Ending Name-Change Publication Requirement Protects Domestic Violence Survivors

HB 204 Passes House Health Committee Unanimously

The House Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed HB 204, a bill to end the outdated requirement for people legally changing their names to have the change published twice in local newspapers. The bill, which eliminates the publication requirement for any New Mexican seeking a name change, was initially created to protect domestic violence survivors.

“For someone escaping an abusive relationship, a legal name change can provide an opportunity to start over,” Armstrong said, “but if the name change must be published in the local newspaper in order to be approved, there is no privacy in the process and victims can continue to be harassed by their abusers. This simple change is a common-sense way to help domestic violence survivors to move forward.”

HB 204 repeals the publication requirement and allows for further privacy for minors if involving their parents in the name-change process would jeopardize the child’s safety.

“In New Mexico, we value personal privacy and we respect the right of every citizen to live their life free from abuse,” Armstrong said. “Simplifying and protecting the highly personal process of changing your name is the right thing to do for all New Mexicans.”

HB 204 will now head to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.

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About Rep. Armstrong: Debbie, Chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, is a long-time health care advocate serving her second term in the New Mexico House of Representatives. Having started her career as a physical therapist, she has worked extensively as a health care administrator, working 10 years with Presbyterian Medical Services in Santa Fe. Prior to serving as Secretary of New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Terms Services Department, she oversaw the department’s Consumer and Elder Rights Division. Debbie is the mother of three adult children and became a grandmother last year. She lives in Albuquerque’s North Valley.  Follow her on Twitter @NMRepArmstrong and on Facebook, and sign up for email and text updates.

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published this page in Latest News 2021-02-17 16:34:45 -0700

Paid for by Debbie Armstrong for New Mexico, Jill Riester, Treasurer

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