Alaska Supreme Court Decisions 2021

Alaska Department of Corrections v. Porche  
Date: April 30, 2021
Docket Number: S-17606

Justia Opinion Summary: After the Department of Corrections (DOC) investigated an allegation that a probation officer was providing special treatment in return for sexual favors and found it to be unsubstantiated, the probation officer sought t...

Republican Governors Association v. Alaska Public Offices Commission  
Date: April 30, 2021
Docket Number: S-17768

Justia Opinion Summary: A national political organization engaged an Alaska media consultant to reserve over $1 million worth of television advertising time prior to the 2018 gubernatorial primary race. The national organization did not registe...

James W. Dobson v. Toni L. Dobson (Unpublished)
Date: April 28, 2021
Docket Number: S-17781
Buntin v. Schlumberger Technology Corporation  
Date: April 23, 2021
Docket Number: S-17309

Justia Opinion Summary: A federal district court certified two questions of law to the Alaska Supreme Court. Schlumberger Technology Corporation was a Texas corporation providing technology services to the oil and gas industry in Alaska. Travis...

Doan v. Banner Health Inc., et al.  
Date: April 23, 2021
Docket Number: S-17502

Justia Opinion Summary: Two defendants in a wrongful death suit settled with the decedent’s estate, resulting in a recovery for her minor child’s benefit. The estate’s attorney received payment from the settlement, but the remaining funds were...

Beistline v. Footit, and Banner Health Inc., D/B/A Fairbanks Memorial Hospital  
Date: April 23, 2021
Docket Number: S-17556

Justia Opinion Summary: A husband and wife sued medical care providers after the wife suffered a seizure, allegedly due to a doctor’s decision to abruptly discontinue her medication. The superior court granted summary judgment to the medical ca...

Dat Luong DBA LVDH Construction v. Western Surety Co.  
Date: April 23, 2021
Docket Number: S-17593

Justia Opinion Summary: The employee of a subcontractor on a state public works project sued the prime contractor’s surety bond for unpaid labor under Alaska’s Little Miller Act. The trial court ruled the employee failed to give notice to the c...

Benjamen J. v. Heather J. (Unpublished)
Date: April 21, 2021
Docket Number: S-17348
Bohn v. Providence Health & Srvs - Washington  
Date: April 16, 2021
Docket Number: S-17106

Justia Opinion Summary: A patient sued a hospital, arguing the hospital violated the Alaska Health Care Decisions Act (HCDA) when it temporarily assumed decision-making authority over his medical care while he was incapacitated and treated him...

Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services v. Thomas et al.  
Date: April 16, 2021
Docket Number: S-17634

Justia Opinion Summary: An Alaska State Commission for Human Rights (State) employee with preexisting medical conditions was involved in a work-related motor vehicle accident in January 2017. The employee consulted with Dr. Teresa Bormann two d...

Duke S. v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: April 14, 2021
Docket Number: S-17833
PLC, LLC. v. Alaska, Department of Natural Resources  
Date: April 9, 2021
Docket Number: S-17500

Justia Opinion Summary: PLC, LLC and its co-party MH2, LLC (collectively PLC) held an overriding royalty interest in an Alaska oil and gas lease in the Ninilchik Unit. The unit operator applied to expand a subset of that unit called the Falls C...

Griswold v. Homer Advisory Planning Commission  
Date: April 9, 2021
Docket Number: S-17669

Justia Opinion Summary: Homer, Alaska's Advisory Planning Commission (the Commission) approved a conditional use permit for the owners of a bicycle shop seeking to expand their entryway and install a covered porch. An objecting Homer resident a...

Metcalfe v. Alaska  
Date: April 2, 2021
Docket Number: S-17157

Justia Opinion Summary: Members of the plaintiff class were former Alaska State employees. When they enrolled in the State employee retirement system, a statute provided that if they left eligible employment, withdrew their contributions to the...

North Slope Borough v. Alaska Dept. of Education & Early Devel.  
Date: April 2, 2021
Docket Number: S-17546

Justia Opinion Summary: For years, a municipality issued, and sought reimbursement for, construction bonds that did not satisfy the equal payments requirement of Alaska's school debt reimbursement program, and the Department of Education and Ea...

C.J. (Father) v. Alaska, DHSS, OCS  
Date: April 2, 2021
Docket Number: S-17797

Justia Opinion Summary: The Alaska Office of Children’s Services (OCS) took custody of three Indian children after reports of substance abuse and domestic violence in their mother’s home. For two years OCS was unable to contact the children’s f...

Aubert v. Wilson, f/k/a Aubert  
Date: March 26, 2021
Docket Number: S-17573

Justia Opinion Summary: Debra Wilson and David Aubert married in September 2007. They separated ten years later, in June 2017. They had no children together, but each had adult children from prior marriages. Debra filed for divorce in July 2017...

Anne P. Mulligan v. HMS Host International (Unpublished)
Date: March 17, 2021
Docket Number: S-17601
Jessica P. v. Gary P. (Unpublished)
Date: March 17, 2021
Docket Number: S-17688
Ahtna, Inc. v. Alaska, Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, et al.  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: S-17496

Justia Opinion Summary: The State of Alaska claimed the right under Revised Statute 2477 (RS 2477) to clear land and permit the use of boat launches, camping sites, and day use sites within an alleged 100-foot right of way centered on a road on...

Creekside Limited Partnership, et al. v. Alaska Housing Finance Corporation  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: S-17517

Justia Opinion Summary: A project developer that used state-allocated federal tax credits for a low-income housing project sued the state housing authority, asserting an option to eliminate a contractual obligation to maintain the project as lo...

Kimp v. Fire Lake Plaza II, LLC  
Date: March 5, 2021
Docket Number: S-17298

Justia Opinion Summary: A business owner formed a brewing company with plans to open a brewpub. He signed a lease that provided rent-free access to a commercial unit for a period of time to allow him to prepare the rental space prior to opening...

Sarah B. v. Edward H. (Unpublished)
Date: February 24, 2021
Docket Number: S-17742
Bunton v. Alaska Airlines, Inc.  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: S-17110

Justia Opinion Summary: An employee sued her former employer for wrongful termination. The employee died, but her attorney continued to litigate, negotiate, and mediate the case for another year before informing the court or opposing counsel of...

Werba v. Association of Village Council Presidents  
Date: February 19, 2021
Citation: 480 P.3d 1200
Docket Number: S-17321

Justia Opinion Summary: Several months after returning from maternity leave, an association’s employee accepted a new special projects position with reduced hours that allowed her to work from home. Later that year she was terminated; the assoc...

Punches v. McCarrey Glenn Apartments LLC  
Date: February 12, 2021
Citation: 480 P.3d 612
Docket Number: S-17465

Justia Opinion Summary: In March 2014, Evvie Punches rented a one-bedroom apartment in the Conifer Groves complex in Anchorage; she renewed the lease in April 2015. The complex was owned by McCarrey Glen Apartments, LLC and managed by Weidner P...

Jordan v. Jordan  
Date: February 12, 2021
Citation: 480 P.3d 626
Docket Number: S-17490

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a divorce trial the superior court unevenly divided a marital estate. The smaller share recipient appealed several points related to findings about alleged marital waste, calculations concerning the parties’ fu...

Walker E. v. Office of Children's Services  
Date: February 12, 2021
Citation: 480 P.3d 598
Docket Number: S-17778

Justia Opinion Summary: Walker E. (father) and Astrid S. had five children together. Before moving to Alaska in 2014, the family had interactions with a protective services agency in Oklahoma following rumors of neglect and abuse. In Alaska, OC...

John Burns v. Alisa Burns (Unpublished)
Date: February 10, 2021
Docket Number: S-17633
Maves v. Department of Public Safety  
Date: January 22, 2021
Citation: 479 P.3d 399
Docket Number: S-17492

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1997, Kelley Maves was convicted of two sexual assaults in Colorado. He moved to Alaska in 2015, where the Department of Public Safety required him to register for life as a sex offender under the Alaska Sex Offenders...

Wilson v. Alaska  
Date: January 15, 2021
Citation: 478 P.3d 1217
Docket Number: S-17491

Justia Opinion Summary: The Alaska Department of Corrections investigated its employee David Wilson for potentially criminal misconduct. It ordered him to answer questions from investigators but assured him that his answers and any evidence der...

Morgan H. Smith v. Scott L. Smith, Jr. (Unpublished)
Date: January 13, 2021
Docket Number: S-17451
Adrianne C. v. Christopher D. (Unpublished)
Date: January 13, 2021
Docket Number: S-17730
Ahmasuk v. Division of Banking and Securities  
Date: January 8, 2021
Citation: 478 P.3d 665
Docket Number: S-17414

Justia Opinion Summary: The Alaska Division of Banking and Securities civilly fined Sitnasuak Native Corporation shareholder Austin Ahmasuk for submitting a newspaper opinion letter about Sitnasuak’s shareholder proxy voting procedures without...

Alaska Office of Lieutenant Governor, Division of Elections v. Vote Yes for Alaska's Fair Share  
Date: January 8, 2021
Citation: 478 P.3d 679
Docket Number: S-17818

Justia Opinion Summary: Sponsors of an initiative that would revise taxation for a defined set of oil producers filed a superior court complaint seeking declaratory judgment that the lieutenant governor’s initiative ballot summary was not true...

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