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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. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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