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Federal Lawsuit Challenges Decision of Judge to Deny Name Changes for Transgender Teens

Federal Lawsuit Challenges Decision of Judge to Deny Name Changes for Transgender Teens

Engel & Martin, LLC, working with Josh Langdon, LLC, filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in Cincinnati on behalf of parents of transgender teenagers who have been denied or are seeking name changes.


The lawsuit alleges that the Warren County Juvenile Court judge violated the equal protection rights of transgender teenagers when he denied the requests for the teenagers to change their names to conform with their gender identity.  The lawsuit alleges that the judge has a pattern and practice treating transgender teenagers differently than others who seek a name change and of ignoring evidence with doctors and other experts that the name change is critical to mitigate depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations/attempts by transgender teenagers.

Attorney Josh Langdon stated this was an important case: “Denying transgender people the ability to change their names to a name that matches their gender identity can lead to significant harm, including discrimination in accessing housing, health care, employment, education, public assistance, and other social services.”

The lawsuit cites three cases involving transgender teenagers decided the same day.  In those cases, the judge issued identical orders saying that the teens lacked the “maturity, knowledge and stability” to make such a decision.

The plaintiffs in this case are the parents of one of the teenagers who was denied a name change, the parents of a teenage who has a name change request currently before the Warren County Court, and a third parent who is planning to file a name change but fears discrimination by the judge.

Attorney Joshua Engel says that the actions of the Judge are unconstitutional because the judge treated transgender adolescents unfavorably because of their gender identity.  “The judge failed to consider the evidence presented by the families and doctors that the name change is in the best interest of the teenager and, instead, substituted his own skeptical views.”

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