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  1. #1

    Default Are Fortune-Tellers Legal

    My question involves business law in the state of: Georgia

    If someone opens a business as a fortune teller/psychic, could someone sue them if their "predictions" are inaccurate or they give them bad advice? I would imagine that most have a disclaimer that says something to the effect of "results not guaranteed" in the fine print. So, given that, it would seem like suing would be difficult. Sure, they could "get sued", but I'm guessing that with a disclaimer and the fact that the entire "business" is known to be highly questionable, it likely wouldn't go anywhere.

    Also, could they be charged with fraud if they are lying about being psychic and are aware that they are deceiving people? I personally believe that in some rare cases, psychic abilities are genuine. However, I also believe that the vast majority of fortune tellers are scammers. However, due to the contested reality of psychic abilities, it seems like it would be difficult to consider it fraud, as in some cases, the fortune teller could be well intentioned but delusional (thus not fraud). So, for practical purposes is it legal for one to open up shop as a "fortune teller", because where I live, you see these probable scammers all over. And I just wondered about the legality of the practice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Are Fortune Tellers Legal

    Quote Quoting Steve418
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    And I just wondered about the legality of the practice.
    Much depends on the laws where the person is doing the fortune telling and exactly how they do the fortune telling. I know of no place in the U.S. that outright bars fortune tellers, though perhaps some jurisdiction does. However, they may be regulated to some degree. Most commonly what I see is that fortune tellers, psychics, and their ilk must not mislead their customers into believing that they have special powers and must instead provide their service as “entertainment only.”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Are Fortune Tellers Legal

    There is nothing illegal about preying on a persons belief that the fortune teller can foretell the future. It's a legitimate business. The problem is where the customer acts on the advice given. That decision is on the customer not on the fortune teller.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Are Fortune Tellers Legal

    In general, it is not illegal to offer "fortune-telling" services for purposes of entertainment, but it may be a violation or offense to try to get people to pay for fortune-telling services that you assert to be genuine.

    Georgia appears to regulate fortune-tellers at the county level:
    Quote Quoting OCGA Sec. 36-1-15. Prohibition, regulation, and taxation of fortunetelling and similar practices
    The county governing authority may by proper ordinance prohibit, regulate, or tax the practice of fortunetelling, phrenology, astrology, clairvoyance, palmistry, or other kindred practices, businesses, or professions where a charge is made or a donation accepted for the services and where the practice is carried on outside the corporate limits of the municipality. The tax, if any, which is imposed shall not exceed the sum of $1,000.00 per year. Such ordinances may prescribe the punishment to be imposed for violations, but such punishment shall not exceed imprisonment for 60 days or a fine of $500.00 or both. Prosecutions for violations shall be in the magistrate court of the county as provided in Chapter 10 of Title 15.
    I am skeptical that a blanket prohibition on the offering of such services strictly for entertainment purposes would be constitutional. I would not be surprised if a court upheld such a prohibition for fortune-tellers who were asserting that they were actually able to speak with the dead or see the future.

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