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
In the Matter of the Necessity for the Hospitalization of Luciano G.  
Date: October 17, 2019
Docket Number: S-16654

Justia Opinion Summary: Luciano G. appealed a court order involuntarily committing him for mental health treatment. He argued the court erred in making two findings: (1) that as a result of his mental illness he posed a risk of harm to others;...

Alaska Public Defender Agency v. Superior Court  
Date: October 11, 2019
Docket Number: S-16983

Justia Opinion Summary: A juvenile from a small village could not afford to travel to the site of his juvenile delinquency proceeding. His attorney with the Public Defender Agency (the Agency) filed a motion asking the superior court to require...

Collins v. Hall  
Date: September 27, 2019
Docket Number: S-16795

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose from a boundary dispute between the Collinses and the Halls, who were adjoining property owners in a recreational subdivision on an island near Juneau, Alaska. The Collinses alleged that structures on the...

Taffe v. First National Bank of Alaska  
Date: September 27, 2019
Docket Number: S-16854

Justia Opinion Summary: Borrowers brought suit alleging that their lending bank had engaged in fraudulent real estate lending practices. The bank responded that statutes of limitations barred the borrowers’ fraud claims. Following an evidentiar...

In the Matter of the Necessity for the Hospitalization of G.L.  
Date: September 27, 2019
Docket Number: S-16928

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2015, then-21-year-old G.L. was arrested after allegedly firing a loaded shotgun at buildings and people in his village. G.L. faced criminal charges related to the shooting, but the superior court ultimately ruled him...

Perry v. Perry  
Date: September 27, 2019
Docket Number: S-17184

Justia Opinion Summary: Adam and Kyoko Perry married in November 2005 and had two minor children. For the latter part of their marriage, Kyoko handled the couple’s finances. Kyoko continued her education while married, obtaining a bachelor’s de...

Anthony V. Bennett v. Eugenia Bennett (Unpublished)
Date: September 25, 2019
Docket Number: S-17323
In the Matter of the Necessity of the Hospitalization of Lucy G.  
Date: September 13, 2019
Docket Number: S-16697

Justia Opinion Summary: In a case of first impression for the Alaska Supreme Court, at issue was the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to a catatonic, non-consenting patient. In March 2017, police officers found Lucy G. in an Anchorage par...

Farthest North Girl Scout Council v. Girl Scouts of the United States of America  
Date: September 13, 2019
Docket Number: S-17144

Justia Opinion Summary: The Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America increased the amount of annual membership dues. Farthest North Girl Scout Council, its executive director, and the chair of its board of directors...

Haight,v. City & Borough of Juneau  
Date: September 6, 2019
Docket Number: S-16903

Justia Opinion Summary: A minor died in a motorized watercraft accident on a lake managed in part by a municipality: the State owned the lake but shared management authority with the City. State law at the relevant time allowed motorized waterc...

Jeremy L. Engeberg v. Amy M. Engeberg (Unpublished)
Date: September 4, 2019
Docket Number: S-17244
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.