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Ortiz v. Loyd Roling Construction

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 21, 2018

ISAAC ORTIZ, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
LOYD ROLING CONSTRUCTION and GRINNELL MUTUAL REINSURANCE, Respondents-Appellees.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K. Vaudt, Judge.

         Isaac Ortiz appeals the district court's dismissal of his petition for judicial review of a determination of the workers' compensation commissioner.

          Anthony J. Bribriesco and Andrew W. Bribriesco of Bribriesco Law Firm, Bettendorf, for appellant.

          Stephen W. Spencer and Christopher S. Spencer of Peddicord Wharton, LLP, West Des Moines, for appellees.

          Considered by Tabor, P.J., Mullins, J., and Scott, S.J. [*]

          SCOTT, SENIOR JUDGE.

         Isaac Ortiz appeals the district court's dismissal of his petition for judicial review of a determination of the workers' compensation commissioner, contending the district court erred in concluding he failed to substantially comply with the service requirements of Iowa Code section 17A.19(2) (2017).

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         On September 19, 2017, Ortiz filed a petition for judicial review in the Iowa Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). Respondents' counsel of record in the underlying administrative proceedings was "added . . . to the case as a party to the litigation" in EDMS. The same day, Ortiz's counsel's paralegal emailed a copy of the petition for judicial review to respondents' counsel. On September 20, Ortiz's counsel filed an "affidavit of service," noting he emailed a copy of the petition to respondents' counsel. The same day, Ortiz's counsel's paralegal "emailed a copy of the Notice of Filing Petition for Judicial Review and Request for Transmittal of Record, with a copy of the file-stamped Petition for Judicial Review" to respondents' counsel.

         On September 28, an attorney for the respondents emailed Ortiz's counsel the following:

I have been given the documents that were recently filed with the Polk County District Court on . . . Ortiz. I was wondering if you were going to be sending the Petition to us via regular mail? Please let me know as soon as you can.

         The next day, September 29, counsel for Ortiz responded that he would have his paralegal send a copy of the petition via regular mail. The petition was not placed in the mail until October 3.

         On October 9, respondents filed a motion to dismiss the petition, arguing Ortiz failed to substantially comply with the service requirements of section 17A.19(2) and the district court therefore lacked jurisdiction. Ortiz resisted. Following a hearing, the district court granted respondents' motion to dismiss, concluding Ortiz failed to substantially comply with the service requirements of section 17A.19(2) and it therefore lacked jurisdiction on judicial review. As noted, Ortiz appeals.

         II. ...


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