- Category: New Jersey Statutes
New Jersey Name Change Law
2A:52-1. Action for change of name
2A:52-1. Any person may institute an action in Superior Court, for authority to assume another name. The complaint for a change of name shall be accompanied by a sworn affidavit stating the applicant's name, date of birth, social security number, whether or not the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime, and whether any criminal charges are pending against him and, if such convictions or pending charges exist, shall provide such details in connection therewith sufficient to readily identify the matter referred to. The sworn affidavit shall also recite that the action for a change of name is not being instituted for purposes of avoiding or obstructing criminal prosecution or for avoiding creditors or perpetrating a criminal or civil fraud. If criminal charges are pending, the applicant shall serve a copy of the complaint and affidavit upon any State or county prosecuting authority responsible for the prosecution of any pending charges. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if he knowingly gives or causes to be given false information under this section.
L.1951 (1st SS), c.344; amended 1981,c.362,s.1, 1993,c.228,s.1.
2A:52-2. Effect of judgment, copy to State Bureau of Identification
2A:52-2. Such person, from and after the day specified therefor in the judgment in the action, shall be known by the name which, by the judgment, he is authorized to assume, and by no other. The judgment for change of name shall include the applicant's social security number and date of birth. The clerk of the court shall forward a copy of the judgment to the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police if the person has been convicted of a crime or if there are criminal charges pending against him.
L.1951 (1st SS), c.344; amended 1981,c.362,s.2; 1993,c.228,s.2.
2A:52-3. Effect of change of name on actions or other proceedings
No action, or other legal proceeding commenced in his former name against any person whose name shall have been changed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall, by reason of such misnomer, be abated, nor shall any relief of recovery sought thereby be prevented.
L.1951 (1st SS), c.344.
2A:52-4. Correction of record of birth or marriage
Upon the receipt of either of the following documents:
a. A certified copy of a judgment permitting a change of name; or
b. A certification issued in connection with a naturalization proceeding authorized by Act of Congress that a change of name was permitted by decree or order of a court vested with jurisdiction to naturalize persons as citizens of the United States; together with a request for correction of an existing record of the birth or marriage of the individual, the State Registrar of Vital Statistics or local registrar of vital statistics shall adjust the record or records to show the new name and the date and manner by which obtained. When the request and such copy or certification are received by a local registrar, he shall forward them to the State Registrar after having adjusted his local record.
In the event the name of any child or children shall be permitted to be changed in the naturalization proceedings of the parent of such child or children, the certification of the parent's naturalization record or proceedings disclosing such change of name of such child or children shall be sufficient authority for the State Registrar of Vital Statistics or the local registrar, as the case may be, upon request, to correct the birth certificate or marriage certificate of such child or children in the same manner as provided for the correction of the parent's birth certificate or marriage certificate. The fee to be paid a local registrar or the State Registrar for each birth certificate or for each marriage certificate so corrected shall be $2.00. Any certified copy of a record changed as provided for in this chapter shall show the name at birth or marriage and the new name and date and manner by which obtained, but upon request shall show only the new name.
L.1951 (1st SS), c.344; amended by L.1955, c. 249, p. 927, s. 1; L.1958, c. 81, p. 521, s. 1, eff. June 24, 1958; L.1983, c. 275, s. 1, eff. July 18, 1983.
New Jersey Rules of Court Also Apply
RULE 4:72. Actions For Change Of Name
· (a) Generally. An action for change of name shall be commenced by filing a verified complaint setting forth the grounds of the application. The complaint shall contain the date of birth of the plaintiff and shall state: (1) that the application is not made with the intent to avoid creditors or to obstruct criminal prosecution or for other fraudulent purposes; (2) whether plaintiff has ever been convicted of a crime and if so, the nature of the crime and the sentence imposed; (3) whether any criminal charges are pending against plaintiff and if so, such detail regarding the charges as is reasonably necessary to enable the Division of Criminal Justice or the appropriate county prosecutor to identify the matter. If criminal charges are pending, a copy of the complaint shall, at least 20 days prior to the hearing, be served upon the Director of the Division of Criminal Justice to the attention of the Records and Identification Section if the charges were initiated by the Division, and otherwise upon the appropriate county prosecutor. Service upon the Division or a prosecutor shall be accompanied by a request that the official make such response as may be deemed appropriate.
· (b) Change of Name for Minor Involved in a Family Action. If the complaint seeks a name change for a minor, the complaint shall state whether the child or any party in interest in the name change application is the subject of a family action pending or concluded within the three years preceding the filing of the complaint. In such event, the action shall be transferred to the Family Part in the vicinage in which the family action is pending or was concluded. If neither the child nor any party in interest is or has been the subject of such action, a certification to that effect shall be appended to the complaint.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:91-1. Amended July 11, 1979 to be effective September 10, 1979; amended July 15, 1982 to be effective September 13, 1982; amended November 1, 1985 to be effective January 2, 1986; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; former text of rule designated as paragraph (a) and amended, paragraph (a) caption added, and new paragraph (b) adopted July 9, 2008 to be effective September 1, 2008.
4:72-2. Guardian Ad Litem
An action for the change of name of a minor may be commenced by a parent without the appointment of a guardian ad litem.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:91-2; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
4:72-3. Notice of Application
The court by order shall fix a date for hearing not less than 30 days after the date of the order. Notice of application shall then be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county of plaintiff's residence once, at least two weeks preceding the date of the hearing. The court shall also require, in the case of a minor plaintiff, that notice be served by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, upon a non-party parent at that parent's last known address.
Note: Source-R.R. 4:91-3. Amended July 7, 1971 to be effective September 13, 1971; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000.
4:72-4. Hearing; Judgment; Publication; Filing
On the date fixed for hearing the court, if satisfied from the filed papers, with or without oral testimony, that there is no reasonable objection to the assumption of another name by plaintiff, shall by its judgment authorize plaintiff to assume such other name from and after the time fixed therein, which shall be not less than 30 days from the entry thereof. Within 20 days after entry of judgment, a copy thereof, from which plaintiff's social security number shall be redacted, shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county of plaintiff's residence, and within 45 days after entry of judgment, the unredacted judgment and affidavit of publication of the judgment shall be filed with the deputy clerk of the Superior Court in the county of venue and a certified copy of the unredacted judgment shall be filed with the appropriate office within the Department of Treasury. If plaintiff has been convicted of a crime or if criminal charges are pending, the clerk shall mail a copy of the judgment to the State Bureau of Identification.