5.6.002 Findings and Purpose.

a.    The practice of fortunetelling, as defined in this chapter, has historically been subject to abuse by certain unscrupulous practitioners using the practice to commit fraud and larceny upon clients.

b.    It is the purpose of this chapter to regulate the practice of fortunetelling in such a manner as to reduce the risk of fraud and larceny to clients while allowing fortunetellers to provide their services to clients with only minimal restrictions.

c.    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 informational 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 will not, therefore, impose any undue burden on their practices.

d.    Fortunetelling for entertainment purposes, as defined in this chapter, does not create the same risk of fraud and larceny by unscrupulous practitioners as would the practice with an individual client, since it is done with a group in a public place for the purpose of entertaining, and does not involve the private concerns of an individual.

e.    For these and other reasons, the provisions of this chapter are necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community.

5.6.004 Definitions.

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

b.    "Fortunetelling" shall mean telling of fortunes, forecasting of futures or furnishing of any information not otherwise obtainable by the ordinary process or knowledge, by means 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, or other craft art, science, cards, talisman, charm, potion, magnetism, magnetized article or substance, gypsy cunning or foresight, crystal gazing, oriental mysteries or magic, of any kind or nature for pay.

c.    "Person" shall mean only natural persons.

5.6.006 Permit Required.

It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the business of fortunetelling within the City of Oakley without first obtaining a permit therefore as provided herein and obtaining a business license as provided in this Code.

5.6.008 Application.

The Finance Director shall proscribe the forms and procedures for applications for a permit under this chapter. The forms shall indicate the fee for the application and permit. The application shall be verified and shall set forth:

a.    Name and description of the applicant;

b.    Permanent home address and full local address of applicant;

c.    The address at which the applicant proposes to conduct the business;

d.    The fingerprints of the applicant on a form provided by the City; and

e.    A statement as to whether or not the applicant has been convicted within the last five years of any felony or misdemeanor involving bodily injury to persons, theft, fraud or misrepresentation.

5.6.010 Application and Renewal Fee.

The application and any renewal application shall be accompanied by a fee in such amount or amounts, as designated by the City Council by resolution, to cover administrative costs. No part of such fees shall be refunded whether such permit is issued or not.

5.6.012 Investigation.

The Finance Director shall refer the application for the permit required by this chapter to the Police Chief and/or other City officials for investigation and report as necessary. The Finance Director shall examine all applications and shall make or cause to be made such further investigation of the application and the applicant as deemed necessary in order to perform his/her duties under this chapter.

5.6.014 Permit Issuance.

a.    The Finance Director shall issue or deny the permit within 30 days of receipt of a completed application. Each permit so issued shall state on the face thereof, the date of expiration.

b.    A permit may be denied by the Finance Director on the following grounds:

1)    The applicant, employee or agent has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving bodily injury to persons, theft, fraud or misrepresentation;

2)    The applicant has been convicted of a violation of the provisions of this chapter; or

3)    The applicant’s permit has been previously revoked as provided in this chapter.

c.    The Finance Director shall notify the applicant of the denial by depositing notice of such decision in the first-class U.S. mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the applicant, not later than 10 days following the date of such decision. The notice must contain a statement of the facts upon which the Finance Director has acted in denying the permit. The notice must contain a statement of the appeal procedure contained in Section 5.6.022.

5.6.016 Posting of Fees.

a.    Each person required to obtain a permit pursuant to this chapter shall post on his/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 provided by the fortunetelling practitioner;

4)    The statement, "By law, this business is prohibited from charging or soliciting any fee, payment or remuneration beyond these established rates."

b.    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.

c.    If the fortunetelling service is provided at a location other than the fortuneteller’s permanent place of business, the fortuneteller shall provide the information required by this section on 8.5 by 11 inch paper in legible print or type. The paper shall also include the name and permanent address of the person(s) 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.

d.    No person shall charge any fee, payment, remuneration, or item of value for fortunetelling services in excess of the fees set forth on the sign or paper required by this section.

5.6.018 Violations.

Any first violation of the provisions of this article shall be an infraction. Any subsequent violation of the provisions of this article shall be a misdemeanor.

5.6.020 Revocation.

Whenever it is shown that any person to whom a permit has been issued has violated any of the provisions of this chapter, the Finance Director shall immediately suspend the permit and give the permit holder a written notice in person or by mail of the suspension. The notice must contain a statement of the facts upon which the Finance Director has acted in suspending the permit. The notice must contain a statement of the appeal procedure contained in Section 5.6.022.

5.6.022 Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by the determination of the Finance Director to deny the issuance of a permit or to revoke a permit may appeal such decision to the City Manager. Such appeal shall be taken by filing a written notice of appeal with the City Clerk within 10 days of the date of the decision to deny or revoke and shall set forth the grounds for the appeal. A failure to file a timely appeal shall render the decision to deny or revoke final. The City Manager shall set a time and place for a hearing on the appeal within 10 days of the filing of the appeal. The City Manager’s determination following the hearing shall be in writing and shall be sent to the permit holder. The decision of the City Manager shall be final and conclusive.

5.6.024 Term and Renewal of Permit.

The term of the permit shall be for one year. A renewal application shall be filed no later than 30 days prior to the expiration of the permit and shall be processed in the same manner is a new application.

5.6.026 Exemptions.

a.    Entertainment. The provisions of this article shall not apply to any person engaged solely in the business of entertaining the public by demonstrations of mind-reading, mental telepathy, thought conveyance, or the giving of horoscopic readings at public places and in the presence of and within the hearing of all other persons in attendance, and at 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.

b.    Religious Practice. No person shall be required to pay any fee or take out any permit for conducting or participating in any religious ceremony or service when such person holds a certificate or ordination as a minister, missionary, medium, healer, or clairvoyant (hereinafter collectively referred to as minister) from any bona fide church or religious association maintaining a church and holding regular services and having a creed or set of religious principles that is recognized by all churches of like faith; provided that the fees, gratuities, emoluments, and profits thereof shall be regularly accounted for and paid solely to or for the benefit of the bona fide church or religious association.

5.6.028 Non-Transferability of Permit.

Any permit issued under this article shall be non-transferable.