The state is taking a hard look at the legal name change process in the wake of an ongoing immigration dispute with the United States.
According to the Alabama Law Journal, the state is considering requiring a court to approve the change of legal name before it can be implemented.
In a recent ruling, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that a U.S. citizen could not be forced to change their name in order to enter the state legally.
The decision stemmed from a 2015 lawsuit by a man named Jason Riggins who was deported back to the United Kingdom.
According the Alabama law, a person may change their legal name after being sentenced to a term of incarceration, after being released from prison, or after being ordered to pay child support.
The case centered on a lawsuit filed in 2013 by a woman named Tanya J. Williams who was convicted in Texas of child support arrearages and was deported to the U.K. in 2016.
In an October 2017 ruling, Alabama Supreme Judge Joseph J. Jones III ruled that Williams could not change her legal name to avoid deportation.
However, a separate case involving a man, who is also an Alabama resident, also led to a change of name request.
The case, which involved a man who is still in the U, involved a woman who also is an Alabama citizen and who was arrested for drug possession in Alabama.
According in the ruling, if the Alabama Legislature changes the name of the defendant to someone other than the defendant’s actual legal name, the defendant must also change their physical appearance to the legal person’s appearance.
This ruling could mean that the state could be looking at changing the legal names of thousands of people in the next few years, the law journal reported.
The Alabama attorney general’s office has said that the changes could take several years to be implemented and that the process would be done by a judge.
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