Relates to verification of a name change.
BILL NUMBER: S7667
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
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 provides that this bill shall become law 180 days after it is signed into law.
JUSTIFICATION : The amount of change of name petitions in many courts around the state is voluminous. And the majority of such petitions are for innocuous reasons such as taking the name of one's spouse. For these reasons, a change of name petition is viewed in many courts 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.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : New bill.
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 ________________________________________________________________________ 7667 IN SENATE April 29, 2010 ___________Introduced by Sens. FUSCHILLO, C. JOHNSON, LARKIN, MAZIARZ, ONORATO -- 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 SUBDIVISION ONE OF 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. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD16944-02-0