In Re Carol Boardman
Victory! The Maine Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) in June overturned a Probate Court ruling that had denied Ms. Boardman, a widow, her petition to change her married surname to that of a friend. The SJC rejected the Probate Court’s ruling that the change would create the misleading impression that the two are married and thus constitute fraud—that precludes a name change. As the Court noted, “given the variety of naming conventions in modern society, having the same last name no more indicates that a couple is married than having different last names indicates that a couple is unmarried.”
GLAD, joined by the ACLU of Maine, EqualityMaine, and Trans Youth Equality Foundation, submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in support of an appellant who was denied a legal name change. The Probate Court denied Ms. Boardman’s petition on the grounds that changing her surname to that of a friend would give the misleading impression that the two are married.
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