The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kevin Nathaniel Fox United States Magistrate Judge
The plaintiff commenced this action pro se. Subsequently, she engaged counsel who, on her behalf, filed a motion to amend the complaint. The defendant opposed the motion contending, inter alia, the following:
[T]he document purporting to be plaintiff's original complaint attached to the affidavit of plaintiff's counsel is not the same as the document served on Verizon or filed with the Court. This is particularly disturbing because, in connection with the filing of this motion, at the request of plaintiff's counsel Verizon provided a copy of the document served on it. Plaintiff makes no reference to the fact that plaintiff never served Verizon with the document her counsel now claims was the original complaint, and plaintiff's counsel makes no effort to explain or justify this omission.
In a reply affidavit, the plaintiff's counsel stated that a copy of the complaint submitted with the plaintiff's motion "is a true and complete copy of plaintiff's original pro se complaint on file with the Court."
Court's In Camera Review After conducting an in camera review, the Court found that discrepancies exist between the parties' submissions in connection with the motion to amend the complaint and the pertinent documents in the file maintained by the Clerk of Court ("Clerk"). The Court's review revealed that the first page of the complaint filed with the Clerk bears the court's stamp indicating:
U.S. DISTRICT COURT 2006 FEB 8 AM 10: 36 S.D. OF NY while the copy of the complaint served on the defendant and included with the affirmation of the plaintiff's counsel, submitted in connection with the plaintiff's motion to amend the complaint, bears a stamp indicating:
The first page of all three versions of the complaint, the one on file with the Clerk and those submitted by the parties in connection with the instant motion, indicates that the plaintiff is bringing an action for employment discrimination pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA") and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), all as amended.
The second page of the complaint on file with the Clerk and the one served on the defendant is identical. However, while those two versions indicate that the defendant's business is located in "Manhattan" County and that the plaintiff was employed by the defendant in "Manhattan" County, the spaces where this information should be inserted are blank in the version of the complaint submitted by the plaintiff's counsel with her affirmation.
Page three of the version of the complaint filed with the Clerk and the one served on the defendant indicates that the defendant discriminated against the plaintiff on her "[ T] disability Lupus, hypertehsnion and heart." The version of the complaint submitted by the plaintiff's counsel indicates that the defendant discriminated against the plaintiff on her "[ T] disability ______________," but does not contain the rest of the relevant text found in the other two versions of the complaint. The Court also notes that, although the text of the versions of the complaint filed with the Clerk and served on the defendant is the same, the handwriting and punctuation are not, indicating that this page has been altered.
Page four of the complaint also contains discrepancies. The version of the complaint filed with the ...