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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990


CHAPTER C-8

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR CHANGE OF NAME

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Common law

4. Eligibility

5. Consent

6. Consent of person

7. Consequential

8. Widowed individual and children

9. Divorced individual and children

10. Child of unmarried parents

11. Child under guardianship

12. Consent dispensed with

13. Consent of mentally incompetent

14. Publication of notice of application

15. Requirements

16. Right to have registration

17. Vital Statistics records amended

18. Issue of certificate of change of name

19. Publication of change of name

20. Change in other jurisdictions

21. Change

22. Court order to settle doubts

23. Annulment of change

24. Offences

25. Conclusiveness

26. Regulations


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Change of Name Act.

1978 c57 s1

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Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "change" means a change by way of alteration, substitution, addition or abandonment;

(b) "child" means a natural person under 19 years of age and includes an adopted child;

(c) "individual" means a natural person of at least 19 years of age;

(d) "minister" means the Minister of Justice;

(e) "name" includes surname and given name; and

(f) "registrar general" means the chief officer appointed to carry out the Vital Statistics Act.

1978 c57 s2

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Common law

3. (1) An individual may change a surname without recourse to this Act in a manner acceptable to the common law.

(2) The following rules apply in respect of a change of name without recourse to this Act:

(a) one may as a result of marriage adopt the surname of one's spouse or a combination of each spouse's surname;

(b) one may during or after a marriage revert to one's own surname or a previously acquired surname; or

(c) one may adopt as one's own the surname of a step-parent or foster parent if previously known by that surname during childhood.

1978 c57 s3

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Eligibility

4. An individual who is resident in the province may make an application under this Act for a change of that individual's name.

1978 c57 s4; 1988 c39 s3

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Consent

5. An individual may apply under this Act to change the name of

(a) a spouse of the individual; or

(b) the children of both the individual and the spouse of that individual,

only with the consent of the spouse.

1978 c57 s5

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Consent of person

6. (1) The name of a person who is 12 years of age or over may be changed under this Act only with the consent of that person.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a judge of the Provincial Court or Unified Family Court, may on application dispense with the consent of a person where in the opinion of the judge it is in the best interests of that person to do so.

1981 c28 s1; 1988 c54 s5

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Consequential

7. A married individual who applies for a change of surname shall also apply for the same change of the surname of

(a) the spouse of the married individual; and

(b) each child of both the married individual and the spouse of that individual.

1978 c57 s7

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Widowed individual and children

8. (1) A widowed individual may apply to change a given name of a child of the widowed individual if that child is a child also of the deceased spouse of the widowed individual.

(2) A widowed individual who applies for a change of surname shall also apply for a change of the surname of each child of the widowed individual who is also a child of the deceased spouse of the widowed individual.

(3) A widowed individual who remarries may apply to change the surname of a child of the widowed individual who is also the child of the deceased spouse to the surname of the spouse who the individual remarried if that spouse consents.

1978 c57 s8

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Divorced individual and children

9. (1) An individual whose marriage has been dissolved and who has lawful custody of a child of the dissolved marriage may, with the consent of the other parent of the child, apply to change the name of the child.

(2) Where an individual whose marriage has been dissolved and who has lawful custody of a child of the dissolved marriage remarries, that individual may apply to change the surname of a child of the dissolved marriage to the surname of the spouse who the individual remarried.

(3) The consent of both the former and the intended spouse is required under subsection (2).

1978 c57 s9

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Child of unmarried parents

10. (1) Where the parents of a child have never married the parent with lawful custody of a child may apply to change

(a) the given name of that child;

(b) the surname of that child

(i) to the surname of that parent at the time of the application, or

(ii) where the parent is applying to change his or her own surname, to that proposed surname.

(2) Where the parent of a child marries, the parent may apply to change the surname of the child to the surname of the spouse but only with the consent of that spouse.

(3) The parent of a child who is not married to but is cohabiting with an individual as a spouse may apply to change the surname of the child to the surname of that individual but only with the consent of that individual.

(4) The mother of a child may not apply to change the surname of her child to the surname of the putative father of the child unless

(a) he has been declared by the court to be the father of the child; or

(b) he has acknowledged during his lifetime that he was the father of the child.

1978 c57 10; 1988 c61 s84

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Child under guardianship

11. (1) Where a person other than a parent is a guardian of a child jointly with 1 of the parents,

(a) the guardian may apply, with the consent of that parent; or

(b) that parent may apply, with the consent of the guardian,

to change the name of the child.

(2) Where neither of the parents of a child is a guardian of the child

(a) the guardian; or

(b) if 2 guardians have been appointed, 1 guardian with the consent of the other guardian,

may apply to change the name of the child.

(3) A parent who has been deprived of the guardianship of a child

(a) may not apply to change the child's name; and

(b) is not required to consent to an application to change the child's name.

1978 c57 s11

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Consent dispensed with

12. (1) Where, on an application to change a surname, this Act requires that application also be made to change the surname of some other person, then, where

(a) this Act requires the consent of the other person to the change of the other individual's surname; and

(b) the applicant is unable to obtain the consent of the other individual,

the minister may authorize the application to be made with that other individual's name excluded from the application, in which case that individual's consent is not required and that individual's surname is not changed.

(2) Where the surname of a child is excluded from an application by an order under subsection (1) and the child later consents to the change in surname, a parent of the child may apply to change the surname of the child.

(3) Where, on an application to change a name of a child, the consent of some other individual is required under section 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11 and the applicant is unable to obtain the consent of the other individual, a judge of the Provincial Court or Unified Family Court, having regard to the best interests of the child, may dispense with the consent of the other individual to the change of name.

1978 c57 s12; 1990 c62 s4

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Consent of mentally incompetent

13. (1) Where an individual whose consent is required to an application under this Act is a mentally incompetent individual

(a) the Registrar of the Supreme Court, if acting as the committee of the estate of the mentally incompetent individual; or

(b) another committee appointed in respect of the person or estate of the mentally incompetent individual,

may consent to the application on behalf of the mentally incompetent individual.

(2) For the purpose of this section "a mentally incompetent individual" means an individual who is unable to perform his or her duties efficiently owing to an incapacity which is medically certified to the satisfaction of the minister as likely to be permanent.

1978 c57 s13

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Publication of notice of application

14. (1) An applicant for a change of a surname shall publish in 1 issue of the Gazette a notice in the prescribed form of the application stating the name of and proposed name of every individual whose surname may be changed as a result of the application.

(2) The notice required under subsection (1) shall be published not more than 2 months before the date of receipt of the application by the minister.

(3) The minister may by order dispense with the necessity of publishing notice of the application as required by subsection (1) where, in his or her opinion,

(a) the applicant would be unduly prejudiced or embarrassed by the publication;

(b) the change of surname applied for is of a minor character; or

(c) the applicant has been commonly known under the surname applied for.

1978 c57 s14

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Requirements

15. (1) To be valid an application for a change of name under this Act must be filed with the minister and must be in the prescribed form.

(2) An applicant shall file with an application

(a) where the application includes an application for change of surname, a clipping of the notice as published under subsection 14(1) or a copy of an order made under subsection 14(3);

(b) an affidavit of good faith in the prescribed form;

(c) the consent in the prescribed form of a person whose consent is necessary under this Act and a copy of an order made under section 12;

(d) the certificate of birth of the applicant and the certificate of birth of a person whose name may be changed as a result of the application or, if that is not available, other documentary proof of name or identity that is acceptable to the minister; and

(e) further documentary evidence of information that may be required by the minister.

(3) An application under section 9 must be accompanied by the proof that may be required of the dissolution of the marriage and proof that the applicant has lawful custody of the child named in the application.

1978 c57 s15

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Right to have registration

16. (1) Where an applicant has complied with all the requirements of this Act and paid the prescribed fee, the applicant is entitled to have the change of name registered by the minister by the issuing of a certificate in the prescribed form.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the minister may refuse registration of a proposed change of name where, in the minister's opinion, the proposed name is one that could be used to defraud or mislead the public.

(3) Where the minister refuses to register a proposed change of name under subsection (2), the applicant may, within 30 days after receipt of notification of the refusal, appeal to a judge of the Trial Division by originating application and the applicant shall serve notice of the appeal on the minister not less than 5 days before the hearing.

(4) A certificate of change of name issued under subsection (1) takes effect immediately on the beginning of the day it is issued.

(5) Registration under this Act effects, for all purposes, a change of name according to the tenor of the application.

(6) Where a change of name has been effected under this Act, the certificate shall be kept in the custody of the minister as part of the records of the office.

1978 c57 s16

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Vital Statistics records amended

17. (1) The minister shall, immediately upon registering a change of name under section 16, forward to the registrar general a copy of a certificate of the change of name.

(2) The registrar general shall upon receipt of the certificate forwarded under subsection (1), amend the records in conformity with that certificate and may make no charge for the amendments.

1978 c57 s17

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Issue of certificate of change of name

18. (1) Upon registration of a change of name, a duplicate of the certificate issued shall be delivered to the applicant.

(2) Upon payment by an individual of the prescribed fee, a duplicate or certified copy of a certificate of change of name made under this Act shall be delivered to that individual.

1978 c57 s18

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Publication of change of name

19. The minister shall immediately publish a notice of the issuing of a certificate issued under section 16 in the Gazette, except where publication of notice of the application was dispensed with by an order under section 14.

1978 c57 s19

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Change in other jurisdictions

20. Without restricting the effect that a change of name has by law, an individual

(a) whose birth or marriage is registered in the province; and

(b) whose name has been changed, while resident elsewhere than in the province, in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the individual was resident,

is entitled, upon production of satisfactory proof of the change of name and of the identity of the individual, to have the new name substituted instead of the former name in the records kept and certificates issued under the Vital Statistics Act.

1978 c57 s20

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Change

21. (1) Without restricting the effect that a change of name has by law, an individual whose name has been changed in accordance with this or another Act is entitled to have the new name substituted instead of a former name in a document upon

(a) production of a duplicate or certified copy of the certificate issued under this Act or another Act;

(b) satisfactory proof of identity; and

(c) payment of the fees that may be prescribed.

(2) Without restricting the effect that a change of name has by law, an individual referred to in section 20 is entitled to have the new name substituted instead of a former name in a document upon

(a) the production of a certificate from the minister certifying the change of name;

(b) satisfactory proof of identity; and

(c) payment of the fees, that may be prescribed.

(3) The substitution of a new name in a document under subsection (1) or (2) may be made by the person in charge of issuing, maintaining or keeping that type of document, who shall also enter on the document a certificate that the substitution was made under this section.

(4) For the purpose of this section "document" includes every record, certificate, instrument, contract or other document whether or not it is or is not of the same kind as those previously mentioned and whether it is public or private.

(5) An individual entitled to the substitution in a document of a new name instead of a former one under subsection (1) or (2) is entitled to have all references to the former name removed from the document.

1978 c57 s21

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Court order to settle doubts

22. Where, in the application of section 20 or 21, a question arises concerning the existence of a compliance with the facts or matters required or contained in these sections, on the application of the individual seeking substitution of a new name instead of a former name, the Trial Division may make an order

(a) declaring that the individual has complied with all the requirements of that section; and

(b) directing the registrar general or other person to alter his or her records, certificates or other documents in conformity with that section.

1978 c57 s22

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Annulment of change

23. (1) The minister may, where satisfied that a change of name has been obtained by fraud, duress or misrepresentation, annul the change of name by order, effective from a date named in the order.

(2) A marginal notation of the annulling order shall be made on the certificate of change of name kept in the office of the minister.

(3) Notice of the annulment shall be immediately published in the Gazette.

(4) The minister shall without charge make alterations in his or her records that are necessary because of the annulling order, and shall order the registrar general to do the same.

(5) Where the minister annuls a change of name, the minister may by order require an individual to whom a duplicate or a certified copy of the certificate of change of name has been issued to deliver it up immediately to him or her.

1978 c57 s23

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Offences

24. (1) An individual who refuses or neglects to comply with an order issued under subsection 23(5) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $100 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 30 days, or to both a fine and imprisonment.

(2) An individual who by fraud or misrepresentation obtains a change of name under this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $500 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 90 days, or to both a fine and imprisonment.

1978 c57 s24

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Conclusiveness

25. A certificate, a duplicate certificate or a certified copy of a certificate of change of name issued under this Act or another Act, is for all purposes conclusive proof of its contents and it is not necessary to prove the signature or official position of the person by whom the certificate, duplicate certificate or certified copy purports to be signed.

1978 c57 s25

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Regulations

26. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing the fees payable upon an application and upon a certificate or other matter required or permitted to be given or done under this Act;

(b) prescribing the forms and contents of applications for change of name, affidavits, certificates, notices of application, consents to the application and other forms and the contents of them, for the purpose of this Act;

(c) generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.

1978 c57 s26

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