Fictitious Defendants Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Fictitious Defendants.

Fictitious Defendants (noun): These are alleged individuals or entities whose real identities are not known at the commencement of a lawsuit. They are typically referred to under pseudonyms, such as "Doe 1" or "Green and Red Company". By including these fictitious defendants in a complaint, a plaintiff is able to prevent the statute of limitations from running out, while they continue their efforts to discover the real identities of these defendants. If and when these defendants are identified, they can then be formally included in the lawsuit by substituting their real names, and then duly served with legal notices. Should the real identities not be found by the time of trial, the case can proceed without them.