Failure to Attach Complaint Results in Denial of Motion to Dismiss Employment Discrimination Complaint

A recent decision from the Supreme Court, New York County, provides us with a practice tip: when making a motion to dismiss based on an alleged pleading – such as under CPLR 3211(a)(7) – be sure to attach a copy of the challenged pleading.

In Anderson v. City of New York, plaintiff alleged race and gender discrimination under the New York State and City Human Rights Laws. She filed two complaints with the New York State Division of Human Rights, which were both dismissed. She then filed the instant lawsuit.

Defendants moved to dismiss on various grounds, including election of remedies, statute of limitations, and failure to state a claim. Plaintiff opposed, arguing that her claims involved “new misconduct, and a new period of time.”

The court denied defendants’ motion. It held:

The motion is denied, with leave to renew on proper papers, for failure to attach a copy of the complaint. Despite the volume of the papers submitted on the motion, including a 16-page legal memorandum and photocopies of case law, the defendants have not seen fit to include a copy of the key document, the complaint. The court cannot determine either the legal sufficiency, or the timeliness of a complaint that it has not read.

It directed the parties to address, upon renewal, New York City Administrative Code § 130, which states that the provisions of the New York City Human Rights Law “shall be construed liberally for the accomplishment of the uniquely broad and remedial purposes thereof.”

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