Glowing crystal ball
Glowing crystal ball (Silver)

Houston attorney Michael Busby Jr. paid a Houston “fortune teller” $30 for a tarot card reading on Dec. 4 and $500 for a “ritual to reunite husband and wife.” And in a lawsuit filed on Dec. 16, he alleges he gave the woman $2,700 in a box on Dec. 6 so she could “cleanse” it and return it to him four hours later, but she failed to return the cash.

In fact, Busby, whose firm does bankruptcy and family law, alleges in the petition that the woman, Melena Thorn, by and through her in-laws Sonny and Christine Nicholas, has “stated no monies were ever placed in said box.”

Busby, of Busby & Associates, seeks a minimum of $1 million in damages, a permanent injunction to prevent Thorn from “fortune telling” in Texas and a permanent injunction to prevent all defendants from “practicing or advertising psychic abilities” within Texas.

The defendants include the Psychic Love Spell Center and World Psychic Solutions, both of Houston; Thorn, also known as Christine Mitchell; and Christine Nicholas, Dillon Nicholas and Sonny Nicholas.

Thorn said it’s not true that Busby gave her $2,700 in a box. She says she told Busby she would refund the $500 but she needed time to get the money together.

“I said give me some time. The money was for materials—candles and such,” Thorn said during a telephone interview.

She says she doesn’t understand why Busby sued her family members. “They don’t interfere with what I do,” Thorn, who advertises her business at said. (Her first name is spelled Malena on the website.)

Sonny Nicholas, in a telephone interview on Dec. 19, said Busby needs to prove his allegations.

“He don’t have no proof of nothing,” Nicholas said.

Like Thorn, Nicholas is mystified why Busby would sue “the whole family.” He said there’s no civil conspiracy to commit fraud, as Busby alleges against all defendants.

“What conspiracy? I know all the police departments around town. When there’s a complaint, I give the money back,” Nicholas said.

Mike Monks, a Houston lawyer who represents the Nicholas family, said the lawsuit may be result of a “misunderstanding.”

“We look forward to having an opportunity to having all the facts out in court,” said Monks, a shareholder in Monks Law Firm of Houston.

A message left at a number for Christine Nicholas was not returned. A number for Sonny Nicholas could not be obtained online or through directory information.

Busby seeks class action status in Busby v. Psychic Love Spell Center on behalf of others similarly situated.

“Plaintiff will show that more than 100 people have been defrauded by this family and/or business in the last four years,” Busby alleges in the petition.

In a Dec. 17 phone interview, Busby said he has had tarot card readings in the past—”anything that helps give me an edge”—but it was his first by Thorn.

“I thought I would try it, but I never had this fact pattern like this right here,” Busby said, noting that he didn’t do due diligence until he had a problem getting his money back.

Busby alleges in the petition that he entered into an oral contract on Dec. 4 with Thorn for a tarot card reading for $30. He alleges that after the reading, Thorn recommended and sold him a “ritual to reunite husband and wife” for $500.

He claims that part of the ritual involved a “balancing of chakras” and for that he needed to place $2,700 in a box and give it to Thorn to “cleanse” and return it to him within four hours “along with dolls to represent the man and the woman.” He says that after the box was returned, he was supposed to place it “under the marital bed” and say prayers.

But Busby alleges he gave Thorn “the monies and the box” at 5 p.m. on Dec. 6 and the box has not been returned.

Busby also claims that Dillon Nicholas owns a residence that houses a “business that sells services to the public in the form of fortune telling, psychic readings, and ceremonial rituals for hire.”

Busby brings common law fraud and breach of contract causes of action against Thorn, and alleges she is liable for acts or omissions of any agent, representative or employee of Psychic Love Spell Center and World Psychic Solutions and the other defendants under agency and respondeat superior causes of action. He also alleges Thorn violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

Busby brings breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and civil conspiracy causes of action against the defendants and seeks class action certification.