RULE 15-901. ACTION FOR CHANGE OF NAME
West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland RulesEffective: January 1, 2023
Effective: January 1, 2023
MD Rules, Rule 15-901
RULE 15-901. ACTION FOR CHANGE OF NAME
(1) Contents. An action for change of name shall be commenced by filing a petition captioned “In the Matter of ...” [stating the name of the individual whose name is sought to be changed] “for change of name to ...” [stating the change of name desired]. The petition shall be under oath and shall contain the following information:
(G) if the individual whose name is sought to be changed is a minor, (i) a statement explaining why the petitioner believes that the name change is in the best interest of the minor; (ii) the name and address of each parent and any guardian or custodian of the minor; (iii) whether each of those persons consents to the name change; (iv) whether the petitioner has reason to believe that any parent, guardian, or custodian is unfamiliar with the English language and, if so, the language the petitioner reasonably believes the individual can understand; (v) if the minor is at least ten years old, whether the minor consents to the name change; and (vi) if the minor is younger than ten years old, whether the minor objects to the name change; and
Committee note: If a petition filed on behalf of a minor contains confidential information pertaining to the minor, the petitioner may request that the court seal or otherwise limit inspection of a case record as provided in Rule 16-934.
Cross reference: See Code, Criminal Procedure Article, § 11-705, which requires a registered sexual offender whose name has been changed by order of court to send written notice of the change to each law enforcement unit where the registrant resides or habitually lives within three days after the order is entered.
(1) Generally. Upon the filing of a petition for change of name of a minor, if the written consent of each parent, guardian, and custodian of the minor was not filed pursuant to subsection (c)(2)(B) of this Rule, the clerk shall sign and issue a Notice in a form approved by the State Court Administrator that (A) includes the caption of the action, (B) describes the substance of the petition and the relief sought, and (C) states that any objection to the name change shall be filed no later than 30 days after service of the petition.
(2) Notice or Advisement in Language Other Than English. If the petition states that a nonconsenting parent, guardian, or custodian may be unfamiliar with the English language, the clerk also shall either issue the Notice in the language indicated in the petition or, if the Notice is not available in the indicated language, attach a Multilingual Advisement Form approved by the State Court Administrator to the Notice that was issued in English.
(e) Objection to Petition. Any person may file an objection to the petition. The objection shall be supported by an affidavit that sets forth the reasons for the objection. The affidavit shall be made on personal knowledge, shall set forth facts that would be admissible in evidence, and shall show affirmatively that the affiant is competent to testify to the matters stated in the affidavit. The objection and affidavit shall be served upon the petitioner in accordance with Rule 1-321. The petitioner may file a response within 15 days after being served with the objection and affidavit. A parent, guardian, or custodian of a minor who does not file an objection within 30 days after being served in accordance with section (d) of this Rule shall be deemed to have consented to the name change of the minor.
Committee note: Nothing in this Rule is intended to abrogate the right of a person who learns of a requested name change to object to the name change where there is personal knowledge of an illegal or fraudulent purpose or harm to the rights of others.
(1) Name Change of Adult. The court may hold a hearing or may rule on a petition to change the name of an adult without a hearing and shall enter an appropriate order, except that the court shall not deny the petition without a hearing. The court may not enter an order earlier than 30 days after the petition was filed.
Committee note: Although there is no publication or other required notice of a requested name change of an adult, if a person learns of a requested name change, the 30-day delay in the entry of an order after the petition is filed affords a period of time within which an objection could be filed.
(2) Name Change of Minor. The court may hold a hearing or may rule on a petition to change the name of a minor without a hearing and enter an appropriate order if (A) the written consent of the minor, if required, has been filed, and (B) each parent, guardian, and custodian (i) has filed a written consent pursuant to subsection (c)(2)(B) of this Rule, or (ii) having been served pursuant to section (d) of this Rule, did not timely file an objection. In all other cases in which a name change of a minor is requested, the court shall hold a hearing and enter an appropriate order no earlier than 30 days after all nonconsenting parents, guardians, or custodians have been served in accordance with section (d) of this Rule.
Source: This Rule is derived in part from former Rules BH70 through BH75 and is in part new.
[Adopted June 5, 1996, eff. Jan. 1, 1997. Amended April 5, 2005, eff. July 1, 2005; June 7, 2011, eff. July 1, 2011; Sept. 30, 2022, eff. Jan. 1, 2023.]
MD Rules, Rule 15-901, MD R SPEC P Rule 15-901
Current with amendments received through June 1, 2023. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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