LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — (Updated — May 21, 2014. Name change granted. See below.) Although the state of Virginia is reported to be one of the easiest states to get a name change, an ultra-conservative judge on the Lynchburg Circuit Court denied Julianna Fialkowski a request for a legal name change.
Judge F. Patrick Yeatts was associated with Jerry Falwell’s uber-religious Liberty University prior to getting elected to the bench by the state legislature. Although the state statute requires only demographic information from applicants for a name change, Judge Yeatts denied the request without giving a reason after initially stating the application required ‘extra scrutiny’ after inquiring about her medical history.
Fialkowski’s attorney says there isn’t anything in the state statute that asks for medical information. They’re requesting a second hearing to argue that her trans status is irrelevant to the name change request and should they fail again, they’ll appeal to the state Supreme Court
At the second hearing the judge either has to grant the name change or see his ruling get promptly overturned by the appeals court. There appears to be no law this judge is going to be able to cite to deny a name change. By throwing a bias tantrum in his courtroom, this judge is creating needless chaos for this citizen of his state.
Updated – May 21, 2014. Judge grants name change:
“A Lynchburg judge has approved a name change for a transgender woman whose application previously was denied, her lawyer said.
Julianna Tourmaline Fialkowski, 24, had sought the change in December but found out after an early January hearing from a notice mailed by Lynchburg Circuit Court Judge F. Patrick Yeatts the request had been denied. No reason was given for the denial, Fialkowski said.
An email to The News & Advance from Katie D. Fletcher, a Richmond lawyer representing Fialkowski in a second attempt to change the name, said she received a letter from Yeatts today that said Fialkowski has complied with requirements of state law and the application is approved.”
A hearing set for Friday in Circuit Court has been removed from the docket.
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