CHAPTER 15. OFFENSES--MISCELLANEOUS.
Sec. 15-30. Fortunetelling.
(A) Purpose and Findings.
(1) The practice of fortunetelling, as
defined in this section, has historically been subject to abuse by certain
unscrupulous practitioners using the practice to commit fraud and larceny upon
(2) The city council wishes to regulate the practice of
fortunetelling to reduce the risk of fraud and larceny to clients while allowing
fortunetellers to provide their services with only minimal
(3) The provisions of this section 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
or the manner of conveyance.
(4) The regulations require only minimal
expense and effort on the part of the fortuneteller and, therefore, will not
impose any undue burdens on the fortuneteller's practice.
for entertainment purposes, as defined in this section, does not create the same
risk of fraud and larceny by unscrupulous practitioners as would the practice
with an individual client because it is done with a group at a public place for
the purposes of entertaining and not to deal with the private concerns of an
(6) Fortunetelling for religious purposes, as defined in this
section, creates a low risk of consumer fraud.
(1) “Fortunetelling” shall mean and include telling
of fortunes, forecasting of future events or furnishing 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 included to,
clairvoyance, clairaudience, cartomancy, phrenology, spirits, tea leaves or
other such reading, mediumship, seership, prophecy, augury, astrology,
palmistry, necromancy, mindreading, telepathy, or other craft, art, cards,
talisman, charm, potion, magnetism, magnetized article or substance, crystal
gazing, or magic, of any kind or nature.
(2) “For pay” shall
mean for a fee, reward, donation, loan or receipt of anything of
(3) “Collector” means that person designated by Section
13-1-3 of the Woodland Municipal Code to administer the business license
provisions of the code.
(C) Permit Application.
Every natural person
who, for pay, conducts, engages in, carries on, or practices fortunetelling
shall file a separate verified application for a fortunetelling license with the
collector. The application shall contain:
(1) The full true name and any
other names used by the applicant;
(2) The two previous residential
addresses and business addresses, if any, immediately prior to the present
address of the applicant; and current residential and business telephone numbers
of the applicant;
(3) The applicant's height, weight, color of eyes, and
(4) The business, occupation, or employment of the applicant for the
ten years immediately preceding the date of the application;
(5) The records
of all criminal convictions, except minor traffic violations;
license history of the applicant, either alone or in conjunction with others;
whether the applicant, in previously operating in this city or another city,
county or state under a license or permit, has had such license revoked or
suspended; the reasons therefor and the business activity or occupation
subsequent to such action of suspension or revocation;
(7) Two sets of
fingerprints and a photograph taken by the Woodland Police Department to be
submitted to the Department of Justice for verification of the information
submitted by the applicant, for which the applicant will pay such fees incurred
therefor as are charged by the Woodland Police Department;
(8) Such other
identification and information as determined by the police chief, any other city
department of jurisdiction, or any agency of jurisdiction to be necessary to
verify the truth of the matters required by this section;
nonrefundable application fee in an amount set by council resolution.
Approval of License.
Upon receipt of the completed application the collector
shall submit the application to the police department for verification of the
information contained in the application. The police department shall submit the
fingerprints to the department of justice to verify the information in the
application. The police department shall have ten business days to verify the
information and report its findings to the collector.
The collector shall
then approve the application if:
(1) All of the information contained in the
application is true; and
(2) The applicant has not, within one year from the
date of application, been convicted of any violation of this section or crimes
involving prediction of future events by the occult arts, larceny, perjury,
bribery, extortion, fraud, or similar crimes involving moral turpitude.
collector shall notify the applicant by mail of the decision.
dissatisfied with the decision of the collector may appeal the decision to the
city council within ten days after notice of the decision is mailed. The city
council shall hold a hearing within thirty days of the application for a
hearing. At least ten days before the hearing date, the collector shall mail a
notice of the date. The council shall consider evidence and make findings. The
council's findings are final.
(E) Term of the Fortunetelling
The term of the fortunetelling license shall be the same as the
regular business license. A renewal application shall be filed at least thirty
days before the license will expire and shall be processed in the same manner as
a new application.
(F) Compliance with Other Laws.
required to comply with the municipal code and other laws including zoning and
business license ordinances. The license issued pursuant to this section is in
addition to any necessary business license.
(G) Posting of
(1) Each person required to obtain a permit pursuant to this section
shall post on his or her business premises a sign containing the following
(a) The true name of the fortuneteller;
(b) Each service
provided by the fortuneteller;
(c) The fees charged for each service
provided by the fortuneteller;
(d) The statement, “By law, this
business is prohibited from charging or soliciting any fee, payment or
remuneration beyond these established rates.”
(2) The sign required by
subsection (G)(1) of 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
(3) 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 in subsection (G)(1) of this section on paper
at least eight and one-half by eleven inches and legibly printed or typewritten.
The paper shall also include the name and permanent address of the person
providing the fortunetelling services. A true and correct copy of such paper
shall be given to each client prior to providing any fortunetelling
(4) 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 subsection (G) of this section.
to the acceptance of any money or item of value from a client, other than a
gratuitous tip given voluntarily by the client, the fortuneteller shall issue to
the client a written receipt showing:
(1) The date the service was
(2) The name of the client;
(3) The amount of money received
or a specific description of the item of value received; and
(4) The purpose
for which the money or item of value was received.
(I) Client Record of
No person engaging in fortunetelling services shall prohibit a
client from making an audiorecord- ing or taking written notes of the
information conveyed by the
The provisions of this
section shall not apply to any person engaged solely in the business of
entertaining the public by demonstrations of fortunetelling 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
(K) Exception--Religious Practice.
The provisions of this
section shall not apply to any person conducting or participating in any
religious ceremony or service when such person holds a certificate of ordination
as a minister, missionary, 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
(1) Except as provided in subsection (H) (3) of this section, 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, as herein defined.
(2) The minister holding a certificate of
ordination from such bona fide church or religious association shall file with
the collector, a declaration under penalty of perjury which states the
minister's name, street address, and telephone number in this city where the
activity set forth herein is to be conducted.
(3) Such bona fide church or
religious association, as defined herein, may pay to its ministers a salary or
compensation based upon a percentage basis, pursuant to an agreement between the
church and the minister which is embodied in a resolution and transcribed in the
minutes of such church or religious association.
(L) Revocation of
A fortunetelling permit, issued by the collector,
shall be revoked or suspended where it is found that the licensee has been
convicted of any offense which would be cause for denial of a license upon an
original application, has made a false statement on an application for a
license, or has committed an act in violation of this section. Revocation
proceedings shall be conducted as prescribed by Sections 13-1-30 and
(M) Violation a Public Nuisance.
The city council declares a
violation of this section to be a public nuisance. (Ord. No. 1133, § 2;
Ord. No. 1294, § 2.)