last hearing Judge gave me an extension to file an amended complaint and serve the amended complaint on the defendants. If i decide not to amend the complaint, can i still serve the original complaint... or at this point do i have to file an amended complaint?
When you file a complaint--you don't need a judge's permission to file an amended complaint when no Defendants have been served or responded.
You get one free amendment--called an amendment "of course" I think the code section is CCP 472 or 474. If you want to amend, go ahead. If you don't, don't. If you're worried about the judge slamming you for not amending--spend a couple minutes and change a few things around. But your real focus should be on serving the Defendants.
No you do not have to amend. However, if you do not intend to amend then you need to get that complaint served on all defendants immediately. The judge will not be happy if you have not amended not served the original defendants within the deadline. The judge can even dismiss your case for failure to serve the defendants in a timely manner.