About one in five name change requests in Alexander County come from inmates.
Longtime Superior Court Clerk Seth Chapman told Dome that he gets between 10 and 20 requests from inmates of the Alexander Correctional Institute out of about 50 a year.
The reasons given vary: Some say they never used their birth name, others cite religious reasons.
Chapman said that he already turns down a substantial number of the requests based on the state law that requires petitioners be "of good character." Often, other inmates are given as character references.
"The simple fact that you're in prison speaks to me about your character," he said.
He said he considers felony convictions for murder, rape and robbery more serious when considering name changes than driving while intoxicated.