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How can you find name change records?

Discussion in 'Other Legal Issues' started by dodecahedron, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. dodecahedron

    dodecahedron Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    US Federal Law
    How can you find the records of someone's name change from their old name to their new name? There is someone who is trying to escape a lawsuit and I am sure they have changed their name from their old name to a new name. It seems that there should be a state database or some national resource that keeps track of these things. Without it, anyone can commit fraud and just change their name and make it very hard to find and locate bad people like this.
     
  2. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the relevant facts and circumstances and the applicable state law (this isn't a federal issue).

    Name changes resulting from marriage aren't going to be part of any database. Also, some people simply use pseudonyms without formally changing their names. If a name change was done through the court, then the court file should be publicly available (unless the court ordered it to be sealed), but I can't imagine there's any sort of national database.

    If you're having difficulty locating someone who owes you money, you may want to hire a private investigator.
     
  3. Michael M. Wechsler

    Michael M. Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    This is actually a good question. In the past I have had to use private services which aggregate this information. The manner which I knew was to search at the county where the party changing their name resides since, at least in New York state, a legal name change requires a court order.

    I don't know what prevents unscrupulous people from heading to the nearest courthouse with a rationale that should easily pass a judicial review without substantive investigation. There should be a legal name database that is nationally available, especially given the obsession to have proper and appropriate national identification systems.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You make a valid point, as you usually do.

    However, I have known domestic violence victims forced to change their identity to thwart their abuser from locating the person.

    Protection also applies to confidential police informants, those seeking asylum in the US because they were persecuted by their former government, and law enforcement personnel employed to do undercover police related activities.

    One final group, the people related to those mentioned above.

    When the right to inform the public collides with personal safety and protection, I must choose to protect privacy rights which are being slowly eroded.
     
  5. Michael M. Wechsler

    Michael M. Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    And as usual, you make excellent points and astute observations as well. I would think that those exceptions can be made by a judge and kept out of the public eye. I am interested in knowing what exists. As was popular before, this area is dominated by public access databases which charge fees, sometimes hefty ones.

    In the tech industry they often say "you have no privacy" in jest but with the joke consiting of a substantial amount of truth. Especially with what I have researched this year (such as Aadhar in India), privacy concerns are extremely serious as are potential and actual abuses.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The EU tried to address privacy concerns, but it fizzled.

    Another group that requires protection would be minors.

    Again, the EU made an effort, alas it fumbled that, too.
     

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