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Privacy and Name Change

IMPORTANT:
If you or your child are in immediate danger, call 911.

All name change applications can be viewed by anyone because they are public records. Also, the Court will require notice of the name change to be printed in a newspaper.

The law says that if your safety or your children’s safety is in danger you can have your name change request "sealed" right away [New York Civil Rights Law section 64-a(2)]. A sealed name change request cannot be found in the public records. The Court file will stay sealed while the Court considers the request.

After the judge rules on your name change, if the Court finds that your safety is in danger, the law also says that you do not have to publish the name change in the newspaper and the Court can seal your name change for good [New York Civil Rights Law section 64-a(1)].

It is best to speak to a lawyer or a domestic violence counselor to help you through the name change process. You can also speak to the Court Clerk to find out how to ask to seal your request or you can visit a Court Help Center. Visit Abuse and Harassment for more information about domestic violence.

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