A California appellate court has denied a man’s request to legally change his name to NJWeedman.com.
Robert Edward Forchion Jr. has been a staunch supporter of the legalization of marijuana for years — so much so that he runs the Liberty Bell Temple in Hollywood from which he distributes what he calls the “Holy Medicine.” He also runs the website NJWeedman.com has been trying to legally change his name to match his web presence for the past 10 years.
First New Jersey said no back in 2001, and now the Second Appellate District of California has also denied Forchion’s request to change his name to NJWeedman.com, affirming the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s decision below.
The court ruled:
A statutory name change to NJweedman.com would last indefinitely. But Forchion might lose the use of his Web site by failing to make periodic registration payments or by breaching the registration agreement. In that event, the Web site name (NJweedman.com) could be registered to someone else and, at the same time, Forchion could keep his new personal name (NJweedman.com). If both parties used that name to conduct business, confusion might result. Further, even if Forchion were allowed to adopt NJweedman.com as his personal name, and he properly maintained it as the name of his Web site, the name might be so similar to another Web site name or trademark that the multiple usage would create confusion.
Moreover, the court continued, “the name change would associate Forchion‘s new personal name with the Web site‘s advice that individuals violate the law in several respects. A name change should not have that consequence.”
So if you want to change your name, do you have to worry about a court stepping in to stop you? Probably not, as in most circumstances it’s perfectly legal to change your name. A court will deny a name change petition, though, if the request is for fraudulent or deceptive purposes (evading bills) or will result in the financial loss of a third party or the commission of an illegal act.
For more reading on this subject, check out the Top 10 Reasons People Change Their Names as well as some of the craziest name changes on the books — we’re looking at you Variable, formerly known as Snaphappy Fishsuit Mokiligon.
What do you think of NJWeedman.com, er, Forchion’s name change request? Should it have been granted?