I have been planning on purusing a court order as a per se petitioner, but the more I read, the more confusing it becomes. Has anyone had experience with hiring an attorney and how much it would cost?
My case would have three parts. The first is to order the NYS Dept of Health to release my step-grandmother's birth certificate. That is not so difficult as I can do this through my local Suprme Court as they do have an Attorney General's Office (that would represent the NYS Dept. of Health) in my County. The second part would be to amend about 15 documents issued by the NYS Dept of Health, as well as the NYC Dept of Health. AS JJ313 wrote in regard to venue, I would probably have to request the NYC records be amended through the NY County Supreme Court..I live about a 100 miles away from the city. The third part would be a Declaratory Judgment that I can do at my local Supreme Court. I am pretty much winging it on writing up the Notice of Petition, Verified Petition, Order, etc so I'm not sure if I am even doing it right. I was having a lawyer friend review it, but she now tells me it may be several months as they are backlogged with lots of cases and my Consulate appt. is for July.
The other issues is in regard to serving the defendants with papers initiating court action. Does anyone know if this has to be done in person or can it be done through the mail?
I think I am at the point of giving up as part of the problem is that for a pro se, while their are court offices to help, even they seem not to have a full understanding on how to proceed, so it is more frustrating for someone without legal experience as myself. The only other option was to hire attorney, but not sure how much it could cost. Anyone have an idea?
The way you describe your case it sounds like you have 3 different actions that will likely require 4 separate cases. The filing fee for an index number is $210.
Your first action to release your step GM's BC. Why do you need this document? Is it in your direct line?
Amending records - what amendments do you have to make? Focus on the direct line. NYC will amend documents without a court order. If you have to get a court order it is likely that these actions would have to be separate as they do not pertain to the same cause of action.
Declaratory judgment - you don't mention why but it sounds like you are trying to declare someone as one in the same. Depending on the nature of the changes that you need to make you may be able to consolidate these into one action.
If you have already posted these details before just point me in that direction.
As for service you can serve by mail in NY, although personal service is the first option.
The cost of an attorney will be dependent on the number of actions (potentially 4) and the details associated with those actions (number of appearances, meetings, calls, etc.) I would say at least $1,500.
Hi, The reason I would ask the state for my step grandmother's birth certificate is because I will be going through the NYC consulate and know how demanding they can be, even though the step grandmother is not a blood relative and she was only married to my grandfather a few years before his death.
For the amending of records...it seems it is every document (birth, death, marriage) of myself, parents and grandparents and then the American documents for my great grandparents that need correction. Either names are spelled wrong or dates are wrong. I have gone to the NYC Dept of Health in person and unlike what I have read from other posters on this board, I didn't have any luck with them. Even though I had certified copies of documents to prove how names should be spelled or to prove ages, the clerk wouldnt budge. I was hoping to do this part all as one action since it deals with Amending Vital Records, even though some of the records are with the NYS Dept of Health, NYC Dept of Health and the NYC Marriage License Dept.
For the Declaratory Judgment, I want the Judge to sign off on the fact that there are documents that can not be amended (Alien Registration Card, Ship Manifests, Census records, Municipal Archive records) and they too have errors, but they are my direct relatives.
I think the issue that bothers me the most is venue (and I was concerned about serving the petition, but am relieved to know mailing is an option.). If I can do this court case in my home county (which is not NYC), I do not think I would have any problems if their are slight errors in my petition as the Judges and law clerks know me (not in a bad way, ) but if I would go before a NYC Judge as a per se, I would think they would be less patient with any errors in my petition, as well as the fact that since there are so many documents to be amended, they will be overwhelmed by the whole thing. I am told that it I do have the wrong venue, it is up to the defendants to make a motion for a change. Thanks
I would not worry about your step GM BC, she is not in your line. What is important is your GF MC, DC and divorce if applicable from 1st marriage and his second MC.
For NYC vital records amendments you need to speak to the right person. Edna Timbers does the corrections for dual citizenship. Check to see if she is still there. Don't worry about trying to change discrepancies that are not in your direct line. Can you outline the discrepancies so we can figure out how to proceed?
You do not have to produce alien registration cards, census, ship manifests. What you need is proof of naturalization or proof of no naturalization. If your naturalization documents have errors then you need a declaratory judgement of one and the same. For municipal archives see Kenneth Cobb. He will give you a letter stating that the records can't be changed and what the correct information should be. This sometimes works depending on the discrepancy. If not, some people have had success making amendments on archive documents through vital records.
Before going to court I would exhaust these possibilities.
When I had gone to the Municipal Archives last Spring, I was able to get letters, but they basically read that they understand there are errors, but they are unable to amend documents. While I did ask for Ken Cobb, he was out that day, so they had the Director, Leonora Gidlund sign the letters. There are 4 documents in their possession. At this point, I guess it would not hurt to make a return trip and try to get a more detailed letter from Mr. Cobb (although it seems the staff is reluctant to allow the public access to him.)
I then have 2 documents with the Dept of Health and 1 with the Marriage License Bureau. My father’s birth certificate list both his father and mother’s name incorrectly. The problem is that my grandfather was never issued a birth certificate and my grandmother’s birth certificate has her last name spelled incorrectly, so when I asked the Dept. to correct the errors, the clerk I dealt with was easily confused as I explained what it should be - even though I had other documents to prove how names should be spelled.
The second document is my grandmother’s death certificate that lists her name as Mary G, when it should read Mary Joseph. (I guess the G is for the Italian equivalent of Joseph). In fact the clerk was more reluctant to change her death certificate, not because I showed her the birth certificate as the middle name should be, but that she said “Joseph is a boy’s name.” Not sure what that had to do with anything, but she felt a woman shouldn’t have been named Joseph.
I should ask if I can speak with Edna Timbers as maybe she will be more understanding.
And then the third document is with the Marriage License Bureau for my father’s second marriage (his first wife, my grandmother, had passed away previously). His name, his parent’s names and his first wife’s name are all spelled incorrectly.
The reason I would need a Declaratory Judgment is because my great grandfather was never naturalized, so there are no naturalization documents…only an Alien Registration card and there are errors on the document. The reason I was including the census records and ship manifests is to show the years my GGP came to America and that they resided in NYC the entire time and were aliens. I am concerned that they will see that my GF was born in Vermont during a visit with family (as I have his baptism certificate, marriage certificate and social security application that shows the city in Vermont) and the Consulate may think that is where they resided as well and require a naturalization search from the courts in Vermont. Well, just to be safe, I contacted the courts and the State Archives in Vermont to have them do naturalization searches and they are totally clueless, and said they can not produce any letter saying they do not find a record because maybe, just maybe, there is a record hiding someplace that they just can‘t find. So, it is just easier to include all these documents in my Declaratory Judgment showing the errors and what they should be.
Thanks for all your help JJ. You are actually more helpful than the Chief Clerks and Special Term office clerks at the Supreme Courthouse in my County who obviously gave me wrong direction in regard to venue and also not giving me all the information on the forms I needed to add to my petition (a Verification form, a 130 Certification form, Application for Index Number). I only realized I needed these documents after doing more research on my own. If I can take care of the NYC documents without going to court in the city that would be a big relief as I can then do the Declaratory Judgment in the courthouse in my County, which would be easier.
Has anyone gone through this in Connecticut? I tried to get a letter from the Waterbury courts, but hit a dead end pretty early on. I'm not sure what to do next - our appointment is in NYC in June and I'd rather get moving on it beforehand if I can figure out how to do it! Thanks!
I am not sure why you would need to correct 4 documents at the municipal archives. I would expect your GGP MC and your GGF DC. No need to amend your GGM's documents. NY wants a clear path in the direct line, no spelling errors and no Anglicization of first names, DOBs should match. What does the DC say about citizenship. If it says US and you have no naturalization you need to amend that.
If your GF does not have a BC from Vermont make sure you have a no record letter from their vital records. Was he baptized in NY or Vermont? Don't worry about your GM BC or DC.
I would not amend your father's second marriage info. You should have the documents but they don't affect your bloodline.
You will have to amend your father's BC.
In order to prove no naturalization you need a no record from USCIS, NARA and the county court. NY requires that you have certified copies of the census as well. You do not have to get a declaratory judgement to try and correct spelling errors in the census. If you have done the correct naturalization searches you will be okay. You do not have to provide all those other documents. Keep them on hand in case they are needed.
I don't understand the response from the court in VT. If you asked them to find X and they can't, why can't they say we searched for X and couldn't find it?
I've posted about it in the past - we have a discrepancy in the spelling of a last name - at some point in the 20s GGF began to spell it Clapps instead of Claps. All documents are from Waterbury, CT and I haven't been able to get any court there to do a letter.
I am running into the same issue with Philly. Had my interview in Jan 2013. All went well except my father's BC. He was given an italian name. However his name on my BC is americanized as is all his other docs(MC,DC,etc..) Philly wants a court order to state he is one and the same person. I filed a petition(pro se) in Dauphin County Court in PA and it was rejected and they are requesting a new petition to change my deceased father's name. The law clerk stated that they are not familar with this request and have no precedent. My question is can I file my petition in NY(where my daughter lives) or in Philly even though my father's documents are from Dauphin County? These juristiction are probably more familar with this type of relief. Does it matter what judge declares the relief? This is our only hold up.