Relates to verification of a name change.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil rights law, in relation to verification of a name change
PURPOSE: To assure that individuals are not able to legally change their names in order to evade legal process or obligation as well as to assure that convicted violent felons and sex offenders disclose their convictions on the name change petitions and that such persons alert the prosecuting agency and sentencing court of their intent to change their names.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one provides that prior to the granting of any petition for name change, the court which the petition is before shall take all reasonable steps necessary to verify the information provided by the petitioner. Additionally, it provides that the Office of Court Administration (OCA) shall promulgate rules and regulations to give effect to the verification requirement. Finally, OCA is authorized to create a fee schedule to recover the cost of verification.
Section two amends Section 61 of the Civil Rights Law to assure that even after the period of incarceration, parole or probation ends for a violent felon or sex offender, such individual would be required to disclose their conviction for purpose of a name change petition.
Section three amends Section 62 of the Civil Rights Law to assure that even after the period of incarceration, parole or probation ends for a violent felon or sex offender, such individual would be required to provide notice of their intent to change their name to the district attorney's office that prosecuted them as well as to the court which sentenced them.
JUSTIFICATION: The amount of change of name petitions in many courts around the state is voluminous. And in many courts, a change of name petition is viewed as a perfunctory matter, most times granted without any effort to verify the information provided by the petitioner. There are however myriad circumstances under which a change of name petition is used as a vehicle to escape legal process or obligation. The change of name, while ultimately traceable through a paper trail, creates an additional step for law enforcement in discovering an -individual's original identity and legal obligation. This additional step often times allow such individual to escape detection in ordinary verification circumstances such as traffic stops.
Recognizing both the need to verify the identity of an individual seeking a name change and the volume and general character of such petitions, this bill direct the courts to take all reasonable steps in verification and authorizes OCA to promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to achieve the twin objectives of
preventing name change in undue circumstances and utilizing the resources of the courts in an economical manner.
Additionally, this bill amends Sections 61 and 62 of the Civil Rights Law to require that convicted violent felons and sex offenders disclose their convictions on a name change petition and that they provide notice to the DA's office that prosecuted them and to the court that sentenced them of their intent to change their name. It would further require that such individuals publish notice of their name change, if granted, in not only the county of petition, but the county of conviction. Under current law, these requirements only exist when the violent felon or sex offender is incarcerated, on parole or on probation. By extending the notice requirements to any violent felon or sex offender, this bill recognizes the seriousness of such a conviction, and assures that a change of name petition includes all relevant information in order that due consideration may be given by the petitioned court. Further, by extending the publication requirement, it assures that communities are given due notice of such a name change, if granted.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: Passed Senate (S.528/A.954A)
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state. The cost of any verification will be borne by the petitioner through a fee schedule created by OCA.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 180 days after it shall become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 737 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. FUSCHILLO, DeFRANCISCO, LARKIN, LAVALLE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to verification of a name change THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The civil rights law is amended by adding a new section 61-a to read as follows: S 61-A. VERIFICATION. 1. PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF ANY ORDER GRANTING A CHANGE OF NAME, THE COURT IN WHICH THE PETITION HAS BEEN FILED SHALL TAKE ALL REASONABLE STEPS TO VERIFY THE INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE PETITIONER PURSUANT TO SECTION SIXTY-ONE OF THIS ARTICLE. 2. THE OFFICE OF COURT ADMINISTRATION SHALL PROMULGATE SUCH RULES, REGULATIONS AND FEE SCHEDULE AS ARE NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT THIS SECTION. IN PROMULGATING SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS, THE OFFICE SHALL TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE LEGISLATURE'S INTENT THAT THE PROCESS OF VERIFICATION AS DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE MEANT TO PREVENT THE PETITIONER FROM USING NAME CHANGE TO EVADE LEGAL PROCESS OR OBLI- GATION. S 2. Subdivision 2 of section 61 of the civil rights law, as amended by section 54 of subpart B of part C of chapter 62 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: 2. If the petitioner stands convicted of a violent felony offense as defined in section 70.02 of the penal law or a felony defined in article one hundred twenty-five of such law or any of the following provisions of such law sections 130.25, 130.30, 130.40, 130.45, 255.25, 255.26, 255.27, article two hundred sixty-three, SECTIONS 135.10, 135.25, 230.05, 230.06, subdivision two of section 230.30 or SECTION 230.32,
[and is currently confined as an inmate in any correctional facility orthe petition shall for each such conviction specify such felony conviction, the date of such conviction or convictions, and the court in which such conviction or convictions were entered. S 3. Subdivision 2 of section 62 of the civil rights law, as amended by section 55 of subpart B of part C of chapter 62 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: 2. If the petition be to change the name of a personEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01317-01-3 S. 737 2
currently under the supervision of the department of corrections and community supervision or a county probation department as a result of such conviction,]
[currently confined as an inmate in any correctional facility or currently under the supervision of the department of corrections and community super- vision or a county probation department as a result of a conviction for]WHO STANDS CONVICTED OF a violent felony offense as defined in section 70.02 of the penal law or a felony defined in article one hundred twen- ty-five of such law or any of the following provisions of such law sections 130.25, 130.30, 130.40, 130.45, 255.25, 255.26, 255.27, article two hundred sixty-three, SECTIONS 135.10, 135.25, 230.05, 230.06, subdi- vision two of section 230.30 or SECTION 230.32, notice of the time and place when and where the petition will be presented shall be served, in like manner as a notice of a motion upon an attorney in an action, upon the district attorney of every county in which such person has been convicted of such felony and upon the court or courts in which the sentence for such felony was entered. Unless a shorter period of time is ordered by the court, said notice shall be served upon each such district attorney and court or courts not less than sixty days prior to the date on which such petition is noticed to be heard. S 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.