Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff, John Doe, sought allowance to prosecute this action under a pseudonym because the facts of the case were very personal and could expose him to ridicule or professional harm.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 10(a) generally requires parties to proceed under their real names unless there are severe privacy concerns such as being labeled as a homosexual.
Furthermore, courts have allowed parties to use fictitious names, particularly where necessary to protect privacy in a very private matter.View Full Point of Law
Issue. The issue is whether Plaintiff is required under Rule 10(a) to use his real name in the suit.
Held. The court held that normally Plaintiff would have to reveal his name, but because there was a danger of being labeled a homosexual that his privacy right outweighed the benefit of releasing his name.
Discussion. The court emphasized that they allowed Plaintiff to keep his name private because of the concern over being labeled as a homosexual and not because he worked for a federal judge. There is no right not to be named to protect their professional life.