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R.J.M. v. State, Department of Health and Social Services (1/29/99), 973 P 2d 79
Notice: This opinion is subject to correction before publication in
the Pacific Reporter. Readers are requested to bring errors to the attention of
the Clerk of the Appellate Courts, 303 K Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, phone
(907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878.
THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA
) Supreme Court No. S-8525
) Superior Court Nos.
v. ) 4FA-91-182 CP
) 4FA-96-170 CP
STATE OF ALASKA, DEPARTMENT )
OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES,) O P I N I O N
Appellee. ) [No. 5072 - January 29, 1999]
) Supreme Court No. S-8526
STATE OF ALASKA, DEPARTMENT )
OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES,)
Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of
Alaska, Fourth Judicial District, Fairbanks,
Mary E. Greene, Judge.
Appearances: John J. Connors and David G.
Parry, Birch, Horton, Bittner & Cherot, Fairbanks, for Appellant
R.J.M. Bonnie J. Coghlan, Fairbanks, for Appellant P.M. Nora
King, Assistant Attorney General, Fairbanks, and Bruce M. Botelho,
Attorney General, Juneau, for Appellee.
Before: Matthews, Chief Justice, Compton,
Eastaugh, Fabe, and Bryner, Justices.
The superior court found R.J.M. and P.M. unwilling to
care for their son J.M. and under the child in need of aid (CINA)
statute, terminated their parental rights. Because P.M.'s failure
to seek treatment for her mental illness constitutes unwillingness
to provide care, we affirm the termination of her parental rights.
Because the superior court did not clearly err in finding that
R.J.M. was unwilling to care for J.M., we affirm the termination of
R.J.M.'s parental rights. We also affirm the trial court's refusal
to consider changed circumstances, and reject R.J.M.'s due process
II. FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
This case is again before us. In R.J.M. v. State, 946
P.2d 855 (Alaska 1997), we ruled that a finding of emotional
neglect could not justify termination of parental rights under AS
47.10.010(a)(2)(F). [Fn. 1] Our opinion described the facts at
that time as follows:
R.J.M. and P.M. were married in 1973. In
the course of their marriage, they had two children: a daughter,
S.M., born in 1980, and a son, J.M., born in 1985. The family
lived in Nenana.
P.M. was the primary caretaker of the
children, but suffered from mental problems -- paranoid and
delusional thinking -- that impeded her ability to provide them
with proper care. P.M. kept the children out of school because she
believed teachers were prying into the family's life and spreading
rumors about her. Although P.M. purported to be home schooling the
children, she in fact taught them little if anything.
R.J.M. did not object to P.M.'s treatment
of the children or intervene in their behalf. An electronics
technician at the Clear Air Force Base, he was "an absent parent"
who "saw little of his children and provided little for them other
than earning an income."
R.J.M. and P.M. separated in 1990 and
entered into an acrimonious divorce action, which culminated in a
three-day trial in March 1992. After the separation, P.M. reported
that R.J.M. had sexually abused S.M.; as a result of the report,
P.M. took custody of S.M. and J.M., and R.J.M.'s contacts with the
children were restricted by court order to supervised visits.
On October 22, 1991, during one of the
supervised visits, P.M. and R.J.M. became embroiled in an
altercation in the children's presence. R.J.M. apparently provoked
P.M. until she "totally lost control." P.M. attacked R.J.M.
physically, threatened him with a knife, and threw a fork at him;
the fork missed R.J.M. but struck J.M. P.M. proceeded to scream
obscenities at R.J.M. and the children, ordering S.M. to get out,
and telling her to "take a rope and hang yourself in your bedroom."
As a result of this incident, the
Division of Family and Youth Services (DFYS) took emergency custody
of the children and, two days later, petitioned for temporary CINA
custody. The CINA petition described the October 22 altercation
and alleged the need to protect J.M. and S.M. from imminent harm
arising out of P.M.'s "long and significant history of mental
instability,"and R.J.M.'s alleged sexual abuse.
Superior Court Judge Mary E. Greene found
probable cause to believe that S.M. and J.M. were CINA, and granted
temporary custody to the State through December 27, 1991. Some
time before then, however, DFYS decided to relinquish custody of
the children to R.J.M. P.M.'s accusation of sexual abuse against
R.J.M. remained unsubstantiated, and neither child had reported
sexual abuse by anyone. "[S]ince [P.M.] was still exhibiting
bizarre behaviors which greatly restricted her ability to care for
the children, they were returned to the custody of [R.J.M.]."
P.M.'s and R.J.M.'s divorce case was
tried before Judge Greene in March 1992; their divorce became
final on April 29, 1992. In resolving the issue of custody during
the divorce trial, Judge Greene found that P.M. and R.J.M.,
together, "created an extremely dysfunctional homelife for the
children." Nevertheless, the judge also found that the children
were generally "happy, healthy, and apparently well-adjusted."
Rejecting as "totally unfounded"P.M.'s claims that R.J.M. had
sexually abused the children, the judge awarded legal and physical
custody to R.J.M., noting that "[P.M.'s] mental problems make it
impossible for her to provide good care for the children in meeting
all of their needs."
Judge Greene granted P.M. visitation
rights, but required that her visits be supervised by a neutral
third party "until such time as [P.M.] obtains treatment which will
allow her to control her behavior." Judge Greene also ordered "a
program of regular counseling"for R.J.M., S.M., and J.M.
S.M. and J.M. remained in R.J.M.'s care
from December 1991 until July 1993. During this time, R.J.M.
continued to be "an absent parent,"hiring a series of nannies to
care for the children. On July 14, 1993, the third of these
nannies, Nyakerario Omete Brown, who had become romantically
involved with R.J.M., reported that she suspected R.J.M. of
sexually abusing S.M. Upon receiving Brown's report of sexual
abuse, DFYS took emergency custody of the children. The Alaska
State Troopers interviewed S.M. the next day (an interview that
Judge Greene would later find "seriously flawed"), and S.M.
confirmed Brown's report, telling the troopers "that her father had
been sexually abusing her over a period of time."
Based on the report of S.M.'s sexual
abuse, DFYS filed a CINA petition for temporary custody on July 17,
1993. In August, the initial petition was replaced by a petition
reiterating the sexual abuse allegations, noting that S.M.
"refuse[d] to return to her father's care,"and asserting that
S.M.'s abuse in turn "created an unhealthy emotional climate for
[J.M.]." The petition went on to state that P.M. was unable to
care for the children due to her mental instability. Accordingly,
the petition asserted that "[n]either parent is now able to provide
for the emotional, mental and social needs of either child."
A month after the children were taken
into emergency custody, DFYS psychologist Marti Cranor performed
psychological evaluations on them. Cranor reported that J.M. was
"undersocialized"and that S.M. had poor socialization skills.
Cranor found J.M. to be "an emotionally disturbed boy who struggles
with significant feelings of anxiety and depression. He is an
unhappy boy whose needs for dependency and protection are not being
met." Cranor felt that J.M.'s depression might turn to attempts at
suicide. Cranor found S.M. to be "a highly anxious, insecure, and
depressed young lady who feels inadequate and inferior"; Cranor
also noted that S.M. was "overly concerned with sexual matters,"
was "at risk for promiscuous behavior,"and had "strong needs for
support, structure, nurturance, and dependency which are not
currently being met."
S.M. and J.M. were initially placed in a
foster home in Nenana; at the end of October, DFYS moved them to a
foster home in Fairbanks in order to facilitate visitation with
P.M. (who lived there) and to give them easier access to
On October 25, 1993, R.J.M. stipulated,
without admitting to any criminal act, that S.M. and J.M. were CINA
and that their best interests would be served by committing them to
State custody for a period not to exceed two years. As part of the
stipulation, R.J.M. agreed to participate in a sexual offender
evaluation, and DFYS agreed not to make the results of the
evaluation available for criminal prosecution.
The superior court accepted R.J.M.'s
stipulation. After a hearing concerning
P.M.'s situation, Judge Greene noted that P.M. had failed to follow
through on the treatment recommendations made in the divorce
action; the judge found P.M. incapable of caring for her children
due to her mental problems and concluded that she would remain
incapable "until she learns controls on her behavior and develops
an understanding of how her behavior impacts the children." The
court thus left the children in foster placement.
Beginning in December 1993, S.M. and J.M.
were taken out of foster care to spend a five-week visit with P.M.
By the end of the visit, J.M. was anxious to go back to Nenana, but
S.M. adamantly opposed leaving P.M. DFYS remained convinced,
however, that P.M.'s mental problems prevented her from being a
viable long-term custodian. The children's therapist recommended
that they be given a permanent placement, preferably in Nenana.
Meanwhile, S.M. had recanted her
statement to the Alaska State Troopers concerning R.J.M.'s acts of
sexual abuse; R.J.M. had been seen by a specialist in the
assessment of sexual offenders, who had concluded that R.J.M. did
not fit the profile of a pedophile. Having no access to the
troopers' criminal investigation files and having never been given
the details of Nyakerario Omete Brown's initial report of sexual
abuse, DFYS found itself unable to confirm that R.J.M. had sexually
abused S.M. Under these circumstances, in mid-January 1994, DFYS
reluctantly decided to return the children to R.J.M.
On the day set for return of custody,
however, R.J.M., accompanied by Nyakerario Omete Brown, appeared at
the DFYS office and notified the children's case worker that "it
would not be in the children's best interest to return home that
day to him." R.J.M. gave no further explanation. At a follow-up
meeting the next week, however, R.J.M. said he would be willing to
take the children back at some unspecified future time; he
explained that Brown would no longer be living at his house, so he
needed to make alternative child-care arrangements.
DFYS took R.J.M.'s behavior as a sign
that his children "weren't as important as what was going on in his
personal life." At a deposition of Nyakerario Omete Brown
conducted in February 1994, DFYS heard for the first time the
specifics of Brown's sexual abuse allegations. Furthermore, S.M.
seemed "extremely upset"at the prospect of being returned to her
father. Accordingly, DFYS reconsidered its options and decided
against returning custody to R.J.M.
After again placing the children in
foster homes, DFYS decided upon a permanent guardianship
arrangement as "the most appropriate goal for the children." S.M.
eventually found placement with a family in Seward; J.M.'s
Fairbanks foster family volunteered to become his permanent
guardians. On December 30, 1994, the court adopted a DFYS case
plan recommending permanent guardianships. The following month,
DFYS petitioned for appointment of guardians; trial was set for
R.J.M. and P.M. actively resisted the
State's proposed guardianship arrangements. So actively, in fact,
that both sets of prospective guardians felt threatened by R.J.M.'s
and P.M.'s actions and began to fear that their efforts to prevent
the guardianships might persist and escalate. Both prospective
guardian families became reluctant to proceed with the
guardianships under these circumstances.
DFYS decided against searching for new
guardians: but for the coercive atmosphere created by R.J.M. and
P.M., the current placements seemed to be working out well for both
children; moreover, altering custody to new guardian candidates
might prove futile, since they, too, might be readily threatened
Given R.J.M.'s and P.M.'s history of
disruptive parental conduct and the "prospect . . . of ongoing
embattlement,"DFYS concluded that the proposed guardianships were
no longer a viable option and that termination of parental rights
offered the only realistic chance of preserving the children's
current placements. On May 11, 1995, the agency petitioned to
terminate R.J.M.'s and P.M.'s parental rights; several days later,
the agency moved to dismiss the previously filed guardianship
action.[ [Fn. 2]]
The superior court, in light of the preceding facts,
found the children to be CINA under AS 47.10.010(a)(2)(F), [Fn. 3]
which allows state custody of children suffering "substantial
physical abuse or neglect."[Fn. 4] The superior court did not
find the children to have been physically neglected. Rather, it
read "physical"as modifying only the word "abuse,"and held the
phrase to include emotional as well as physical neglect. [Fn. 5]
Accordingly, it terminated parental rights over J.M. [Fn. 6]
Because S.M. was already fifteen years old at the time of trial,
the superior court denied termination of parental rights over her,
but granted CINA custody to the state. [Fn. 7]
P.M. and R.J.M. appealed the ruling as it related to J.M.
[Fn. 8] We held that the provision cited by the superior court
covers only physical -- and not emotional -- neglect. [Fn. 9] We
did not, however, dismiss the CINA proceeding in its entirety.
Alaska Statute 47.10.010(a)(2)(A) [Fn. 10] allows CINA
jurisdiction if no available person is "caring or willing to
provide care"for the child. [Fn. 11] The superior court had
reluctantly held subsection (a)(2)(A) inapplicable because both
parents had expressed a willingness to care for their children.
[Fn. 12] While R.J.M.'s first appeal was pending, however, we
issued O.R. v. State, 932 P.2d 1303 (Alaska 1997). We there held
that mere words are not enough to show willingness to care for
one's children in the CINA context:
[W]e interpret subsection (A) to mean that a
determination that a parent physically abandoned a child may also
support a finding that the parent is not willing to provide care
for that child. Indeed, we believe that in many cases the
abandonment of a child demonstrates more clearly than testimony the
parent's unwillingness to provide care. Thus, . . . parents cannot
defeat a court's finding of abandonment simply by stating that they
are willing to care for a child. Rather, a court . . . must look
to objective conduct in deter- mining whether a parent is willing
to provide care.[ [Fn. 13]]
In light of O.R., we remanded R.J.M. to the superior court for a
determination of whether R.J.M. and P.M. were objectively willing
to provide care for J.M. irrespective of their stated willingness.
The superior court found on remand that neither parent
was willing to care for J.M. Applying AS 47.10.010(a)(2)(A) and
.080(c)(3), the court terminated their parental rights. R.J.M. and
A. Standard of Review
In a CINA case, we will overturn the superior court's
finding of facts if they are clearly erroneous. [Fn. 15] Findings
are clearly erroneous if a review of the entire record leaves us
with a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been made.
We apply our independent judgment in reviewing questions
of statutory interpretation. [Fn. 17] Whether the trial court's
findings comport with the requirements of the CINA statutes and
rules is a question of law which we review de novo. [Fn. 18]
The adequacy of the notice afforded a litigant in child
custody proceedings is a due process issue which is a question of
law. [Fn. 19] We review due process issues de novo. [Fn. 20]
B. Did the Superior Court Err in Finding P.M. Unwilling to
Care for Her Son?
As noted above, AS 47.10.010(a)(2)(A) provides that a
court can find a minor a child in need of aid if there is no
available person "caring or willing to provide care"for the child.
Care in this context means providing "for the physical, emotional,
mental, and social needs of the child."[Fn. 21]
The superior court found on remand that P.M. was
unwilling to care for J.M. It stated its rationale:
[P.M.] has long had significant mental health
issues which have interfered with her meeting the needs of her
children. Without assistance in dealing with her issues, she is
unable to provide care. The court finds that a parent objectively
willing to provide care would be willing to address the condition
which precludes the adequate provision of care. [P.M.] has never
been willing to do so. Most of her contacts with mental health
professionals have been designed to prove she has no mental health
Moreover, the court cited P.M.'s failure to fully exercise her
visitation rights to support its conclusion:
Other actions objectively show [P.M.]'s
unwillingness to provide care for [J.M.]. [P.M.] did not
consistently visit [J.M.] as much as she was entitled to do. She
missed visits; she came late for visits; and she left early during
visits. When she did visit, she often put [J.M.] on the spot with
inappropriate comments. [P.M.] is not willing to meet [J.M.]'s
needs; she has her own agenda and meets her own needs.
The state follows the superior court's reasoning, arguing
that P.M. demonstrated her unwillingness to care principally
through her unwillingness to seek treatment.
P.M. claims that the state's case against her is based on
questions of ability and not willingness. To this end, she argues
that her words and actions demonstrate her willingness to care for
her children. Moreover, P.M. argues that the superior court
conceded she could not be treated. This, she argues, makes her
unwillingness to undergo treatment immaterial to her willingness to
care for J.M.
But Judge Greene's rulings, both initially and on remand,
indicate that the court had concluded that P.M. was treatable.
Judge Greene stated in her first ruling:
Instead of doing something about her problems,
[P.M.] has consistently denied that she has any and has run from
doctor to doctor looking for people to say that she's completely
healthy. Her lack of insight makes treatment virtually impossible.
And on remand, she found that
a parent objectively willing to provide care
would be willing to address the condition which precludes the
adequate provision of care. [P.M.] had never been willing to do
so. Most of her contacts with mental health professionals have
been designed to prove she has no mental health issues.
P.M. saw a set of psychologists for brief visits, but
apparently never entered into any consistent or continuing form of
therapy. Her failure to do so directly contravened the advice of
at least two of her doctors. Furthermore, P.M. was on notice that
improvement of her mental condition was a condition of her
continued parental rights. We therefore hold that P.M.'s refusal
to pursue psychological help in a genuine, constructive, and
committed fashion is evidence of her unwillingness to care for her
son. The superior court did not err by finding that P.M. was
unwilling to provide care for J.M. within the meaning of AS
C. Did the Superior Court Err in Finding R.J.M. Unwilling to
Care for His Son?
On remand, the superior court also found R.J.M. unwilling
to care for J.M. The court found that R.J.M. demonstrated his
unwillingness through his absenteeism before and after the divorce,
his emotional neglect of his son, his refusal to accept physical
custody of J.M. in January 1994, his involvement of J.M. in his
conflicts with P.M. and the state, and his refusal "to surrender
any ground for his son's benefit."
R.J.M. argues that he has shown his willingness to care
by repeated efforts to work within the system to obtain custody of
J.M., and he cites testimony to support this claim. R.J.M. further
argues that he has devoted considerable time and energy to
developing a parenting plan, which he argues is proof that he is
willing to care for J.M. He explains his reluctance to accept
custody in January 1994 as a temporary move to put off custody
until he could arrange for a new nanny. [Fn. 22]
The state argues that R.J.M.'s attempts to participate in
treatment and services to improve his parenting were "superficial"
and used "largely as ammunition in the legal process rather than
vehicles for true change or growth."
We note the potential problems inherent in allowing
termination of parental rights for emotional neglect alone.
Emotional neglect defies easy characterization; one person's
emotional neglect may be, after all, another person's reserve or
shyness. In this case, however, there is evidence of more than
simple coldness. Among the most significant conduct providing
evidence on the issue of R.J.M.'s willingness to care for J.M. is
the evidence that R.J.M. refused to accept custody of J.M. in
January 1994. [Fn. 23] We also note that R.J.M. stipulated in 1993
to CINA jurisdiction. [Fn. 24]
It was not clearly erroneous for the superior court to
interpret these objective acts, combined with R.J.M.'s other
behavior, as proof that R.J.M. was unwilling to care for J.M.
D. Did the Superior Court Err in Refusing to Consider
Evidence of Superseding Conditions During the Two Years between the
Original Trial and Its Consideration of the Case on Remand?
On remand, the superior court considered only the factual
information that had been available to it at the trial in 1995-96.
R.J.M. argues that any change in conditions over the two years
since that trial were relevant to J.M.'s best interests, and that
the court erred in not considering them. [Fn. 25] The state argues
that the parents' willingness to care for J.M. was the only issue
on remand, and that the superior court was under no obligation to
reopen the remainder of the case at trial.
We have held that a trial court "has no authority to
deviate from a specific mandate of the supreme court but may take
actions not inconsistent with [the supreme court's] decision."[Fn.
26] We have also held that
[o]rdinarily, a remand for additional findings
does not obligate the trial court to hear new evidence. We will
reverse a trial court's refusal to receive new evidence on remand
only when the refusal constitutes an abuse of discretion, unless we
have expressly called for a new trial or evidentiary hearing.[ [Fn.
In this case, we remanded to the superior court "to allow
the trial court to reconsider, in light of O.R., its finding on the
issue of willingness to provide care."[Fn. 28] We did not
expressly call for a new trial or evidentiary hearing.
Although the superior court could have considered changed
circumstances, it did not abuse its discretion in not doing so.
For this reason, we affirm the superior court's refusal to consider
any events occurring during the period between the trial and
adjudication on remand.
E. Is AS 47.10.010(a)(2)(A) So Vague and Ambiguous that It
Violates R.J.M.'s Due Process Rights?
R.J.M. asserts that AS 47.10.010(a)(2)(A) is
unconstitutionally vague. He argues that allowing the state to
remove a child if the parent "lack[s] empathy"or fails to satisfy
a "subjective"standard of willingness to care would deprive the
parent of due process.
The words of the United States Supreme Court on vagueness
and due process in the criminal law context are instructive here:
Many statutes will have some inherent
vagueness, for "[i]n most English words and phrases there lurk
uncertainties." Even trained lawyers may find it necessary to
consult legal dictionaries, treatises, and judicial opinions before
they may say with any certainty what some statutes may compel or
forbid. All the Due Process Clause requires is that the law give
sufficient warning that men may conduct themselves so as to avoid
that which is forbidden.[ [Fn. 29]]
More directly, we have stated that a statute can be
unconstitutionally vague for any of three reasons: (1) it chills
First Amendment speech; (2) it fails to give adequate notice of
prohibited conduct; and (3) its imprecision "encourages arbitrary
enforcement."[Fn. 30] R.J.M. argues that AS 47.10.010(a)(2)(A)
violates the second and third prongs of this vagueness test because
the statute provides inadequate notice of what conduct is
prohibited and encourages arbitrary enforcement.
R.J.M. cannot prevail on his claim that the statute
impermissibly encourages arbitrary enforcement, because he has
provided no evidence that the state has arbitrarily enforced this
statute. We have held that "we will not invalidate a statute on
vagueness grounds absent evidence of a history of arbitrary or
capricious enforcement."[Fn. 31] Neither can R.J.M. prevail on
his claim that the statute gives inadequate notice of prohibited
conduct. Alaska Statute 47.10.010(a)(2)(A) limits intervention to
cases in which the state can prove an ongoing, objectively
demonstrated failure to provide basic parental care that reflects
unwillingness to serve as a parent. It provides sufficient notice
of the grounds for CINA jurisdiction. Accordingly, we reject
R.J.M.'s claim that the statute is unconstitutionally vague.
The superior court did not err in finding that neither
parent was willing to care for J.M. The judgment is AFFIRMED.
See R.J.M. v. State, 946 P.2d 855, 867 (Alaska 1997).
R.J.M., 946 P.2d at 857-60 (citations omitted).
Now AS 47.10.010(a)(6). At the time of trial in this case,
CINA status was defined in subsections (a)(2)(A)-(F) of AS
47.10.010. The legislature later repealed subsection (a)(1) of the
statute; the provisions of subsections (a)(2)(A)-(F) were retained
verbatim but were renumbered as AS 47.10.010(a)(1)-(6). AS
42.10.010(a)(6) is thus the current counterpart of former AS
47.10.010(a)(2)(F). We use the former statutory numbering, which
governed here. Cf. R.J.M., 946 P.2d at 857 n.1.
See R.J.M., 946 P.2d at 860.
See id. at 862.
See id. at 860.
See id. at 867.
Now AS 47.10.010(a)(1).
The relevant text of the statute -- since renumbered but
otherwise identical to the older version -- then read:
(a) Proceedings relating to a minor
under 18 years of age residing or found in the state are governed
by this chapter . . . when the court finds the minor
. . . .
(2) to be a child in need of aid as
a result of
(A) the child being habitually
absent from home or refusing to accept available care, or having no
parent, guardian, custodian, or relative caring or willing to
provide care, including physical abandonment by (i) both parents,
(ii) the surviving parent, or (iii) one parent if the other
parent's rights and responsibilities have been terminated under AS
25.13.180(c) or AS 47.10.080 or voluntarily relinquished . . . .
See R.J.M., 946 P.2d at 867. See also In re S.A., 912 P.2d
1235, 1238-42 (Alaska 1996) (denying CINA status where mother was
willing to provide care).
O.R. v. State, 932 P.2d 1303, 1310 (Alaska 1997).
See R.J.M., 946 P.2d at 869.
See In re S.A., 912 P.2d at 1237.
See id. at 1237.
See R.R. v. State, 919 P.2d 754, 756 n.3 (Alaska 1996).
See E.M. v. State, 959 P.2d 766, 768 (Alaska 1998).
See Lashbrook v. Lashbrook, 957 P.2d 328, 328 (Alaska 1998).
R.J.M. also argues that O.R. v. State, 932 P.2d 1303 (Alaska
1997), (and its invalidation of "willingness by declaration only")
is inapplicable as precedent, because O.R. involved physical
abandonment. But we remanded the case at hand with direct
instructions to consider O.R. See R.J.M., 946 P.2d at 869.
See R.J.M., 946 P.2d at 859.
See id. at 858.
R.J.M. has had no contact with his son since December 1995,
and he relies on conjecture and DFYS documents to support his
contention that the child's circumstances have changed.
A.M. v. State, 945 P.2d 296, 300-01 (Alaska 1997) (footnote
Murray v. Murray, 856 P.2d 463, 466 (Alaska 1993) (footnote
R.J.M., 946 P.2d at 869.
Rose v. Locke, 423 U.S. 48, 49-50 (1975) (citations omitted);
see also Anderson v. State, 562 P.2d 351, 356 n.10 (Alaska 1977).
R.R. v. State, 919 P.2d 754, 758 (Alaska 1996) (citing Summers
v. Anchorage, 589 P.2d 863, 866-67 (Alaska 1979)).
Levshakoff v. State, 565 P.2d 504, 507 (Alaska 1977).