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Legal Research - Alaska Resources

Alaska Statutes

The Alaska Statutes are the laws of the state as passed by the legislature. The statutes (1993 - current) are available online on the Alaska Legislature's website, and the current print version is available at all Alaska Court System law libraries and many public libraries.

The Anchorage Law Library has a complete historical collection of Alaska Statutes. The official publisher of the Alaska Statutes is LexisNexis. Their toll-free number is 1-800-446-3410. The 13-volume set is published biennially in October with an annual interim supplement.

Alaska Statutes are cited by title, chapter and section:

AS 08.66.015 (title 8, chapter 66, section 15)

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Alaska Legislature | Legislative History Resources

The Alaska Statutes are enacted and amended by the Alaska Legislature, which meets annually from January through May, with periodic special sessions.

The library has prepared legislative research handouts for the Anchorage Adobe Acrobat PDF logo, Fairbanks Adobe Acrobat PDF logo, and Juneau Adobe Acrobat PDF logo law libraries. Not all resources are available electronically, so be prepared to use print and microform resources as necessary. If you are not in one of those three locations, use the Anchorage handout and contact Anchorage Reference staff for assistance. The Legislative Reference Library also provides a Guide to Alaska Legislative History Materials on their website.

Some legislative history materials are available online:

Folio Infobases
Bills
House and Senate journals
Committee minutes
Session laws
1983 - current
1987 - current
1982 - current
1981 - current
BASIS (1993 - current)
Bills
House and Senate journals
Committee minutes
Session laws

Information About How to Research Legislative History Online Adobe Acrobat PDF logo

For legislative history before 1982, please contact the Alaska State Court Law Library.

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Alaska Administrative Code | Online Public Notice

The Alaska Administrative Code (AAC) contains the regulations of all Alaska agencies. The current regulations are available online on the Alaska Legislature's website, and the print version is available at all Alaska Court System law libraries and many public libraries. The official publisher of the AAC is LexisNexis. Their toll-free number is 1-800-446-3410. The AAC is updated quarterly. The Anchorage Law Library has a complete historical collection of AAC Registers.

Alaska Administrative Code citations are cited by title, chapter and section:

6 AAC 65.990 (title 6, chapter 65, section 990)

The Alaska Online Public Notice site includes the Alaska Administrative Journal, notices of proposed and adopted regulations, competitive solicitations, and public notices filed by the Lieutenant Governor.

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Appellate Court Slip Opinions and Memorandum Opinions

Published Decisions
Only the decisions of the Alaska appellate courts - the supreme court and court of appeals - are published and may be cited as precedent. Trial court decisions are not published and have no precedential authority.

The supreme court is the highest court in Alaska and has final state appellate jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters. The court of appeals has the authority to hear appeals in cases involving criminal prosecution, post-conviction relief, juvenile delinquency, extradition, habeas corpus, probation and parole, bail, and sentencing matters. Additional information about the Alaska Supreme Court and the Alaska Court of Appeals is available on the Alaska Court System website.

Supreme court opinions and court of appeals opinions decisions are issued on Fridays. They are posted as slip opinions on the court's website. A decision is removed from the website once it is published in the Pacific Reporter (P.2d and P.3d). Alaska appellate opinions are also published in the Alaska Reporter, which is a collection of the Alaska cases from P.2d and P.3d. The Pacific Reporter or the Alaska Reporter is available at most Alaska Court System law libraries and some public libraries. The official publisher of the Alaska Reporter is West, a Thomson Reuters business. Their toll-free number is 1-800-328-9352.

Slip opinions are cited by case name, opinion number, court and date:

V.S.B. v. State, Op. No. 5537 (Alaska February 15, 2001)

Published opinions are cited by case name, volume and page of the reporter, court and date:

V.S.B. v. State, 45 P.3d 1198 (Alaska 2002)
volume 45 of the Pacific Reporter, third series, on page 1198

Unpublished Opinions
The supreme court and court of appeals also issue unpublished memorandum decisions (MOJs). These are issued on Wednesdays, and posted on the court system website. Supreme court MOJs and court of appeals MOJs are retained on the website for three months; older MOJs may be obtained from the Appellate Clerk's Office at 907-264-0612. MOJs may not be cited as precedent.

Memorandum opinions are cited by case name, opinion number, court and date:

Brown v. State, Memorandum Opinion No. 3815, (Alaska App. May 6, 1998)

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Alaska Case Law 1960-present

The Alaska Case Law database provides access to opinions of the Alaska Supreme Court and Alaska Court of Appeals. Included on the site are all opinions dated from 1960 and published in West's Pacific Reporter and West's Alaska Reporter through the most recent Advance Sheets, as well as selected unpublished opinions.

Opinions can be searched in a number of ways, including keyword, case name, and judge. More information is provided on the help screen. West's editorial enhancements contained in the Pacific Reporter and Alaska Reporter (e.g., headnotes, synopsis, etc.) are not included in this service.

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Alaska Rules of Court | Supreme Court Orders

The Alaska Rules of Court are are the rules for the administration of all courts in the state and for practice and procedure in civil and criminal cases established by the supreme court. The supreme court has also adopted rules for the practice of law in Alaska and procedural rules for children's matters, probate, and appeals.

The current rules are available online on the court system website, and the print version is available at all Alaska Court System law libraries and some public libraries. The Anchorage Law Library has a historical collection of the Alaska Rules of Court.

The official publisher of the Alaska Rules of Court is Tower Publishing. Their toll-free number is 1-800-969-8693. The rules are published annually in October.

Rules of Court are cited by type of rule and rule number:

Appellate Rule 206      Civil Rule 37(a)     Evidence Rule 702

Most Alaska rules are enacted and amended by supreme court order (SCO), which the court issues on a periodic basis. Newer SCOs are available on the Alaska Court System website. Print versions of all SCOs are available at the Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks law libraries. The Alaska Legislature may also change the court's procedural rules by passing an act expressing its intent to do so by a two-thirds majority of both houses. The Alaska Legislature website provides information about pending legislation.

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Administrative Bulletins

The Administrative Bulletins are a compilation of court system policies issued by the Administrative Director of the Alaska Court System. The Administrative Bulletins referenced by the Alaska Rules of Court can be found on this web site, along with a few other selected bulletins. The complete set of Administrative Bulletins is available for review in the clerk's office at your local court, and at the Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau law libraries.

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Alaska Pattern Jury Instructions

Attention: These instructions are NOT for persons who have been summoned for petit or grand jury service.

Pattern jury instructions are used by the trial judge to instruct members of the jury on the law applicable in the case before them. Lawyers may also use pattern jury instructions as they prepare for trial to ensure they address all the elements of their case.

The Alaska Civil Pattern Jury Instructions and Alaska Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions are available online on the Court System website. The Alaska Civil Pattern Jury Instructions are also available in print at the Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau Alaska State Court Law Libraries. These instructions have not been approved or promulgated by any court or the Alaska Bar Association.

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Form Books and Court System Publications

Legal form books provide sample language you may use on documents to file with the court. Some forms are fill-in-the-blank, while others only provide language that you will need to tailor to your situation. Forms are not available for every situation, and you should consider consulting an attorney to assist you. Each person's legal situation is unique. Court staff cannot advise you about what language to use and library staff cannot select forms for you.

The Alaska Court System Forms Book contains official forms produced by the Court System. Some of these forms are available on the Court System website. The forms are available at all court locations, and the Forms Book is available for review at the Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks law libraries. Selected Alaska Appellate Court Forms are also available online.

The NALS of Anchorage Handbook (formerly the Anchorage Legal Secretaries Handbook) provides explanations of some legal procedures and sample language that may help you prepare documents in the areas of adoption, bankruptcy, divorce, and probate. The NALS of Anchorage Handbook is available for review at the Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks law libraries and at the clerk's offices of the Anchorage, Kenai and Palmer courts.

General form books, such as West's Legal Forms , American Jurisprudence Legal Forms and Federal Practice and Procedure are available at the Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks law libraries for review.

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Traffic Booklets

The Vehicle and Traffic Offense Booklets list most of the vehicle and traffic offenses defined in Alaska statutes and regulations. They do not include municipal offenses (offenses created in the ordinances of cities, boroughs and other municipalities). Note: the penalties for municipal traffic offenses can be different from the penalties for state traffic offenses.

There are two versions of the booklet:

Version A lists the offenses in numerical order (and also includes citations to the statutes that define the penalties for the offenses).

Version B lists the offenses by category (for example: equipment, passing, speed, etc.)

In addition to listing the name and statute or regulation number of each offense, the booklets also list

The introduction to the booklets contains a variety of information about how bail forfeiture amounts are set, how the mail-in-bail system works, what “correctable” offenses are, how “points” are set and the purpose of the point system, processing codes, the charging documents that must be used, the AS 12.55.039 surcharge, and several other topics.

The booklets do not include definitions of the offenses. To find the definitions of the offenses, you can use the following links:

Alaska Statutes: Use this link if the reference to the law begins with “AS” (for example: AS 28.10.451).

Alaska Administrative Code: Use this link if the reference to the law contains the letters “AAC” (for example 13 AAC 02.010).

Code of Federal Regulations: Use this link if the reference to the law contains the letters "CFR" (for example 49 CFR 391.13).

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Alaska Constitution | Constitutional Convention Minutes

The Alaska Constitution establishes the framework for Alaska government. The Alaska Constitution is published in Volume 1 of the Alaska Statutes, which is available in print at all Alaska Court System law libraries and many public libraries.

The Constitutional Convention Minutes provide the official transcript of the proceedings of the convention that drafted Alaska's constitution. The minutes are also available at the Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks law libraries.

Recordings of the Alaska Consitutional Convention are available via the Alaska State Archives website. The digitized collection represents approximately 220 hours of all plenary sessions and most meetings of the Committee of the Whole during the Alaska Constitutional Convention held at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks from November 8th, 1955 until February 6th, 1956.

Alaska Constitutional Research Resources Adobe Acrobat PDF logo

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Alaska Executive Orders

Executive Orders are issued by the Governor. Executive Orders are published Volume 11 of the Alaska Statutes, which are available in print at all Alaska Court System law libraries and many public libraries.

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Alaska Attorney General Opinions

Attorney General Opinions opinions may be issued by the Attorney General in response to requests by state agency officials and state legislators to help them perform their duties. These opinions are not law, but advice to state officials on questions of law and how the law applies to particular fact situations. The Attorney General may not issue opinions nor provide legal advice for local government officials, private individuals, or private entities.

1996 - current Attorney General opinions are available on the Attorney General's website. 1959 - current opinions are available in print at the Anchorage law library.

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Judge's Benchbook

Judge's Guide to Handling Cases Involving Persons with Mental Disorders Adobe Acrobat PDF logo is produced by the Alaska State Court System.

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Landlord and Tenant Act Information

The Alaska Landlord and Tenant Act Adobe Acrobat PDF logo summarizes landlord and tenant rights and obligations under Alaska Law. The Alaska Landlord and Tenant Act is in Title 34 of the Alaska Statutes. The current print version of the Alaska Statutes is available at all Alaska Court System law libraries and many public libraries.

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Alaska Bar Association

The Alaska Bar Association is a mandatory Bar, and under the auspices of the Alaska Supreme Court, administers the bar admission and discipline process. The Bar also has an active CLE program, a lawyer referral service, substantive law sections and various membership services. The bar offers a member directory on their website.

Adopted ethics opinions are issued by the Alaska Bar Association Ethics Committee in response to attorney requests for ethics advice.

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Alaska Legal Services Corporation

The Alaska Legal Services Corporation is a private, non-profit corporation that provides free civil legal assistance to low-income Alaskans. Alaska Legal Services Corporation and its Volunteer Attorney Support pro bono program offer community education legal workshops and clinics, designed to provide information to the public on a variety of legal issues. Topics include wills, bankruptcy, general family law issues, landlord/tenant law, divorce, and custody.

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AlaskaLawHelp.org

The AlaskaLawHelp website provides information about free and low-cost legal programs in Alaska, including basic eligibility and contact information, as well as links to information about legal resources, legal self-help clinics, and forms.

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Alaska Judicial Council

The Alaska Judicial Council is an independent state agency established by the Alaska Constitution in the judicial branch of state government. The Judicial Council has constitutional and statutory duties in three areas: judicial selection, judicial evaluation and retention, and research into the administration of justice.

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Alaska Commission on Judicial Coduct

The Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct was created by amendment to the state constitution in 1968. The Commission addresses problems of judicial conduct and disability.

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Alaska Law Review

The Alaska Law Review is published by Duke University in cooperation with the Alaska Bar Association. The Alaska Law Review provides an annual year-in-review of significant court decisions and legislative changes as well as scholarly articles in many areas such as natural resources law, environmental law, land use planning, economic development, and Native American rights.

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University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center

The University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center is an academic, research, and public education program serving Alaska.

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Alaska Justice Forum

The Alaska Justice Forum (1993 - current) is published by the Justice Center and the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Unit with partial funding from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice. Selected articles from the Alaska Justice Forum are available on the UAA Justice Center website.

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Legal Dictionary

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Legal Research Tips

The online LISP Public Library Toolkit provides information about researching a legal problem, how to update your research and a list of common legal abbreviations. This site is maintained by the American Association of Law Libraries' Legal Information Services to the Public (LISP) Special Interest Section and is aimed at librarians but is useful for anybody new to legal research.

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Rev. 13 October 2014
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www.courts.alaska.gov
webmaster@akcourts.us

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