeable summary criminal history information will be at issue or in evidence during the hearing on the appeal, the provisions of Cal. Gov’t Code § 54956.7 regarding closed sessions shall apply. (Ord. 1739 § 1, 9-16-86. 1990 Code § 3-6312.)