HOUSE BILL NO. 585
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 59 OF TITLE 10 OF THE DELAWARE CODE REGARDING LEGAL NAME CHANGES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend § 5901 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code by deleting said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"Section 5901. Petition for change of name.
(a) Any person who desires to change his or her name, shall present a petition, duly verified, to the Court of Common Pleas sitting in the county in which the person resides. The petition shall set forth such person's name and the name he or she desires to assume.
(b) Family Court shall have jurisdiction over a change of name as part of divorce proceedings or as part of the establishment of paternity under the Uniform Parentage Act.
(c) The common law right of any person to change his or her name is hereby abrogated as to individuals subject to the supervision of the State of Delaware Department of Correction. Such individuals may only effect a name change by petitioning the Court of Common Pleas as follows:
(1) Individuals subject to the supervision of the Department of Correction shall be prohibited from adopting any names other than their legal names or otherwise effecting name changes, except as provided in this subsection.
(2) When, based upon testimony or sworn affidavits, the court finds that a petition for a name change of an individual subject to the supervision of the Department of Correction is motivated by a sincerely held religious belief. the court may grant such petition. In any case in which an individual subject to the supervision of the Department of Correction petitions the Court of Common Pleas for a change of name, the Court shall provide notice and opportunity to oppose the name change to the Department of Correction and shall permit it to submit any appropriate documentation in support of its opposition.
(3) If an individual is granted a name change pursuant to paragraph 2 of this subsection, he or she must provide all names previously held or adopted. as well as his or her legal name when signing any legal document or providing information to a law enforcement officer.
(4) The granting of any name changes pursuant to this subsection shall not restrict the Department of Correction from maintaining institutional Ides or otherwise referring to individuals by the names under which they became subject to the Department's supervision.
Approved July 10, 1996