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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
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In Arkansas, there are several state court cases which state

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In Arkansas, there are several state court cases which state that a common law name change is just as valid and legal and carries the same weight as a court ordered name change. There are also various Federal Court cases which state the same (Lindon v. First National Bank 10 F. 894, Coppage v. Kansas 236 U.S. 1, In re McUlta 189 F. 250, Christianson v. King County 196 F. 791, United States v. McKay 2 F.2d 25). Is there any way that I can make Arkansas accept my common law name change without having to file suit against them? If a common person such as myself ignored federal and state case law, I would face serious consequences, is the state immune from following such rules?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.

Hello there:


if 9 months have passed and you have not seen any movement in your petition, and if the petition was properly filed, the ordinary remedy would be a writ of mandamus (sometimes called a "writ of mandate"). A writ of mandamus is not an appeal--it is basically when the court did not do something that they were suppose to do. Any time that I have had to file one in a situation like this, the court usually fixes the problem immediately (as opposed to being reprimanded for not doing their job).


Let me know if I may be of further assistance. Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Would the Writ of Mandamus be filed with the original court, or with an appeal's court? I would hate to 'anger' the judge into denying the petition.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.

Hello there:


it would be filed with the appellate court. I understand what you mean about alienating the judge, but, in my experience, you can sometimes get the best results from a judge who knows that you are not playing games. It would be much less favorable for the judge to deny your petition and have it overturned on appeal.

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