Friday, January 7, 2022
The North Dakota Supreme Court has affirmed the denial of a requested name change
Shane Lance Yates and Amy Jo Yates petitioned the district court to change their respective names from “SHANE LANCE YATES” (in all uppercase letters) to “Shane Lance Yates” and “AMY JO YATES” (in all uppercase letters) to “Amy Jo Yates.” They requested the changes to “terminate the guardian-ward relationship and to distinguish from all other aliases, correct any mistakes, errors or identity confusion that exists in relation to the ALL CAPS STATE CREATED NAME.” The district court denied the petitions under res judicata because the Petitioners had previously filed identical name change petitions, which had been denied by the court, and “[f]or the reasons set forth in the attached orders.” The attached orders included the prior orders denying the Petitioners’ identical name changes, and concluded they did not seek to change from one name to another and the requested change would not affect any action or legal proceeding or other right, title, or interest, as was the stated purpose. They requested reconsideration, arguing res judicata did not bar their petitions. The court denied the requests for reconsideration.
Because we concluded the court did not err in denying the name change petitions on the merits, we need not reach whether res judicata also barred the petitions. Thus, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the requests for reconsideration.