Santa Monica allows fortune tellers to expand territory in future
Fortune tellers may soon be able to expand their fortunes in Santa Monica after the City Council voted to allow them to operate on three main tourist-friendly streets.
Previously, fortune telling business had been restricted to Ocean Front Walk at the Santa Monica Pier.
The council unanimously voted to expand fortune telling rights, which had been restricted to the pier, to the tourist friendly portions of Santa Monica Boulevard, Lincoln Boulevard and Ocean Front Walk.
The California Supreme Court ruled in 1985 that fortune telling is a constitutionally protected right because of free speech issues. This decision resulted from a suit filed by a fortune teller challenging the City of Azusa’s outright ban on the practice.
City Attorney Marsha Moutrie wrote in her report to the council that although Santa Monica’s restricting fortune telling to the pier was not equivalent to an outright ban, it still presented a legal risk for the City.