Tennessee Code Title 29. Remedies and Special Proceedings § 29-8-101

(a) The circuit, probate and county courts have concurrent jurisdiction to change names and to correct errors in birth certificates on the application of a resident of the county in which the application is made.

(b)(1) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, persons who have been convicted of the following offenses shall not have the right to legally change their names:

(A) First or second degree murder;  or

(B) Any offense, the commission of which requires a sexual offender to register pursuant to the Tennessee Sexual Offender and Violent Sexual Offender Registration, Verification and Tracking Act of 2004, compiled in title 40, chapter 39, part 2.

(2) If the court has reason to believe that the petition is being made to defraud or mislead, is not being made in good faith, will cause injury to an individual or to compromise public safety, then the petition shall be denied.

(3) If the person seeking to have the person's name changed has a felony conviction, other than for those offenses enumerated in subdivision (b)(1), then the petition is presumed to be made in bad faith, to defraud or mislead, to cause injury to an individual or to compromise public safety.  The name change shall not be granted unless the individual requesting the name change proves by clear and convincing evidence that the petition is not based upon an intent to defraud or mislead, is made in good faith, will not cause injury to an individual and will not compromise public safety.

(4) This subsection (b) shall not apply if the name change is the result of a lawful marriage, marital dissolution or adoption.

(c) No public funds shall be expended to change the name of any person who is an inmate in the custody of the department of correction.


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