Common Law Pleading Regarding Name Changes

This body of text will instruct you on the history of common law and how to file a common law suit as mentioned in the 7th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to remedy someone depriving you of a common law name change. You must realize that most attorneys today do not use this system of law, and many local officials are not familiar with it either, but at the U.S. revolution in the late 1700s, common law pleading was what was used and in most states the ability to file a suit at common law is mentioned in the statutes (see Affirming Codes) and it is also mentioned much in both federal and state civil suits (see Affirming Cases). Depending on the state or country you are in, you’ll have to look up in your own constitution and statutes if it makes mention of it like it does in California codes.

In places like Australia where I hear they do not have a Bill of Rights it was because all of the forms of common law actions included the rights which are natural to us all. As I recall from my political history classes, there was great debate in the United States whether to even have a Bill of Rights either, for the development of the forms of action over the centuries was what guaranteed our rights.

Also, you could file a suit according to statutory/civil law to claim common law rights, but in several examples I have found, because the suits are filed using civil law, as the tribunal is a judge in such circumstances, they tend to strictly follow statutes and not common law, so the determination of such courts is not always in accordance with full common law. So, this document suggests instead to use a suit “at common law,” and tells you what that’s all about and how to do it. As said, the following document instructs you on the history of common law and how to file a suit using common law, not statutory law. At common law, following statutes is merely optional.

Common law itself is a system of law that developed over hundreds of years in England. If you live in the United States or other former British Colony, then if you do your homework, common law is probably still on the books as part of your country’s constitution or is expressed in some other manner. Most of the original colonists of such countries gloried in the common law over the civil law (sometimes called statutory law or Roman law) because the common law was something unwritten. Quite literally, it is “common sense.” There’s nothing to memorize, because there is no written laws to recount.

The Seventh Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is our safeguard and guarantees that everyone has the right to file a suit using common law and it places an additional guarantee with that right — that the right to a trial by jury shall be preserved with that right. Let us read the 7th Amendment now:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

We see it mentioned here twice, at the beginning and at the end. At the beginning, it establishes that we have the right to file a suit using common law, at the end it establishes that whenever a jury is called, the common law shall be their guide.


This guide to common law pleading and practice in relation to common law name changes (and changes to one’s identity or indica of self, such as gender) is divided into several parts, the first several sections explain what the common law is in the United States and its history, the latter sections, how a suit at common law proceeds. Everyone has a right to seek remedy to injustices by way of serving and filing a common law suit in accordance with the 7th Amendment. Thirdly, this brief explains how the common law applies to an identity change common law suit.

This document uses several texts as references, but primarily Black’s Law Dictionary 4th Edition, St. Paul: West Publishing Co., 1957 (hereafter Black), Common-Law Pleading and Practice: Its History and Principles, by R. Ross Perry – of the bar of the District of Columbia, Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1897 (hereafter Perry), Principles of Common-Law Pleading, by John Jay McKelvey – of the New York Bar, New York: Baker, Voorhis, and Co., 1894 (hereafter McKelvey and available to read as a pdf), and A Report on the Civil and Common Law (1 Ca 588), by a committee of the first Legislature of California in 1850 (hereafter RCCL and available to read as a pdf). These four are the primary texts of reference.

As much as possible, direct scans of the documents are used herein. Some quotations have been pasted together due to page separations and other obstacles of the texts. So it is asked that the reader please excuse lack of total precision in visual presentation.

Civil law (sometimes called Roman, statutory, or code law) has taken great prominence in recent years and most of these texts are greater than 100 years old, but there are very few books presently published on common law and how to file suits in accordance with the 7th Amendment. Again, this guide will reveal the history of common law and its practice, and especially throughout this text, show how it applies to changes to the indicators of the self, especially name.


What is Common Law?

How Do Common Law Suits Proceed?
    • History
    • Remedies and reason
    • Common law courts
    • The use of royal writs
    • The form “Trespass on the Case”
    • The proceedings in a court of record

Magistrates at Common Law

End summary