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New Jersey Supreme Court Elimination Name Change Newspaper Publication Requirement

12/16/2020

New Jersey Supreme Court has amended the “Notice of Application” rule to eliminate the publication requirement where someone looking to change their name must list their name in a local newspaper.
In the past, people looking to change their name were required to list/publish their name change application in a newspaper of general circulation in the county of the applicant’s residence at least two weeks leading up to the name change hearing. This requirement was determined to be especially difficult for people who are self-represented and poor. Also, the rule required any transgender applicant to make public their efforts to change their name, regardless of whether or not doing so may endanger them to violence.

The Supreme Court Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement recommended eliminating the publication requirement to protect the privacy and safety of transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary youth who seek a name change in affirmation of their gender identify.
The Supreme Court’s amendment will expand equal access to the courts for people who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, self-represented, poor, and particularly transgender women of color who are at much greater risk to be victims of violence in the United States.

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