Alaska Supreme Court Decisions 2022

Pederson v. Arctic Slope Regional Corporation  
Date: September 23, 2022
Docket Number: S-17840

Justia Opinion Summary: A corporate shareholder alleged the corporation violated his statutory right to inspect certain records and documents. The superior court found that the shareholder did not assert a proper purpose in his request. The…

Ahtna, Inc. v. Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, et al.  
Date: September 16, 2022
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…

Sulzbach v. City & Borough of Sitka, et al.  
Date: September 16, 2022
Docket Number: S-17853

Justia Opinion Summary: The City and Borough of Sitka, Alaska allowed an independent nonprofit organization to host a public event at a city facility. The nonprofit organization arranged for a volunteer to hang decorations in the facility; a…

Reeves, et al. v. Godspeed Properties, LLC, et al.  
Date: September 16, 2022
Docket Number: S-17884

Justia Opinion Summary: An Alaska superior court ordered a landowner to temporarily remove a tourist railway it had built across an easement on his land to allow the easement holder to build a paved road capable of dedication as a public…

Husby v. Monegan  
Date: September 16, 2022
Docket Number: S-18023

Justia Opinion Summary: Jennifer Monegan was the birth mother of a child born in 2011, and Scout Monegan was the child’s adoptive father. Gregory and Julie Husby were the child’s maternal grandparents and lived in Oregon. Jennifer and her child…

Robert W. Gottstein v. Jo Gottstein (Unpublished)
Date: September 14, 2022
Docket Number: S-18042
James W. Dobson v. Toni L. Dobson (Unpublished)
Date: September 14, 2022
Docket Number: S-18167
K.S. v. D.I. (Unpublished)
Date: September 14, 2022
Docket Number: S-18176
Alaska Department of Corrections v. Stefano  
Date: September 2, 2022
Docket Number: S-17892

Justia Opinion Summary: The Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC) allows some inmates to serve a portion of their prison sentence outside a correctional facility while wearing electronic monitoring equipment. This case presented a…

Mariah B. v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: August 31, 2022
Docket Number: a-7
A. S. (Mother) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: August 31, 2022
Docket Number: S-18152
D.A.M. (Father) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: August 31, 2022
Docket Number: S-18241
S. R. (Father) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: August 31, 2022
Docket Number: S-18252
S. W. (Father) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: August 31, 2022
Docket Number: S-18273
A.H. (Mother) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: August 24, 2022
Docket Number: S-18186
Office of Public Advocacy v. Berezkin f/n/a Smith et al.  
Date: August 12, 2022
Docket Numbers: a-6, A-6

Justia Opinion Summary: The Alaska Supreme Court granted the Office of Public Advocacy’s (OPA) petition for review of whether counsel provided through Alaska Legal Service Corporation’s (ALSC) pro bono program was counsel “provided by a public…

Wayson v. Stevenson  
Date: August 12, 2022
Citation: 514 P.3d 1263
Docket Number: S-17874

Justia Opinion Summary: The dispute that arose in this case concerned an easement that lead from the Glenn Highway over residential property to a parcel of land used as a jumping-off point for a Matanuska Glacier tourism business. After years…

Cook Inlet Fisherman’s Fund v. Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game, et al.  
Date: August 12, 2022
Citation: 514 P.3d 1250
Docket Number: S-17955

Justia Opinion Summary: A nonprofit entity representing commercial fishers sued the Alaska Board of Fisheries and the Department of Fish and Game, alleging that the State’s fishery management practices in Cook Inlet were unjustified and…

Fairbanks North Star Borough v. Victory Ministries of Alaska, Inc., et al.  
Date: August 12, 2022
Citation: 515 P.3d 111
Docket Number: S-17982

Justia Opinion Summary: The Fairbanks North Star Borough partially revoked a local ministry’s charitable property tax exemption after learning that the ministry was renting lodging to the general public. The ministry appealed the Borough’s…

Layton v. Dea  
Date: August 12, 2022
Docket Number: S-18056

Justia Opinion Summary: Orville Jenkins appealed a superior court’s division of property following his divorce. The Alaska Supreme Court rejected his arguments that the superior court: (1) improperly denied his motion to continue trial; (2)…

Dunleavy, et al. v. Alaska Legislative Council, et al.  
Date: August 12, 2022
Citations: 314 P.3d 508, 425 P.3d 80, 485 P.3d 1010, 515 P.3d 117
Docket Number: s-6

Justia Opinion Summary: The Alaska Legislature passed a bill in 2018 that appropriated money for public education spending for both FY2019, and FY2020. The second appropriation had a 2019 effective date. Governor Mike Dunleavy took office in…

Paul T. Dunham v. Kiana A. Johnson (Unpublished)
Date: August 10, 2022
Docket Number: S-17979
Alaska Dept. of Revenue v. Nabors International Finance, Inc. et al.  
Date: August 5, 2022
Citation: 514 P.3d 893
Docket Number: S-17883

Justia Opinion Summary: The Alaska Department of Revenue audited a non-resident corporation doing business in Alaska. The Department issued a deficiency assessment based in part on an Alaska tax statute requiring an income tax return to include…

Aparezuk v. Schlosser  
Date: July 29, 2022
Citation: 514 P.3d 283
Docket Number: S-17974

Justia Opinion Summary: A married couple with two children legally separated. They agreed the father would pay the mother child support while they lived at separate residences and alternated custody of the children. This arrangement was…

Alaska Dept. Health & Soc. Serv. v. C.A., et al.  
Date: July 22, 2022
Citation: 513 P.3d 999
Docket Number: A-57

Justia Opinion Summary: In two separate cases, an Alaska superior court decided that it could not terminate parental rights to children with alleged Indian heritage without cultural expert testimony, and that the cultural expert testimony…

Alaska v. Graham  
Date: July 22, 2022
Citation: 513 P.3d 1046
Docket Number: S-17411

Justia Opinion Summary: A drunk driver lost control of his truck on a wet roadway and struck and killed two teenage girls. The driver pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder with a sentencing range of 13 to 20 years for each count.…

Ray v. Alaska  
Date: July 22, 2022
Citation: 513 P.3d 1026
Docket Number: S-17645

Justia Opinion Summary: In Henry v. Alaska, the court of appeals held that a defendant who entered a plea agreement providing for a specific period of probation has the right, when being sentenced for a subsequent probation violation, to reject…

In the Matter of the Necessity for the Hospitalization of: Jonas H.  
Date: July 22, 2022
Citation: 513 P.3d 1019
Docket Number: S-17810

Justia Opinion Summary: A man appealed superior court orders authorizing his commitment for mental health treatment and the involuntary administration of psychotropic medication, arguing the superior court relied on erroneous facts to find that…

Annie Sockpick v. Joel Magby (Unpublished)
Date: July 20, 2022
Docket Number: S-17799
Notti v. Hoffman  
Date: July 15, 2022
Citation: 513 P.3d 245
Docket Number: S-17560

Justia Opinion Summary: A divorcing couple settled their property dispute by executing a settlement agreement that included a litigation waiver. The superior court accepted the settlement five months later. The former wife subsequently sued her…

Smallwood Creek, Inc. v. Build Alaska, LLC  
Date: July 15, 2022
Citation: 513 P.3d 253
Docket Number: S-17774

Justia Opinion Summary: A general contractor hired a subcontractor to provide material for a project at a state park. After the project was completed, the general contractor sent the subcontractor a check described as “final payment.” The…

Duffus v. Baker  
Date: July 15, 2022
Citation: 513 P.3d 264
Docket Number: S-17873

Justia Opinion Summary: A limited liability company (LLC) member sold his interest to another LLC member as part of a settlement agreement, under which funds were to be paid to the selling member and his attorneys. A judgment creditor of the…

Nina Gayle Timblin v. Michael Paquette (Unpublished)
Date: July 13, 2022
Docket Number: S-18134
David LaPoint v. Alicia LaPoint (Unpublished)
Date: July 6, 2022
Docket Numbers: a-6, A-6
Jones-Nelson v. Alaska  
Date: June 24, 2022
Citation: 512 P.3d 665
Docket Number: S-17555

Justia Opinion Summary: A defendant convicted of first-degree murder appealed his conviction to the Alaska court of appeals, arguing that the trial court erroneously instructed the jury on the law of self-defense. The court of appeals agreed…

Wright v. Dropik  
Date: June 24, 2022
Citation: 512 P.3d 655
Docket Number: S-17769

Justia Opinion Summary: A man filed suit against a former romantic partner to resolve disputes about property acquired during their relationship. The superior court ruled the parties had been in a domestic partnership (a marriage-like…

Marie Alice Sternquist v. Greg Levern Sternquist (Unpublished)
Date: June 15, 2022
Docket Number: S-17594
Mona J. v. Alaska Dept. of Health & Soc. Srvcs.  
Date: June 10, 2022
Citation: 511 P.3d 553
Docket Number: S-18049

Justia Opinion Summary: The superior court terminated a mother’s parental rights to her two children. Because the children were Indian children under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the Office of Children’s Services (OCS) was required to…

T.B. (Mother) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: June 8, 2022
Docket Number: S-18111
John Walsh v. Brooke Wright (Unpublished)
Date: June 8, 2022
Docket Number: S-18155
In the Matter of the Necessity for the Hospitalization of Carl S.  
Date: May 27, 2022
Citation: 510 P.3d 486
Docket Number: S-17912

Justia Opinion Summary: A man appealed a superior court order authorizing his civil commitment, arguing: (1) the order should have been vacated because the petition for commitment was not “signed by two mental health professionals,” as required…

Rainer v. Poole  
Date: May 27, 2022
Citation: 510 P.3d 476
Docket Number: S-18027

Justia Opinion Summary: Ryan Poole and Laramie Rainer had a child in June 2013. Poole and Rainer’s relationship ended in late 2013. Poole was incarcerated from March 2013 to October 2014. In December 2013, when the child was six months old and…

Park v. Spayd  
Date: May 20, 2022
Citation: 509 P.3d 1014
Docket Number: S-17743

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2019 a woman sued her former husband’s medical provider, alleging that from 2003 to 2010 the provider negligently prescribed the husband opioid medications, leading to his addiction, damage to the couple’s business…

Caswell, et al. v. AHTNA, Inc.  
Date: May 20, 2022
Citation: 511 P.3d 193
Docket Number: S-17866

Justia Opinion Summary: A miner signed a 20-year lease with a corporate landowner for an easement allowing him access to his limestone-mining operation. The lease included an option to extend it for up to three additional 10-year terms as long…

Harry E. Gideon Saunders v. Elke M. Saunders (Unpublished)
Date: May 18, 2022
Docket Number: S-18028
Dapo v. Dept. of Health & Soc. Svcs  
Date: May 13, 2022
Docket Number: S-17878

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Raymond Dapo filed suit against his adoptive mother for sexual abuse that allegedly occurred 13 years earlier. He then agreed to release the adoptive mother from liability in exchange for her filing a…

Brian Edward Miller v. Loreta Miller (Unpublished)
Date: May 11, 2022
Docket Number: S-17934
Jones v. Biggs  
Date: May 6, 2022
Docket Number: a-78

Justia Opinion Summary: An Alaska citizen filed an application to recall a member of the Anchorage Assembly, alleging that the assembly member had committed misconduct in office by participating in an indoor gathering of more than 15 people in…

Association of Village Council Presidents Regional Housing Authority v. Mael, et al.  
Date: April 15, 2022
Docket Number: S-17802

Justia Opinion Summary: A boiler exploded in a home owned by a nonprofit regional housing authority, severely injuring a man who lived there. He sued the housing authority in both contract and tort, claiming that his lease-purchase contract…

Rohde v. Rohde  
Date: April 15, 2022
Docket Number: S-17876

Justia Opinion Summary: The superior court determined that the marital estate should be divided 60/40 in the husband’s favor because of his lower earning potential. But the court then considered the husband’s sale of the marital home:…

Alborn Construction, Inc. v. Alaska Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development  
Date: April 8, 2022
Docket Number: a-5

Justia Opinion Summary: A construction company filed an administrative appeal of a final agency decision that a renovation project on a State-leased office building fell under a wage statute for public construction projects. During enforcement…

Jerome S. v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: April 6, 2022
Docket Number: S-18084
Borer v. Eyak Corporation  
Date: April 1, 2022
Citation: 507 P.3d 49
Docket Number: S-17805

Justia Opinion Summary: A winning candidate for a seat on the board of directors of an Alaska Native Corporation declined to sign the corporation’s confidentiality agreement and code of conduct. When the corporation denied him a seat on the…

Morris v. Morris  
Date: March 25, 2022
Docket Number: S-17948

Justia Opinion Summary: John Morris appealed the division of marital property in his divorce from Andrea Morris. He argued the superior court erred by: (1) crediting the opposing expert’s valuation of certain marital property; (2) refusing to…

Richard L. Nevitt v. Meadow Lakes Community Council Inc. (Unpublished)
Date: March 23, 2022
Citations: 289 P.3d 924, 353 P.3d 799, 424 P.3d 365, 436 P.3d 1009, 490 P.3d 357
Docket Numbers: a-6, A-6
GINA T. (Mother) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: March 23, 2022
Docket Number: S-18115
Karine W. (Mother) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: March 16, 2022
Docket Number: S-18055
A.N. (Mother) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: March 9, 2022
Docket Number: S-18085
Lady Donna Dutchess v. Jason Dutch (Unpublished)
Date: March 9, 2022
Docket Number: S-18109
N.S. (Mother) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: March 9, 2022
Docket Number: S-18116
Jones v. Jones  
Date: March 4, 2022
Citation: 505 P.3d 224
Docket Number: S-17977

Justia Opinion Summary: A divorcing couple’s property settlement agreement required the husband to pay the wife $1,200 per month from the non-disability portion of the husband’s military retirement. The agreement also provided that if the…

In the Matter of the Adoption of J. R. S.  
Date: March 4, 2022
Docket Number: S-18052

Justia Opinion Summary: A maternal aunt and uncle sought to adopt a child over the father’s objection; after finding that the father’s consent was required, the superior court dismissed the adoption petition. The aunt and uncle contended the…

P.C. (Mother) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: March 2, 2022
Docket Number: S-18110
A.W. (Mother) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: February 16, 2022
Docket Number: S-18073
Roberge v. ASRC Construction Holding Company, et al.  
Date: February 4, 2022
Docket Number: S-17897

Justia Opinion Summary: The parties to this appeal disputed the sequence for applying the provisions when calculating compensation for injured employees; another provision applied a cost-of-living ratio only to out-of-state recipients. Richard…

Anne P. Mulligan v. Dr. Johnna Kohl (Unpublished)
Date: February 2, 2022
Docket Number: S-17901
Sagoonick, et al. v. Alaska, et al.  
Date: January 28, 2022
Docket Number: S-17297

Justia Opinion Summary: A number of young Alaskans — including several Alaska Natives — sued the State, alleging that its resource development was contributing to climate change and adversely affecting their lives. They sought declaratory and…

Young v. Alaska  
Date: January 28, 2022
Docket Number: S-17816

Justia Opinion Summary: The Alaska lieutenant governor refused to certify an application for a ballot initiative, and the group backing the initiative filed suit. In a court-approved stipulation, the Division of Elections agreed to print the…

Tshibaka v. Retired Public Employees of Alaska, Inc.  
Date: January 21, 2022
Citations: 323 P.3d 30, 370 P.3d 1101, 433 P.3d 1182, 460 P.3d 1220, 468 P.3d 721
Docket Number: a-5

Justia Opinion Summary: The State redesigned the dental insurance plan offered to public retirees in 2014, narrowing coverage but also decreasing premiums paid by retirees. The Retired Public Employees of Alaska challenged the redesign. After a…

Chena Obstetrics and Gynecology, et al. v. Bridges  
Date: January 21, 2022
Docket Number: S-17464

Justia Opinion Summary: After Lauren Bridges’ daughter S.B. was born severely disabled, Bridges sued the many healthcare providers involved in S.B.’s birth. When Bridges’s attorneys failed to timely oppose the defendants’ motions for summary…

Barton v. City of Valdez  
Date: January 21, 2022
Citation: 504 P.3d 910
Docket Number: S-17691

Justia Opinion Summary: Ramsey Barton sued the City of Valdez after she was severely injured by falling from a tire swing overhanging a cliff in an undeveloped area of a city park. The swing was not built by the City, and Barton alleged the…

ITMO Hospitalization of M.V (Unpublished)
Date: January 19, 2022
Docket Number: S-17881
Guy v. Providence Health & Services Washington  
Date: January 14, 2022
Citation: 502 P.3d 13
Docket Number: S-17520

Justia Opinion Summary: A patient sued a hospital after learning that a hospital employee intentionally disclosed the patient’s health information in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The patient…

In the Matter of the Protective Proceeding of Amy D.  
Date: January 14, 2022
Citation: 502 P.3d 5
Docket Number: S-17798

Justia Opinion Summary: A mother no longer wished to serve as her adult daughter’s guardian due to fear of her daughter’s violence. The superior court held a hearing to determine whether to allow the mother to resign and appoint a public…

Donald Glenn Wooden v. Erin Leslie Wooden (Unpublished)
Date: January 12, 2022
Docket Number: S-17770
K.J. (Mother) v. State of Alaska, DHSS, OCS (Unpublished)
Date: January 5, 2022
Docket Number: S-18040
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