Mariah B. v. State, S-18026

CourtSupreme Court of Alaska (US)
PartiesMARIAH B., Appellant, v. STATE OF ALASKA, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES, OFFICE OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES, Appellee.
Docket NumberS-18026
Decision Date31 August 2022

MARIAH B., Appellant,
v.

STATE OF ALASKA, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES, OFFICE OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES, Appellee.

No. S-18026

Supreme Court of Alaska

August 31, 2022


UNPUBLISHED See Alaska Appellate Rule 214(d)

Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third Judicial District Superior Court No. 3AN-19-00037 CN, Anchorage, Gregory Miller, Judge.

Emily L. Jura, Assistant Public Defender, and Samantha Cherot, Public Defender, Anchorage, for Appellant.

Laura Fox, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Anchorage, and Treg R. Taylor, Attorney General, Juneau, for Appellee.

Laura Hartz, Assistant Public Advocate, and James Stinson, Public Advocate, Anchorage, for Guardian Ad Litem.

Before: Winfree, Chief Justice, Maassen, Carney, Borghesan, and Henderson, Justices.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND JUDGMENT [*]

1. The superior court terminated a mother's parental rights to her daughter after trial. The mother appealed, arguing that the superior court improperly admitted and relied on hearsay evidence to make its termination findings and erred by finding that the

1

Office of Children's Services (OCS) made reasonable efforts to reunify the family.[1]Without reaching the reasonable efforts issue, we remanded for the court to explain its evidentiary rulings about and its use of hearsay evidence in its termination decision.[2]

2. The superior court issued Supplemental Findings Following Remand providing a detailed explanation of its consideration of hearsay during the termination trial. The court explained that it did not rely on hearsay on the question whether the child was in need of aid.[3] The court further explained why the hearsay evidence it considered was probative of other findings, had circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness, and had arisen in a manner that the mother could meet.

3. After the superior court issued its Supplemental Findings Following Remand, the parties filed supplemental appeal briefs. The mother continued to argue that the court wrongfully relied on inadmissible hearsay. OCS argued that the court's

2

supplement to its original decision demonstrated appropriate use of hearsay and that hearsay evidence did not substantially influence the court's termination findings. The guardian ad litem supported OCS's position.

4. We have considered the parties' original briefing, the superior court's Supplemental Findings Following Remand, and the parties' supplemental briefing. We conclude that the court's clarification of its admission and use of...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT