Alaska Supreme Court Decisions

After Alaska became a state in 1959, the Alaska Constitution created the Alaska Supreme Court. While its central location is in Anchorage, where it hears arguments monthly, the Alaska Supreme Court also hears arguments in Fairbanks, Juneau, and other locations less regularly. Generally, the justices will hear arguments in the location of the trial court in which the case was originally decided.

The Alaska Supreme Court must review any appeal of a civil case in an Alaska Superior Court or a decision made by an administrative agency. The Court may hear an appeal of a criminal case if the lower court certifies that it involves an issue of substantial public interest or a significant question of constitutional law. Other matters that the Alaska Supreme Court may review include non-final decisions by lower courts in civil and criminal cases, attorney disciplinary issues, and state law questions that arise in a case in a federal court.

The Alaska Supreme Court consists of five justices. When a position needs to be filled, the Alaska Judicial Council will compile a list of nominees, from which the Governor of Alaska must choose the new justice within 45 days. To be eligible for nomination, a candidate must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Alaska for the last five years, licensed to practice in Alaska, and an actively practicing attorney for the last eight years. Once a justice has been selected, they will serve for at least three years, and then Alaska citizens will vote on whether the justice should be retained. After this initial election, each justice will go through another retention election every 10 years. A justice can be removed by being impeached by two-thirds of the Alaska Senate and convicted by two-thirds of the Alaska House of Representatives. They also can be removed, suspended, or censured at the discretion of the Supreme Court, based on a recommendation by the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Browse Opinions From the Alaska Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Alaska Supreme Court
Windel v Matanuska-Susitna Borough  
Date: October 8, 2021
Docket Number: S-17159

Justia Opinion Summary: Property owners sued the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, challenging the validity of easements that cross their property to give access to neighboring residences. The superior court dismissed most of the property owners’ clai...

Thomas v. Joseph P. Casteel Trust  
Date: October 8, 2021
Docket Number: S-17550

Justia Opinion Summary: A junior lienholder who took no steps to protect his interest at a nonjudicial foreclosure sale appealed the superior court’s subsequent summary judgment decision dismissing his claim that the sale process was defective...

Titus v. Alaska, Department of Corrections, et al.  
Date: October 8, 2021
Docket Number: S-17794

Justia Opinion Summary: The personal representative of an estate brought a medical malpractice claim against a company that provided the decedent emergency room medical care shortly before his death. The superior court granted summary judgment...

Rosemarie P. v. Kelly B.  
Date: October 8, 2021
Docket Number: S-17960

Justia Opinion Summary: Two women lived together as unmarried domestic partners. One woman had a child using artificial insemination; the other helped raise the child but did not adopt the child. When the women separated, the biological mother...

Alaska, Office of Lieutenant Governor, Division of Elections v. Arctic Village Council, et al.  
Date: September 17, 2021
Docket Number: S-17902

Justia Opinion Summary: About two months before the 2020 general election, a village government, a nonpartisan political organization, and two individual Alaska voters sought to enjoin the State from enforcing a statute that required absentee b...

Anne P. Mulligan v. Municipality of Anchorage/APD (Unpublished)
Date: September 15, 2021
Docket Number: S-17635
Anne P. Mulligan v. Municipality of Anchorage (Unpublished)
Date: September 15, 2021
Docket Number: S-17665
Karen Chichenoff f/k/a Karen Blondin v. Bradford Blondin (Unpublished)
Date: September 15, 2021
Docket Number: S-17703
A.G. (Father) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: September 15, 2021
Docket Number: S-17936
Heather R. v. Justin L. (Unpublished)
Date: September 8, 2021
Docket Number: S-17516
Murphy v. Fairbanks North Star Borough  
Date: September 3, 2021
Docket Number: S-17530

Justia Opinion Summary: The Alaska Workers’ Compensation Act applied a two-year limitations period to claims for “compensation for disability.” In 1988, the legislature reconfigured one type of compensation — for permanent partial disability —...

Alaska Public Offices Commission v. Patrick, et al.  
Date: September 3, 2021
Docket Number: S-17649

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) issued an advisory opinion stating that the contribution limits in Alaska’s campaign finance law were unconstitutional as applied to contributions to independent expen...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.