Dealing With a Serial Name Changer TN Office of Vital Records

Dealing With a
Serial Name
Changer TN
Office of Vital
Ramona Lainhart, PhD
Associate Director
Tennessee Department of Health
Division of Policy Planning and
Background History
1. Dates, Background History
a. Dates, number of changes, &
jurisdictions where they occurred
b. Progression of changes
1. VR takes notice & the “sniff” test
a. How and when it was brought to my
i. Quantity of certificates
purchased each time
b. The Stall
c. Investigation by Registrar
i. Findings
ii. Actions taken
1. Consultation w/TDH Office
of General Counsel
2. TDH AG’s office
a. Further investigation &
3. Motion to intervene
a. outcome
1. Lessons Learned
a. How did it happen – Why was it allowed to happen?
i. Local Judicial system: oversight or just not paying attention?
b. What measures VR has put into place.
i. All requests for name changes/corrections are reviewed by
State Registrar
1. Query system – previous history?
a. Consultation with OGC
b. Contact court of jurisdiction as needed
ii. System alerts/flags implemented
iii.Do not issue without Registrar’s or OCG approval
BACKGROUND HISTORY – Subject born 6/1982 as R.C.A.
Judge & County
COMMENTS from Court
R.K – probate Davidson
Volodymyr Aleksandrovych Luhchenko
R.K – probate Davidson
Vladimir Aleksandrovich Lushchenkov
R.K – probate Davidson
Volodymyr Olenksandrovych Lushchenko
No felony, no intent of fraud
R.K – probate Davidson
Vladimir Alekseyevich Lushnikov
Side note for Judge: reason for petition. petitioner has encountered
numerous social obstacles since modifying name to current spelling,
including but not limited to simple daily irritations such as virtually no
one being able to pronounce the spelling properly to more complex
obstacles such as spelling contains too many characters to even fit
onto driver license name space and so forth. It is undoubtedly within
the reasonable best interest of petitioner to shorten, simplify and
adopt a more Anglophone-friendly spelling of this name.
“no felony, no intent of fraud”
R.K – probate, Davidson county
Khushal Khan Nurzai
Not being made for fraudulent , illegal or improper purposes
C.K.S. –Chancery, Wilson county
Usama Khan Swati
Not being made for fraudulent , illegal or improper purposes
C.K.S. –Chancery, Wilson county
Saifullah Khan Kharoti
Not being made for fraudulent , illegal or improper purposes
C.K.S. –Chancery, Wilson county
Saifullah Khan Mehsud
Not being made for fraudulent , illegal or improper purposes
T.E. Chancery, Williamson County
Zahir Gul Samadi
Maury County
Denied – also charged with aggravated perjury and arrested. OHS agent in
court and produced evidence that petitioner was lying. Petitioner was
ordered to receive psych evaluation within 30 days and told not to change
his name again.
E.H.L. Chancery, Davidson County
Saifullah Khan Mehsud – Denied by State Registrar
State Registrar began investigation
RK – probate; Davidson
Return to birth name R.C.A.
State Registrar processed this request
7/24/13 – staff brought to my attention; discussed and I decided we would stall him to give us time to
consult Office of General Counsel. I went out and spoke to him [personal observation: spooky, set
off my internal alarms, avoided looking directly at me]. I informed him that our system was currently
down (it actually was) and it would be about 4 weeks before we could process this court ordered
name change. He became insistent that he needed it for a job. I apologized and said he could call
us in 2 weeks to check on progress.
Consulted general counsel who began to investigate the documentation we provided. Customer
called regularly, we continued to stall.
Early August 2013 – reported to TBI who came back and informed me that the Office of Homeland
Security was already investigating (refers back to attempt to change name in Maury county 7/12/13)
9/3/13: Customer called me directly to inquire the status of his request. I told him we would not grant
and the reasons (as listed in the letter below). He asked me if it was because it was a Muslim
name? I replied no, it is because I believe his intent was fraudulent. I informed him he would receive
a letter providing a full explanation. I sent this letter –
… “this letter is to inform you that in accordance with the laws and rules governing vital records, the
Office of Vital Records is unable to process your request for a name change at this time based
on the following.
Since 2008, you have sought to and/or changed your name eight times with a ninth change
pending. Prior to your most recent request (ordered July 24, 2013) on July 12, 2013 we
understand that an attempt to change your name in Maury County was denied. The Department
regulations and the Tennessee Code include the following provisions with respect to the
amendment of vital records.
 Rules of TN Dept. of Health Policy, Planning, and Assessment – Division of Vital
Records; Rule 1200-07-01-.10 (2) (b) Amendments: The State Registrar shall evaluate
the evidence submitted in support of any amendment and, when [s]he finds reason to
doubt its validity or adequacy, [s]he may reject the amendment and in writing shall
advise the applicant of the reason(s) for this action.
TCA 68-3-105(a)(1) & (2) Violation Enforcement Penalties; (1) the State Registrar has
the authority to investigate cases of irregularities or violations of laws personally or by an
accredited representative. (2) When the State Registrar deems it necessary, the State
Registrar shall report cases of violations of any of the provision of this chapter to the
District Attorney General, who shall immediately initiate and follow up the necessary
court proceedings against the person alleged to be responsible for the violation of law.
 TCA 68-3-203(e) Amendment of Records: … or when the State Registrar has
reasonable cause to question the validity or adequacy of the applicant’s sworn statement
or the documentary evidence… the State Registrar shall not amend the vital record and
shall advise applicant of the reason for this actions.
By the authority granted me under TCA, I am conducting an investigation based on the fact that
I believe that this name change may be for fraudulent and/or improper purposes. You will be
notified of the outcome at the completion of the investigation.
We are processing a refund…
Late August 2013,Senior Counsel for Attorney General, TN DOH brought motion to intervene and set
aside name change order.
11/8/13 – Our motion was granted! The judge, as part of this order, also ordered that a copy of the
order be forwarded to the District Attorney for Davidson County for his determination as to criminal
prosecution. NOTE: The judge who granted our motion was the same judge who granted the change
order July 24, 2013.
Conclusion: Mr. Samadi came back to us on February 13, 2014 with a court order to restore his birth
name of R.C.A. Initially, we did not make the amendment. I told customer that I would have to
investigate this and would get back to him. His mother called me on her son’s behalf to say that he
had received psychiatric inpatient treatment and that he was doing better now and only wanted his
birth name back. After consultation with AG’s Senior Counsel and our General Counsel, we complied
with the court order and restored his birth name. His record has now been flagged to alert State
Registrar before any action is taken with this record.
Lessons learned & internal QA measures taken
Staff now research all requests for name changes not related to adoption, marriage, or divorce.
Changes in excess of two are brought to the State Registrar for review before amending
Anyone purchasing more than 5 copies of long form birth certificates at any one time are
reported to the State Registrar. The State Registrar reports all such purchases by foreign born
customers to the State Department – Fraud Prevention Program.
TN is in the process of revising rules and has included a provision for prohibiting the purchase
of more than 5 long form birth certificates at any one time.
The End
Thank You
Ramona Lainhart, PhD.
Tennessee Department of Health
Division of Policy Planning and

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