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I've previously had my name changed in a district court in the state of Utah. The case was filed as an adult name change and the case itself was order sealed by the judge who heard it. All of my identification has been changed to reflect this fact, and copies of the court order to seal were provided to the issuing agencies as well.

I'm applying to the Division of Occupational Licences to get practice a regulated profession in the state of Utah. Part of the application asks 'all previous legal names.' Am I required to disclose my old name here despite the fact that the case was sealed? The statutes governing name changes in Utah do not provide any guidance for this situation.

As an admittedly rough comparison, the application also calls to disclose old criminal records unless they have been expunged. (Which, so far as I understand it, is the practical equivalent in the State of Utah) This despite that the governing statute, the Utah Expungement Act, states that DoPL may access expunged records upon request.

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Was the case Sealed? Or is it considered to be Private? Those are two different cases.

I was not able to find any laws regarding sealing, or expunging records of Name Changes, but was able to find the Utah Law for Criminal Records. I can only assume they draw from one another.

All that being said, assuming your whatever case is sealed, then

Some records are sealed. In these kinds of cases, even information about the existence of the case is not publicly available. A person seeking access to a sealed record must petition the court for permission to unseal the records.

Rule 4-202.03 states that,

....no one may access a sealed court record except by order of the court. A judge may review a sealed record when the circumstances warrant.

From that I can assume that,

  • The records are not public.
  • The records will not show up in a routine check
  • The records will be known only if a there is a court order.

Comparing it with the Expungement Act,

Continued Use of Sealed Records After sealing, BCI continues to index and maintain all expunged records of arrests and convictions, but the records will not be released to the public. BCI will not divulge any information contained in the expunged records to any person or agency without a court order, unless authorized by statute to do so. Upon request, the following organizations may receive information contained in expunged records:

  • the Board of Pardons and Parole
  • Peace Officer Standards and Training
  • federal authorities, unless prohibited by federal law
  • the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
  • and the State Office of Education

Both cases above require a court order to get that seal record information. However, from what I gather only expunged criminal records can be access upon request by the Division of Occupational Licences.

Bottom line, it sounds like you are safe to mark is no previous name, but you may lose your license in the future if something goes south. I will recommend you to get a professional look into the word of the law and provide you with a written statement of the actual law. Another thing you can try is write to the court who sealed your case, present them the situation and explain what you have found so far, and ask for guidance.

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A sealed record is sealed in the publics eye but... I had a Federal Background check done and those records are not sealed from FBI, Law Enforcement, and Social Security. You need to report all former legal names and alias because unless you are wanted or have something to hide, those above agencies will not disclose the change to the public. My name was sealed for domestic violence and he can't GET the information. If you don't disclose and they find it your job is definitely over! Good luck!

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  • A federal check is not the same as a state bureaucracy check. Anecdotes don't help when the question is about statutory or regulatory requirements. -1. – Nij May 26 '17 at 20:02

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