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VIC Australian Law on Using Assumed Name on Legal Documents?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Clara Barton, 30 November 2015.

  1. Clara Barton

    Clara Barton Active Member

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    I need some information on using an assumed name for work documents and court papers. I work in mental health and psychiatric services. Occasionally patients have been stalking and threatening staff and I’ve decided to change my name for work. I want to keep my legal name for home and everyday use (paying bills, driver licence and so on) but use a more common name at work; one that can’t be traced back to where I live or to my family.

    The problem is, I need to sign legal documents at work – a statement for the police for court or applying to the court for orders are good examples. I will need to use my new assumed name on these or that defeats the point of using an assumed name if I need to sign everything with my legal name.

    So my question is, under Australian Law, can I use my work name for legal / work related documents? I don’t want a court case thrown out because my name is not accepted.

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

    (I don’t want to formally a name change because after a time my changed name will be just as traceable as my current name)
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    It is quite common for nurses (and indeed, lay healthcare people)
    to be known by one name at work and another in personal life.
    For example, many female nurses work under their birth name
    even if upon marriage, they have adopted the surname of their spouse
    for use in personal life.*

    Before you get into it, consider a few alternatives.
    1. First and foremost, be sure of the scale of the risk.
      Don't believe everything you hear in the tea room.
      Not every horror story told by old warhorse nurses is as true as you think.

    2. Apply to become a silent elector.

    3. Privacy generally

      Make sure your home phone number is unlisted (aka "silent").
      Likewise your mobile. (you may have to pay the carriers fees for this,
      and no, it's not an allowable deduction).

      Take steps to conceal your identity on Facebook etc

    4. Apply to the RMS for your address to be suppressed.

    5. Your name at work and with AHPRA will need to match.
    Talk to HR at your work about how to do two names. You won't be the first.

    Also, don't get too tangled up on the "legal documents" aspects.
    Every bit of paper you touch at work is a "legal document".


    -----------------------
    * indeed, there is no requirement to change your name upon marriage
    (but that's not the subject here...)
     
  3. Clara Barton

    Clara Barton Active Member

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    Thanks Tim, appreciated. I'll talk with HR.
     

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