Alaska Supreme Court Decisions 2014

Ellingston v. Lloyd  
Date: December 26, 2014
Citation: 342 P.3d 825
Docket Number: S-14884

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case were the efforts of the Alaska Board of Game to control, by regulation, the movement of bison that stray outside the boundaries of two game ranches on Kodiak Island. The Board had statutory authorit...

Ebert v. Bruce L.  
Date: December 26, 2014
Citation: 340 P.3d 1048
Docket Numbers: S-15130, S-15219

Justia Opinion Summary: Sometime in early 2007, "Connie" approached Holly and William Ebert, a married couple she knew from church, about adopting her child. Connie wanted the Eberts to adopt her child because she thought they would be loving p...

In Re Adoption of S.F.  
Date: December 12, 2014
Citation: 340 P.3d 1045
Docket Number: S-15359

Justia Opinion Summary: "Robert" appealed a superior court decision that his consent was not required for his biological daughter’s adoption. The superior court accepted the superior court standing master’s recommendation that Robert’s consent...

In Re Miles
Date: December 12, 2014
Citation: 339 P.3d 1009
Docket Number: S-15366
Chung v. Park  
Date: December 12, 2014
Citation: 339 P.3d 351
Docket Number: S-15374

Justia Opinion Summary: A landowner sued her neighbor for trespass, alleging that the neighbor cleared trees from the landowner’s property without permission. An expert witness hired by the landowner estimated that 562 trees were cleared from a...

Brewer v. Alaska  
Date: November 28, 2014
Citation: 341 P.3d 1107
Docket Number: S-14916

Justia Opinion Summary: Major forest fires swept through areas south of Fairbanks in the summer of 2009 and approached properties owned by appellants (the landowners). Firefighters working under the direction of the State Department of Forestry...

Garibay v. Alaska, Dept. of Administration, Division of Motor Vehicles  
Date: November 28, 2014
Citation: 341 P.3d 446
Docket Number: S-15017

Justia Opinion Summary: Joe Garibay was at the Sam's Club in Fairbanks when he collided with a woman’s shopping cart, waking her baby. She demanded an apology, but Garibay swore at her instead. Assuming he was drunk because of the beer in his c...

Resurrection Bay Auto Parts, Inc. v. Alder  
Date: November 28, 2014
Citation: 338 P.3d 305
Docket Number: S-15139

Justia Opinion Summary: Dillip Mullings owned a NAPA auto-parts store in Seward called Resurrection Bay Auto Parts, Inc. Mullings hired Dennis Alder to be the store manager, a position Alder held from 2006 to 2010, when he was terminated. Alder...

Alaska Div. of Workers' Comp. v. Titan Enterprises, LLC  
Date: November 28, 2014
Citation: 338 P.3d 316
Docket Number: S-15166

Justia Opinion Summary: The Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board fined an uninsured employers Titan Enterprises, LLC, Titan Topsoil, Inc. and CCO Enterprises (collectively, "Titan," all owned by Todd Christanson) a substantial amount because they...

Green v. Parks  
Date: November 28, 2014
Citation: 338 P.3d 312
Docket Number: S-15382

Justia Opinion Summary: Jason Green and Courtney Parks had a dispute over custody of their infant daughter. The superior court awarded joint legal custody but gave Courtney primary physical custody and the “final say” if the parties could not a...

Asa'carsarmiut Tribal Council v. Wheeler  
Date: November 21, 2014
Citations: 227 P.3d 1182, 337 P.3d 1182
Docket Number: S-15318

Justia Opinion Summary: J.W. was the son of Jeanette Myre, a member of the Asa’carsarmiut Tribe, and John Wheeler, a non-member. In 2007 Myre petitioned the Asa’carsarmiut Tribal Court to assume jurisdiction over the custody of J.W. After a hea...

Moody v. Royal Wolf Lodge  
Date: November 14, 2014
Citation: 339 P.3d 636
Docket Numbers: S-14864, S-14883

Justia Opinion Summary: A pilot who worked at a remote fishing lodge filed a claim under the Alaska Wage and Hour Act (AWHA) for unpaid overtime wages. The Superior Court concluded that the pilot was a "professional employee" who was exempt fro...

Chloe W. v. Dept. of Health & Social Services, Office of Children's Services  
Date: November 7, 2014
Citation: 336 P.3d 1258
Docket Number: S-15351

Justia Opinion Summary: Chloe W. appealed the termination of parental rights to her three-year-old son Timothy under the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA). She claimed the trial court erred by: (1) relying too heavily on a stipulation fil...

Villars v. Villars  
Date: October 31, 2014
Citation: 336 P.3d 701
Docket Number: S-15280

Justia Opinion Summary: Richard and Olga Villars were married in Ukraine in 2004. Richard (a U.S. citizen), signed a Form I-864 affidavit of support in which he agreed to maintain Olga and her daughter, Linda, at 125% of the applicable federal...

Farmer v. Alaska USA Title Agency, Inc.  
Date: October 24, 2014
Citation: 336 P.3d 160
Docket Number: S-15163

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1992, Robert Farmer and his wife, Kathy, bought Wolverine Lodge in Glennallen from Peggy Jo Watson. The purchase price of $365,000 was secured by a deed of trust on the property. Farmer defaulted on the mortgage for t...

Humphrey v. Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, Inc.  
Date: October 16, 2014
Citation: 337 P.3d 1174
Docket Number: S-15140

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review was whether an employee was entitled to temporary total disability benefits after he left employment under disputed circumstances. The employee injured his bac...

Riggs v. Coonradt  
Date: October 16, 2014
Citation: 335 P.3d 1103
Docket Number: S-15172

Justia Opinion Summary: A mother appealed a modified decree involving the custody of her three children. The superior court decided that the parents’ inability to communicate justified a modification of the existing joint-custody arrangement, a...

Becker v. Fred Meyer Stores, Inc.  
Date: October 16, 2014
Citation: 335 P.3d 1110
Docket Number: S-15314

Justia Opinion Summary: Fred Becker V, a loss prevention manager employed by Fred Meyer Stores, Inc., was terminated in 2012. He sued his former employer, alleging breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealin...

Christensen v. Alaska Sales & Service, Inc.  
Date: October 10, 2014
Citation: 335 P.3d 514
Docket Number: S-14963

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, four years after appellants Ramona Christensen and Jack Scott purchased a new car, it collided with two moose on the Parks Highway. After the collision Christensen called the police to report the accident and ca...

Dodge v. Sturdevant  
Date: October 10, 2014
Citation: 335 P.3d 510
Docket Number: S-15212

Justia Opinion Summary: The superior court ordered that divorced parents each claim one of their two children for the federal income tax dependency exemption. Both children resided primarily with the mother, and the court ordered her to sign an...

Jamie H. v. Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services, Office of Children's Services  
Date: October 10, 2014
Citation: 336 P.3d 1253
Docket Number: S-15346

Justia Opinion Summary: Jamie and Anna They stopped using drugs when they realized Anna was pregnant with their son Ian, but after the birth they went back to abusing drugs and alcohol, with periods of sobriety. Although Ian lived with his pare...

Kyte v. Stallings  
Date: September 19, 2014
Citation: 334 P.3d 697
Docket Number: S-14492

Justia Opinion Summary: Thomas Kyte and Deidre Stallings are the parents of a daughter, born in 2002. Child Support Services Division (CSSD) entered an administrative order in 2005 requiring Kyte to pay child support of $576 per month, based on...

Graham R. v. Jane S.  
Date: September 19, 2014
Citation: 334 P.3d 688
Docket Number: S-15158

Justia Opinion Summary: Graham R. and Jane S. had one child. A 2006 court order granted Graham sole legal and primary physical custody. In 2012 Graham traveled to California for heart surgery and took the child with him, cutting off contact wit...

Native Village of Tununak v. Alaska, Dept. of Health & Social Services, Office of Children's Services  
Date: September 12, 2014
Citation: 334 P.3d 165
Docket Number: S-14670

Justia Opinion Summary: This case began in July 2008 when the Alaska Office of Children's Services (OCS) assumed custody of four-month-old "Dawn" from her parents. Dawn was found to be a child in need of aid (CINA). Dawn's parents were Native A...

Kanuk v. Alaska, Dept. of Natural Resources  
Date: September 12, 2014
Citation: 335 P.3d 1088
Docket Number: S-14776

Justia Opinion Summary: In May 2011, plaintiffs, six Alaskan children acting through their guardians, filed suit against the State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, seeking declaratory and equitable relief. The plaintiffs contended th...

Briggs v. City of Palmer  
Date: September 12, 2014
Citation: 333 P.3d 746
Docket Number: S-14969

Justia Opinion Summary: Neighbor and owner of property near the Palmer Municipal Airport brought an inverse condemnation claim against the City of Palmer, arguing that the airport operation diminished his property value. The superior court ente...

Osborne v. Alaska, Dept. of Corrections  
Date: September 5, 2014
Citation: 332 P.3d 1286
Docket Number: S-15218

Justia Opinion Summary: Through a prisoner grievance process, William Osborne unsuccessfully challenged the Department of Correction's (DOC) calculation of his sentence. Afterward, he filed an administrative appeal in superior court. Osborne ar...

Houston v. Wolpert  
Date: September 5, 2014
Citation: 332 P.3d 1279
Docket Number: S-15232

Justia Opinion Summary: Upon dissolution of their marriage, father Gary Houston and mother Meredith Wolpert, agreed to give primary custody to the mother and "open and liberal visitation" to the father. The father moved for modification of cust...

Lee v. Konrad  
Date: August 29, 2014
Citation: 337 P.3d 510
Docket Number: S-14503

Justia Opinion Summary: Cody Lee and Stacey Dean (collectively, "Lee") and Barbara Konrad disputed a boundary between their lots in an Anchorage subdivision. Lee insisted that the boundary line was established by a 1992 survey, which Lee later...

Adamson v. Municipality of Anchorage  
Date: August 29, 2014
Citation: 333 P.3d 5
Docket Number: S-15006

Justia Opinion Summary: A firefighter developed prostate cancer when he was in his mid-fifties, after working for nearly 30 years. He filed a workers’ compensation claim under a new statute creating a presumption that certain diseases in firefi...

Sherry R. v. Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services  
Date: August 29, 2014
Citation: 332 P.3d 1268
Docket Number: S-15376

Justia Opinion Summary: Sherry R. appealed the termination of her parental rights to her son Jake. She argued in appeal that the superior court’s erred in finding: (1) she failed to remedy the conduct that made Jake a child in need of aid (CINA...

Nautilus Marine Enterprises, Inc. v. Exxon Mobil Corp.  
Date: August 22, 2014
Citation: 332 P.3d 554
Docket Number: S-14736

Justia Opinion Summary: The superior court issued a declaratory judgment interpreting a settlement agreement between Nautilus Marine Enterprises and Exxon Mobil Corporation, then decided that Exxon was the prevailing party. Nautilus appealed aw...

Young v. Kelly  
Date: August 22, 2014
Citation: 334 P.3d 153
Docket Number: S-14857

Justia Opinion Summary: Anna Young and David Kelly were married, and fished together on David's boat during their marriage from 1982 to 1985. Eight years after the marriage was dissolved, the federal government established a program assigning i...

In the Matter of the Protective Proceedings of Vernon H.  
Date: August 22, 2014
Citation: 332 P.3d 565
Docket Number: S-14960

Justia Opinion Summary: An elderly father was hospitalized for medical testing and treatment. The father had granted a durable power of attorney to his eldest adult daughter and had been residing with his youngest adult daughter and her family....

In the Matter of Candance A.  
Date: August 22, 2014
Citation: 332 P.3d 578
Docket Number: S-15251

Justia Opinion Summary: The superior court adjudicated Candace as a child in need of aid because she had been sexually abused by her adoptive brother. The superior court nonetheless ordered that Candace be returned to her parents' home, holding...

Grundberg v. Alaska State Communication for Human Rights  
Date: August 22, 2014
Citation: 333 P.3d 1
Docket Number: S-15365

Justia Opinion Summary: A public employee filed a complaint with the Commission for Human Rights in 2007 alleging employment discrimination and filed another complaint with the superior court in 2012. Upon learning of the 2012 complaint, the ex...

Greene v. Tinker  
Date: August 15, 2014
Citation: 332 P.3d 21
Docket Number: S-14965

Justia Opinion Summary: A patient at a health clinic learned that a clinic employee, who was not authorized to access the patient’s medical record, had discussed the patient’s pregnancy with a clerical worker at the clinic. The patient complain...

Tweedy v. Matanuska-Susitna Borough Board of Adjustment and Appeals  
Date: August 15, 2014
Docket Number: S-15034

Justia Opinion Summary: Clifton Tweedy leased property from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough since May 1988. The property included a house that was built in 1968 and located less than 18 feet from the lakeshore. When Tweedy assumed the lease, the...

Alaska Trustee, LLC v. Bachmeier  
Date: August 8, 2014
Citation: 332 P.3d 1
Docket Number: S-13978

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2009 Elisabeth Bachmeier defaulted on a loan secured by a deed of trust against her home, and a nonjudicial foreclosure was initiated. Bachmeier requested a reinstatement quote in order to halt the foreclosure. Alask...

Moffitt v. Moffitt  
Date: August 8, 2014
Citation: 341 P.3d 1102
Docket Number: S-14495

Justia Opinion Summary: Linda Moffitt filed suit as her mother's guardian and conservator and the successor trustee of her parents' living trusts, seeking to rescind or reform a deed they executed in 1995 and a contract they signed in 1998. The...

Price v. Kenai Peninsula Borough  
Date: August 8, 2014
Citation: 331 P.3d 356
Docket Number: S-14713

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant James Price appealed a superior court order affirming the Kenai Peninsula Borough Clerk's rejection of his ballot referendum application. The proposed referendum would have repealed Borough Ordinance 2008-28, w...

Alaska Judicial Council v. Kruse  
Date: August 8, 2014
Citation: 331 P.3d 375
Docket Number: S-14874

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010 the Alaska Judicial Council recommended that the electorate not retain a sitting district court judge. Susan Kruse and a handful of other voters1 challenged the constitutionality of AS 22.15.195, which granted th...

Pederson v. Arctic Slope Regional Corp.  
Date: August 8, 2014
Citation: 331 P.3d 384
Docket Number: S-15056

Justia Opinion Summary: A shareholder of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation sought to exercise his statutory right to inspect books and records of account and minutes of board and committee meetings relating to executive compensation and an alle...

Blas v. Alaska, Dept. of Labor  
Date: August 8, 2014
Citation: 331 P.3d 363
Docket Number: S-15143

Justia Opinion Summary: The Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Employment Security (the Division) determined that Leo Blas committed fraud when he failed to report that he worked and traveled during weeks he claimed and...

Donahue v. Ledgends, Inc.  
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 331 P.3d 342
Docket Number: S-14910

Justia Opinion Summary: Claire Donahue broke her tibia during a class at the Alaska Rock Gym after she dropped approximately three to four-and-a-half feet from a wall onto the floormat. Before class, Donahue had been required to read and sign a...

Richter v. Richter  
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 330 P.3d 984
Docket Number: S-15088

Justia Opinion Summary: The superior court granted a divorce to Shelley and Matthew Richter and equitably divided their marital property. Matthew appealed, challenging the court’s jurisdiction and its finding that a loan from Matthew’s mother w...

Plaintiff v. Defendant  
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 330 P.3d 926
Docket Number: S-15355

Justia Opinion Summary: In a custody modification proceeding, the superior court found that Todd Heber had a history of domestic violence and awarded Tamara Heber primary physical custody and sole legal custody of the parties’ son. Todd filed a...

McCormick v. Chippewa, Inc.  
Date: July 30, 2014
Citation: 330 P.3d 345
Docket Number: S-15046

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, appellant Brent McCormick suffered a back injury while pushing a net reel aboard the F/V CHIPPEWA, owned by Chippewa, Inc. The day after his injury McCormick was treated with ibuprofen. Later that night rough se...

Lane v. Ballot  
Date: July 25, 2014
Citation: 330 P.3d 338
Docket Number: S-14782

Justia Opinion Summary: Lennie Lane appealed the superior court’s grant of summary judgment against him in a personal injury case. The superior court applied the doctrine of collateral estoppel to find that Lane's criminal conviction for assaul...

Silver Bow Construction v. Alaska Dept. of Administration  
Date: July 25, 2014
Citation: 330 P.3d 922
Docket Number: S-15087

Justia Opinion Summary: The Department of Administration, Division of General Services accepted a 15-page response to a request for proposals for renovations to the Governor's House. The request stated that responses should not exceed 10 pages....

Harris v. Millennium Hotel  
Date: July 25, 2014
Citation: 330 P.3d 330
Docket Number: S-15230

Justia Opinion Summary: The Alaska Workers' Compensation Board denied a death benefit claim filed by the decedent's same-sex partner because the death benefit statute grants benefits only to a worker’s "widow or widower" as defined by statute....

Simmonds v. Parks  
Date: July 18, 2014
Citation: 329 P.3d 995
Docket Number: S-14103

Justia Opinion Summary: The Minto Tribal Court terminated the parental rights of Edward Parks and Bessie Stearman to their daughter S.P. At the termination hearing, the attorney for Parks and Stearman was not permitted to present oral argument...

Schlumberger Technology Corp. v. Alaska Dept. of Revenue  
Date: July 18, 2014
Citation: 331 P.3d 334
Docket Number: S-14729

Justia Opinion Summary: Schlumberger Limited conducts its business in Alaska through a wholly owned subsidiary, Schlumberger Technology Corporation. Schlumberger Technology's primary business is oilfield services, but it also owns all of Schlum...

Grace L. v. Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services  
Date: July 18, 2014
Citation: 329 P.3d 980
Docket Number: S-15108

Justia Opinion Summary: The superior court terminated a mother's parental rights based on evidence of her chronic delusions and the danger these delusions posed to her child. On appeal, the mother argued that several aspects of the court's deci...

Lake & Peninsula Borough Assembly v. Oberlatz  
Date: July 11, 2014
Citation: 329 P.3d 214
Docket Number: S-14945

Justia Opinion Summary: Five voters owned homes in a borough and a home outside that borough. Two of the voters voted in the borough's 2010 election. All five voted in the borough's 2011 election. Although each voter was registered to vote, the...

Girdwood Mining Company v. Comsult LLC  
Date: July 3, 2014
Citation: 329 P.3d 194
Docket Number: S-14488

Justia Opinion Summary: A mining company contracted with a consultant to help the company obtain new capital investments. The company later brought suit against the consultant, seeking a declaratory judgment that the contract violated Alaska se...

Kristina B. v. Edward B.  
Date: July 3, 2014
Citation: 329 P.3d 202
Docket Number: S-14865

Justia Opinion Summary: Ed and Kristina B. had one son before they separated. The superior court heard evidence about domestic violence on Ed’s part and Kristina’s medical and substance-abuse issues. The court granted sole legal and primary phy...

Johnson v. Alaska  
Date: June 27, 2014
Citation: 328 P.3d 77
Docket Number: S-14557

Justia Opinion Summary: Nathawn Johnson was convicted of and sentenced for, among other crimes, two counts of sexual assault in the first degree relating to his rape of S.S. One count resulted from penetration of the victim's mouth without her...

State, Dept. of Health & Social Services v. Mullins  
Date: June 27, 2014
Citation: 328 P.3d 1038
Docket Number: S-14981

Justia Opinion Summary: Two sisters reported that they were abused by their grandparents while they were entrusted to the legal custody of the Office of Children’s Services (OCS). The sisters sued OCS, and a jury awarded them substantial damage...

Pouzanova v. Morton  
Date: June 20, 2014
Citation: 327 P.3d 865
Docket Number: S-14442

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, Ekaterina Pouzanova drove past a stop sign and into an intersection in Anchorage and was broad-sided by a vehicle driven by Kuuipo Morton. Morton went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with lower back pain...

Tweedy v. Matanuska-Susitna Borough Board of Adjustment and Appeals  
Date: June 20, 2014
Docket Number: S-15034

Justia Opinion Summary: Clifton Tweedy began leasing property from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough on Big Lake in May 1988. When Tweedy assumed the lease, the existing structure was exempt from the Borough’s 75-foot shoreline setback ordinance be...

Frackman v. Enzor  
Date: June 20, 2014
Citation: 327 P.3d 878
Docket Number: S-15124

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal stemmed from a father’s motion to modify the custody arrangement of the parties’ two children. The superior court awarded primary physical and sole legal custody to the father after hearing testimony from a c...

Brown v. City of Kenai, Personnel Board  
Date: June 20, 2014
Citation: 327 P.3d 871
Docket Number: S-15160

Justia Opinion Summary: Daniel Brown was a City of Kenai employee who was accused of sexual harassment of female employees at the Kenai Recreation Center. But after a termination hearing, the Personnel Board of the City of Kenai stated that the...

Louie v. BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc.  
Date: June 13, 2014
Citation: 327 P.3d 204
Docket Number: S-15120

Justia Opinion Summary: A highly paid worker suffered a debilitating stroke while traveling for his employer. The employer did not think the stroke was work related, but it later accepted the claim and paid workers' compensation benefits. The s...

Brandner v. Municipality of Anchorage  
Date: June 13, 2014
Citation: 327 P.3d 200
Docket Number: S-15144

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Sheila Brandner appealed the Anchorage Municipal Board of Equalization's valuation of her home for the 2012 tax year. She argued the Municipal assessor's office used an improper appraisal method and that the Bo...

Yelena R. v. George R.  
Date: May 23, 2014
Citation: 326 P.3d 989
Docket Number: S-15042

Justia Opinion Summary: Yelena R. and George R. were involved in an on-again, off-again relationship for more than a decade and had two children together. Yelena accused George of sexually assaulting her in 2011 while they were living together....

In Re Necessity for the Hospitalization of Mark V.  
Date: May 16, 2014
Citation: 324 P.3d 840
Docket Number: S-14534

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2011 the superior court entered a 30-day involuntary civil commitment order for Mark V. after the court conducted an evidentiary hearing and found that Mark posed a "substantial risk . . . of harming others." Mark arg...

Conley v. Alaska Communications System Holdings, Inc.  
Date: May 9, 2014
Citation: 323 P.3d 1131
Docket Number: S-14194

Justia Opinion Summary: A tractor-trailer driver was injured while unloading cargo. The driver sued the receiving company for damages, arguing that the company negligently trained its forklift operator, the operator was negligent, and the opera...

BP Pipelines (Alaska) Inc. v. Alaska, Dept. of Revenue  
Date: May 9, 2014
Citation: 327 P.3d 185
Docket Number: S-14718

Justia Opinion Summary: In consolidated appeals, the issue before the Supreme Court concerned the attorney’s fees and costs awarded in the 2006 Trans-Alaska Pipeline System tax assessment case. The superior court decided that the Fairbanks Nort...

Achman v. Alaska  
Date: May 9, 2014
Citation: 323 P.3d 1123
Docket Number: S-14830

Justia Opinion Summary: Charles Kemp attempted suicide while in administrative segregation at the Anchorage Correctional Complex. He survived but suffered a serious brain injury. His mother, Marjorie Achman, sued the Alaska Department of Correc...

Patterson v. Cox  
Date: May 9, 2014
Citation: 323 P.3d 1118
Docket Number: S-14853

Justia Opinion Summary: Tommie Patterson’s vehicle was struck from behind when he braked to avoid a car stalled in his lane of travel. He sued the owner of the stalled vehicle and subpoenaed her for trial, but she refused to appear. The Supreme...

Pralle v. Milwicz  
Date: May 9, 2014
Citation: 324 P.3d 286
Docket Number: S-14881

Justia Opinion Summary: Jessica Milwicz negligently rear-ended a vehicle driven by Justin Pralle. Pralle sued. Milwicz admitted negligence but argued that she had not caused Pralle’s injuries. A jury agreed with her, and judgment was entered in...

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP v. Alaska, Dept. of Administration  
Date: May 9, 2014
Citation: 324 P.3d 293
Docket Number: S-15004

Justia Opinion Summary: A state agency issued a request for proposals for legal services. A law firm delivered its proposal after the submission deadline, but the procurement officer accepted the proposal and forwarded it to the evaluation comm...

Lockwood v. Geico General Insurance Company  
Date: May 2, 2014
Citation: 323 P.3d 691
Docket Number: S-14552

Justia Opinion Summary: Jennifer Lockwood was injured in a car accident caused by an uninsured drunk driver. Lockwood had car insurance through Geico General Insurance Company. After exhausting her policy's medical payments coverage, Lockwood...

Alaska v. Public Safety Employees Association  
Date: May 2, 2014
Citation: 323 P.3d 670
Docket Number: S-14701

Justia Opinion Summary: An Alaska state trooper was discharged for having consensual sex with a domestic violence victim the morning after assisting in the arrest of the victim's husband. The Public Safety Employees Association (PSEA) filed a g...

Charles v. Alaska  
Date: April 25, 2014
Citation: 326 P.3d 978
Docket Number: S-12944

Justia Opinion Summary: Byron Charles was convicted of a sex offense in the 1980s. In 1994 the Alaska Legislature enacted ASORA. The statute was expressly retroactive: ASORA accordingly required Charles to maintain sex offender registration. In...

Alaska v. Schmidt  
Date: April 25, 2014
Citation: 323 P.3d 647
Docket Number: S-14521

Justia Opinion Summary: The State of Alaska and the Municipality of Anchorage exempt from municipal property taxation $150,000 of the assessed value of the residence of an owner who is a senior citizen or disabled veteran. But the full value of...

AAA Valley Gravel, Inc. v. Totaro  
Date: April 25, 2014
Citation: 325 P.3d 529
Docket Number: S-14680

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal stemmed from a 1984 gravel lease, a later sublease, and overriding royalty payments under the sublease. The Supreme Court had vacated a judgment in favor of Alicia Totaro, the sublease’s overriding royalty in...

Hendricks-Pearce v. Alaska Dept. of Corrections  
Date: April 25, 2014
Citation: 323 P.3d 30
Docket Number: S-14820

Justia Opinion Summary: A prisoner recovered a medical malpractice judgment against the State of Alaska Department of Corrections. But when DOC paid the judgment, it deducted the expenses it had incurred for unrelated medical care provided to t...

Boulds v. Nielsen  
Date: April 25, 2014
Citation: 323 P.3d 58
Docket Number: S-14887

Justia Opinion Summary: Raymond Boulds and Elena Nielsen were unmarried cohabitants for 16 years and raised children together. When their relationship ended, they litigated child custody and property ownership. The court determined that the ins...

Alsworth v. Seybert  
Date: April 25, 2014
Citation: 323 P.3d 47
Docket Number: S-14978

Justia Opinion Summary: A group of citizens sued two borough assembly members, alleging various violations of borough and state conflict of interest laws and the common law conflict of interest doctrine. After the borough took official action f...

Mattox v. Alaska Dept. of Corrections  
Date: April 18, 2014
Citation: 323 P.3d 23
Docket Number: S-14587

Justia Opinion Summary: A former inmate brought sued the Department of Corrections alleging that the Department negligently failed to protect him after he reported being threatened and that he was subsequently assaulted and seriously injured wh...

Purcella v. Olive Kathryn Purcella Trust  
Date: April 18, 2014
Citation: 325 P.3d 987
Docket Number: S-14770

Justia Opinion Summary: Olive Kathryn Purcella (Kathryn) filed a petition in the Anchorage superior court to reform or terminate the Olive Kathryn Purcella Trust. The superior court held, after trial, that Kathryn had not shown by clear and con...

Kollander v. Kollander  
Date: April 18, 2014
Citation: 322 P.3d 897
Docket Number: S-14904

Justia Opinion Summary: Jean Kollander sought to modify the pension division in a qualified domestic relations order originally entered by the superior court in 1992. The federal pension administrator paid Jean's share of her former spouse's pe...

Steward v. Alaska  
Date: April 11, 2014
Citation: 322 P.3d 860
Docket Number: S-14476

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a fatal car crash, the estate and the surviving spouse of the car’s driver sued the State of Alaska under separate negligence theories. The superior court granted the State summary judgment on one claim, and a...

Rude v. Cook Inlet Region, Inc.  
Date: April 11, 2014
Citation: 322 P.3d 853
Docket Number: S-14686

Justia Opinion Summary: Robert Rude and Harold Rudolph were shareholders and former directors of Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI). They distributed a joint proxy solicitation in an attempt to be elected to the CIRI board of directors at CIRI’s 20...

Sandberg v. Sandberg  
Date: April 11, 2014
Citation: 322 P.3d 879
Docket Number: S-14759

Justia Opinion Summary: The superior court granted Brianna Sandberg’s motion to vacate a divorce settlement agreement, valued and divided the couple’s property, and ordered David Sandberg to pay Brianna’s attorney’s fees. In granting Brianna’s...

Regner v. North Star Volunteer Fire Dept., Inc.  
Date: April 11, 2014
Citation: 323 P.3d 16
Docket Number: S-14794

Justia Opinion Summary: A fire broke out at a mobile home owned by Leo Regner near North Pole. The North Star Volunteer Fire Department, the North Pole Fire Department, and the Fort Wainwright Fire Department responded to the fire but were unab...

Hawkins v. Attatayuk  
Date: April 11, 2014
Citation: 322 P.3d 891
Docket Number: S-14812

Justia Opinion Summary: Harold Hawkins and Rosalind Attatayuk were married until 1981, when they dissolved their marriage. Hawkins was awarded the couple’s home in the dissolution and continued to reside on the property, which was federally own...

Healy Lake Village v. Mt. McKinley Bank  
Date: April 11, 2014
Citation: 322 P.3d 866
Docket Number: S-14987

Justia Opinion Summary: Members of Healy Lake Village Tribe who claimed to constitute the newly elected tribal council brought suit in superior court against Mt. McKinley Bank after the Bank refused to change the signatory authority on the Trib...

Emma D. v. Alaska  
Date: April 11, 2014
Citation: 322 P.3d 842
Docket Number: S-15207

Justia Opinion Summary: The Office of Children’s Services (OCS) became involved with Emma D. and her newborn son, Joey, following reports from Covenant House expressing concern about Emma’s homelessness, inability to care for an infant, and fee...

In Re Necessity for the Hospitalization of Gabriel C.  
Date: April 4, 2014
Citation: 324 P.3d 835
Docket Number: S-14256

Justia Opinion Summary: The respondent in this mental health commitment proceeding argued that the delay between his detention and his involuntary commitment hearing violated time limits imposed by statute and due process of law. After review o...

Espeland v. OneWest Bank, FSB  
Date: March 28, 2014
Citation: 323 P.3d 2
Docket Number: S-14571

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2005, appellants Max and Peggy Espeland refinanced their home with E-Loan, Inc. Shortly thereafter, their loan was purchased by another bank and securitized. The Espelands eventually defaulted on the loan and their ho...

Zamarello v. Reges  
Date: March 28, 2014
Citation: 321 P.3d 387
Docket Number: S-14724

Justia Opinion Summary: A client sued his lawyer for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation, and professional negligence in a fee agreement dispute. After a jury found in favor of the lawyer and judgment was entered, th...

Shumway v. Betty Black Living Trust  
Date: March 28, 2014
Citation: 321 P.3d 372
Docket Number: S-14818

Justia Opinion Summary: This case stemmed from a dispute between property owners on a small island in Southeast Alaska. After moving to the island with his family, Todd Shumway engaged in activities that Betty Black, the largest landowner, clai...

Municipality of Anchorage v. Holleman  
Date: March 28, 2014
Citation: 321 P.3d 378
Docket Number: S-15315

Justia Opinion Summary: The Anchorage Assembly passed an ordinance modifying the labor relations chapter of the Anchorage Municipal Code. Two citizen-sponsors filed an application for a referendum that would repeal the ordinance. The Municipali...

Maness v. Gordon  
Date: March 21, 2014
Citation: 325 P.3d 522
Docket Number: S-14753

Justia Opinion Summary: Bret Maness alleged that defendants committed a series of sexual assaults against him in the 1970s, when he was still a child. He further alleged that, although the defendants used a combination of date rape drugs and hy...

Alaska Community Action on Toxics v. Hartig  
Date: March 21, 2014
Citation: 321 P.3d 360
Docket Number: S-14823

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal stemmed from the issuance of a permit by the State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Environmental Health to the Alaska Railroad Corporation for the use of herbicides to control vegetation...

Dennis v. Alaska, Dept. of Administration, Division of Motor Vehicles  
Date: March 21, 2014
Citation: 320 P.3d 1150
Docket Number: S-14989

Justia Opinion Summary: Daniel Van Dennis was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and submitted to a chemical test, which showed that his breath alcohol concentration was over the legal limit. He received a notice of the revocat...

Rowan B. v. Alaska, Dept. of Health & Social Services, Office of Children's Services  
Date: March 21, 2014
Citation: 320 P.3d 1152
Docket Number: S-15107

Justia Opinion Summary: Rowan B., Sr. and Risa F. appealed the adjudication of their children as children in need of aid. The adjudication was based on allegations that Rowan had physically and sexually abused their daughter and Risa's daughter...

Harris v. M-K Rivers  
Date: March 14, 2014
Citation: 325 P.3d 510
Docket Number: S-14254

Justia Opinion Summary: A worker was left a paraplegic after a 1976 work-related motor vehicle accident. He suffered a number of medical complications related to his injuries. In 2007, his employer controverted some aspects of his medical care,...

ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. v. Williams Alaska Petroleum, Inc.  
Date: March 14, 2014
Citation: 322 P.3d 114
Docket Number: S-14654

Justia Opinion Summary: Williams Alaska Petroleum owned and operated a refinery, which ConocoPhillips Alaska supplied with crude oil. ConocoPhillips demanded that Williams tender a payment of $31 million as adequate assurances of Williams’s abi...

Limeres v. Limeres  
Date: March 14, 2014
Citation: 320 P.3d 291
Docket Number: S-14970

Justia Opinion Summary: The father appealed the court’s determination of his child support obligations, its factual findings regarding child custody and visitation, its valuation and division of the marital estate, its denial of attorney’s fees...

Molly O. v. Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services  
Date: March 14, 2014
Citation: 320 P.3d 303
Docket Number: S-15076

Justia Opinion Summary: In January 2011, the Department of Health and Social Services, Office of Children’s Services (OCS) took emergency custody of three children. The children had been in the care of their maternal grandparents, but before th...

Conitz v. Alaska State Commission for Human Rights  
Date: March 7, 2014
Docket Number: S-14357

Justia Opinion Summary: Gregg Conitz filed suit against his employer, Teck Alaska Incorporated, alleging discrimination in its internal promotional decisions. The Alaska State Commission for Human Rights dismissed Conitz's complaint, and the su...

Szabo v. Municipality of Anchorage  
Date: March 7, 2014
Citation: 320 P.3d 809
Docket Number: S-14750

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, the superior court issued a final order requiring David and Jane Szabo to pay unpaid fines assessed by the Municipality of Anchorage or failing to remove junk stored on their property. The Szabos did not appeal...

James R. v. Kylie R.  
Date: March 7, 2014
Citation: 320 P.3d 273
Docket Number: S-15128

Justia Opinion Summary: Two parents shared joint custody of their child during the pendency of their divorce, but the father's plans to move out of state led both parents to seek primary physical custody of the child. The superior court granted...

Simone H. v. Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services, Office of Children's Services  
Date: March 7, 2014
Docket Number: S-15149

Justia Opinion Summary: Simone H. appealed the trial court's order terminating her parental rights to her son, Irving. Simone challenged the trial court's denial of her request to have Irving's therapy records released to her for use during the...

Stephanie W. v. Maxwell V.  
Date: February 28, 2014
Citation: 319 P.3d 219
Docket Number: S-15065

Justia Opinion Summary: Maxwell V. sued for custody of Terrance, the son he had with Stephanie W. The superior court granted him primary physical custody and joint legal custody. The Supreme Court reviewed and affirmed the first custody order i...

Christianson v. Conrad-Houston Insurance  
Date: February 21, 2014
Citation: 318 P.3d 390
Docket Number: S-14305

Justia Opinion Summary: When Appellant Todd Christianson was sued by a former employee for severe personal injuries suffered while working for appellant's landscaping business, appellant tendered his defense to his general liability insurer. It...

McAlpine v. Priddle  
Date: February 21, 2014
Citation: 321 P.3d 345
Docket Number: S-14891

Justia Opinion Summary: The issues before the Supreme Court in this case arose from an attorney fee dispute arbitration conducted under the state Revised Uniform Arbitration Act. The two primary issues related to the appropriate standard of rev...

BP Pipelines (Alaska) Inc. v. Alaska  
Date: February 19, 2014
Citation: 325 P.3d 478
Docket Number: S-14095

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case involved the assessed value of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System for property tax purposes. The parties disputed the method used to assess the pipeline's value as well as th...

Sagers v. Sackinger  
Date: February 14, 2014
Citation: 318 P.3d 860
Docket Number: S-14843

Justia Opinion Summary: Adam Sagers appealed a superior court's award of physical and legal custody of his minor son to the boy's mother, Colleen Sackinger. Adam contended: (1) that the superior court abused its discretion in denying a continua...

Denali Citizens Council v. Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources  
Date: February 14, 2014
Citation: 318 P.3d 380
Docket Number: S-14896

Justia Opinion Summary: Denali Citizens Council challenged the Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) finding that issuing a license to Usibelli Coal Mine for gas exploration in the Healy Basin was in the best interests of the state on two grou...

Coppe v. Bleicher  
Date: February 14, 2014
Citation: 318 P.3d 369
Docket Number: S-14938

Justia Opinion Summary: Marilyn Coppe worked in the medical offices of Drs. Michael and Laurie Bleicher from 1994 to 2003. In early 2003, she began to experience respiratory and pain symptoms, which she attributed to her work environment. After...

In Re Necessity for the Hospitalization of Daniel G.  
Date: February 7, 2014
Citation: 320 P.3d 262
Docket Number: S-15100

Justia Opinion Summary: Daniel G. appealed an ex parte order authorizing a 72-hour psychiatric evaluation issued after his emergency detention. The evaluation personnel determined that Daniel did not meet the statutory criteria for involuntary...

Welton v. Alaska  
Date: January 3, 2014
Citations: 315 P.3d 1196, 315 P3d 1196
Docket Number: S-14822

Justia Opinion Summary: Hiland Mountain Correctional Center inmate, Doctor Suzette Welton filed three appeals over the dismissal of her administrative appeals for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. In all three cases, Welton appealed decision...

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