How to Change Your Name in Centre County, Pennsylvania



Download 29.09 Kb.
Date conversion06.02.2017
Size29.09 Kb.
penn state student affairs mark

drawing of a

How to Change Your Name in Centre County, Pennsylvania


Student Legal Services

Penn State University

120 Boucke Building

University Park, PA 16802

(814) 867-4388

PennStateSLS@psu.edu

Find us on the web: studentaffairs.psu.edu/legalservices

What is This Booklet About?


This booklet is a guide to how you can successfully change your name in Pennsylvania. It will educate you on the different types of name changes and the process and costs associated with a formal name change. Blank forms are provided to assist you in preparing your request for court.

This guide will provide direct instructions and examples for filing in Centre County, Pennsylvania. For up-to-date filing information in other counties, you will need to contact the prothonotary for the county in which you wish to file your name change petition.

This guide can only provide you with general information and instructions. It is not a substitute for consulting with an attorney. If you have specific questions regarding name change in your case, we encourage you to contact an attorney.

Informal Name Change


Pennsylvania law permits the informal change of name as long as it is not used to defraud creditors or anyone else. If you adopt a new name, you must use it “consistently, nonfraudulently and exclusively.”

There is no cost or time investment to an informal name change, but generally you cannot get key documents (driver’s license, social security, etc) changed with an informal name change.

Penn State allows students with a “significant reason” to use a preferred name in place of or in addition to a legal name. The policy and procedure for requesting to use a preferred name is found in Penn State policy AD 84.

Marriage, divorce and adoption


Marriage, divorce and adoption can all lead to documents that can be used to effectuate a name change, but without all the requirements and expense of a formal name change petition. After a marriage, a certified copy of the marriage certificate can be used to change a spouse’s surname on documents. At any time during the pendency of a divorce action, or after the final divorce decree is issued, a spouse can elect to resume a prior surname with a simple request to the court, called a Praecipe, and payment of a small fee. In an adoption proceeding, a name change can be requested in the adoption petition. If granted, the name change order is typically part of the final adoption decree.

If you have one of these documents, you can skip down to the “Changing Documents” section for links to common documents used in name changes.


Formal Name Change


A formal name change through the courts is used when you want to change your official documents to reflect the new name you have chosen. You can change any part of your name, such as just your last name, or you can change all of it and choose an entirely new first, middle and last name.

There are a few reasons you can’t get your name changed: to avoid creditors, to commit fraudulent acts or if you are a convicted felon (with some exceptions 2 years after sentence completion).

There is also a general public policy requirement. Names like @#!%, 08935, Jesus Christ and Adolf Hitler could be prohibited by the court as being against public policy.

The court is not allowed to refuse a name change for an individual seeking a name change as part of a gender change unless it finds that the name change is really being sought for one of the prohibited reasons. In Re McIntyre, 715 A.2d 400 (Pa. 1998).

Note that the law specifically provides an exception to the requirement of publication if you can show that publication would jeopardize your safety. If that is shown, the court can waive the publication requirement and seal the file.

The Process

Prepare the necessary documents


A formal name change requires that you make a formal request to the court. This is called a petition. Your petition will have several parts: civil cover sheet, cover page, petition, two draft orders and a draft notice.

The civil cover sheet is used by the court’s administrators to track the numbers and types of cases that are filed in the various courts. It must be submitted with any new civil filing. The civil cover sheet form can be found on the Unified Judicial System website. If you don’t have an attorney, you can just take this with you to the Prothonotary. They are able to help you fill it out.

When you have the documents all ready to go, sign the petition and make an extra copy.

Get fingerprinted


Fingerprinting is available at no charge for Penn State students at the Penn State Campus Police. They are located in Eisenhower Parking Deck.

Check to be sure for current times, but when this booklet was prepared, their fingerprinting hours were: Mondays 12:30-2:30 pm, Tuesdays 3:30-5:30 pm and Wednesdays 11:30 am-1:30 pm and 5:45-7:45 pm


Go to the Prothonotary


The “Prothonotary” is just a fancy name for the court’s filing office. This is the place where you take your petition and fingerprint card when you have them ready. It is located at Prothonotary, Centre County Court of Common Pleas, 102 South Allegheny Street, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

When you get to the Prothonotary, you will ask to file the document.

You will have to pay a filing fee of $127.50 to file your petition. They don’t take credit cards, so make sure you have cash, cashier’s check, money order or a personal check. Checks should be made payable to the “Centre County Prothonotary”.

Give them the original petition and the copy that you made. They will assign your case a “docket number”. This is how they keep track of cases. They will give you a receipt for your payment and the copy of your petition with a stamp on it that shows the date and time it was filed.


Obtain Proof of Financial Standing


One of the things the name change statute prohibits is changing your name to avoid creditors. To make sure no one sneaks one by the court, everyone who asks for a name change must provide proof of financial standing to the court. There are two parts to this: a judgment search and a mortgage search.

The Prothonotary does the judgment search. There is a small fee for the search (The exact amount varies based on the number of pages the search generates, but it is usually under $10).

The Recorder of Deeds does the mortgage search. This office is located in the Willowbank Office Building, 414 Holmes Street, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. This office charges a similar fee for the search.

Searches are typically ordered the day before or the day of the scheduled hearing. Check with the offices for up to date information on when and how to order these searches.


Publication


The Prothonotary will forward your petition to the court administrator. The court administrator will coordinate with a judge to issue an order scheduling a hearing and publication notices.

Provide the publication notices to 2 newspapers of general circulation, such as the Centre Daily Times, OR 1 newspaper and the Centre County Legal Journal. Publication must be made at least 30 days before the scheduled hearing.


Proof of Publication


Prepare proofs of publications (most places will send the proof to you as part of your publication fee), the court will require an actual copy cut out of the publication and attached to an affidavit.

Bring them to your hearing.


Hearing


Appear at the scheduled hearing. If you don’t have an attorney, you are still responsible for presenting your case and following the rules of the court. For most name change petitions, the court proceeding is pretty informal. But the judge might have concerns about the name change, so be prepared to present the good reasons why your request should be granted.

If the judge signs your order, get certified copies of the final order. They cost $4.00 each. You’ll need several.


Changing Documents


Once you get the order, you still need to change your name on important documents such as:

  • Social Security Card;

  • Driver’s license;

  • Vehicle title and registration;

  • Passport; and

  • Your Penn State record.

If you also need to change your gender marker, Mazzoni Center Legal Services has a comprehensive booklet to help you with that process. Requests for a gender marker change in your Penn State records can be made through the Penn State Registrar.

Provided By:

Student Legal Services

Penn State University

120 Boucke Building

University Park, PA 16802

(814) 867-4388

PennStateSLS@psu.edu

Find us on the web: studentaffairs.psu.edu/legalservices

What Is the Office of Student Legal Services?


The Office of Student Legal Services is a student-activity fee funded law office which provides free legal assistance to Penn State students at University Park. We offer advice, counsel, representation and/or referral services in many legal matters affecting students. We are staffed by licensed attorneys, support staff and law student assistants.

How can you use Student Legal Services?


If you need assistance with a legal issue, please visit our website to complete an intake form. Once completed, you will be contacted via telephone to set up an intake appointment.

This pamphlet does not constitute legal advice nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between any group or individual and the office of Student Legal Services. To obtain legal advice, students should consult with a licensed attorney.



Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and other protected groups. Nondiscrimination: http://guru.psu.edu/policies/AD85.html U.Ed. STA 14-61

Appendix

blank petition


IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF CENTRE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

CIVIL ACTION – LAW

IN THE MATTER OF

PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME OF NO:_______________

_______________________________

TYPE OF CASE: CIVIL ACTION

TYPE OF PLEADING:

PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME

BY:

__________________________



Petitioner, Pro Se

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF CENTRE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

CIVIL ACTION – LAW

IN THE MATTER OF

PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME OF NO:_______________

______________________________


PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME


AND NOW comes Petitioner, _________________, Pro Se, and requests that this Court order a change of the petitioner’s name, pursuant to 54 Pa. Cons. Stat. Section 701, et seq., and in support thereof makes the following the averments:

  1. The petitioner is an adult individual currently residing at ___________________________.

  2. During the five years preceding the filing of this petition, the petitioner has resided in the following places:

Date Addresses

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



  1. There are no judgments or decrees pending against the petitioner.

  2. The Petitioner requests that his/her name be changed from __________________ to __________________.

  3. The reasons for the requested change of name are

_________________________________________________________________
WHEREFORE, the petitioner respectfully requests that this Court enter an Order changing his/her name from ______________________ to ______________________.

I verify that the statements made in this Petition are true and correct. I understand that false statements herein are made subject to the penalties of 18 Pa. C.S. § 4904, relating to unsworn falsification to authorities.

Date: ____________________ ____________________

Petitioner, Pro Se

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF CENTRE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

CIVIL ACTION – LAW

IN THE MATTER OF

PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME OF NO:_______________

______________________________

ORDER


AND NOW, this ______ day of ___________ 20___, upon the motion of the petitioner, it is ORDERED that a hearing on the Petition for Change of Name is fixed for ___________, 20__ at ______ __.m., in Room ______ of __________ County Courthouse, ______________, Pennsylvania.

The petitioner is directed to give notice of the filing of the petition and of the date of the hearing by publication in two newspapers of general circulation in this County, one of which may be the official paper for the publication of legal notices in this county.

By the Court:

__________________________

Presiding Judge

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF CENTRE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

CIVIL ACTION – LAW

IN THE MATTER OF

PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME OF NO:_______________

______________________________


NOTICE


Notice is hereby given that on ________________, 20___, the petition of ___________ was filed in the above named Court, requesting an order to change the name of ______________________ to _______________________.

The Court has fixed the day of ____________. 20 __, at ___.m., in Room ____, of the __________ Courthouse, ________________________, Pennsylvania as the time and place for the hearing on said petition, when and where all interested parties may appear and show cause, if any, why the request of the petitioner should not be granted.

By the Court:

__________________________

Presiding Judge

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF CENTRE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

CIVIL ACTION – LAW

IN THE MATTER OF

PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME OF NO:_______________

______________________________


ORDER


AND NOW, this ______ day of ____________, 20___, upon consideration of the attached petition of _________________________ for change of name, and upon presentation of proof of publication of notice as required by law, with proof that there are no judgments or decrees of record or any other matter of like character against petitioner, and it appearing that there is no lawful objection to the request of the petitioner, it is hereby ORDERED that the name of the petitioner ________________________ is changed to __________________________.

By the Court:



__________________________

Presiding Judge


The database is protected by copyright ©dentisty.org 2016
send message

    Main page