Once the District Attorney has filed their answer regarding the individual’s name change petition, the judge assigned to the case will make their final decision.
This is usually the end of your petition process. However, at the time you present your completed name change form to the Clerk of Court ask the clerk if a hearing is necessary for you. Though it is unlikely, a judge can decide to hold a hearing to discuss your reason for a name change. Most judges will grant a name change, based on this paperwork and without a meeting, so long as they are convinced that the petitioner is not trying to evade debts or the police or commit fraud. If a hearing is necessary the clerk will provide you with a date and time that your hearing will take place. This hearing can take place in court or in the judge’s chambers. (In rare cases, judges have required a petitioner to prove that they have undergone medical procedures that show an intention to live permanently in the gender associated with the name desired.)