This week Kansas Legal Services released their pro se guide to Kansas minor name changes.

In this context, pro se means that one doesn't need to get a lawyer for the process. This distinction is important as many applicants, particularly transgender youth, contacted the ACLU of Kansas complaining that county clerks refused to accept their pro se name change applications.

This guide comes almost three months after  the ACLU of Kansas sent a letter to Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Marla Luckert urging her to provide further instructions for clerks and judges so more families aren’t turned away erroneously.

In our letter, we assert three main points:

  • Minors do not need legal representation to petition for a name change.
  • Petitions may be granted with a minor’s parents’ approval.
  • Clerks may not deny transgender youth and their families the opportunity to file a name change petition if their filing satisfies basic statutory requirements.

Our letter concludes, “In short, nothing in Kansas law would allow a court or its clerks to deny pro se transgender petitioners, either juvenile or adult, the opportunity to change their name.”

Kansas Legal Services has released this pro se guide, which you can access here. You can also access their Know Your Rights Q&A section on name changes for minors here.

If you are interested in free legal support for your name change, you can contact Kansas Legal Services at 1-800-723-6953 or apply for help here or the Douglas County Legal Aid Society at 785-864-5564.

If someone is preventing you from filing a name change, or you think you are being discriminated against in the name change process, you can contact the ACLU of Kansas using our legal form or through email at [email protected].