NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A2242
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil rights law, in relation to
limiting the scope of information disclosed in a published notice of
change of name
PURPOSE OF BILL: The bill will amend the publication requirement to
protect personal safety by waiving in certain instances the information
that must be published for a name change order.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The publication exemptions, as required by
Section 64-a of the civil rights act, will be amended to include a find-
ing by the court of the following circumstances: If the court shall find
that the publication of an applicant's change of name would jeopardize
such applicant's personal safety, based on totality of the circumstances
the provisions of sections sixty-three and sixty-four of this article
requiring publication shall be waived and shall be inapplicable.
Provided, however, the court shall not deny such waiver solely on the
basis that the applicant lacks specific instances of or a personal
history of threat to personal safety.
JUSTIFICATION: By limiting and/or waiving the amount of information
required for publication purposes, this law will protect petitioner's
personal safety. This legislation will follow-up on the Matter of E.P.L.
2009 NY Slip Op 29451
26 Misc 3d 336, which ruled that, "the petition-
er requests that notice of the order granting his name change not be
published in a newspaper in this county or maintained as a court record
accessible to the public. Civil Rights Law § 64-a,authorizes waiver of
publication and sealing of the court record upon a finding that publica-
tion of a name change would jeopardize the safety of the person whose
name is changed." Under the court ruling and this bill those seeking to
have the publication of a name change waived, will have such waiver
granted based on a showing that such publication, under a totality of
the circumstances, may jeopardize petitioner's personal safety without
the necessity of showing actual past or historical abuse or violence
against the particular petitioner.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A9409 of 2014: passed the Assembly
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
January 15, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. BRONSON -- read once and referred to the Commit-
tee on Judiciary
AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to limiting the scope
of information disclosed in a published notice of change of name
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 64-a of the civil rights law, as amended by chap-
2 ter 83 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
3 § 64-a. Exemption from publication requirements. 1. If the court shall
4 find that the publication of an applicant's change of name would jeop-
5 ardize such applicant's personal safety, based on totality of the
6 circumstances the provisions of sections sixty-three and sixty-four of
7 this article requiring publication shall be waived and shall be inappli-
8 cable. Provided, however, the court shall not deny such waiver soley on
9 the basis that the applicant lacks specific instances of or a personal
10 history of threat to personal safety. The court shall order the records
11 of such change of name proceeding to be sealed, to be opened only by
12 order of the court for good cause shown or at the request of the appli-
14 2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, pending such a finding
15 in subdivision one of this section where an applicant seeks relief under
16 this section, the court shall immediately order the applicant's current
17 name, proposed new name, residential and business addresses, telephone
18 numbers, and any other information contained in any pleadings or papers
19 submitted to the court to be safeguarded and sealed in order to prevent
20 their inadvertent or unauthorized use or disclosure while the matter is
22 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.