New York Appellate Court Allows Use Of Single Name
Publisher: Empire State Legal Forms, Inc.
Editor Marc A. Rapaport, Esq., 350 Fifth Ave, Suite 4400, New York, NY 10118
Volume 4, April 18, 2008
Last month, in Matter of Cortes, 2008 NY Slip Op 28098 (March 13, 2008), the Appellate Term for the Second Department held that New York law does not preclude an individual from adopting a single name. The Court reversed a Civil Court decision which had denied petitioner’s request to change his name from “Peter Cortes” to “Zea.”
The Appellate Term emphasized that absent fraud, interference or interference with the rights of others, name change petitions should be granted. The Court held
Courts ordinarily should grant a petition by an adult unless there is a reasonable objection to the proposed change (see Civil Rights Law § 63; Matter of Washington, 216 AD2d 781 ; cf. Matter of Halligan,46 AD2d 170 , supra).
In past cases, New York courts have rejected petitions to adopt single names based on concerns that such names would generate confusion. The Appellate Term specifically rejected such concerns, holding: “There exists no authority to support the opinion that the use of a single name will create confusion, disrupt official and business records or wreak havoc in the credit industries.”