Will the court grant a name change of a person who was convicted of kidnapping?

Full Question:

Last week, my friend was released from a prison in West Virginia. He completed the punishment for kidnapping a child and demanding money from the parents. He doesn’t want to be known by his old name. Will the court grant his name change if he files an application for a name change?
02/22/2017   |   Category: Name Change   |   State: West Virginia   |   #32652


A person who wants to change his name in West Virginia can file an application in the court for a name change. The court may not grant a name change of a person, who was convicted of Kidnaping, for a period of ten years after his discharge from imprisonment. It is covered under W. Va. Code § 48-25-103§ 48-25-103 which reads:
(e) The court may not grant a change of name of any person convicted of violating any provision of section fourteen-a [§ 61-2-14a], article two, chapter sixty-one of this code for a period of ten years after the person is discharged from imprisonment or is discharged from parole, whichever occurs later.”

W. Va. Code § 61-2-14a reads:
“(a) Any person who unlawfully restrains another person with the intent:
     (1) To hold another person for ransom, reward, or concession;
     (2) To transport another person with the intent to inflict bodily injury or to terrorize the victim or another person; or
     (3) To use another person as a shield or hostage, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by confinement by the Division of Corrections for life, and, notwithstanding the provisions of article twelve [§§ 62-12-1 et seq.], chapter sixty-two of this code, shall not be eligible for parole.

It seems the court may not grant the change of name of your friend, who was convicted of Kidnaping since he has not completed the period of ten years after his release.