Fictitious Defendants

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Fictitious Defendants




What is the dictionary definition of Fictitious Defendants?

Dictionary Definition


n. when a party suing (plaintiff) is not sure if he/she knows if there are unknown persons involved in the incident or the business being sued, there are named fictitious persons, usually designated Doe I, Doe II, and so forth, or “Green and Red Company,” with an allegation in the complaint that if and when the true names are discovered they will be inserted in the complaint by amendment. Naming fictitious defendants stops the statute of limitations (the time in which a party has to file a lawsuit) from running out even though the true name is not yet known. Sometimes during the investigation or discovery (taking depositions or asking written questions under oath) new information about a potential defendant is found and the real name substituted. Then that person is served with a summons and complaint. If no substitution of a real name for a Doe has been made by the time of trial, usually the fictitious defendants are then dismissed from the case since they never existed in the first place, and the case continues against the named defendants. Fictitious defendants are not permitted in federal cases.


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Fictitious Defendants. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. September 24, 2021 https://payrollheaven.com/define/fictitious-defendants/.
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Fictitious Defendants. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/fictitious-defendants/ (accessed: September 24, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Fictitious Defendants. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved September 24, 2021, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/fictitious-defendants/

Definition Sources


Definitions for Fictitious Defendants are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 28th April, 2020 | 0 Views.