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John Doe

In the United States, the name "John Doe" is used for a defendant or victim in a legal example or for a person whose identity is unknown or is intended to be anonymous. Male corpses whose identity is unknown are also known by the name John Doe. A female who is not known is referred to as "Jane Doe". A child or baby whose identity is unknown can be referred to as "Baby Doe", or in one particular case, as Precious Doe. Additional people in the same family may be called James Doe, Judy Doe, etc. An anonymous plaintiff is known as Richard Roe, or Jane Roe in the case of a woman. The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' states that John Doe is "the name given to the fictitious lessee of the plaintiff, in the (now obsolete) mixed action of ejectment, the fictitious defendant being called Richard Roe". Likewise, the ''Nuttall encyclopedia'' states that "John O'Noakes" or "John Noakes" is a fictitious name for a litigious person, used by lawyers in actions of ejectment.

In ''Friedman v. Ferguson'', 850 F.2d 689 (4th Cir. 1988), the plaintiff ''pro se'' somewhat famously used the following creative variations on John Doe: Brett Boe, Carla Coe, Donna Doe, Frank Foe, Grace Goe, Harry Hoe, Marta...

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