Indiana Name Change Law


Name Change – General – Indiana

Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action for change of name in Indiana, but does include basic and other provisions.

Name Change Action Allowed: In Indiana, a person may change their name by filing an action in the circuit court with appropriate forms.

Who is an adult? A person who has attained the age of 21 years is considered an adult.

Who is a minor? A person who has not attained the age of 21 years is considered an minor.

Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change his or her name? Yes. The court must first verify that the petitioner has complied with the statutory requirements. Then the requested name change must be consistent with the public interest. A person is not allowed to change their name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against him or her, or to avoid debts and obligations. A person can not change their name to defraud any person.

Requirements for Name Change Order: For an order of name change to be granted, the court must find compliance with the statutory requirements, sufficient reasons for the change and also determine that the change is consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.

Is Publication of a Notice Required? Yes.

Who must be provided notice of the Petition? The general public through publication in a newspaper published in the county in which the petition is filed.

Can individuals “object” to my Petition for Name Change? Yes. Any reasonable objections made to the court may influence the court’s findings as to whether the change of name is consistent with the public interest.

Procedures: The process for obtaining a name change for an adult in the State of Indiana begins with the filing of a Petition with the Circuit Court in the county in which the Petitioner resides. The Petition informs the Court of the Petitioner’s name, the name the Petitioner wishes to adopt, and the reasons for the requested change of name.

After the Petition is filed and the required fee is paid, the Court Clerk will set the Petition for a hearing. Using the heating date assigned by the Clerk, the Petitioner is required to give notice of the Petition and the requested relief. The notice must be published in a newspaper published in the county in which the petition is filed once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks. The last publication must be not less than thirty (30) before the scheduled hearing.

After publication is complete, the Petitioner must submit proof of publication to the Clerk of the Court. This is accomplished by filing an affidavit provided by the newspaper verifying the publication. Attached to the affidavit is a copy of the published notice.

After proof of publication is filed, the court may proceed to rule on the petition. This can be with done or without a formal hearing. Once the order and decree is signed, the petitioner is free to assume their new name.

Statutes:

IC 34-28-2-1:
Except as provided in section 1.5 of this chapter, the circuit courts in Indiana may change the names of natural persons on application by petition. Title 34 Civil Law and Procedure, Article 28 Special Proceedings: Miscellaneous Civil Proceedings and Civil Remedies, Chapter 2. Change of Name, Sec.1.

IC 34-28-2-1.5:
A person may not petition for a change of name under this chapter if the person is confined to a department of correction facility. Title 34 Civil Law and Procedure, Article 28 Special Proceedings: Miscellaneous Civil Proceedings and Civil Remedies, Chapter 2. Change of Name, Sec.1.5.

IC 34-28-2-2:

(a) The petition described in section (1) of this chapter may be filed with the circuit court of the county in which the person resides.

(b) In the case of a parent or guardian who wishes to change the name of a minor child, the petition must be verified, and it must state in detail the reason the change is requested. In addition, except where a parent’s consent is not required under IC 31-19-9, the written consent of a parent, or the written consent of the guardian if both parents are dead, must be filed with the petition.

(c) Before a minor child’s name may be changed, the parents or guardian of the child must be served with a copy of the petition as required by the Indiana trial rules. Title 34 Civil Law and Procedure, Article 28 Special Proceedings: Miscellaneous Civil Proceedings and Civil Remedies, Chapter 2. Change of Name, Sec.2.

IC 34-28-2-3:

(a) Upon filing a petition for a name change, the applicant shall give notice of the petition as follows:

(1) By three (3) weekly publications in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county in which the petition is filed in court.

(2) If no newspaper is published in the county in which the petition is filed, the applicant shall give notice in a newspaper published nearest to that county in an adjoining county.

(3) The last weekly publication shall be published not less than thirty (30) days before the day the petition will be heard asindicated in the notice.

(b) In the case of a petition described in section 2(b) of this chapter, the petitioner must publish the first notice of the petition not more than seven (7) days after the date the petition is filed.

(c) In the case of a petition described in section 2(b) of this chapter, the notice required by this section must include the following:

(1) The name of the petitioner.

(2) The name of the minor child whose name is to be changed.

(3) The new name desired.

(4) The name of the court in which the action is pending.

(5) The date on which the petition was filed.

(6) A statement that any person has the right to appear at the hearing and to file objections.

(d) Except as provided in section 1.5 of this chapter, in the case of a person who has had a felony conviction within ten (10)years before filing a petition for a change of name, at least thirty (30) days before the hearing the petitioner must give notice of the filing of the petition to:

(1) the sheriff of the county in which the petitioner resides;

(2) the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the petitioner resides; and

(3) the Indiana central repository for criminal history information.

(e) The notice given to the Indiana central repository for criminal history information under subsection (d) must include the petitioner’s full current name, requested name change, date of birth, address, physical description, and a full set of classifiable fingerprints.

(f) The Indiana central repository for criminal history information shall forward a copy of any criminal records of the petitioner to the court for the court’s information.

(g) A copy of the court decree granting or denying such a petition shall be sent to the Indiana state police.

(h) A person who violates subsection (d) commits a Class A misdemeanor. Title 34 Civil Law and Procedure, Article 28 Special Proceedings: Miscellaneous Civil Proceedings and Civil Remedies, Chapter 2. Change of Name, Sec.3.

IC 34-28-2-4:

(a) Proof of the publication required in this chapter is made by filing a copy of the published notice, verified by the affidavit of a disinterested person, and when proof of publication is made, the court shall, subject to the limitations imposed by subsections (b), (c), and (d), proceed to hear the petition and make an order and decree the court determines is just and reasonable.

(b) In the case of a petition described in section 2(b) of this chapter, the court may not hear the petition and issue a final decree until after thirty (30) days from the later of:

(1) the filing of proof of publication of the notice required under subsection (a); or

(2) the service of the petition upon the parents or guardian of the minor child.

(c) In the case of a petition described in section 2(b) of this chapter, the court shall set a date for a hearing on the petition if:

(1) written objections have been filed; or

(2) either parent or the guardian of the minor child has refused or failed to give written consent as described in section 2(b) of this chapter. The court shall require that appropriate notice of the hearing be given to the parent or guardian of the minor child or to any person who has filed written objections.

(d) In deciding on a petition to change the name of a minor child, the court shall be guided by the best interest of the child rule under IC 31-17-2-8. However, there is a presumption in favor of a parent of a minor child who:

(1) has been making support payments and fulfilling other duties in accordance with a decree issued under IC 31-15, IC 31-16, or IC 17 (or IC 31-1-11.5 before its repeal); and

(2) objects to the proposed name change of the child.

(e) In the case of a person required to give notice under section 3(d) of this chapter, the petitioner must certify to the court that the petitioner has complied with the notice requirements of that subsection. Title 34 Civil Law and Procedure, Article 28 Special Proceedings: Miscellaneous Civil Proceedings and Civil Remedies, Chapter 2. Change of Name, Sec.4.

IC 34-28-2-5:

(a) A copy of the decree of the court changing the name of any natural person, certified under the seal of the court by the clerk of the court, is sufficient evidence of the name of the person, and of a change having been made, in any court of Indiana.

(b) In the case of a petition described in section 2(b) of this chapter, the court shall send a copy of the final decree to the state department of health and to the local health department of the county.

(c) In the case of a petition filed by a person at least seventeen (17) years of age, the court shall send a copy of the final decree to the clerk of the circuit court or board of registration of the county where the person resides. Title 34 Civil Law and Procedure, Article 28 Special Proceedings: Miscellaneous Civil Proceedings and Civil Remedies, Chapter 2. Change of Name, Sec.5.

Other Name Change References:

Minor:
The term “minor” means a person less than twenty-one (21) years of age. TITLE 7.1 Alcoholic Beverages, Article 1 General Provisions, Chapter 3 Definitions of General Applicability, Sec.25.