What happens when court documents have the incorrect name?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What happens when court documents have the incorrect name?

I have been receiving mail from the courthouse because I have not paid on a fine from having expired tabs because they have an incorrect name. I do not have a middle name but in these papers they add a middle name so I haven’t paid on the fine because they don’t have my real name on these papers. I have never gone by a different name before so I am just confused about the whole thing. Like do I have to pay this fine even with the wrong name?

Asked on January 5, 2018 under General Practice, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If they have the wrong person--e.g. you did not have expired tags--then you do not have to pay, but should let the court now that this is not you.
If this is you and they court just added a middle name in error, you have to pay the fine. The law is very clear that a harmless error, like spelling a name wrong, or adding a middle name when someone does not have one, does not invalidate the summons, ticket, warrant, judgment, etc. The addition of the middle name, assuming that you are the person who committed this offense, is irrelevant.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption