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Mother should have used Admin. Rule 9 in attempt to change name anonymously

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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of a mother’s request to sidestep the notice requirements in her quest to change her name and the names of her two children anonymously because she wanted to avoid detection from her abusive partner. The appeals court noted that Administrative Rule 9 would have given her the opportunity to proceed anonymously.

Mother Jane Doe fled Missouri to Indiana in an attempt to escape horrible physical and sexual abuse from the father of her youngest child, Baby Doe. She also has another child, referred to as Mary Doe in the court record. Despite protection orders obtained against the father by Doe and the domestic violence shelter where she resided, the father was able to locate her and abduct her twice. His whereabouts are currently unknown.

In an attempt to escape the abuse and prevent the father from finding information about her, Doe petitioned to change the names of herself and her two children. She wants to sidestep I.C. 34-28-2-3, which requires all name change petitions published in a nearby newspaper, and proceed anonymously. The trial court suggested utilizing Administrative Rule 9 to admit important information into the record while still protecting their identities, but that rule was not used. As a result, the trial court denied the petition.

“Because the Appellants did not utilize the procedures outlined in Rule 9, the outcome of such proceedings is conjecture. Nevertheless, it is fairly likely that some, if not much of their evidence concerning the protective orders, domestic violence, and DCS proceedings, would have been protected from public access under Rule 9,” Judge John Baker wrote in In Re: the Name Change of Jane Doe, Petitioner, Mary Doe, a Minor, and Baby Doe, a Minor, 49A02-1211-MI-894.

“And while Mother’s desire to change her and her children’s name would have indeed proved more difficult in the absence of publication, Rule 9(H) may have provided the relief and protection that Mother so desperately seeks. To be sure, the Commentary to Rule 9(A) speaks volumes: ‘there are times when access to information may lead to, or increase the risk of, harm to individuals.’ However, that said, in light of the record with which we are presented and the current state of the law, we are compelled to uphold the trial court’s denial of the Appellants’ petition for name change,” Baker wrote.

 

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  1. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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