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Name Change: Restoring Civil Rights

When a party files a petition for change of name, that party must swear under oath that his or her civil rights have never been suspended or, if civil rights have been suspended, they have subsequently been restored.  This requirement is found in Section 68.07, Florida Statutes.

When are civil rights suspended?  In general terms, civil rights are suspended when a person is convicted of a felony.  Those lost rights include the right to vote, hold public office, or serve on a jury.

Florida, like most states, provides for a process of restoration of those rights.  The person must apply to the Office of Executive Clemency.  In determining whether to grant a restoration, the Executive Clemency Board will consider, among other things, the following:

  • The nature of the offense;
  • Whether the applicant has any history of mental instability, drug or alcohol abuse; Read more

Pope Benedict XVI Calls for Christian Names

Pope Benedict XVI Calls for Christian Names (Photo from EPA via The Daily Telegraph)

As celebrities have gotten much attention for giving their children names such as Apple, Brooklyn, and Princess, Pope Benedict XVI called for parents to give their children traditional Christian names, The Daily Telegraph reports.

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Name Change Statute (Section 68.07, Florida Statutes)

Change of name.—

(1)Chancery courts have jurisdiction to change the name of any person residing in this state on petition of the person filed in the county in which he or she resides.

(2)

(a)Before the court hearing on a petition for a name change, the petitioner must have fingerprints submitted for a state and national criminal history records check, except if a former name is being restored. Fingerprints for the petitioner shall be taken in a manner approved by the Department of Law Enforcement and shall be submitted electronically to the department for state processing for a criminal history records check. The department shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for national processing. The department shall submit the results of the state and national records check to the clerk of the court. The court shall consider the results in reviewing the information contained in the petition and evaluating whether to grant the petition.

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