Alaska Supreme Court Decisions 2012

Mallory D. v. Malcolm D.  
Date: December 28, 2012
Citation: 290 P.3d 1194
Docket Number: S-14436

Justia Opinion Summary: Malcolm D. and Mallory D. were married and had three children, Jason, Brooke, and Megan. In August 2009 Malcolm and Mallory filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. The parties agreed to joint legal custody and shar...

In Re 2011 Redistricting Cases  
Date: December 28, 2012
Docket Number: S-14721

Justia Opinion Summary: The Alaska Supreme Court issued an order that remanded redistricting cases to the redistricting board to formulate a new plan in compliance with our case law. The Court agreed with the superior court that, in drafting it...

Rude v. Cook Inlet Region, Inc.  
Date: December 21, 2012
Citation: 294 P.3d 76
Docket Number: S-13823

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008 Robert Rude, then a sitting Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI) director, and three other candidates ran as an independent “New Alliance” slate for positions on the CIRI board of directors. Shortly before the election...

Cutler v. Kodiak Island Borough  
Date: December 21, 2012
Citation: 290 P.3d 415
Docket Number: S-14215

Justia Opinion Summary: The primary issue in this appeal was whether boroughs have the implied or incidental authority to record a real property lien to secure payment of garbage-collection fees. In 2007 Virgilio and Rosemarie Sabado hired had...

Sherman B. v. Dept. of Health & Social Services  
Date: December 21, 2012
Citation: 290 P.3d 421
Docket Number: S-14614

Justia Opinion Summary: A father challenged a superior court’s decision to terminate his parental rights, arguing that the court’s conclusions were not supported by clear and convincing evidence, that termination was not in the best interests o...

Perotti v. Corrections Corporation of America  
Date: December 14, 2012
Citation: 290 P.3d 403
Docket Number: S-13936

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal, the issue before the court concerned whether monetary damages are available to a prisoner for violations of the terms of a judicial decree approving the "Cleary Final Settlement Agreement." In 2004 appell...

Coleman v. McCullough  
Date: December 14, 2012
Citation: 290 P.3d 413
Docket Number: S-14367

Justia Opinion Summary: Tierice Coleman is the biological father of two minor sons, T.C. and J.C. T.C. was born in January 2000 to Elka McCullough, a woman with whom Coleman had a brief relationship. J.C. was born in March 2000 to Laura Bianchi...

L.D.G., Inc. v. Robinson  
Date: December 14, 2012
Citation: 290 P.3d 215
Docket Number: S-14427

Justia Opinion Summary: A bar served a man alcohol while he was visibly intoxicated, and the man murdered a woman later that evening. The lawyer representing the bar in the subsequent dram shop action did not attempt to add the murderer as a pa...

Hannah B. v. Alaska  
Date: December 10, 2012
Citation: 289 P.3d 924
Docket Number: S-14565

Justia Opinion Summary: A mother appealed the termination of her parental rights to her young son. The mother had a long history of substance abuse and relinquished parental rights to her older daughter in 2008 because she was unable to care fo...

Alaska Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund v. Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game  
Date: December 7, 2012
Citation: 289 P.3d 903
Docket Number: S-14079

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1999, the Alaska Board of Fisheries (the Board) made a use finding in the Chitina subdistrict for the first time, changing it from a "personal use" to a "subsistence" fishery. The Board reversed this decision in 2003,...

Osbakken v. Whittington  
Date: December 7, 2012
Citation: 289 P.3d 894
Docket Number: S-14126

Justia Opinion Summary: Five disabled Alaskans sued their former representative payee. At the conclusion of trial, the superior court awarded both compensatory and punitive damages to the plaintiffs; it also entered injunctive relief against th...

Thompson v. Cooper  
Date: December 7, 2012
Citation: 290 P3d 393
Docket Number: S-14142

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, Michael Cooper was involved in a car accident that injured Samuel Thompson. Thompson sued Cooper and Cooper's employer for damages. The jury returned a verdict for Thompson for compensatory damages but not punit...

Price v. Unisea, Inc.  
Date: December 7, 2012
Citations: 289 P.3d 914, 298 P.3d 914
Docket Number: S-14184

Justia Opinion Summary: A worker at a fish processing plant was injured while on the job. His employer asserted that it did not maintain workers' compensation and that it was immune from suit, so the worker filed a negligence action in state co...

Judith R. v. Dept. of Health & Social Svcs.  
Date: December 7, 2012
Citation: 289 P.3d 896
Docket Number: S-14693

Justia Opinion Summary: Judith R. challenged the superior court's order terminating her parental rights to her son, "Dexter." The court terminated her rights based on her longstanding, unremedied mental illness. In its ruling on the record, the...

Cox v. Floreske  
Date: November 30, 2012
Citation: 288 P.3d 1289
Docket Number: S-14234

Justia Opinion Summary: Victoria ("Vicky") Cox and John Floreske were married in July 1981. They separated in September 2007 and divorced in June 2009. During their marriage, Vicky and John amassed a highly illiquid marital estate including thr...

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. v. Alaska  
Date: November 23, 2012
Citation: 288 P.3d 736
Docket Number: S-14021

Justia Opinion Summary: Alyeska Pipeline Service Company (Alyeska), the agent for the owners of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), leases the TAPS right-of-way from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (Department). Alyeska appealed...

Caywood v. Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources  
Date: November 23, 2012
Citation: 288 P.3d 745
Docket Number: S-14253

Justia Opinion Summary: The Department of Natural Resources restricted the non-winter use of large vehicles on the Rex Trail. The issue before the Supreme Court in this case was whether these restrictions were within the Department's authority....

Dan v. Dan  
Date: November 16, 2012
Citation: 288 P.3d 480
Docket Number: S-13788

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal concerned a dispute between three daughters regarding the administration of their deceased mother’s estate. The dispute centered around three documents: (1) a will executed in 1987; (2) a revised will the dec...

Ward v. Alaska Dept. of Public Safety  
Date: November 16, 2012
Citation: 288 P.3d 64
Docket Number: S-14042

Justia Opinion Summary: The question raised before the Supreme Court in two consolidated appeals was whether this certain provisions of the Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act (ASORA) applied to a person convicted in a single proceeding of two...

Helen S. K. v. Samuel M. K.  
Date: November 16, 2012
Citation: 288 P.3d 463
Docket Number: S-14422

Justia Opinion Summary: Helen S. K. and Samuel M. K. were married in 1990. Helen filed for divorce in December 2010, requesting sole legal and primary physical custody of the parties' three minor children and equitable division of the marital a...

Pedersen v. Blythe  
Date: November 16, 2012
Citation: 292 P.3d 182
Docket Number: S-14620

Justia Opinion Summary: Siegfried Pedersen was convicted of assault and weapons misconduct. He brought a civil suit against the victims of those crimes, Daniel Blythe and Bobbie Luxford, alleging defamation and trespass. The superior court gran...

Nene v. Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game  
Date: November 9, 2012
Citation: 288 P.3d 452
Docket Number: S-13968

Justia Opinion Summary: Before 2009, the Alaska Board of Game employed a controversial scoring system in order to distribute permits to subsistence hunters in a popular caribou and moose hunting area between Anchorage and Fairbanks. In 2009, th...

Winterrowd v. Alaska Dept. of Administration, Division of Motor Vehicles  
Date: November 2, 2012
Citation: 288 P.3d 446
Docket Number: S-14043

Justia Opinion Summary: After a van driven by Ralph Kermit Winterrowd II was damaged in a collision with a moose, the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) proposed suspending Winterrowd’s driver’s license because he did not provide proof of...

Reed v. Parrish  
Date: October 19, 2012
Citation: 286 P.3d 1054
Docket Number: S-14053

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal concerned the division of property between a couple who had been in a relationship for 12 years but never married. The couple and their children resided in a home titled in the man's name. After they separate...

Albrecht v. Alaska Trustee, LLC  
Date: October 19, 2012
Citation: 286 P.3d 1059
Docket Number: S-14317

Justia Opinion Summary: Diana Albrecht brought a class-action lawsuit against Alaska Trustee, LLC, on behalf of a group of Alaska homeowners who had faced foreclosure on their homes. Alaska Trustee, acting as foreclosure trustee, had provided A...

Powercorp Alaska v. Alaska Energy Authority  
Date: October 12, 2012
Citation: 290 P.3d 1173
Docket Number: S-13729

Justia Opinion Summary: A quasi-independent governmental agency manages a program designed to improve power generation in small Alaska villages that are located off the electrical grid. One such village believed that the agency did not respect...

McLeod v. Parnell  
Date: October 12, 2012
Citation: 286 P.3d 509
Docket Number: S-13861

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case were two narrow legal questions arising from the Alaska Records Management Act and the Alaska Public Records Act: (1) when state employees use private email accounts to sen...

Aldrich v. Aldrich  
Date: October 5, 2012
Citation: 286 P.3d 504
Docket Number: S-14238

Justia Opinion Summary: A divorced couple with one child agreed in 2006 that the mother would cover all of the child's travel costs in lieu of paying child support. In 2010, the father filed a motion arguing that the 2006 agreement was invalid...

Gold Dust Mines, Inc. v. Little Squaw Gold Mining Company  
Date: September 28, 2012
Citation: 299 P.3d 148
Docket Number: S-13530

Justia Opinion Summary: Two mining companies entered a ten-year mining lease. The lessee was responsible for mining and prospecting claims owned by the lessor and its president. The companies entered a holdover tenancy after the expiration of t...

Thompson v. Cooper  
Date: September 28, 2012
Docket Number: S-14142

Justia Opinion Summary: In December 2008, Michael Cooper caused a car accident that injured Samuel Thompson. Thompson sued Cooper and Cooper's employer for compensatory and punitive damages. The jury returned a verdict for Thompson for compensa...

Ross v. Dept. of Revenue  
Date: September 28, 2012
Citations: 286 P.3d 495, 292 P.3d 906
Docket Number: S-14362

Justia Opinion Summary: Brian Ross had been absent from the State of Alaska since 1990, first as a student at the United States Naval Academy and later as a career Marine Corps officer. Despite his absence, Ross maintained Alaska residency and...

McKitrick v. Alaska Pub. Employees Retirement Sys.  
Date: September 14, 2012
Citation: 284 P.3d 832
Docket Number: S-14178

Justia Opinion Summary: A man filed an application for both occupational and nonoccupational disability benefits from the Public Employees Retirement System, claiming disability from both physical and mental conditions. An administrative law ju...

Kuretich v. Alaska Trustee, LLC  
Date: September 14, 2012
Citation: 287 P.3d 87
Docket Number: S-14196

Justia Opinion Summary: A homeowner sought a declaratory judgment that foreclosure fees were not properly included in the reinstatement amount necessary to halt foreclosure proceedings under Alaska law. The superior court concluded that the for...

McGraw v. Cox  
Date: September 14, 2012
Citation: 285 P.3d 276
Docket Number: S-14315

Justia Opinion Summary: A couple had a turbulent relationship over the course of eight months, breaking up and reuniting several times. During the final break-up the woman sought a domestic violence protective order. The superior court granted...

Lewis v. Lewis  
Date: September 14, 2012
Citation: 285 P.3d 273
Docket Number: S-14473

Justia Opinion Summary: When Chad and Jessica Lewis divorced, they participated in a settlement conference to divide their property. Following the settlement conference, the superior court recited a proposed settlement agreement on the record,...

Day v. Williams  
Date: September 7, 2012
Citation: 285 P.3d 256
Docket Number: S-13423

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal the issue before the Supreme Court was the superior court's valuation and distribution of marital property in the divorce of Carolyn Vieve Day and Charlie T. Williams. Day appealed on three grounds: (1) sh...

Jack C. v. Tally C.  
Date: September 7, 2012
Citation: 284 P.3d 13
Docket Number: S-13990

Justia Opinion Summary: A couple divorced in 2008, and the mother was granted sole legal custody and primary physical custody of their three children. At the time of the divorce, the superior court stated that if the father met certain conditio...

Patrawke v. Liebes  
Date: September 7, 2012
Citation: 285 P.3d 268
Docket Number: S-14474

Justia Opinion Summary: A father and a mother share joint legal and equal physical custody over their daughter. The father sought to obtain a passport for the daughter, but federal law requires the consent of both parents if the child is under...

Larson v. State, Dept. of Corrections  
Date: August 31, 2012
Citations: 284 P.3d 1, 298 P.3d 1
Docket Number: S-14110

Justia Opinion Summary: Loren J. Larson, Jr. was incarcerated at the Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward. Acting pro se, he filed two separate complaints alleging violations of his constitutional rights. In his first complaint, he allege...

Davison v. Alaska  
Date: August 10, 2012
Citation: 282 P.3d 1262
Docket Number: S-13877

Justia Opinion Summary: Dennis Davison was convicted of sexually abusing his fourteen-year-old daughter, R.D. At trial, the doctor who performed a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) examination of R.D. testified to statements R.D. had made dur...

Offshore Systems - Kenai v. Alaska  
Date: July 27, 2012
Citation: 282 P.3d 348
Docket Number: S-13994

Justia Opinion Summary: Offshore Systems – Kenai (Offshore) operates a commercial dock facility on Cook Inlet in the Kenai Peninsula Borough (Borough). Nikishka Beach Road traverses Offshore's property. The public has used this road to access t...

Sea Hawk Seafoods, Inc. v. City of Valdez  
Date: July 27, 2012
Citation: 282 P.3d 359
Docket Number: S-14078

Justia Opinion Summary: Sea Hawk Seafoods, Inc. sued the City of Valdez for damages after Valdez applied for a grant from the State of Alaska for funding to convert Sea Hawk's seafood processing facility into a fish meal plant but then declined...

Lentine v. Alaska  
Date: July 27, 2012
Citation: 282 P.3d 369
Docket Number: S-14091

Justia Opinion Summary: The State of Alaska dismissed an employee for allegedly submitting a falsified timesheet and claiming full pay for a week when she was not working. The employee argued her dismissal violated the implied covenant of good...

Gorton v. Mann  
Date: July 27, 2012
Citation: 281 P.3d 81
Docket Number: S-14277

Justia Opinion Summary: Jeffrey Gorton and Stephanie Mann are the parents of a young son. When they divorced, the superior court awarded them a shared physical custody schedule and to calculated child support. This appeal arose from that calcul...

In Re Necessity for the Hospitalization of Jeffrey E.  
Date: July 27, 2012
Citation: 281 P.3d 84
Docket Number: S-14419

Justia Opinion Summary: "Jeffrey E." appealed his 30-day involuntary commitment order, arguing the evidence was insufficient to support the superior court's conclusion that he was gravely disabled. In June 2011 Jeffrey was 20 years old, had rec...

Yi v. Yang  
Date: July 20, 2012
Citation: 282 P.3d 340
Docket Number: S-13427

Justia Opinion Summary: A man was arrested for misdemeanor crimes after an altercation arising from a business dispute. He brought civil claims against a police officer and the officer's municipal employer based on the arrest. The superior cour...

Friends of Willow Lake, Inc. v. Alaska  
Date: July 20, 2012
Citation: 280 P.3d 542
Docket Number: S-14018

Justia Opinion Summary: After the State of Alaska issued a plan for summer-use rules at Willow Lake, at which the State operates as a float plane facility, a non-profit corporation brought suit against the State and a float plane operator, alle...

Shears v. Myers  
Date: July 20, 2012
Citation: 280 P.3d 552
Docket Number: S-14056

Justia Opinion Summary: Two nieces, acting as co-guardians for their elderly uncle, sued their uncle's former caregiver for misuse and misappropriation of his assets; the caregiver counterclaimed for compensation for services rendered. After a...

Alaska v. North Star Hospital  
Date: July 20, 2012
Citation: 280 P.3d 575
Docket Number: S-14074

Justia Opinion Summary: The Office of Rate Review, a division of the State Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), set a Medicaid payment rate for North Star Hospital based on a 2005 home office cost report that did not reflect a subst...

Holiday Alaska, Inc. v. Alaska  
Date: July 20, 2012
Citation: 280 P.3d 537
Docket Number: S-14155

Justia Opinion Summary: Holiday Alaska, Inc. (Holiday) sells tobacco at over 25 stores in Alaska, and each store holds a tobacco license endorsement from the State. The State sought to suspend five different Holiday stores' tobacco license endo...

Peterson v. Alaska  
Date: July 20, 2012
Citation: 280 P.3d 559
Docket Number: S-14233

Justia Opinion Summary: A State of Alaska employee was discharged. With union representation, the employee unsuccessfully challenged his termination in grievance proceedings. When he later filed suit for wrongful termination, the State subpoena...

Runstrom v. Alaska Native Medical Center  
Date: July 20, 2012
Citation: 280 P.3d 567
Docket Number: S-14294

Justia Opinion Summary: A healthcare worker was sprayed in the eye with fluids from an HIV-positive patient. She received preventive treatment and counseling. Her employer initially paid workers' compensation benefits; it later filed a controve...

Dearlove v. Campbell  
Date: July 13, 2012
Docket Number: S-13772

Justia Opinion Summary: The passenger of a car was injured in a two-car accident. The passenger brought suit against the other car's driver; the passenger's requested recovery included her insurer's subrogation claim for medical expenses. The d...

Jones v. Bowie Industries, Inc.  
Date: June 29, 2012
Citation: 282 P.3d 316
Docket Number: S-13227

Justia Opinion Summary: A worker suffered an above-the-knee amputation of his right leg in a work-related accident in 2003. The accident happened when he used his foot to push a bale of mulch that he was feeding into a machine; his leg was caug...

Airline Support, Inc. v. ASM Capital II, L.P.  
Date: June 29, 2012
Citation: 279 P.3d 599
Docket Number: S-13584

Justia Opinion Summary: A limited partnership based in New York that invests in the claims of unsecured creditors sent a letter to an Alaska corporation offering to purchase one such claim for about one-third of its face value. The letter was a...

Tracy v. Alaska  
Date: June 29, 2012
Citation: 279 P.3d 613
Docket Number: S-13904

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants Richard and Durena Tracy appeal the superior court’s dismissal of their state law negligence and federal constitutional claims against the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services, Office of C...

Toliver v. Alaska State Comm'n for Human Rights  
Date: June 29, 2012
Citation: 279 P.3d 619
Docket Number: S-14232

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal presented the question of whether the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights (the Commission) must interview one or more witnesses identified by a complainant before dismissing a complaint for lack of subst...

Schweitzer v. Salamatof Air Park Subdivision Owners, Inc.  
Date: June 22, 2012
Citation: 278 P.3d 1267
Docket Number: S-13350

Justia Opinion Summary: Purchasers of a lot in a newly formed airpark subdivision prepared and properly executed an easement agreement granting them access to the subdivision's aviation facilities. The purchasers later claimed the easement agre...

Tea, Guardian Ad Litem, on Behalf of A.T. and S.T.  
Date: June 22, 2012
Citation: 278 P.3d 1262
Docket Number: S-14200

Justia Opinion Summary: Eight days after relinquishing her parental rights to twin children, their mother filed a motion requesting that the superior court order the Department of Health and Social Services, Office of Children's Services (OCS)...

In Re 2011 Redistricting Cases
Date: June 19, 2012
Docket Number: S-14721
Khan v. Alaska  
Date: June 15, 2012
Citation: 278 P.3d 893
Docket Number: S-13501

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Izaz Khan was indicted on one count of perjury based on four allegedly false statements made in a financial affidavit. At trial, the court instructed the jury, without objection from Petitioner, that they did...

In Re Protective Proceedings of M.K.  
Date: June 15, 2012
Citation: 278 P.3d 876
Docket Number: S-13787

Justia Opinion Summary: M.K. is a 34-year-old mentally ill Alaska Native woman who lived in a rural village. In 1999, when M.K. was 22, her father A.K. sexually assaulted her. M.K. reported the crime to police, but soon changed her story and A....

Roy S. v. Alaksa  
Date: June 15, 2012
Citation: 278 P.3d 886
Docket Number: S-14377

Justia Opinion Summary: "Jade" is the biological daughter of Roy and Sheila. Jade is an Indian child as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Between 1998 and 2007, the Office of Children's Services (OCS) received at least 12 reports...

Pestrikoff v. Hoff  
Date: June 8, 2012
Citation: 278 P.3d 281
Docket Number: S-14323

Justia Opinion Summary: A woman died intestate survived by her husband and three adult children from a previous marriage. The husband had acquired a boat for a fishing charter business during his marriage to the decedent, but the boat and chart...

Berry v. Berry  
Date: June 1, 2012
Citation: 277 P.3d 771
Docket Number: S-14008

Justia Opinion Summary: A father appealed various procedural actions taken by the superior court in his divorce and custody proceeding. Appearing pro se, he alleged that the court’s expedited procedures violated his due process rights and refle...

Villars v. Villars  
Date: June 1, 2012
Citation: 277 P.3d 763
Docket Number: S-14094

Justia Opinion Summary: Richard Villars and Kathleen Villars were married in 1984, divorced in 2002. Richard served in the military for most of the marriage, first in the United States Air Force and later in the Alaska Air National Guard. Prior...

Jaworski v. Estates of Horwath  
Date: May 25, 2012
Citation: 277 P.3d 753
Docket Number: S-13566

Justia Opinion Summary: Andrew G. Horwath, Sr. died in 1991. His widow, Marjorie Horwath, later moved to Minnesota to live with their daughter, Mary Jaworski. A Minnesota court entered a conservatorship order for Marjorie, appointing Mary "Cons...

Grundberg v. Alaska State Commission for Human Rights  
Date: May 18, 2012
Citation: 276 P.3d 443
Docket Number: S-13866

Justia Opinion Summary: 58-year-old Asian-American Appellant Sue Grundberg alleged that she was discriminated against when her employer, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, denied her a promotion to the position of En...

Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development v. Tongass Business Center  
Date: May 18, 2012
Citation: 276 P.3d 453
Docket Number: S-13888

Justia Opinion Summary: An employer petitioned the Alaska Workers' Compensation Board for reimbursement from the Second Injury Fund for payments it made to a disabled worker. The Fund opposed the petition. After a hearing, the Board granted the...

Dept. of Commerce & Economic Development v. Wold  
Date: May 18, 2012
Citation: 278 P.3d 266
Docket Number: S-13901

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, Alaska's Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers imposed professional sanctions on appraiser Appellee-Cross-Appellant Kim Wold for violations of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)...

Josh L. v. Dept. of Health & Social Services  
Date: May 18, 2012
Citation: 276 P.3d 457
Docket Number: S-14160

Justia Opinion Summary: A father appealed the termination of his parental rights to his daughter, an Indian child within the meaning of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). He challenged the superior court's findings that the Office of Children...

Paula E. v. Alaska  
Date: May 8, 2012
Citation: 276 P.3d 422
Docket Number: S-14247

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose from a Child In Need of Aid (CINA) case involving four Indian children who were removed from their parents’ care due to substance abuse and domestic violence. The children were placed with their maternal...

Estate of Shawn Martin Mickelsen v. North-Wend Foods, Inc.  
Date: April 27, 2012
Citation: 274 P.3d 1193
Docket Number: S-13482

Justia Opinion Summary: An eastbound driver (Shawn Mickelsen) attempted to make an illegal left turn into a restaurant's exit driveway. The eastbound driver collided with an oncoming westbound driver, killing the westbound driver. The decedent'...

Stephanie W. v. Maxwell V.  
Date: April 27, 2012
Citation: 274 P.3d 1185
Docket Number: S-14183

Justia Opinion Summary: A couple lived together briefly in New Mexico and then separated, with the man moving permanently to Alaska. Shortly after he moved, the woman ("Stephanie W.") discovered that she was pregnant and gave birth to a son. Th...

Smith v. Alaska  
Date: April 27, 2012
Citation: 274 P.3d 1179
Docket Number: S-14222

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Sherman "Red" Smith built and operated a sawmill on 14 acres of land under a special-use permit from the U.S. Forest Service. He alleged that Alaska acquired title to the land and conveyed it to a third party...

Sitkans for Responsible Government v. City & Borough of Sitka  
Date: April 20, 2012
Citation: 274 P.3d 486
Docket Number: S-13394

Justia Opinion Summary: Citizens sought a ballot initiative to eliminate the special regulations that govern real property transactions in a local economic development area. After the municipal clerk twice denied their petition for a ballot ini...

Rofkar v. Alaska  
Date: April 20, 2012
Citation: 273 P.3d 1140
Docket Number: S-14214

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Sven Rofkar grew a substantial quantity of marijuana in a house he rented. After state troopers searched the house, Petitioner was charged with four felonies, all brought under separate subsections of AS 11.71...

Heather W. v. Rudy R.  
Date: April 20, 2012
Citations: 273 P.3d 1140, 274 P.3d 478
Docket Number: S-14332

Justia Opinion Summary: Rudy R. moved to modify the agreement through which he and Heather W. shared 50-50 custody of their daughter. He argued that recent legal troubles and instability in Heather's life amounted to changed circumstances that...

Hunter v. Conwell  
Date: April 13, 2012
Citation: 276 P.3d 413
Docket Number: S-13915

Justia Opinion Summary: Bobbie Ann Hunter and Shaun Conwell had two sons before separating. Conwell filed a complaint for custody in 2006 but Hunter did not respond. The superior court granted Conwell sole legal and primary physical custody of...

Gottstein v. Kraft  
Date: April 13, 2012
Citation: 274 P.3d 469
Docket Number: S-14106

Justia Opinion Summary: This case concerned the ownership of James "Jim" and Terrie Gottstein’s former marital home. Jim paid for the property, but Terrie’s name alone was on the deed. The Gottsteins lived in the home for 15 years before moving...

Nelson v. Alaska  
Date: April 6, 2012
Citation: 273 P.3d 605
Docket Number: S-13100

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Daniel Nelson applied for post-conviction relief, alleging 35 claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. At a deposition, trial counsel asserted the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination...

Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers, Inc. v. Kenai Peninsula Borough  
Date: April 6, 2012
Citation: 273 P.3d 1123
Docket Number: S-13594

Justia Opinion Summary: In an October 2007 election, Kenai Peninsula Borough voters approved local initiatives establishing term limits for members of the Borough Assembly and the school board. But voters also reelected five incumbents who, by...

Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers, Inc. v. Kenai Peninsula Borough  
Date: April 6, 2012
Citation: 273 P.3d 1128
Docket Number: S-13596

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case concerned the validity of two 2005 Kenai Peninsula Borough (Borough) ordinances: one enacted by the Borough Assembly and the second enacted by voter initiative. The Borough...

In Re Necessity for the Hospitalization of Joan K.  
Date: April 6, 2012
Citation: 273 P.3d 594
Docket Number: S-13800

Justia Opinion Summary: An adult woman diagnosed with a mental illness appealed her already completed 30-day involuntary commitment to Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API), arguing the evidence did not support the superior court’s findings that:...

In Re Shea
Date: April 6, 2012
Citation: 273 P3d 612
Docket Number: S-14014
Borgen v. A&M Motors, Inc.  
Date: March 30, 2012
Citation: 273 P.3d 575
Docket Number: S-14073

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue presented to the Supreme Court in this case was whether under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act a misrepresentation by a seller of a used motor home is subject to a defense that the misrepr...

In Re 2011 Redistricting Cases
Date: March 14, 2012
Citation: 274 P.3d 466
Docket Number: S-14441
Wilson v. Wilson  
Date: March 9, 2012
Citation: 271 P.3d 1098
Docket Number: S-14149

Justia Opinion Summary: A wife left her husband in Ohio and moved with their son to Alaska, where she filed for divorce. The husband filed for divorce in Ohio. The parties agreed Ohio had child custody and property division jurisdiction. The su...

Alaska v. Heisey  
Date: March 2, 2012
Citation: 271 P.3d 1082
Docket Number: S-13656

Justia Opinion Summary: Two correctional officers allegedly injured inmate Respondent Paul Heisey within the jail. Respondent filed a complaint asserting several tort claims against the State and the two officers. Pursuant to a statute allowing...

In the Matter of the Protective Proceedings of Tammy J.  
Date: March 2, 2012
Citation: 270 P.3d 805
Docket Number: S-13698

Justia Opinion Summary: The parents of a developmentally disabled adult woman appealed a superior court's decision to appoint a public guardian, rather than the parents, as the woman's legal guardian. The superior court found that the parents f...

Kelly v. Municipality of Anchorage  
Date: March 2, 2012
Citation: 270 P.3d 801
Docket Number: S-13858

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Ethel Kelly sued the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) for negligence after she stepped into an uncovered valve box assembly pipe in a crosswalk and sustained injuries. MOA conceded that the valve box cover was m...

Tanana Chiefs Conference, Inc. v. Alaska Bar Association
Date: February 24, 2012
Citation: 271 P.3d 456
Docket Number: S-14583
Trudell v. Hibbert  
Date: February 17, 2012
Citation: 272 P.3d 331
Docket Number: S-13608

Justia Opinion Summary: Lawrence Trudell was injured when he fell while trying to descend a ladder from the roof of a structure on which he was working. At the time he was employed by Phillips Construction Co. (Phillips), a construction contrac...

Gold Country Estates Preservation Group, Inc. v. Fairbanks North Star Borough  
Date: February 10, 2012
Citation: 270 P.3d 787
Docket Number: S-13475

Justia Opinion Summary: Margery Kniffen, as Trustee for the Margery T. Kniffen Family Trust and Darrell Kniffen II, purchased an undeveloped tract in Fairbanks North Star Borough, planning to develop a subdivision. They also purchased a lot in...

Alaska Interstate Construction, LLC v. Pacific Diversified Investments, Inc.  
Date: February 10, 2012
Citation: 279 P.3d 1156
Docket Number: S-13478

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1995, Alaska Interstate Construction's assets were sold to a joint venture but it continued to be operated by its founder, John Ellsworth, through a company he owned called Pacific Diversified Investments, Inc. In 199...

Roberson v. Manning  
Date: January 27, 2012
Citation: 268 P.3d 1090
Docket Number: S-13371

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee Wayne Manning told Appellant Diane Roberson he would give her his share of their jointly purchased mobile home. Without her knowledge, he then transferred title of the mobile home to his name only and sold it to...

Boyko v. Anchorage School District  
Date: January 27, 2012
Citation: 268 P.3d 1097
Docket Number: S-13468

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Chana Boyko was a teacher who resigned in lieu of termination from the Anchorage School District after violating a "last chance agreement." She alleged the School District breached a resignation agreement in wh...

McLaren v. McLaren  
Date: January 20, 2012
Citation: 268 P.3d 323
Docket Number: S-13031

Justia Opinion Summary: Darren McLaren sued his wife Teresa for divorce. The superior court divided the couple's property, intending to award each spouse approximately half of the marital estate. Teresa, who appeared pro se, appealed multiple a...

Kiernan v. Creech  
Date: January 20, 2012
Citation: 268 P.3d 312
Docket Number: S-13230

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2001, Bill Kiernan owned American Towing & Recovery (Kiernan) and Willie Creech owned Vulcan Towing & Recovery (Creech). That year Kiernan and Creech decided to share a lot for their towing businesses. They agreed to...

Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources v. Nondalton Tribal Council  
Date: January 20, 2012
Citation: 268 P.3d 293
Docket Number: S-13681

Justia Opinion Summary: Six tribal councils, joined by two other associations, filed an action against the State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in the superior court seeking a declaratory judgment that the 2005 Bristol Bay Are...

Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission v. Carlson  
Date: January 20, 2012
Citation: 270 P.3d 755
Docket Number: S-13818

Justia Opinion Summary: There was one issue for the Supreme Court's resolution in this, the fifth appeal in this case. After the last remand, the superior court entered a judgment awarding the class a principal refund of $12.4 million with prej...

Ennen v. Integon Indemnity Corp.  
Date: January 20, 2012
Citation: 268 P.3d 277
Docket Number: S-13832

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Jacob Ennen was seriously injured while he was a passenger in Gordon Shanigan's car. Shanigan's insurer, Integon Indemnity Corporation (Integon), paid $50,000 to cover Shanigan's possible liability to Appellant...

David S. v. Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Svcs  
Date: January 20, 2012
Docket Number: S-13874

Justia Opinion Summary: David S. appealed the termination of his parental rights to his daughter Hannah, who is an Indian child. Hannah was taken into the custody by the Office of Children's Services (OCS) while David was incarcerated. David re...

Oels v. Anchorage Police Dept. Employees Association  
Date: January 20, 2012
Citation: 279 P.3d 589
Docket Number: S-13949

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Tom Oels was a sergeant with the Anchorage Police Department (APD) since 2002. In 2005, he stated his intent to retire and be rehired while retaining the rank of sergeant. Appellant was told that under AMC 03.3...

Oates v. Holly  
Date: January 20, 2012
Citation: 268 P.3d 1084
Docket Number: S-14030

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Eleanor Oakes owned a 7/8 undivided interest in a 20-acre parcel of land in Council, while Respondents David and Sine Holly owned a 1/8 undivided interest in the property. The parties went to court to partitio...

Stephanie F. v. George C.  
Date: January 20, 2012
Citation: 270 P.3d 737
Docket Number: S-14035

Justia Opinion Summary: Stephanie F. and George C. both sought physical and legal custody of their son and daughter. Following lengthy proceedings, the superior court found that it would be in the children's best interests for custody to be awa...

Weinberger v. Weinmeister  
Date: January 20, 2012
Citation: 268 P.3d 305
Docket Number: S-14036

Justia Opinion Summary: John Weinberger and Patrice Weinmeister are the parents of a young son. After an incident of mutual domestic violence, John obtained an ex parte restraining order against Patrice. John and Patrice both sought custody of...

Barton v. North Slope Borough School District  
Date: January 20, 2012
Citation: 268 P.3d 346
Docket Number: S-14086

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, Plaintiff Helen Barton was injured while watching a high school football game in Barrow when a player ran out of bounds during a play and collided with her, breaking her leg. Plaintiff sued the North Slope Borou...

Alaska v. Gibson  
Date: January 13, 2012
Citation: 267 P.3d 645
Docket Number: S-13509

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal, the Supreme Court considered the long-standing "emergency aid" exception to the general requirement that a search warrant be obtained prior to police entry into a residence. With this opinion, the Court e...

Grace v. Peterson  
Date: January 13, 2012
Citation: 269 P.3d 663
Docket Number: S-13768

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant James Grace suffered permanent brain injuries when his helmet failed after he braked to avoid hitting a dog and was thrown over the handlebars of his motorcycle. Appellant and his wife, Kathleen, filed personal...

In the Matter of the Adoption of Xavier K.  
Date: January 13, 2012
Citation: 268 P.3d 274
Docket Number: S-13838

Justia Opinion Summary: A mother petitioned the superior court to adopt her biological son. She was never married to the child's father. While the court concluded that the father's consent was not needed, it denied the petition as not being in...

HP Limited Partnership v. Kenai River Airpark, LLC  
Date: January 13, 2012
Citation: 270 P.3d 719
Docket Number: S-13955

Justia Opinion Summary: Thirty seven years ago, two business partners bought a 160-acre property bordering the Kenai River which they subdivided into 114 lots (Holiday Park Subdivision). The partners reserved an easement across Lot 30 for the b...

Martha S. v. Alaska  
Date: January 13, 2012
Citation: 268 P.3d 1066
Docket Number: S-14049

Justia Opinion Summary: "Martha" and "William" are the parents of six children. They appealed the superior court’s order adjudicating their two youngest children as children in need of aid and placing the children in the custody of the Office o...

Doe v. Alaksa Dept. of Health & Social Svcs.  
Date: January 13, 2012
Citation: 272 P.3d 1014
Docket Number: S-14310

Justia Opinion Summary: The Bethel Superior Court entered an order terminating an incarcerated father's parental rights to three of his five children. The father appealed, arguing that the superior court erred by finding that the State made act...

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