Los Angeles County
There is now a down side for filing for a change of name in downtown Los Angeles (Stanley Mosk) as opposed to filing in the cognizant branch court house. The down side is that the court will not hear your petition for a name change for approximately one year; – and the time period is getting longer and longer with every filing. However the up side is still there. An attorney can represent you without the need for you to appear and as often as not the attorney does not need to appear either.
If you need a name change processed more quickly, (approximately ten weeks on average) then your name change should be filed in the cognizant local court house. The down side to this is that you will probably have to appear at the hearing and I will charge more to represent you depending on which courthouse you need to file in.
Name changes have moved from the Lamoreaux Justice Center in Orange to the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana. Additionally, name changes are now handled by the Civil Division rather than the Probate Division. Also, the last time I was in Orange County for a name change; name changes without objections were handled in the clerks office rather than in the court room. The client does not need to appear with me at the window, but if the court questions the change then an appearance by the client that day or on a continued date may still be necessary. So far the court has not had questions about the name changes submitted. The time frame is still the same (approximately 10 weeks). For more information see the Name Change Page.