Long Beach, California Makes Changes to Fortune-Telling Law

November 26th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Last week, in a unanimous 9-0 decision, Long Beach, California City Council voted to update their fortune-telling regulations.

Though psychic businesses will still need to get a business license to open shop, proprietors will no longer have to undergo a police background check, or come up with a $250,000 bond.

There have also been changes made to how ‘fortune tellers’ are defined.

Though I can’t seem to find the actual documents, according to Press Telegram News, the old definition included phrases like “gypsy cunning or foresight” and “oriental mysteries.”

The new code has removed this language, which the Council described as “outdated and offensive.”

Council also removed the requirement of a Conditional Use Permit, and will treat psychic businesses as other personal services, allowing them to operate in commercial zones.

comment on this post

Psychic Businesses Officially Legal in La Cañada Flintridge, CA

October 16th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s official – psychic businesses are legal in La Cañada Flintridge, California.

In a 4-0 vote, city council members ruled that fortune-tellers, astrologers, psychics, and palm readers will be included among businesses allowed to operate under the city’s zoning code.

Until now, ‘fortune-tellers’ were neither permitted nor forbidden in La Cañada Flintridge, but going forward, anyone interested in opening a psychic shop may do so, as long as they obtain a city permit, and locate within specific commercial zones.

According to the La Cañada Valley Sun, though there was some debate last summer, as to whether ‘fortune-telling’ was pure entertainment or a service, council ultimately chose the service label.

La Cañada Valley Sun quotes the mayor as saying,

“Some people think it’s just a fun thing, and some think it’s a serious service. I can’t tell you who’s right or wrong, but to accommodate that, we put it down as a service.”

I’m glad they did.

comment on this post

Chesterfield County Fortune-telling Ordinance – follow up

September 25th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

I’m a little slow on the draw, but I wanted to follow up on last year’s post about Patricia Moore-King’s challenge to Chesterfield County, Virgina’s Fortune-Telling ordinances …

Earlier this year, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decided in favor of Chesterfield County, and against Moore-King’s claims that her First Amendment rights and Right to Equal Protection and Religious Land Use were being violated.

Though the Court rejected an earlier court decision, which claimed that telling fortunes was ‘inherently deceptive speech’, it rejected Moore-King’s main arguments.

It determined that Chesterfield County’s fortune-telling license and zoning regulations, though more stringent than for other businesses, are appropriate and within legitimate governmental interest.

You can read the full decision here.

La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission Considers Psychic Businesses

July 3rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

There’s good news for anyone who might be interested in opening a psychic business in La Cañada Flintridge, California.

According to the La Cañada Valley Sun, last week, the City Planning Commission unanimously recommended categorizing psychic businesses as ‘offices or business’, and to allow them to operate on a conditional use permit anywhere in the city.

I’m not sure if it means readers can open up shop just yet, but it’s a good start.

comment on this post

Background Checks for Psychic Businesses – Mount Carmel, TN

June 5th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Last week, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for Mount Carmel, Tennessee approved on first reading a new ordinance requiring background checks for anyone wishing to do psychic business in town.

According to Jeff Bobo of TimesNews.net, the new ordinance specifically focuses on “clairvoyants, hypnotists, spiritualists, palmists, phrenologists and handwriting analysts for the purpose of fortune-telling.”

In order to open a psychic business, the new rules require an applicant and their employees to first undergo a fingerprinting background check.

No one who is presently charged with, or has been convicted in the last ten years, of “felonies or misdemeanors involving assault, theft, extortion, fraud, bribery, false personage, perjury or gambling” will be eligible for a fortune-teller permit.

I understand that the people of Mount Carmel want to protect themselves from frauds, etc., but I wonder what prompted Karen Combs, the Kingsport principal planner who proposed the new rules, to take such a strong proactive stand against ‘fortune-tellers’ in particular.

Do they pose such a singular threat?

If the town needs to beef up their anti-assault, theft, extortion, fraud, bribery, false personage, perjury or gambling laws in general, they should. But focusing specifically on psychic readers seems odd, especially since there are none presently working in Mount Carmel, a town of about 5,500 people.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen will consider the second and final reading of this ordinance at the end of June.

comment on this post

St. Louis Fortune-Telling Ban May Be Repealed

April 30th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Presently, it’s illegal to tell fortunes in St. Louis , Missouri, but that could all change soon.

According to St. Louis Today, Alderman Shane Cohn has introduced a bill to repeal his city’s rather complicated-sounding ban on divination.

As it stands now, the law forbids the

… profession or art of fortuneteller, clairvoyant, spirit medium, necromancer, seer, astrologist, palmist, prophet or other like crafty or occult art, or art of divination, or pretended art of telling past events of another’s life or affairs; of foretelling knowledge of future events of another’s life or affairs; of in anywise revealing things of the past, the future, of a secret or hidden nature; of giving advice or assistance in matters of business or affairs of any other kind or nature by means of such art; or of purporting so to tell, foretell, reveal or give advice or assistance by means of such art.

Back in 1994, an earlier Alderman made a similar attempt to repeal the law but was unsuccessful. Hopefully, this time round, Alderman Cohn will succeed.

comment on this post

Fortune Telling is Legal in Gaithersburg, Maryland

January 28th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

In follow-up news from Gaithersburg, Maryland …

Last week, after months of discussion and review, the Gaithersburg City Council voted unanimously to repeal their longstanding ban on ‘fortune telling’.

According to Maryland’s Gazette.net and The Huffington Post, the city received its first application for a psychic business on January 19th.

It hasn’t been approved yet, but hopefully it will be and all goes well for everyone involved.

Good on you Gaithersburg!

comment on this post

Psychic Businesses Might Soon Be Legal in Gaithersburg, Maryland

December 31st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

It looks like Wednesday is the day Gaithersburg, Maryland will decide whether or not they’ll be rescinding their present ban against ‘fortune-telling’.

As I posted last September, City Council agreed that as it stands, the law against psychic businesses should be lifted.

What still needs to be decided though, is where psychic businesses will be allowed to operate, as well as the definition of ‘fortune-telling’ itself.

According to Gazette.net, the Gaithersburg Planning Commission will be recommending that City Council enact an ordinance allowing psychic businesses to locate in specific commercial and light industrial zones.

I’ll be watching to see how this turns out and will let you all know as I know more.


And of course …. HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE!!!! It’s been a great year. Let’s make 2013 even better!!

comment on this post

U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Hears Chesterfield County 'Fortune-Telling' Case

December 10th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Last Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case of Patricia Moore-King, a psychic reader from Chesterfield County, Virginia.

As I wrote about last year, King challenged the ‘fortune-telling’ statute in Chesterfield County after being denied a business license back in 2009.

She argued that her work constitutes free speech according to the US Constitution, and that the zoning laws and onerous license procedures necessary for her to obtain a business license inhibit her freedom of expression and discriminate against her based on her beliefs, viewpoint, and content of expression.

In October of last year, U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr ruled against King’s argument claiming that her form of counseling was inherently deceptive and therefore not protected by the Constitution.

King appealed the decision, and it was this appeal that was heard by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday.

Though King’s lawyer, Roman P. Storzer argued that his client’s freedom of speech and religion were at issue, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III commented that he thought the case was more a question of licensing and zoning regulations.

Also at issue was whether or not King’s belief in a ‘new age spirituality’ is actually a protected religious practice or simply a chosen life style or philosophy.

It might take several weeks or even months before a final ruling on the case is made.

comment on this post

No Psychic Businesses in Downtown Healdsburg

December 5th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The Healdsburg, California Planning Commission unanimously ruled last week against allowing a psychic business to move into the city’s downtown commercial district.

In a vote of 6-0, they decided against Mike Stevens’ application to establish his business in a former insurance office downtown.

According to pressdemocrat.com, the decision was at least partly based on the particular building Stevens wanted to work out of.

The building is primarily occupied by psychologists, psychiatrists, and other licensed practitioners, which as Planning and Building Director Barbara Nelson said, “psychics and palm readers are not”.

In addition, psychic businesses are not the type of industry Healdsburg is looking to develop. As Commissioner Phil Luks is quoted as saying, “It’s perhaps antithetical to the basic image we’re trying to project as a tourist town.”

Mike Stevens plans to appeal the decision to City Council.

comment on this post

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with fortune-telling law at The Tarot Room.