In re Wayman, C.A. No. CPU4-20-003474

CourtCourt of Common Pleas of Delaware
Writing for the CourtThe Honorable Robert H. Surles
PartiesIN THE MATTER OF LA'VHEY JADIHEA WAYMAN PETITIONER, TO SAKANI LA'VHEY WAYMAN.
Decision Date02 June 2021
Docket NumberC.A. No. CPU4-20-003474

IN THE MATTER OF LA'VHEY JADIHEA WAYMAN PETITIONER,
TO
SAKANI LA'VHEY WAYMAN.

C.A. No. CPU4-20-003474

COURT OF COMMON PLEAS FOR THE STATE OF DELAWARE IN AND FOR NEW CASTLE COUNTY

Submitted: April 28, 2021
June 2, 2021


Petitioner's Date of Birth 11/01/1993

CHANGE OF NAME

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

On April 28, 2021, this Court held a hearing regarding the proposed name change of La'Vhey Jadihea Wayman (hereafter "Wayman"). At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court reserved decision. This is the Court's final Order and Opinion.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Wayman is a sentenced inmate serving a sentence for the charge of rape in the fourth degree. In March of 2020, this Court granted Wayman's first name change petition pursuant to 10 Del. C. § 5901.1 The previous petition changed Wayman's birth name to a name that better aligned with her gender identity. The previous Court order changed Wayman's name from Keith Orlando Wayman, Jr. to La'Vhey Jadihea Wayman.

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In December of 2020, Wayman filed a second petition for name change with this Court. Chief Judge Danberg denied Wayman's second petition for name change on the papers and set the matter for a hearing. The hearing in this matter was held on April 28, 2021.

FACTS

Wayman's first application for name change was motivated by Wayman's gender identity. Wayman's first name change reflected her transition in gender identity from identifying as a man to a woman. The application for Wayman's second petition for name change also states "gender identity" as the reason motivating the application. In response to Wayman's second name change petition, the State submitted a letter to the Court stating that Wayman's first name change petition also mentioned "gender identity" as the motivation behind her name change.

On April 28, 2021, this Court held a hearing on Wayman's name change petition. Wayman explained to the Court that she is seeking to change her name from La'Vhey Jadihea Wayman to Sakani La'Vhey Wayman because of the names African origin and ethnicity. Wayman explained that Sakani means "full of joy and laughter." Wayman seeks a second name change in less than one-year because the name aligns with her African origin and ethnicity. Wayman did not express any interest in transitioning back to identifying as a man. Wayman made it clear to the Court that she seeks to continue identifying as a woman and intends to continue her transition upon her release from incarceration.

THE LAW

The controlling statute in this matter is 10 Del. C. § 5901.2 For an incarcerated individual seeking to petition the Court to change their name, subsection (C) states as following.3

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(c) The common law right of any person to change his or her name is hereby
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