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 A fictitious person is not someone against whom recovery can be sought because the fictitious person rule,and due process prevent entry of judgment against a person designated by a fictitious name. A fictitious person is not a party to a suit. The person a plaintiff identifies as a fictitious defendant only becomes a party to the suit when the defendant's true name is substituted in an amended complaint and service is effected. See Farrell v. Votator Div. of Chemetron Corp., 62 N.J. 111, 120, 299 A.2d 394 (1973); Stegmeier v. St. Elizabeth Hosp., 239 N.J.Super. 475, 484-86, 571 A.2d 1006 (App.Div.1990). It is at the point of service on the true defendant that a court gains jurisdiction, consonant with due process, and a person becomes a party to a suit. It is at that point when the Act requires the person's conduct be compared for the purposes of apportioning liability and not before.


This result is supported in Ramos v. Browning Ferris Ind. of So. Jersey, Inc., 194 N.J.Super. 96, 476 A.2d 304 (App.Div.1984), rev'd on other grounds, 103 N.J. 177, 510 A.2d 1152 (1986). There the court stated, A truer verdict is more likely ...

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