from the Iowa District Court for Lyon County, Jeffrey A.
appeal the dismissal of their elderly-abuse petition.
Driesen, Inwood, and Raymond Erhman, Freeman, South Dakota,
appellants pro se.
M. Livingston of Stuart Tinley Law Firm, L.L.P., Council
Bluffs, for appellee Shayne Mayer.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Charles K. Phillips,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and
VAITHESWARAN, Presiding Judge.
appeal is from a district court order dismissing the third of
three related actions. The plaintiffs contend the district
court's rulings in the first two actions were erroneous.
first action was filed by the State to obtain protective
services for an elderly man with Alzheimer's disease who
was unable to care for himself. See Iowa Code §
235B (2017). Following a hearing, the district court
concluded the man was a dependent adult subject to dependent
adult abuse. The court voided a power of attorney the man had
given two individuals, Ray Ehrman and Jay Driesen.
second action, also filed by the State, sought an involuntary
guardianship and conservatorship to manage the man's
affairs. The district court ultimately granted the petition.
The order is the subject of a separate appeal.
third action was filed by Ehrman and Driesen against the Iowa
Department of Human Services, its employee Misty Spooner, and
Lyon County Attorney Shayne Mayer. The suit was filed under
the auspices of Iowa Code chapter 235F, which authorizes
"a vulnerable elder or a substitute petitioner" to
seek relief from elder abuse. See Iowa Code §
235F.2(1). Ehrman and Driesen alleged the State defendants
and the county attorney overreached in seeking to (1) find
the elderly man a dependent adult subject to dependent adult
abuse, (2) void their power of attorney, and (3) appoint a
guardian and conservator.
department and Spooner moved to dismiss the petition on the
ground they were not properly served with process. They also
asserted the petition was an impermissible collateral attack
on the first two actions and chapter 235F did not authorize
an action against them. Mayer appeared through counsel and
joined in the collateral attack argument. Following a
hearing, the district court granted the motion to dismiss (1)
for lack of proper service on the department, (2) as an
impermissible collateral attack on the order in the first
action, and (3) as a potentially inappropriate use of Iowa
Code chapter 235F. Ehrman and Driesen filed a rule 1.904(2)
motion for enlarged findings and conclusions. See
Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.904(2). The district court summarily denied
the motion and this appeal followed.
and Driesen challenge the rulings in the first two actions
and contend the district court in the third action could not
"refuse to hear the[ir] known material claims." The
State defendants again assert the third action was an
"impermissible collateral attack" and an
"inappropriate use of chapter 235F." They do not
reprise their lack-of-service argument. Mayer argues the
appeal was untimely. He also raises the "collateral
attack" and "inappropriate use" arguments made
by the State defendants.
we address the timeliness of the appeal. "[A] party must
ordinarily file a notice of appeal within thirty days of the
filing of the final order or judgment." Homan v.
Branstad,887 N.W.2d 153, 159-60 (Iowa 2016) (citing
Iowa R. App. P. 601 (1)(b)). A rule 1.904(2) motion to
enlarge or amend the findings of fact or conclusions of ...