NAME CHANGE REQUESTS
In order to file a Petition for Name Change in Cass County, the applicant must have been a resident of Cass County for a minimum of twelve months before filing the petition. Depending on the age of the applicant, the requirements for filing are slightly different.
The process begins with filing the Petition for Name Change, form PC 51 along with MC 97a. The filing fee for this petition is $175. Pursuant to the applicable statute, if the applicant is 22 years or older, he or she must have a criminal history background check performed to determine if the name change is sought for a fraudulent reason. For the background check, it is the applicant’s responsibility to be fingerprinted at a local law enforcement agency and to pay the appropriate fee associated with the fingerprinting. The applicant will then need to mail the fingerprint cards, along with the appropriate fee, to the Michigan State Police for processing. For more information about the fingerprinting process, see the Special Instructions for Name Change handout. The results will be sent directly to the Court. A hearing will be scheduled once the Court receives the results of the background check. For an applicant that is 21 years or younger, a hearing will be scheduled when the petition and accompanying documents are filed with the Court.
For any name change request, the hearing information must be published in a Cass County paper at least fourteen days prior to the hearing date. Form PC 50 Publication of Notice of Hearing, can be used for this purpose. The applicant must arrange for the publication and pay the appropriate publication fee. An Affidavit of Publication should be provided to the Court prior to the hearing date.
A name change for a minor must be consented to by both parents, or it must be shown that the name change can be granted pursuant to MCL 711.1(5) or (7). The non-custodial parent must get notice of the hearing on the Petition to Change Name. Also, if the minor is fourteen years or older, he or she must consent to the name change. PC 51b is used for that purpose.
For specific information regarding the forms and procedures required for this type of proceeding, please visit the Michigan Legal Help website that has a specific tool-kit regarding Name Changes. For additional information specific to Cass County filings, please see the Name Change Instructions handout.