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New Law Expands Protections for Domestic Violence Survivors
August 25, 2009

Contact: Amy Schwartz-Wallace,  (585) 454-4060

A new civil rights law will provide domestic violence survivors even greater protection and confidentiality.

For the past fifteen years, a particular provision of the New York Civil Rights law - Section 64-a  - has exempted domestic violence survivors from the requirement that legal name changes be published in a local paper, and has allowed judges to seal all court documents associated with such a change when the court found that disclosing the change would jeopardize the safety of the person requesting it.  This law has provided anonymity and refuge for thousands of domestic violence survivors across the State who are forced to legally change their names to protect themselves and ther families. 

However, although the law protected domestic violence survivors once a name change became final it did not maintain the confidentiality of name change information while the applicant’s case was pending.


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