from the Iowa District Court for Clayton County, John J.
Hartson appeals the district court's dismissal order.
Powell of Powell Law Firm, P.C., Clive, for appellant.
Vasey of Elverson, Vasey & Abbott, LLP, Des Moines, for
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Vaitheswaran, JJ.
Hartson sued the estate of an Illinois resident, Lyle
Iverson, for injuries she sustained in an automobile accident
that resulted in the death of Iverson. She failed to serve
the estate within ninety days of filing the petition, as
required by Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 1.302(5), but
obtained an extension of time to complete service.
filed a proof of service within the extension period,
attesting the original notice and petition were served upon
"Terry T. Stratton, attorney for the Executor of the
Estate of Lyle Iverson" and upon the Iowa Department of
Transportation pursuant to our long-arm statute. See
Iowa Code § 321.500 (2015). Although Hartson's
petition was filed in the Iowa District Court for Clayton
County, the original notices served on the executor's
attorney and the IDOT stated the defendant would have to
serve a motion or answer "in the Iowa District Court for
Polk County, Iowa, at the Courthouse in Des Moines,
estate filed a motion to dismiss, asserting Hartson
"failed to effectuate timely and proper service on
Defendant." Following a hearing, the district court
granted the motion, finding several problems with service.
challenges the dismissal order on a number of fronts. We find
it necessary to address only one of them: the error in the
district court concluded,
[A]n original notice which directs appearance/filing of an
answer in the wrong county or city is defective. See
Summerlott v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.,
111 N.W.2d 251 (Iowa 1962). Clearly the original notice used
here incorrectly directs an answer to be made in Polk County
rather than Clayton County.
discern no error in this ruling.
Rule of Civil Procedure 1.302(3) requires the service of an
original notice with a copy of the petition. See
also Iowa Code § 321.501 (requiring service of
original notice). Hartson served original notices that
instructed the defendant to file a motion or answer in the
wrong county. This defect was fatal. See Summerlott,
111 N.W.2d at 253 (concluding original notice informing
defendant to file ...