Chapter 5.56
METAPHYSICAL SCIENCES AND FORTUNETELLING*

*    Editor’s Note: Prior ordinance history: Ord. 79-5.

Sections:

5.56.010    Definitions.

5.56.020    Permit required.

5.56.030    Acts and practices exempt from requirements.

5.56.040    Application for permit.

5.56.050    Investigation.

5.56.060    Initial investigation fee.

5.56.070    Issuance of permit.

5.56.080    Denial of permit.

5.56.090    Term.

5.56.100    Renewal.

5.56.110    Renewal fee.

5.56.120    Use and transfer of permit.

5.56.130    Posting fees.

5.56.140    Regulation of fees.

5.56.150    Prohibition against financial transactions.

5.56.160.5    Receipts.

5.56.170.6    Client’s record of consultation.

5.56.180    Prohibition against fraudulent and deceptive practices.

5.56.190    Location of practice.

5.56.200    Display of permit.

5.56.210    Suspension or revocation of permit.

5.56.220    Appeal.

5.56.230    Penalties.

5.56.010 DEFINITIONS.

(a)    “Metaphysical science” means any act or practice whereby a person uses or explores the study of the transcendent, the supersensible or the supernatural for the purpose of promoting understanding and development of the human personality; such studies include astrology, tarot, palmistry, numerology, bio-rhythm, graphology, parapsychology, and other similar studies.

(b)    “Fortunetelling” means any act or practice whereby a person purports to predict or influence future events through any magic, mystical, supernatural, occult, psychic, extrasensory, or metaphysical techniques.

(c)    “For pay” as used in this chapter means for a fee, reward, consideration, donation, offering, loan, remuneration, commercial gain or receipt of anything of value.

(d)    “Practitioner” means any person who practices, or engages in the business of, metaphysical science or fortunetelling for pay or who performs any act of metaphysical science or fortunetelling with the intent to obtain money or property of monetary value or any other benefit in connection with such act or practice.

(e)    “Client” means a client or customer of a practitioner who receives the practitioner’s services and, in addition, who pays for such services or is the person from whom the practitioner expects to receive money or property in connection with such services.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.020 PERMIT REQUIRED.

No practitioner shall engage in the business of metaphysical science or fortunetelling for pay within the city of Santa Cruz, and no practitioner shall perform any act of metaphysical science or fortunetelling with the intent to obtain money or property of monetary value in connection with such act, unless such practitioner shall first have obtained a permit from the police department of the city of Santa Cruz. The requirements of this chapter are in addition to any requirements that may be imposed with respect to the necessity of and payment for business licenses.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.030 ACTS AND PRACTICES EXEMPT FROM REQUIREMENTS.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the following acts and practices:

(a)    Metaphysical science and fortunetelling that is performed as a religious practice by and directed towards persons who in good faith hold such metaphysical science or fortunetelling to be a religious practice;

(b)    Metaphysical science or fortunetelling that is offered to or for the benefit of the public in general and not to or for the benefit of any specified individuals; included in this category of acts or practices are the publication of articles in newspapers, books, and magazines, performances of magic for which the public in general has been invited, and similar acts and practices;

(c)    Acts and practices that are subject to licensing and regulation under the California Business and Professions Code.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.040 APPLICATION FOR PERMIT.

To obtain the permit required by this chapter, each practitioner shall submit an application to the police department, on a form provided by the police department, and shall include the following information:

(a)    Name;

(b)    Home and business address and telephone number of each practitioner and of all persons financially interested in the business;

(c)    The criminal record, if any, of each practitioner and of all persons financially interested in the business;

(d)    The fingerprints and a photograph of each practitioner and of all persons financially interested in the business;

(e)    The address, city and state and the approximate dates where and when each practitioner practices a similar business, either alone or in conjunction with others;

(f)    All names each practitioner has used as a fortuneteller;

(g)    A statement whether practitioner has ever previously applied for a license or permit to tell fortunes in this state or in any other state, whether such license or permit was granted, denied or subsequently revoked, and the circumstances of any denial or revocation;

(h)    Other information as may be required by the chief of police in order to reasonably evaluate the application.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.050 INVESTIGATION.

The police department, upon receipt of a written application for a permit containing all of the information required by Section 5.56.040, shall conduct, or cause to be conducted, an investigation to determine whether the requested permit should be granted or denied in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.060 INITIAL INVESTIGATION FEE.

Each application for a permit shall be accompanied by an investigation fee in an amount to be determined by resolution of the city council. Such fee is intended to compensate the city for the expense of conducting the investigation required by this chapter and the cost of issuing a permit. Such a fee shall not be in lieu of, but shall be in addition to, any business license tax required to be paid under this code.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.070 ISSUANCE OF PERMIT.

The police department shall issue the permit if, based upon its investigation, it is found:

(a)    That the operation, as proposed by each practitioner, would comply with all applicable laws;

(b)    That the practitioner has not been convicted in a court of competent jurisdiction of any of the following offenses:

(1)    An offense involving use of force or violence upon the person of another,

(2)    An offense involving the element of fraud or theft,

(3)    A crime requiring registration under Section 290 of the California Penal Code, or of any violation of Sections 311 through 311.7, 314, 315, 316, 318 or 647(a), (b) or (d) of the Penal Code,

(4)    A crime requiring registration under Section 11590 of the California Health and Safety Code, or violations of Sections 11352, 11360">11360, 11366, 11377, or 11379 of the Health and Safety Code,

(5)    Any of the above substantive offenses as defined in the laws of any jurisdiction other than the state of California or as defined by any law of the state of California in effect before the above sections were adopted;

(c)    That the practitioner has not knowingly and with intent to deceive made any false, misleading or fraudulent statements of fact in the license application or any other document required by the city in conjunction therewith.

(d)    That the practitioner has paid all applicable fees.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.080 DENIAL OF PERMIT.

If one or more of the findings set forth in Section 5.56.070 cannot be made, the permit shall be denied. In the event of denial, notification and reasons for denial shall be set forth in writing by the police department and shall be sent to the applicant by means of registered or certified mail or hand delivery.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.090 TERM.

Each permit issued pursuant to Section 5.56.070 shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance, unless suspended or revoked at an earlier time.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.100 RENEWAL.

If, prior to the expiration date of a currently valid permit, the permittee applies for the renewal of such permit, the police department shall grant such renewal; provided that all facts set forth on the original application are substantially the same. If all facts set forth on the original application are not substantially the same, the applicant for renewal shall comply with all the requirements set forth in this chapter for an initial application for a license, including payment of the initial investigation fee.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.110 RENEWAL FEE.

An applicant for renewal, before receiving such renewal, shall pay the renewal fee, the amount of which shall be set by resolution of the city council, or, as provided under Section 5.56.060, shall pay an initial investigation fee.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.120 USE AND TRANSFER OF PERMIT.

No person who has received a permit issued by the police department under this chapter shall transfer such permit to another person, and no person shall perform the permitted act or acts pursuant to a permit originally issued to another person.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.130 POSTING FEES.

(a)    Each practitioner of metaphysical science or fortunetelling within the city of Santa Cruz shall post on his or her business premises a sign containing the following information:

(1)    The true name of the practitioner;

(2)    The services provided by the practitioner;

(3)    The fees charged for each service provided by the practitioner;

(4)    The statement, “By law, this business is prohibited from soliciting any remuneration beyond these established rates.”

(b)    The sign required by this section shall be posted in a place conspicuously visible to every client who seeks to receive the practitioner’s services at a point near the entry to the place of business. The sign lettering shall be of uniform size with each letter at least one-half inch in height.

(c)    If metaphysical science or fortunetelling services are rendered at some place other than the practitioner’s permanent place of business, the practitioner shall provide the same information required by this section on a card of sufficient size to include legibly all the required information and shall in addition include the permanent business or residence address of the practitioner. Such card shall be provided to each client before the services are provided.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.140 REGULATION OF FEES.

No practitioner of metaphysical science or fortunetelling may charge any fee for such services in excess of the fees set forth on the sign or card required under Section 5.56.130.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.150 PROHIBITION AGAINST FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS.

(a)    No practitioner of metaphysical science or fortunetelling, in connection with such services, shall accept any money or thing of value from a client or customer and keep such money or thing of value either temporarily or permanently, other than lawful, posted fees.

(b)    No practitioner of metaphysical science or fortunetelling, in connection with such services, shall demand, request or suggest that the client deliver money or any thing of value to any associate of the practitioner, to be kept either temporarily or permanently, other than lawful posted fees.

(c)    This section shall not be construed to prevent a practitioner from accepting a gratuitous tip, given voluntarily by the client out of satisfaction with the services provided; neither shall this section be construed to prevent any practitioner from entering into any bona fide loan or investment agreement with a client, when such loan or investment agreement is consistent with reasonable business practices.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.160.5 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 practitioner shall issue a written receipt to the client, clearly showing:

(a)    Date;

(b)    Name of client;

(c)    Amount of money received or specific description of item of value received;

(d)    Purpose for which the money or item of value was received.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.170.6 CLIENT’S RECORD OF CONSULTATION.

No person engaged in the practice of metaphysical science or fortunetelling shall prohibit a client from making an audio recording or taking written notes of the information conveyed by the practitioner.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.180 PROHIBITION AGAINST FRAUDULENT AND DECEPTIVE PRACTICES.

(a)    No practitioner of metaphysical science or fortunetelling, in connection with such services, shall commit or engage in any fraudulent acts or practices.

(b)    No practitioner of metaphysical science or fortunetelling, in connection with such services, shall commit or engage in any act or practice which he or she knows or reasonably should know is deceptive.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.190 LOCATION OF PRACTICE.

No practitioner of metaphysical science or fortunetelling shall conduct business, or hold forth as conducting business, on any public street, sidewalk, beach, park or other public way in the city of Santa Cruz, except as otherwise permitted by the city council in connection with outdoor fairs or other public events.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.200 DISPLAY OF PERMIT.

Each practitioner, upon request made by any client, prospective client, or employee of the city of Santa Cruz in the course of his or her official duty, shall display the permit required by this chapter to the person making the request, for that person’s examination.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.210 SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF PERMIT.

Any permit issued by the police department under this chapter shall be subject to suspension or revocation by the chief of police for violation of any provision of this chapter or for grounds that would warrant denial of the issuance of such permit in the first instance.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.220 APPEAL.

Any person who considers an action taken under the provisions of this chapter by any official or advisory body to have been improper, may appeal such action to the city council in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1.16 of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).

5.56.230 PENALTIES.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter is subject to the penalties provided in Chapter 1.08 of this code.

(Ord. 88-30 § 2 (part), 1988).