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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Fighting for Victim Privacy & Protection: When Changing Your Name is Not Enough

September 21, 2012

An Oregon attorney contacted NCVLI for assistance protecting a victim of domestic violence and stalking who, in fear of her life, is trying to change her identity.  Oregon law (and practice) are that there be public notice of the application for name change, seemingly without exception.  To fail to protect this victim and others like her places the  victim at risk of physical harm, effectively renders her name change meaningless, and works an injustice that flies in the face of sound public policy.  Consequently, NCVLI worked to provide the attorney with the best legal and public policy arguments to overcome the “public notice” requirement based on a “good cause” exception.  While the the law and practice in Oregon are seemingly entrenched, NCVLI is committed to working on this issue through litigation or legislation to ensure that the privacy and protection rights of victims are meaningful.


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