Appeal from the District Court of Walsh County, Northeast Judicial District, the Honorable M. Richard Geiger, Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandstrom, Justice.
This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing. [Go to Documents]
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Opinion of the Court by Sandstrom, Justice.
[¶1] Kara Lynn Langowski appeals from a summary judgment dismissing with prejudice her negligence action against Charlene Altendorf. We affirm the judgment, concluding Langowski did not begin her negligence action against Altendorf within the six-year statute of limitations by delivering the summons and complaint to Altendorf within that time.
[¶2] In her complaint, Langowski alleged Altendorf struck her with a vehicle while she attempted to cross a street in Minto, North Dakota, on August 21, 2004, causing her bodily injury. On August 18, 2010, Langowski sent the summons and complaint to Roughrider Legal Support Services, a private process server, instructing it to serve both documents upon Altendorf on or before August 21, 2010.
[¶3] Representatives of Roughrider attempted to personally serve Altendorf at her residence in Minto on August 19 and 20, 2010, but were unsuccessful because she had traveled to Bismarck. On August 19, Sarah Zacher, a paralegal for Langowski's attorney, telephoned Altendorf to arrange a meeting in Bismarck to personally serve Altendorf the next day. Zacher and Altendorf agreed to contact each other on August 20 to discuss a location where service could be accomplished. On the morning of August 20, however, after speaking with her attorney, Altendorf informed Zacher she would not accept service in Bismarck. Roughrider then attempted to serve Altendorf through Deborah Dunham, an office manager at Altendorf's place of employment. After speaking with Altendorf, Dunham refused to accept service on Altendorf's behalf. Roughrider then left the summons and complaint affixed to the front door of Altendorf's home in Minto on August 20, 2010, at 6:04 p.m, after a final attempt to serve Altendorf at her home. Altendorf did not discover the summons and complaint affixed to her door until August 23, 2010. On August 23, 2010, Langowski sent a copy of the summons and complaint by certified mail to Altendorf. Altendorf signed for and received a copy of the summons and complaint on August 25, 2010.
[¶4] Altendorf moved to dismiss Langowski's negligence action, arguing Langowski failed to properly serve her within the six-year statute of limitations. Altendorf claimed the district court therefore lacked personal jurisdiction. After a hearing and a request for additional briefing, the district court granted Altendorf summary judgment dismissal of Langowski's negligence action, concluding Langowski did not begin the action within the six-year statute of limitations because Altendorf did not sign for and receive the summons and complaint until August 25, 2010, two days after the expiration of the statute of limitations.
[¶5] The district court had jurisdiction under N.D. Const. art. VI, § 8, and N.D.C.C. § 27-05-06. Langowski timely appealed under N.D.R.App.P. 4(a). We have jurisdiction under N.D. Const. art. ...