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Proposal to protect survivors of abuse sent to Governor

6/28/2018, 4:33 p.m.
A measure backed by state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, that would allow survivors of abuse to change their name without ...
State Rep. Natalie Manley

A measure backed by state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, that would allow survivors of abuse to change their name without public notice has been sent to the governor for approval following passage by the General Assembly.

“Survivors who fear their safety and are trying to change their name to protect themselves, and possibly their family, should not have their intentions posted publically for all to see,” Manley said. “It is too easy right now for an abuser to look at a newspaper and to track down someone they may hurt.”

Under current law, individuals who wish to change their name are required to publish in a newspaper their intention for a period of three consecutive weeks. This publication requirement is intended to prevent individuals from changing their name for fraudulent purposes to avoid creditors.

Exceptions to the newspaper notice requirement are made for the protection of witnesses involved in a criminal investigation and for children when both parents agree to the name change. If signed into law, the Manley-backed Senate Bill 2330 would allow for residents who are survivors of domestic violence, stalking and criminal conduct to also be exempt from the public notice requirement. The proposal also allows for survivors to omit personal address information from court documents for safety purposes.