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
Robert A. v. Tatiana D.  
Date: October 23, 2020
Docket Number: S-17255

Justia Opinion Summary: In its initial custody decision, the superior court found that a father had a history of committing domestic violence, and therefore established benchmarks for him to meet before he could begin supervised visitation with...

Sykes v.Lawless  
Date: October 23, 2020
Docket Number: S-17339

Justia Opinion Summary: A property owner installed a locked gate across an access easement on his property and provided keys to the neighboring easement holder. The neighbor sued, alleging the gate wrongfully interfered with his easement rights...

Schindler v. Schindler  
Date: October 23, 2020
Docket Number: S-17623

Justia Opinion Summary: The superior court awarded the husband the marital home and ordered him to make a corresponding equalization payment to the wife. About a year later the husband sought relief from judgment, arguing that newly discovered...

Shelly C. v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: October 21, 2020
Docket Number: S-17695
Cheryl Marks v. Javan Plunkett (Unpublished)
Date: October 14, 2020
Docket Number: S-17512
Andrew McNair v. Johnna Golden, f/k/a Johnna McNair (Unpublished)
Date: October 14, 2020
Docket Number: S-17704
Downing v. Country Life Insurance Company  
Date: October 9, 2020
Docket Number: S-17557

Justia Opinion Summary: In October 2015, Amy Downing purchased a life insurance policy from Country Life Insurance Company. She purchased both an “executive whole life” policy that would pay a flat amount of $500,000 to her beneficiaries upon h...

Jackson E. (Father) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: October 7, 2020
Docket Number: S-17655
Thiele v. Thiele  
Date: October 2, 2020
Docket Number: S-17256

Justia Opinion Summary: Angela and Kim Thiele married in February 2009 and separated in January 2016. Angela filed for divorce in February 2016. Kim received a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree in 1980. After working as an employee in anoth...

Josiah M. (Father) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: September 30, 2020
Docket Number: S-17514
Terrace L. Solomon v. Wendy Solomon, n/k/a Wendy Racer (Unpublished)
Date: September 23, 2020
Docket Number: S-17476
Clarence S. v. Samantha S. (Unpublished)
Date: September 23, 2020
Docket Number: S-17631
Chinuhuk et al. v. Alaska  
Date: September 18, 2020
Docket Number: S-16993

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners were sex offenders who received prison sentences with some time suspended and probation imposed pursuant to a statute that mandated suspended imprisonment and probation as part of their initial sentences. The...

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.