The First One Is That It’s Filed for an Illegal Purpose
Video Transcribed: The six reasons a petition for a name change can be denied in Oklahoma. I’m an attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma, James Wirth, and we’re talking about name changes and the standard by which they can be denied. And a lot of times in law, we have these vague standards, best interest, good cause, to where the trial judge has a lot of discretion in determining whether to grant it or deny it.
But the authority for the judge here is much more limited because we’ve got Title 12 Section 1634, which basically states that, “If the material allegations of the petition,” that’s one for a name change, “shall be sustained,” meaning the court is required to grant it, “by sworn evidence and the relief granted for the name change unless the judge finds the change is sought for an illegal fraudulent purpose or that a material allegation in the petition is false.”
So that’s what the statute says, that you’ve got those limited grounds. However, there is some case law that expands it a bit. So that’s where we get the six different reasons that a petition for a name change can be denied in Oklahoma. And the first one is that it’s filed for an illegal purpose.
And the second one is that it’s filed for a fraudulent purpose, and those are two very related things. But essentially the court would be finding that the person is trying to hide out or perhaps they’re trying to use a different name in order to con somebody or to get away from a previous con, something like that.
So if there’s some sort of illegality associated with it, some sort of criminal intent as the basis and the reason for the name change, that’s going to be a reason to deny it, and that’s one and two there.
Three is to delay or hinder creditors. If you’re trying to hide out from people that you owe money to, well, then that’s going to be a reason for the judge to deny your name change. Fourth would be if there’s a failure to give proper notice.
The statute requires publication in a legal newspaper 10 days prior to the hearing. And then in the case of a minor child, there are additional notice requirements. So if those notice requirements are not met, the judge could deny it for that reason. Five, that there’s a material allegation in the petition that is false.
That’s one that’s covered by the statute. The statute lists a number of different things that are required to be in the petition. If you lie about some of those things in a way that’s material to it being granted, that’s a basis for the judge to deny your petition for a name change.
And lastly, lack of jurisdiction. Obviously, if the court doesn’t have jurisdiction then the court is required to deny the application for a name change, a petition for a name change, even though that’s not listed in the statute.
So what grants the court jurisdiction? Well, the court has general jurisdiction but that comes down to residency whether they have jurisdiction over this specific case. So the petitioner has to be a resident of the state for the previous 30 days prior to filing, and the county for the previous 30 days prior to filing.
If the court finds that the petitioner is not a resident, the court has to deny that petition for a name change. But outside of these reasons, the court is required to grant and sustain a petition for an Oklahoma name change.
So if you’ve got questions on how this may apply to your case or your specific circumstances, you’re going to want to talk to an attorney about that privately. To get something like that scheduled with somebody at my office, you can go to makelaweasy.com.