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Court Hears Petition to Change Name of Same Sex Couple


This case is in regard to an application for Gena M. Daniels to amend her name to become Gena M. Zaks. The case is being heard in the Civil Court of the city of New York in New York County. The petitioner is represented by Yetta G. Kurland. The judge overseeing the case is Paul G. Feinman.

Case Background

The petitioner of the case, Gena M. Daniels is seeking to change her name to Gena M. Zak. A New York Criminal Lawyer said that Zak is the last name of her life partner of the same sex. Her partner has agreed to the application for the name change.

Case Discussion

After some research, the court has not found any published cases in New York that are directly related to the issues involved in this case. Under common laws a person has the right to assume any name as long as it is absent of fraud and does not interfere with the civil liberties of another individual. The Civil Rights Law offers a procedure for a name change that provides that the process is fast, definite, and made a matter of record.

Article 6 of the Civil Rights laws allows both adults and children to petition for a name change, with children needing the aid of a guardian or parent. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the petition for a name change must include the person’s name, their place, and date of birth, age, and the residence where they currently live. The petition must also state whether or not the person wishing to change their name has ever been convicted of a crime, declared bankruptcy, or has any liens or judgments or other actions currently against them. Additionally, a birth certificate or equivalent must be attached to the petition if the petitioner is New York State born. If the court is satisfied that all of the application is accurate and there is no reasonable opposition to the person changing their name, the court will issue an order that authorizes the name change allowing the petitioner to take on the proposed name and direct that this change be made public.

In this particular case the petitioner states that she has never been married, and does not have children, no court orders for child support, no liens or judgments against her, no pending proceedings, has never been convicted of a crime and has never claimed bankruptcy.

The petitioner is requesting the name change so she may assume the name of her significant other Zosia Zaks. The couple has resided together for almost a year and the couple plan on filing a domestic partnership agreement to start a family. The petitioner wants to assume her partner’s last name to show they are committed to each other. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said that to support her petition, she includes an affidavit from her significant other Zosia Zaks which requests that the name change be granted.

The question in this particular case is the fact that many people associate the change of a surname to reflect parental or marital status and the court must ask if by allowing this name change to occur if there is any relevance to public policies.

Court Decision

After reviewing the case, the court finds in favor of the petitioner and the name change is granted. This is an agreement with two consenting adults and there are no children involved that may make the case more difficult. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said it is not the court’s place to discriminate the petitioner based on her sexual preferences.

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