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The statute of limitations has full affect for issues regarding amendments and new parties. However, if the new defendant had notice of the original complaint before tolling of the statute of limitations, the relation back doctrine will be applied. For the relation back doctrine to be applied in federal court, the new party must have received notice of the original claim within the period for service of process. Some states permit a plaintiff to file a complaint against fictitious defendants if the true name of the defendants are not known at the time the action was filed. The complaint may be amended without regard to the statute of limitations once the identities of the fictitious defendants become known.

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