CITE: 53 Wn. App. 330, 766 P.2d 1107
LANDREVILLE v. SHORELINE COLLEGE
CAUSE NUMBER: 21467-5-I
FILE DATE: December 12, 1988
CASE TITLE: Joseph D. Landreville, Appellant, v. Shoreline Community College District No. 7, et al, Respondents.
 States - Process - Service - State - Proper Person. Under RCW 4.92.020, leaving a summons and complaint in the office of the Attorney General with anyone other than the Attorney General or an assistant attorney general is ineffective to obtain jurisdiction over the State.
 Estoppel - Elements - Reliance - Reasonableness. A party's conduct in reliance on another's admission, statement, or act must be reasonable in order to support an estoppel.
NATURE OF ACTION: In an action against the State, the plaintiff left a copy of the summons and complaint with an administrative assistant to the Attorney General.
Superior Court: The Superior Court for King County, No. 83-2 08121-1, Arthur E. Piehler, J., dismissed the State on November 20, 1987.
Court of Appeals: Holding that the manner of service violated RCW 4.92.020 and that the State was not estopped from challenging the service, the court AFFIRMS the judgment.
COUNSEL: SAM B. FRANKLIN, for appellant.
KENNETH O. EIKENBERRY, ATTORNEY GENERAL, and GLEN A. ANDERSON, ASSISTANT, for respondents.
AUTHOR OF MAJORITY OPINION: Williams, J.-
The deciding issue is whether jurisdiction was acquired over the State when the process server left a copy of Landreville's summons and complaint in the office of the Attorney General with an administrative assistant. The controlling statute provides that in actions against the State, the summons and complaint "shall be served in the manner prescribed by law upon the attorney general, or by leaving the summons and complaint in the office of the attorney general with an assistant attorney general." RCW 4.92.020.
 Landreville contends first that leaving the summons and complaint with the administrative assistant provided substantial compliance with RCW 4.92.020, making the judgment of dismissal inappropriate. When the Legislature has acted reasonably in naming one person or officer to have the responsibility for receiving service of process, service upon anyone else is insufficient. NITARDY v. SNOHOMISH CY., 105 Wn.2d 133, 135, 712 P.2d 296 (1986). As was said in MEADOWDALE NEIGHBORHOOD COMM. v. EDMONDS, 27 Wn. App. 261, 264, 616 P.2d 1257 (1980):
"When a statute designates a particular person or officer upon whom service of process is to be made in an action against a municipality, no other person or officer may be substituted.
Because RCW 4.92.020 specifies that service can only be made upon the Attorney General or left with an Assistant Attorney General, leaving the summons and complaint with the administrative assistant was not sufficient to acquire jurisdiction over the State. Actual notice to the State, standing alone, is not sufficient. Any hardship engendered by this exclusive method of service is a matter for the Legislature, not for this court, which must enforce the law as it is plainly written. MEADOWDALE NEIGHBORHOOD COMM. v. EDMONDS, SUPRA at 267-68.
 Landrevilles' secondary contention is that the State should have been estopped from contesting the service of process because the administrative assistant in the office of the Attorney General represented that she had the authority to accept service. The elements of estoppel are:
"(1) An admission, statement or act inconsistent with a claim afterwards asserted, (2) action by another in reliance upon that act, statement or admission, and (3) injury to the relying party from allowing the first party to contradict or repudiate the prior act, statement or admission. BOARD OF REGENTS v. SEATTLE, 108 Wn.2d 545, 551, 741 P.2d 11 (1987). In light of the clear language designating the proper recipient for service of process, any reliance upon the process server's statements regarding the administrative assistant's authority was not reasonable. Accordingly, the State was not estopped from contesting the service of process.
The judgment of dismissal is affirmed.
Webster and Winsor, JJ., concur.