Alaska Supreme Court Decisions 2013

Jackson v. Sey  
Date: December 27, 2013
Citation: 315 P.3d 674
Docket Number: S-14496

Justia Opinion Summary: A court granted a default divorce to Amie Sey after her husband Willie Jackson, who was incarcerated at the time, failed to appear telephonically at a hearing. Jackson filed a motion for relief from judgment under Alaska...

Reilly v. Northrup  
Date: December 20, 2013
Citations: 314 P.3d 1206, 314 P3d 1206
Docket Number: S-14642

Justia Opinion Summary: Michael Reilly and Jaime Vinette lived together and had a son, Barlow. Reilly stopped working in Alaska and moved to Butte, Montana, where he worked part time repairing and renting out homes and managing a bar. Vinette h...

Hawkins v. Williams  
Date: December 20, 2013
Citations: 314 P.3d 1202, 314 P3d 1202
Docket Number: S-14964

Justia Opinion Summary: A grandmother petitioned for visitation with her daughter’s four children. The superior court denied the petition, finding that the grandmother failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that visitation was in the b...

In Re Necessity for the Hospitalization of Stephen O.  
Date: December 17, 2013
Citations: 314 P.3d 1185, 314 P3d 1185
Docket Number: S-13764

Justia Opinion Summary: Stephen O.'s parents were concerned that he had suffered a possible psychotic break. They reported his behavior to a mental health clinician. The clinician obtained an ex parte order to take Stephen into custody and tran...

Lum v. Koles  
Date: December 13, 2013
Citations: 314 P.3d 546, 314 P3d 546
Docket Number: S-14424

Justia Opinion Summary: Responding to a domestic disturbance call, police officers entered a residence without a warrant and pepper sprayed and handcuffed a resident. The family sued for excessive force and unlawful entry. The superior court di...

Alaska v. Korkow  
Date: December 13, 2013
Citations: 314 P.3d 560, 314 P3d 560
Docket Number: S-14468

Justia Opinion Summary: Jimmy Jack Korkow was convicted of first-degree murder for beating and stabbing his wife to death while the couple’s young children were present in the family home. The trial court sentenced Korkow to 99 years in prison...

Glover v. Ranney  
Date: December 13, 2013
Citations: 314 P.3d 535, 314 P3d 535
Docket Number: S-14610

Justia Opinion Summary: A husband and wife divorced in 2011. In their property settlement agreement, the wife would receive 55% of the marital estate and 50% of the marital share of the husband's military pension. The parties then disputed how...

Morrison v. NANA WorleyParsons, LLC  
Date: December 13, 2013
Citations: 314 P.3d 508, 314 P3d 508
Docket Number: S-14783

Justia Opinion Summary: An at-will employee was placed on probation and later terminated for making an inappropriate comment at a work party. The employee sued the employer for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith...

Urban v. Urban  
Date: December 13, 2013
Citations: 314 P.3d 513, 314 P3d 513
Docket Number: S-14784

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Delbert Urban borrowed against his home in order to build a yacht. He owned the home with his wife Martha. The yacht was destroyed by fire, and the bank foreclosed on the home. After Martha filed for divorce, t...

Phillip J. v. Alaska  
Date: December 13, 2013
Citations: 314 P.3d 518, 314 P3d 518
Docket Number: S-14810

Justia Opinion Summary: Philip J. has nine children. The superior court terminated his parental rights to eight. Philip appealed two separate termination orders (Case No. S-14810 and Case No. S14994) which were consolidated in this decision. Ph...

Heller v. Alaska Dept. of Revenue  
Date: December 6, 2013
Citations: 314 P.3d 69, 314 P3d 69
Docket Number: S-13551

Justia Opinion Summary: A member of the military moved to a new post in Alaska in 2005. Two months later, he was deployed to Iraq. After 16 months of service in Iraq, he returned to Alaska in December of 2006. Shortly thereafter, he applied for...

Barber v. Alaska Dept. of Corrections  
Date: December 6, 2013
Citations: 314 P.3d 58, 314 P3d 58
Docket Number: S-14475

Justia Opinion Summary: An indigent prisoner appealed two prison disciplinary actions to the superior court. For each appeal the superior court calculated a reduced filing fee. The prisoner failed to pay any filing fees and his appeals were dis...

Bachner Company, Inc. v. Weed  
Date: December 6, 2013
Citation: 315 P.3d 1184
Docket Number: S-14629

Justia Opinion Summary: Bachner Company and Bowers Investment Company were unsuccessful bidders on a public contract proposal. They filed a claim for intentional interference with prospective economic opportunity against four individual procure...

Co v. Matson  
Date: November 29, 2013
Citations: 313 P.3d 521, 313 P3d 521
Docket Number: S-14248

Justia Opinion Summary: The superior court awarded Kelly Matson sole legal custody and primary physical custody of hers and Kevin Co's two minor children. Co challenged the legal and physical custody awards and the visitation schedule. Because...

Dault v. Shaw  
Date: November 29, 2013
Citation: 322 P.3d 84
Docket Number: S-14328

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this matter centered on the doctrine of adverse possession and whether the presumption that a private drive across another's property was a permissive use and did not give rise to an...

Beach v. Handforth-Kome  
Date: November 29, 2013
Citations: 314 P.3d 53, 314 P3d 53
Docket Number: S-14811

Justia Opinion Summary: Michele Beach sued a clinic and its executive director, alleging that they had breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing by conducting an unfair investigation and unlawfully retaliating against Beach f...

Fernandez v. Fernandez  
Date: November 22, 2013
Citations: 312 P.3d 1098, 312 P3d 1098
Docket Number: S-14679

Justia Opinion Summary: Cynthia and David Fernandez married in 1979 and had two children. In 1986 the parties divorced but continued to live together until 1997, when David left the home. David returned ifrom 2001 to 2007, when the parties sepa...

Rollins v. Alaska Dept. of Public Safety  
Date: November 22, 2013
Citations: 312 P.3d 1091, 312 P3d 1091
Docket Number: S-14760

Justia Opinion Summary: Elizabeth Rollins purchased a beverage dispensary license (liquor license) in late 1990. She attempted to open a bar on a property she owned but was unsuccessful. Rollins appealed the superior court’s decision upholding...

Wanner-Brown v. Brown  
Date: November 22, 2013
Citations: 312 P.3d 1106, 312 P3d 1106
Docket Number: S-14814

Justia Opinion Summary: Conrad Brown and Tammy Wanner-Brown married in 1992, and divorced in 2011. A major issue of the divorce involved Conrad’s State of Alaska retirement medical benefits. Before the marriage, Conrad had briefly worked for th...

Irma E. v. Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services  
Date: November 22, 2013
Citations: 312 P.3d 850, 312 P3d 850
Docket Number: S-15003

Justia Opinion Summary: Irma E. asked the State Office of Children’s Services to place her granddaughters with her, but OCS denied her request. Irma repeatedly asked the superior court to hold a hearing to review OCS's decision, but the superi...

Amy M. v. Alaska  
Date: November 8, 2013
Docket Number: S-14948

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant had four children who tested positive for cocaine at birth. After her fourth child was born, the Office of Children’s Services (OCS) took custody of the child and placed him with his maternal grandmother. Based...

Harris v. Governale  
Date: November 1, 2013
Citation: 311 P.3d 1052
Docket Number: S-14808

Justia Opinion Summary: Kimberly Mendez (formerly Harris), sought an order granting her primary physical custody of her daughter, for a planned move from Alaska to Florida. The superior court awarded primary physical custody instead to the girl...

Tesoro Corporation v. Alaska Dept. of Revenue  
Date: October 25, 2013
Citation: 312 P.3d 830
Docket Number: S-14326

Justia Opinion Summary: Tesoro Corporation challenged its income taxes assessed for 1994 through 1998. The state Department of Revenue (DOR) calculated Tesoro’s Alaska income by applying a three-factor apportionment formula to Tesoro’s worldwid...

Pfeil v. Lock  
Date: October 25, 2013
Citations: 311 P.3d 649, 311 P3d 649
Docket Number: S-14798

Justia Opinion Summary: A couple filed for divorce after two years of marriage. The wife requested that the parties be returned "as much as possible into their re-marital financial status." The husband requested that the superior court "equitab...

Casey K. v. Alaska  
Date: October 23, 2013
Citations: 311 P.3d 637, 311 P3d 637
Docket Number: S-14985

Justia Opinion Summary: A mother appealed the termination of her parental rights to her child. On appeal, she questioned: (1) the child was a child in need of aid under AS 47.10.011; (2) that she failed to remedy the conduct that placed the chi...

SOP, Inc. v. Alaska  
Date: October 11, 2013
Citation: 310 P3d 962
Docket Number: S-14541

Justia Opinion Summary: The Nancy Lake State Recreation Area's ("the Park") governing regulations prohibit the use of motorized vehicles off of the Park's paved roads. However, the Park issues special use permits to owners of private property a...

Childs v. Childs  
Date: October 11, 2013
Citations: 310 P.3d 955, 310 P3d 955
Docket Number: S-14643

Justia Opinion Summary: A mother and father of two minor children divorced in 2005. The mother was awarded sole legal and physical custody of the children and the father was ordered to pay child support. The father then joined the Army a year l...

Sherman B. v. Alaska  
Date: October 11, 2013
Citations: 310 P.3d 943, 310 P3d 943
Docket Number: S-14957

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the termination of Sherman B.'s parental rights to his son Kadin M. The Office of Children's Services (OCS) took Kadin into custody shortly after his birth because he and his mother, Amy M., bot...

Kyle S. v. Alaska  
Date: October 4, 2013
Citations: 309 P.3d 1262, 309 P3d 1262
Docket Number: S-14975

Justia Opinion Summary: Kyle S. appealed a superior court decision that adjudicated his teenage daughter Jane a child in need of aid. Jane was taken into State custody when she was 15 years old, after she reported being physically abused by her...

Debra P. v. Laurence S.  
Date: September 27, 2013
Citation: 309 P.3d 1258
Docket Number: S-14568

Justia Opinion Summary: Preceding trial, the superior court suggested the parties could introduce evidence regarding an interim custody order at a subsequent hearing, so that they would have more time to reach a final settlement. During the nex...

Conitz v. Alaska State Commission for Human Rights  
Date: September 20, 2013
Docket Number: S-14357

Justia Opinion Summary: The Alaska State Commission for Human Rights dismissed Gregg Conitz's complaint against his employer, Teck Alaska Incorporated. In his complaint, Conitz alleged the company discriminated in its promotion decisions. The s...

Janes v. Alaska Railbelt Marine, LLC  
Date: September 20, 2013
Citation: 309 P.3d 867
Docket Number: S-14593

Justia Opinion Summary: Railroad conductor Sean Janes was injured while railcars were being loaded onto a barge built to transport railcars and non-rail cargo at the same time. Janes and his family sued the barge owner, alleging that placing ca...

Mallory D. v. Malcom D.  
Date: September 20, 2013
Citation: 309 P.3d 845
Docket Number: S-14715

Justia Opinion Summary: A mother appealed an order that modified her child support obligation. She argued that the court improperly calculated the father's self-employment income and also erred by imputing a 40-hour workweek when calculating he...

Chloe O. v. Alaska  
Date: September 20, 2013
Citation: 309 P.3d 850
Docket Number: S-14771

Justia Opinion Summary: Chloe O. had a history of substance abuse and mental health issues. OCS took Chloe's fifteen-month-old daughter, Ashanti, into emergency custody because of Chloe's drug abuse, suicide attempts, assaultive behaviors, and...

Claudio P. v. Alaska  
Date: September 20, 2013
Citation: 309 P.3d 860
Docket Number: S-14988

Justia Opinion Summary: Claudio P. was incarcerated before his daughter Iris was born and was likely to remain incarcerated for a significant portion of Iris's childhood. Iris was taken into State custody in June 2010 due to her mother's subst...

Schweitzer v. Salamatof Air Park Subdivision Owners, Inc.  
Date: September 13, 2013
Citations: 308 P.3d 1142, 308 P3d 1142
Docket Number: S-14170

Justia Opinion Summary: A judgment debtor challenged the superior court's denial of a Rule 60(b) motion to set aside an order permitting the sale of an airplane seized to execute on the judgment against him. At the time of seizure, the airplane...

Charles v. Stout  
Date: September 13, 2013
Citations: 308 P.3d 1138, 308 P3d 1138
Docket Number: S-14678

Justia Opinion Summary: Garold Charles was in an accident while riding as a passenger in a vehicle belonging to Tara and Anthony Stout. He brought negligence claims against the Stouts and Credit Union 1, the lienholder of the Stouts’ vehicle. C...

Nancy M. v. John M.  
Date: September 13, 2013
Citations: 308 P.3d 1130, 308 P3d 1130
Docket Number: S-14791

Justia Opinion Summary: The parties in this dispute initially lived together in Alaska, but when relationship ended before the birth of their daughter, the mother relocated to California. After lengthy litigation, the superior court awarded the...

Griswold v. Homer City Council  
Date: September 13, 2013
Citation: 310 P.3d 938
Docket Number: S-14809

Justia Opinion Summary: Frank Griswold made a public records request for emails related to a public bond proposition. The City of Homer produced all of the emails requested, except for certain privileged emails and deleted emails that could not...

North Pacific Erectors, Inc v. Alaska  
Date: September 6, 2013
Citation: 337 P.3d 495
Docket Number: S-14606

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue on appeal before the Supreme Court concerned a contract dispute between Appellant North Pacific Erectors, Inc. and the Alaska Department of Administration. North Pacific and the Department contracted for a reno...

Wilhour v. Wilhour  
Date: September 6, 2013
Citations: 308 P.3d 884, 308 P3d 884
Docket Number: S-14764

Justia Opinion Summary: Joshua Wilhour moved for modification of child support based on his recent relocation to share custody of his son, and because his income had been reduced. Joshua and his former wife Jacqueline each alleged the other was...

Rosales. v. Icicle Seafoods, Inc.  
Date: September 6, 2013
Citation: 316 P.3d 580
Docket Number: S-14855

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Hugo Rosales suffered an injury working on a fish-processing vessel. He filed both a workers' compensation claim and a maritime lawsuit. Appellant and the employer ultimately entered into a global settlement of...

Amy M. v. Alaska  
Date: September 6, 2013
Docket Number: S-14948

Justia Opinion Summary: Four children tested positive at birth for cocaine. After the fourth child was born, the Office of Children's Services (OCS) took custody of the child and placed him with his maternal grandmother. Based on the mother's h...

Alaskan Crude Corporation v. Alaska  
Date: August 30, 2013
Citation: 309 P.3d 1249
Docket Number: S-14148

Justia Opinion Summary: Alaskan Crude Corporation applied to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to have a suspended the "Burglin 33-1" well reopened to explore for oil and gas. Arguing that it was highly unlikely that oil from the w...

Wiersum v. Harder  
Date: August 23, 2013
Citation: 316 P.3d 557
Docket Number: S-14304

Justia Opinion Summary: Paul Harder brought a lawsuit seeking restoration damages against Joel and Darlene Wiersum after the Wiersums cleared trees from Harder's property without his permission. The Wiersums filed a third-party complaint agains...

L Street Investments v. Municipality of Anchorage  
Date: August 23, 2013
Citation: 307 P.3d 965
Docket Number: S-14466

Justia Opinion Summary: When passing a 1997 ordinance, the Anchorage Municipal Assembly amended the boundaries of a proposed Downtown Improvement District to exclude some properties on K and L Streets. The building at 420 L Street, the property...

Alaskan Adventure Tours, Inc. v. The City and Borough of Yakutat  
Date: August 23, 2013
Citation: 307 P.3d 955
Docket Number: S-14483

Justia Opinion Summary: A tour company claimed fraud and misconduct on the part of a borough in the course of a fraudulent conveyance trial concerning liability for property taxes. Specifically, the company argued that a police officer falsely...

Johnson v. The Aleut Corporation  
Date: August 23, 2013
Citation: 307 P.3d 942
Docket Number: S-14632

Justia Opinion Summary: The Aleut Corporation terminated its chief executive officer, Troy Johnson. He challenged the termination, and according to his employment contract, the matter was submitted to binding arbitration. That agreement contain...

Brown v. Knowles  
Date: August 16, 2013
Citation: 307 P.3d 915
Docket Number: S-13613

Justia Opinion Summary: An unpaid employee of a closely-held corporation sued the corporation and its president for back wages. The day after the employee filed suit, the corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court dischar...

Maness v. Daily  
Date: August 16, 2013
Citation: 307 P.3d 894
Docket Number: S-14172

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2001, Alaska State Troopers went to Bret Maness's home to take him into custody for psychological evaluation, pursuant to an involuntary commitment order that had been issued by the superior court. When the troopers a...

United Services Automobile Association v. Neary  
Date: August 16, 2013
Citation: 307 P.3d 907
Docket Number: S-14580

Justia Opinion Summary: Fifteen-year-old Kevin Michaud fired a single shot from a revolver belonging to his parents, killing one friend and seriously wounding another. The parents of the two victims sued Kevin, his parents, and their insurance...

Kennedy v. Municipality of Anchorage  
Date: August 16, 2013
Citations: 305 P.3d 1284, 305 P3d 1284
Docket Number: S-14762

Justia Opinion Summary: Two former police officers brought claims against the Municipality of Anchorage for racial discrimination, alleging a hostile work environment in violation of state law. The officers claimed damages for mental anguish, a...

Steven D. v. Nicole J.  
Date: August 16, 2013
Citation: 308 P.3d 875
Docket Number: S-14792

Justia Opinion Summary: A mother living in Alaska filed a petition in Alaska to enforce summer visitation with her son, who lived in Tennessee with his father. After the superior court resolved the visitation issue, the father appealed, arguing...

David S. v. Jared H.  
Date: August 16, 2013
Citation: 308 P.3d 862
Docket Number: S-14816

Justia Opinion Summary: Grandparents were permitted to adopt their grandchild without the consent of the biological father. The superior court found that the father's consent was not required because he failed significantly without justifiable...

Kalenka v. Jadon, Inc.  
Date: August 9, 2013
Citations: 305 P.3d 346, 305 P3d 346
Docket Number: S-13899

Justia Opinion Summary: Jack Morrell was a patron of appellee Jason, Inc.'s Chilkoot Charlie's bar where he had been drinking. He had a confrontation with Eric Kalenka shortly after he left. Morrell brandished a knife and used it to fatally sta...

Stanhope v. Stanhope  
Date: August 9, 2013
Citation: 306 P.3d 1282
Docket Number: S-14596

Justia Opinion Summary: Maryna and Kenneth Stanhope divorced in 2010. The superior court divided the marital property 50/50, awarding the marital home to Maryna on condition she remove Kenneth from the mortgage and make an equalization payment....

Gefre v. Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP  
Date: August 2, 2013
Citation: 306 P.3d 1264
Docket Number: S-13675

Justia Opinion Summary: Shareholders of a closely held corporation brought a derivative suit against a shareholder-director and the corporation's former attorneys for fiduciary fraud, fraudulent conveyance, legal malpractice, and civil conspira...

Schaub v. Schaub  
Date: August 2, 2013
Citation: 305 P.3d 337
Docket Number: S-14502

Justia Opinion Summary: The parties in this case divorced in 1992. The divorce decree did not divide their property. The husband received military retirement benefits; the wife filed a motion seeking a post decree equitable division of property...

Tesoro Alaska Company v. Union Oil Company of California  
Date: July 26, 2013
Citation: 305 P.3d 309
Docket Number: S-14122

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2001, Union Oil Company of California entered into a contract to sell its oil to Tesoro Alaska Company. Under the contract the Tesoro took title at the North Slope, but agreed to use a pipeline company associated with...

Patrick v. Municipality of Anchorage  
Date: July 19, 2013
Citation: 305 P.3d 292
Docket Number: S-14360

Justia Opinion Summary: A taxi driver was cited for driving with a suspended license. She asserted that she was not driving the cab on the night in question. Because she had several other violations her license was revoked. The driver appealed...

Villars v. Villars  
Date: July 19, 2013
Citation: 305 P.3d 321
Docket Number: S-14416

Justia Opinion Summary: Olga Villars sued her former husband, Richard Villars, for his failure to pay spousal support in 2010. Following a trial at which both parties appeared, the trial court ruled that the amount Richard owed Olga had to be r...

Nautilus Marine Enterprises, Inc. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation  
Date: July 19, 2013
Citation: 305 P.3d 309
Docket Number: S-14458

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2006, Exxon Mobil Corporation and Exxon Shipping Company settled with two seafood processors, Nautilus Marine Enterprises and Cook Inlet Processing. The parties disputed whether the Settlement Agreement required inter...

SOP, Inc. v. Alaska  
Date: July 19, 2013
Docket Number: S-14541

Justia Opinion Summary: The Nancy Lake State Recreation Area (“Park”) issued special use permits to owners of private property abutting the remote boundary of the Park that grant them the right to use all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) along the Butte...

Petrilla v. Petrilla  
Date: July 19, 2013
Citation: 305 P.3d 302
Docket Number: S-14926

Justia Opinion Summary: After a father left his job with Alaska and moved to Nevada, he left the mother with primary physical custody of their daughter. The mother filed a motion to modify child support. The superior court ordered a modificati...

Windel v. Mat-Su Title Insurance Agency, Inc.  
Date: July 12, 2013
Citation: 305 P.3d 264
Docket Number: S-13793

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue on appeal before the Supreme Court in this case was the validity and interpretation of a roadway easement granted to meet a borough's subdivision plat-waiver requirements. The borough approved a nearby subdivis...

Blaufuss v. Ball  
Date: July 12, 2013
Citation: 305 P.3d 281
Docket Number: S-14484

Justia Opinion Summary: The husband in this case was ordered to pay spousal support for an indefinite time period. More than three years later after that order, before a different judge, the wife sought relief for the husband's failure to pay a...

McCarter v. McCarter  
Date: July 5, 2013
Citations: 303 P.3d 509, 303 P3d 509
Docket Number: S-14640

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant David McCarter claimed the superior court erred by failing to make statute-mandated findings in his appeal related to the enforcement of a property settlement agreement in his divorce from Appellee Deborah McCa...

Rosenblum v. Perales  
Date: July 5, 2013
Citations: 303 P.3d 500, 303 P3d 500
Docket Number: S-14651

Justia Opinion Summary: At the heart of this appeal, a custody dispute between Appellant Aaron Rosenblum and Appellee Angelica Perales. The trial court awarded appellee custody, child support and interim attorney's fees. Appellant argued that t...

Grimmett v. University of Alaska  
Date: June 28, 2013
Citation: 303 P.3d 482
Docket Number: S-13944

Justia Opinion Summary: Yauna Taylor and Calvin Grimmett were both University of Alaska employees terminated through notices of nonretention; Grimmett was alternatively terminated for cause. The Superior Court found that the University violated...

Patterson v. Infinity Insurance Co.  
Date: June 28, 2013
Citation: 303 P.3d 493
Docket Number: S-14338

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Tommie Patterson was involved in a motor vehicle accident. His insurance company paid his medical providers to the policy limit. Two years later, Appellant sued the insurance company, arguing it had shown bad f...

Beals v. Beals  
Date: June 28, 2013
Citation: 303 P.3d 453
Docket Number: S-14688

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Patricia Beals appealed the superior court's property division in her divorce from Appellee Mark Beals. She argued that the court incorrectly characterized a lot that she and Mark jointly purchase with cash obt...

Christopher C. v. Dept. of Health & Social Services, Office of Children's Services  
Date: June 28, 2013
Citation: 303 P.3d 465
Docket Number: S-14892

Justia Opinion Summary: Christopher C. and Therese C.'s parental rights were terminated as to the couple's four children. The trial court relied primarily on evidence that neither parent had acquired the basic skills necessary to parent their c...

Native Village of Tununak v. Alaska  
Date: June 21, 2013
Citation: 303 P.3d 431
Docket Number: S-14562

Justia Opinion Summary: The Office of Children's Services (OCS) placed a Native child in a non-Native foster home while working with the other towards reunification. Over two years later, the superior court terminated the parents' parental righ...

Martin v. Martin  
Date: June 14, 2013
Citation: 303 P.3d 421
Docket Number: S-14508

Justia Opinion Summary: Five years after divorcing, the parties in this case sought to modify their divorce decree. The Superior Court found that circumstances had not changed sufficiently for either to justify modification of the child custody...

Schultz v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.  
Date: June 7, 2013
Citations: 301 P.3d 1237, 301 P3d 1237
Docket Number: S-14673

Justia Opinion Summary: The Dennis P. Hutchinson, Jr. Trust held two residential properties; Appellee Wells Fargo Bank administered the trust. The beneficiary's mother and guardian, Appellant Jean Schultz, learned that insurance premiums on the...

Dearlove v. Campbell  
Date: May 31, 2013
Docket Number: S-13772

Justia Opinion Summary: A driver caused injury to the passenger of another car in a two-car accident. The passenger brought suit for damages, including her insurer's subrogated claim for medical expenses. The driver made an early offer of judgm...

Calais Company, Inc. v. Kyzer Ivy  
Date: May 31, 2013
Citation: 303 P.3d 410
Docket Number: S-13884

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, a shareholder of Calais Company, Inc., Deborah Kyzer Ivy, filed a complaint against Calais seeking involuntary corporate dissolution. In May 2009, Ivy and Calais reached a settlement agreement in which Calais ag...

Ronny M. v. Nanette H.  
Date: May 31, 2013
Citation: 303 P.3d 392
Docket Number: S-14558

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case centered on the custody and child support arrangement between Ronny M. and Nanette H. with respect to their two minor children, Ronny Jr. and Lavar, both of whom were born...

Taylor v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage  
Date: May 17, 2013
Citation: 301 P.3d 182
Docket Number: S-14211

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant purchased a home and fell behind on her mortgage payments. Despite the bank having agreed to postpone a foreclosure sale, it proceeded with the sale. After she threatened suit, the bank re-purchased the home an...

Bottcher v. Alaska  
Date: May 10, 2013
Citations: 300 P.3d 528, 300 P3d 528
Docket Number: S-14460

Justia Opinion Summary: In May 2005, Petitioner Eugene Bottcher drove his vehicle off the road, hitting a boy and narrowly missing the boy's brother. Petitioner was intoxicated at the time; the boy who had been hit later died at the hospital fr...

Dimeff v. Estate of Robert Merle Cowan  
Date: May 3, 2013
Citations: 300 P.3d 1, 300 P3d 1
Docket Number: S-14060

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue presented to the Supreme Court in this case involved a dispute over the disposition of a deceased Alaska attorney's interest in attorney's fees from his participation, through a joint venture, in the Exxon Vald...

DesJarlais v. Alaska  
Date: May 3, 2013
Citations: 300 P.3d 900, 300 P3d 900
Docket Number: S-14535

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Clinton DesJarlais filed an application with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor seeking certification of an initiative that would generally prohibit abortion. The lieutenant governor, acting on the advice of...

Municipality of Anchorage v. Adamson  
Date: May 3, 2013
Citation: 301 P.3d 569
Docket Number: S-14621

Justia Opinion Summary: In two cases consolidated by the Supreme Court for this opinion, the Alaska Workers' Compensation Appeals Commission applied different standards to evaluate motions to stay future medical benefits, and the losing party i...

O'Neal v. Campbell  
Date: May 3, 2013
Citations: 300 P.3d 15, 300 P3d 15
Docket Number: S-14702

Justia Opinion Summary: A mother, appearing pro se, appealed a child support order. She claimed that the superior court erred in requiring her to pay child support to a father who shared physical custody and erred in refusing to allow a deducti...

Bearden v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.  
Date: April 26, 2013
Citation: 299 P.3d 705
Docket Number: S-14345

Justia Opinion Summary: The question before the Supreme Court in this appeal was whether a defendant who pled no contest to disorderly conduct in a criminal action could be collaterally estopped from relitigating the elements of that crime in a...

McDonnell v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co.  
Date: April 26, 2013
Citation: 299 P.3d 715
Docket Number: S-14378

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a car accident with an uninsured motorist, Lori McDonnell filed suit against her insurer State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company on behalf of herself and her minor son, Luke. McDonnell sought a declarato...

Titus v. Alaska Dept. of Admin., Div. of Motor Vehicles  
Date: April 12, 2013
Citation: 305 P.3d 1271
Docket Number: S-14177

Justia Opinion Summary: A motorcyclist was involved in a single-vehicle accident resulting in a cut on his head and minor damage to his motorcycle. The accident involved no other drivers, vehicles, or property. Because the motorcycle was not in...

Madonna v. Tamarack Air, Ltd.  
Date: April 12, 2013
Citation: 298 P.3d 875
Docket Number: S-14406

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee Tamarack Air, Ltd. negligently damaged Appellant James Madonna's airplane while it was on Tamarack's airfield after it had been in Tamarack's shop for maintenance. Tamarack offered to fix the plane, but Madonna...

Alaska v. Doe  
Date: April 10, 2013
Docket Number: S-14486

Justia Opinion Summary: John Doe A and John Doe B were convicted of criminal offenses that required them to register and comply with Alaska’s Sex Offender Registration Act (ASORA). After their convictions, the legislature amended ASORA, requiri...

Weilbacher v. Ring  
Date: April 8, 2013
Docket Number: S-14180

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved a three-way transfer of boat tie-up spaces in a recreational subdivision. The principal issue before the Supreme Court was whether the trial court erred in requiring the joinder of one of the people in...

Wagner v. Wagner
Date: April 5, 2013
Citation: 299 P.3d 170
Docket Number: S-14403
McCarrey v. Kaylor  
Date: March 29, 2013
Citation: 301 P.3d 559
Docket Number: S-14114

Justia Opinion Summary: Two couples owned adjoining lots in Anchorage, located directly north and south of each other. Title to the southern lot originated from a federal land patent, which reserved a right-of-way across the northern boundary o...

Sullivan v. Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands  
Date: March 29, 2013
Citation: 311 P.3d 625
Docket Number: S-14216

Justia Opinion Summary: The State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Division (DNR), petitioned the Supreme Court for review of a superior court decision that under AS 38.05.035, the lack of continuing best interest findings...

Dixon v. Blackwell  
Date: March 29, 2013
Citation: 298 P.3d 185
Docket Number: S-14313

Justia Opinion Summary: Dixie Dixon was injured in an automobile accident when a car driven by Joshua Paul Blackwell ran a red light. She sued and received a verdict that was lower than Blackwell's Alaska Civil Rule 68 offer of judgment. On app...

Hussein-Scott v. Scott  
Date: March 29, 2013
Citation: 298 P.3d 179
Docket Number: S-14561

Justia Opinion Summary: Jerry Scott and Camilla Hussein-Scott divorced, signing a marital settlement agreement requiring Jerry to pay alimony every month. On the line reserved for the alimony termination date, Jerry wrote "12/2/2020," which was...

Plumbers & Pipefitters, Local 367 v. Municipality of Anchorage
Date: March 29, 2013
Citation: 298 P.3d 195
Docket Number: S-14664
Pruitt v. Providence Extended Care  
Date: March 29, 2013
Citation: 297 P.3d 891
Docket Number: S-14687

Justia Opinion Summary: An employee filed an affidavit of readiness for hearing in her workers' compensation case approximately four years after her employer filed a controversion of her written workers' compensation claim. The employer petitio...

Mills v. Hankla  
Date: March 22, 2013
Citation: 297 P.3d 158
Docket Number: S-14041

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008 a city promoted a police officer to chief. The city’s hiring determination and the officer’s subsequent conduct led four police department employees to sue the police chief and the city. The employees asserted se...

Brooks v. Hollaar  
Date: March 22, 2013
Citation: 297 P.3d 125
Docket Number: S-14181

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury found Ronald Brooks liable to his former brother-in-law, Timothy Hollaar, for the full amount of loans that had been memorialized by four promissory notes. On appeal, Ronald argued: (1) that the trial court erred...

Swaney v. Granger  
Date: March 22, 2013
Citation: 297 P.3d 132
Docket Number: S-14356

Justia Opinion Summary: In May 2011, the superior court modified an existing child support order, specifying that the modification was to be effective as of March 2007. But because the motion requesting modification was not filed until February...

Hertz v. Macomber  
Date: March 22, 2013
Citation: 297 P.3d 150
Docket Number: S-14454

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Sidney Hertz, a prisoner sentenced in 1984, applied for an early furlough release in 2009 but refused to agree to comply with any furlough release conditions, arguing that imposing conditions that were not part...

Griffin v. Weber  
Date: March 22, 2013
Citation: 299 P.3d 701
Docket Number: S-14594

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case was whether a deed that was absolute on its face should have been reformed into a security agreement. Appellant Kelly Griffin owned property near Wasilla. Beginning in 2005...

Sosa de Rosario v. Chenega Lodging  
Date: March 22, 2013
Citation: 297 P.3d 139
Docket Number: S-14661

Justia Opinion Summary: A hotel worker fell and injured her back while cleaning a room. Her employer initially paid benefits, but it filed a controversion of benefits after its doctor doubted the accident’s occurrence and said any work injury w...

Burke v. Maka  
Date: March 15, 2013
Citation: 296 P.3d 976
Docket Number: S-14202

Justia Opinion Summary: Daniel and Luisa Burke owned a home in Anchorage. Nesavou Maka, Fungani Maka, and Alberta Maka were their next-door neighbors. A common driveway approximately 20 feet wide straddled the neighbors' properties. The Burkes...

Alaska v. Doe  
Date: March 15, 2013
Docket Number: S-14486

Justia Opinion Summary: John Doe A and John Doe B were convicted of criminal offenses that required them to register and comply with Alaska’s Sex Offender Registration Act (ASORA). Following their convictions, the legislature amended ASORA, req...

Hill v. Giani  
Date: March 8, 2013
Citation: 296 P.3d 14
Docket Number: S-13693

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Mary Hill, the owner of an assisted living home, sought damages from Appellees Linda Giani (an independent care coordinator), the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and Staci Collier (a state licen...

Weilbacher v. Ring  
Date: March 8, 2013
Docket Number: S-14180

Justia Opinion Summary: The center of this appeal before the Supreme Court involved a three-way transfer of boat tie-up spaces in a recreational subdivision. Specifically, the issue was whether the court erred in requiring the joinder of one of...

American Marine Corporation v. Sholin  
Date: March 8, 2013
Citation: 295 P.3d 924
Docket Number: S-14299

Justia Opinion Summary: A medical service provider filed but failed to serve a complaint against a former patient and her insurer. The superior court dismissed the complaint without prejudice for lack of service. Nearly a year later, the medica...

ARCTEC Services v. Cummings  
Date: March 8, 2013
Citation: 295 P.3d 916
Docket Number: S-14457

Justia Opinion Summary: While receiving workers' compensation benefits for an injury, an employee periodically endorsed benefit checks that included a certification that she had "not worked in any employment or self-employment gainful or otherw...

Estate of Simone Young Kim v. Coxe  
Date: February 22, 2013
Citation: 295 P.3d 380
Docket Number: S-14077

Justia Opinion Summary: Jason Coday shot and killed Simone Kim with a rifle obtained from Ray Coxe’s gun store. Kim’s Estate brought a wrongful death action against Coxe, alleging that Coxe negligently or illegally provided Coday the rifle. Co...

In Re Reinstatement of Wiederholt
Date: February 22, 2013
Citation: 295 P.3d 396
Docket Number: S-14690
Greenway v. Heathcott  
Date: February 15, 2013
Citation: 294 P.3d 1056
Docket Number: S-14321

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Simone Greenway sued Appellee Larry Heathcott alleging among other things, identity theft and breach of domestic partnership and fiduciary duties. After a bench trial at which both parties were pro se, the supe...

Williams v. Ketchikan Gateway Borough  
Date: February 15, 2013
Citation: 295 P.3d 374
Docket Number: S-14513

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Fredrick Williams appealed the superior court's decision affirming the Ketchikan Gateway Borough's ruling that a house was not exempt from Ketchikan Gateway Borough taxation. In 2002 Williams received a grant t...

In Re 2011 Redistricting Cases  
Date: February 15, 2013
Docket Number: S-14721

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court issued an order remanding a proposed redistricting plan to the redistricting board with instructions to formulate a new plan in compliance with state case law. Upon remand, the board was instructed to f...

Hurn v. Greenway  
Date: February 8, 2013
Citation: 293 P.3d 480
Docket Number: S-14343

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee Simone Greenway and her friend Carrie Randall-Evans were dancing together in a suggestive manner and teasing Jeffrey Evans, Carrie’s husband. Jeffrey left the room, returned with a pistol, and shot everyone insi...

Leisnoi, Inc. v. Merdes & Merdes, P.C.  
Date: February 1, 2013
Citation: 307 P.3d 879
Docket Number: S-13790

Justia Opinion Summary: Leisnoi, Inc. retained the law firm of Merdes & Merdes to represent it in litigation against Omar Stratman over its certification of and title to certain lands Leisnoi claimed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Ac...

Heynen v. Fairbanks  
Date: February 1, 2013
Citation: 293 P.3d 470
Docket Number: S-13834

Justia Opinion Summary: A tenant fell on the outside stairs of her rented apartment and sustained a serious back injury. She sued her landlord alleging that her fall was caused by the landlord's negligent failure to inspect and maintain the sta...

Williams v. GEICO  
Date: January 25, 2013
Citations: 294 P.3d 102, 301 P.3d 1220
Docket Number: S-14089

Justia Opinion Summary: The underlying tort action in this appeal resulted from a car accident in which the insured, while driving a rental truck, hit a person who was lying in the middle of the road. Both the driver and the person struck were...

Ahtna, Inc. v. Alaska Dept. of Trans. & Public Facilities  
Date: January 18, 2013
Citation: 296 P.3d 3
Docket Number: S-14075

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1961, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a right-of-way grant to the Alaska Department of Public Works conveying a "road building material site" along the Denali Highway with no expiration date and no ren...

Licht v. Irwin  
Date: January 18, 2013
Citation: 292 P.3d 915
Docket Number: S-14318

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2009 the Department of Natural Resources issued two decisions, one removing the classification of certain lands as wildlife habitat and the other allowing for the conveyance of these lands to the Denali Borough for fu...

In Re Cummings  
Date: January 18, 2013
Citation: 292 P.3d 187
Docket Number: S-14692

Justia Opinion Summary: In early April 2012 the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct (Commission) referred to the Supreme Court its unanimous recommendation for removal of Judge Dennis Cummings, a district court judge in Bethel. However in Dec...

Thea G. v. Alaska  
Date: January 9, 2013
Citation: 291 P.3d 957
Docket Number: S-14663

Justia Opinion Summary: Thea G. challenged the superior court’s order terminating her parental rights to her two children, twelve-year old Zach, and six-year old Abbie. The superior court terminated Thea’s parental rights based on her unremedie...

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