In an unusual situation where a name change case went up on appeal, the Court of Appeals of Georgia, in the case of In re Serpentfoot, affirmed the denial of the appellant’s third amended petition to change her name to Ann Serpentfoot-Mooney, holding that the superior court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the appellant failed to demonstrate any appropriate reason for use of the Mooney name and that the name change would harm Burgett Mooney III, who is the publisher of the Rome News Tribune.

The appellant claimed that the newspaper refused to stop using her former name, Otwell, even though she changed it to Serpentfoot, and Burgett Mooney would not practice ‘ "The Golden Rule" ’ unless she changed her surname to his surname.

The Court also held that the appellant’s contention regarding the denial of her motion for summary judgment became moot upon trial of the case and the record belied her contention that the trial court’s factual findings differed from those in the transcript. However, the Court vacated the award of attorneys’ fees to Burgett Mooney and remanded for an evidentiary hearing on the appropriateness of the award and the reasonableness of the fees.

SOURCE: Fulton County Daily Report