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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Jackson v. Municipality of Anchorage (8/5/2016) sp-7115

Jackson v. Municipality of Anchorage (8/5/2016) sp-7115, 375 P3d 1166

          Notice:   This opinion is subject to correction before publication in the P                    ACIFIC  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, email  



                     THE  SUPREME  COURT  OF  THE  STATE  OF  ALASKA  

WILLIE  K.  JACKSON,                                         )  

                                                             )         Supreme  Court  No.  S-15722  

                    Appellant,                               )  


                                                             )         Superior Court No. 3AN-12-11436 CI  

          v.	                                                )  


                                                                       O P I N I O N  




                                                                       No. 7115 - August 5, 2016  

                    Appellee.                                )  


_______________________________ )  


                    Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third  


                    Judicial District, Anchorage, Eric A. Aarseth, Judge.  


                    Appearances:  Willie Jackson, pro se, Appellant.  Dennis A.  


                    Wheeler, Municipal Attorney, Anchorage, for Appellee.  

                    Before:  Stowers, Chief Justice, Fabe, Winfree, and Bolger,  


                    Justices. [Maassen, Justice, not participating.]  


                     STOWERS, Chief Justice.  



                    The  Anchorage  Police  Department  seized  Willie  Jackson's  personal  


property pursuant to arrests in 2004 and charged him with several state-law felonies,  


which were later dropped after he was indicted on federal charges.  In December 2012,  


nearly eight years after the Anchorage police's initial seizure of his property, Jackson  


filed a conversion  suit against the Municipality  of Anchorage.   In his  complaint, he  


alleged that the Municipality unlawfully failed to return his seized property despite a  

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September 2006 order from the U.S. District Court for the State of Alaska ordering its  


return.  The Municipality moved to dismiss the case based on the statute of limitations.  


The superior court dismissed Jackson's case under Alaska Civil Rule 12(b)(6) for failure  


to  state  a  claim upon  which  relief  can  be  granted,  and  Jackson  appeals.                                   Because  


Jackson's complaint alleged facts which, if proved, are sufficient to entitle him to some  


form of relief, we reverse the order dismissing Jackson's complaint and remand for  


further proceedings.  



          A.        Facts  


                    In2004theAnchoragePoliceDepartment (APD)seizedJackson'spersonal  


property, including cash, coins, a 1990 Oldsmobile, a wedding ring, and various other  


items during searches in conjunction with two arrests.  In December 2004, following  


Jackson's indictment in the U.S. District Court  on charges related to possession of  


cocaine and firearms, the State of Alaska dismissed the Alaska felony criminal charges  


it had filed against Jackson.  


                    In  November  2005  Jackson  was  convicted  of  possessing  cocaine  and  


cocaine base and of being a felon in possession of a firearm; he was sentenced the  


following March. Approximately a week after he was sentenced, Jackson filed a request  


in the federal court for return of his property and a stay of forfeiture of any property  


"until conclusion of all proceeding[s] resulting from appeal of this [c]ase."  


                    In April 2006 U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline granted Jackson's  


request, staying the forfeiture of evidence that was possibly subject to criminal forfeiture  


pending appellate review and directing the government to return Jackson's property not  


subject to forfeiture.  Approximately five months later, Judge Beistline issued another  


order granting Jackson's motion to compel the return of his property. In November 2006  


Assistant U.S. Attorney David Nesbett filed notice that he had complied with the order  

                                                               -2-                                                        7115

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to return the property and had coordinated with Jackson's counsel to facilitate the return                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 of   Jackson's   wedding   ring   but   that   APD   held   all   other   items   as  evidence.     In  

January 2007 Jackson filed a "Notice: Of Property Held In Contradiction Of Court Order                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

By The Prosecution et al." asserting that the property seized during the 2004 arrests -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 including the 1990 Oldsmobile and ring - had not been returned to him; he requested                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 its return or compensation for its monetary value.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                           In May 2007 Judge Beistline again ordered the "immediate return" of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Jackson's  1990  Oldsmobile   and   wedding   ring   and   the   return   of   the   remainder   of  

Jackson's property at "the conclusion of the appellate process."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               In April 2010 Jackson                                                                                

 filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               United States Supreme Court seeking review                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 of his conviction; his petition was denied in October 2010, thus concluding the federal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 appellate process.   

                                                                                           In May 2011 Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis filed a status report                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 explaining that the government had requested that APD make available to Jackson's                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 designee any of his property it had seized as evidence related to his federal prosecution.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Feldis informed the court that APD had impounded and then sold at auction in 2004 the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

  1990 Oldsmobile and that any property belonging to Jackson still held by APD would                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

be applied toward Jackson's outstanding $6,000 debt to the Municipality. Jackson filed                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 a writ of execution which Judge Beistline denied in a January 2012 order, which stated                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 "Defendant's current dispute is with the Municipality of Anchorage."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                              B.                                           Proceedings   

                                                                                           Jackson filed his complaint against the Municipality in September 2012,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 alleging that APD converted his property in conjunction with the 2004 seizure of the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             -3-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           7115

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property.   The Municipality moved to dismiss Jackson's lawsuit under Alaska Civil                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 Rule 12(b)(6), arguing that Jackson's complaint was facially deficient because it failed                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 on statute of  limitations grounds.  The Municipality asserted that the events on which   

 Jackson based his conversion claim had occurred in 2004 and that Jackson's filing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 deadline passed several years before he filed his claim "[r]egardless of any intervening                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 order addressing an entity which is not now before this [c]ourt."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Municipality   

 asserted that Jackson's claims were governed by the two-year statute of limitations set                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 forth in AS 09.10.070, which provides in part:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                           (a)  Except as otherwise provided by law, a person may not                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                           bring an action . . .                                                                                         

                                                                                           (3)   for   taking,   detaining,   or   injuring   personal   property,  

                                                                                           including an action for its specific recovery . . .

                                                                                           unless  the   action   is   commenced   within   two   years   of   the

                                                                                           accrual of the cause of action.

 The Municipality claimed that Jackson was aware of all relevant facts concerning his                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 claim and therefore should have brought his conversion action within this two-year                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 statutory timeframe after his arrests in 2004.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                           The superior court issued a Notice of Intent to Grant Defendant's Motion                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

to Dismiss, allowing Jackson 20 additional days to file an opposition; Jackson filed his                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 "Reply" (which is more appropriately categorized as an opposition) with the superior                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 court on the same day.                                                                                                                                           In his opposition Jackson asserted that his property was "                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   in  

                                              1                                            Objecting to the form of Jackson's complaint, the Municipality filed a                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 Motion    for    a    More    Definite    Statement,    which    the    superior    court    denied   in  

November 2013.                                                                                                       The superior court noted that while Jackson's complaint was written                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 in a non-conforming narrative style, "the singular allegation that is clear is that the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

plaintiff claims that the defendant seized property of the plaintiff and failed to return it                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

to the plaintiff despite an order from the federal court," and it ordered the Municipality                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

to answer the "singular complaint" identified by the court.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             -4-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           7115

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custodia legis                                                                            subject exclusively to the orders of the [U.S.] District Court " and that                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Judge Beistline had ordered its return in his April 2006 order. He further argued that the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

plain   text   of   AS   09.10.070(a),   which   states   that   "[a]   person   may   not   bring   an  

 action . . . upon a liability created by statute, other than a penalty or forfeiture," provides                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 an explicit exemption from the two-year bar for forfeiture claims.  He claimed that the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

two-year bar under AS 09.10.070(a) thus did not apply to his claimbecause                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       "[t]his action   

was not created by any statute identified by the [Municipality] . . . [and] there is no                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 statute that can be applied to create a liability in which [AS] 09.10.070(a) can attach."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Jackson categorized the Municipality's refusal to return his property as a "theft, by the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Municipality," and he asserted that the Oldsmobile, property in the Oldsmobile, and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 currency were never "under the jurisdiction of the Municipality."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                  Jackson   also   argued   that   he   was   only   made   aware   that   his   claim was   

 exclusively against the Municipality in January 2012 when Judge Beistline issued the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 order   stating,   "[Jackson's] current dispute is with                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     the Municipality                                                                                              of Anchorage."   

Jackson argued that even if the two-year bar under AS 09.10.070 applied, his filing of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

the complaint in September 2012 would have been timely because he filed it only eight                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

months after he was made aware that his claim was against the Municipality.  Jackson                                                                                                                                                 

 also disputed the Municipality's argument that federal court orders issued in 2006 were                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 issued after the statute of limitations had run on "most, if not all property claimed had                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

been disposed [of] pursuant to law"; Jackson argued that the District Court maintained                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 "jurisdiction"   under   the   legal   concept   of   in   custodia   legis,   which   he   supported   by  

reference to a number of federal cases discussing the principle that ownership of seized                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

property held in custody remains with the court that seized it until a final determination                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                         2                                       In custodia legis                                                                                   , a Latin phrase which translates to "[i]n the custody of the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 law," is "traditionally used in reference to property taken into the court's charge during                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

pending litigation over it."                                                                                                                                        BLACK 'S  LAW  DICTIONARY  (10th ed. 2014).                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -5-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               7115

----------------------- Page 6-----------------------

 is made in forfeiture proceedings.         

                          The Municipality replied to Jackson's opposition and reiterated its position                                                    


that Jackson's claim was time-barred.                                       Citing  Haakanson v. Wakefield Seafoods                                         ,  Inc.,  


the Municipality asserted that claims concerning events that occurred ten years earlier -  


 like Jackson's - are the types of "stale claims" that the Alaska Legislature and the  


Alaska Supreme Court intended to prohibit by codifying limits for all civil actions.  The  


Municipality also argued that the statute was not tolled due to Jackson's imprisonment  


 and that Jackson had not explained how documents filed in a federal criminal action to  


which the Municipality was not a party would toll the statute of limitations.  


                          The superior court issued an order indicating that it was inclined to grant  


the motion to dismiss; the court explained that the May 2007 order issued by Judge  


Beistline established the accrual date of Jackson's claim because that order stated that  


Jackson was entitled to the return of the vehicle and provided him with a procedure by  


which to regain its possession and "[b]ecause the District Court [had] surrendered its  


jurisdiction  over  the  items  in  2007."                                    Therefore,  the  superior  court  concluded  that  


Jackson's  suit  was  likely  barred  by  the  two-year  statute  of  limitations  under  


AS 09.10.070 because he filed his complaint in 2012, and the statute of limitations  


 "would have run no later than 2009."  


                          However, the superior court provided Jackson an additional 15 days to  


 "articulate why the statute of limitations should be tolled following the District Court's  


2007  Order  Re  Distribution  Of  Property  until  2012  when  the  plaintiff  filed  suit."  


Jackson filed his "Response At Court's Request" arguing that the discovery rule should  


toll the statute of limitations.  He asserted that "[i]t would not have been reasonable for  



                            600 P.2d 1087, 1090 (Alaska 1979) (referencing the general policy in  


AS 09.10.010 to establish limits in civil actions to "assur[e] fresh evidence at trial").  

                                                                                  -6-                                                                                7115  

----------------------- Page 7-----------------------

Jackson   to   suspect   that   his   rights   needed   protection   .   .   .   before   reception   of  

Docket   No.   [361]   [federal   status   report   dated   May   18,   2011]   .   .   .   and   [u]pon   the  

notification   made   apparent  by  the   Status   Report   [361]."     Jackson   argued   that   his  

complaint filed on September 12, 2012, was therefore within the statute of limitations                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

under AS 09.10.070 and the discovery rule.                                                                                                                                     

                                                            The Municipality responded that Jackson had not conducted a "reasonable                                                                                                                                                                                                       

inquiry" to determine the elements of his claim, as required by the discovery rule,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

because Jackson had been on notice of his claim at least since 2007 when Judge Beistline                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

issued his order stating that "Defendant need only submit the appropriate paperwork to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

the Anchorage Police Department in order to take possession of [the 1990 Oldsmobile                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

and   the   ring]."     Because   of   Judge   Beistline's   explicit   notification   in   2007,   the  

Municipality argued that Jackson had sufficient information to inform him of his claim                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

against APD for conversion and that Jackson's failure to file suit after he was informed                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

by   Judge   Beistline   that   he   needed   to   contact   the   APD   regarding   his   property  

demonstratedJackson's failureto makea"reasonableinquiry"sufficient                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           to justify tolling  

the statute of limitations past 2009.                                                                                              

                                                            The superior court granted the Municipality's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

dismiss.    It concluded that the discovery rule provides that the statute of limitations                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

begins to run when "a person discovers, or reasonably should have discovered, the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

existence of all elements essential to the cause of action" or "has sufficient information                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                                         4  Applying the discovery rule to Jackson's  

to prompt an inquiry into the cause of action."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

claim, thesuperior court concluded thatJackson"reasonably shouldhavediscovered that  


he had a claim about his property in 2007" and that this should have "prompt[ed] an  




                                                           John's Heating Serv. v. Lamb, 129 P.3d 919, 923 (Alaska 2006) (citing  


 Cameron v. State, 822 P.2d 1362, 1366 (Alaska 1991)).  

                                                                                                                                                                                            -7-                                                                                                                                                                                                   7115  

----------------------- Page 8-----------------------

inquiry to APD regarding the disposition of his property" and enabled Jackson to file a                                                                                     

timely   claim by                  2009.     The   superior   court   entered   final   judgment   and  granted   the  

Municipality's request for attorney's fees.                                            Jackson appeals.   

III.          STANDARD OF REVIEW                    

                           We review the dismissal of a complaint for failure to state a claim under                                                               

                            5                                                                                                             6  

Rule 12(b)(6)                                                                                                                                                            

                               and the application of a statute of limitations de novo.                                                      We construe the  



complaint liberally, treating all factual allegations as true  and "[making] all reasonable  



inferences in favor of the non-moving party."                                                Failing to file a complaint within the time  



 set  out  by  a  statute  of  limitation  is  a  ground  for  dismissal  under  Rule  12(b)(6). 


However, we "look upon the defense of statute of limitations with disfavor and will  



                                                                                                          Thus,  the  "complaint  should  not  

 strain  neither  the  law  nor  the  facts  in  its  aid." 


be dismissed 'unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts  


in support of his claim' that would entitle him to some form of relief, even if the plaintiff  

              5            Larson   v.   State,   Dep't   of   Corr.,   284  P.3d   1,   6   (Alaska   2012)   (citing  

 Guerrero v. Alaska Hous. Fin. Corp                                          ., 6 P.3d 250, 253 (Alaska 2000));                                        Solomon v.   

Interior Reg'l Hous. Auth.                            , 140 P.3d 882, 883 (Alaska 2006).                        

              6            Solomon,  140 P.3d at 883 (citing Alderman v. Iditarod Props., Inc. , 104  


P.3d 136, 140 (Alaska 2004)).  


              7            Larson, 284 P.3d at 6 (citing Clemensen v. Providence Alaska Med. Ctr.,  


203 P.3d 1148, 1151 (Alaska 2009)).  


              8            Kaiser v. Umialik Ins ., 108 P.3d 876, 879 (Alaska 2005) (alteration in  


original) (quoting Kollodge  v. State, 757 P.2d 1024, 1026 & n.4 (Alaska 1988)).  


              9            Id .  (citing Hutton v. Realty Execs., Inc., 14 P.3d 977, 979 (Alaska 2000)).  


              10           Solomon, 140  P.3d  at  883  (alteration  omitted)  (quoting Fred  Meyer  of  


Alaska , Inc., v. Adams, 963 P.2d 1025, 1027 n.6 (Alaska 1998)).  


                                                                                    -8-                                                                             7115

----------------------- Page 9-----------------------


requests a type of relief he is not entitled to obtain."                                  "[I]t is a legal question whether     


undisputed facts establish that a plaintiff is on inquiry notice."                                                                     

                                                                                                              We review de novo  

                                           13  and we review for clear error factual findings related to the  



rulings on legal questions, 

reasonableness of an inquiry.14  


IV.	       DISCUSSION                                               

           A.	        Considering All Of The Facts In The Light Most Favorable To The  


                      Non-Moving Party, It Was ErrorTo DismissJackson'sComplaint For  


                      Failure To State A Claim.  


                      Jacksonarguesthatthesuperior court erred in concluding thathis complaint  


was time-barred under the two-year statute oflimitations in AS 09.10.070 on the grounds  


that he should have reasonably discovered information sufficient to alert him about his  


claim by 2007.  



                      In John's Heating Service v. Lamb,  


                                                                                   we explained how the discovery rule  


affects the accrual of a cause of action:  


                      (1) a cause of action accrues when a person discovers, or  


                      reasonably  should  have  discovered,  the  existence  of  all  


                      elements essential to the cause of action;  

           11	        Larson, 284 P.3d at 6 (quoting                      Guerrero, 6 P.3d at 254).                   



                      Christianson v. Conrad-Houston Ins., 318 P.3d 390, 396 (Alaska 2014)  

(alteration in original) (quoting                      Egner v. Talbot's, Inc.                , 214 P.3d 272, 277 (Alaska           


2009)); see also Gefre v. Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, 306 P.3d 1264, 1276 (Alaska  


2013) ("When [plaintiff] [is] on inquiry notice is a question of fact that 'depends upon  


all of the surrounding circumstances' and is reviewed for clear error." (first quoting  


Preblich v. Zorea, 996 P.2d 730, 736 (Alaska 2000); then citing Sengupta v. Wickwire,  


 124 P.3d 748, 752 (Alaska 2005))).  

           13         Christianson, 318 P.3d at 396 (citing Egner, 214 P.3d at 277).  


           14         Id.  

           15          129 P.3d 919, 923-24 (Alaska 2006).  


                                                                     -9-	                                                             7115

----------------------- Page 10-----------------------

                           (2)  a person reasonably should know of his cause of action                                               

                          when he has sufficient information to prompt an inquiry into                                                    

                          the cause of action, if all of the essential elements of the                                                     

                          cause   of   action   may   reasonably   be   discovered   within  the  

                           statutory period at a point when a reasonable time remains                                             

                          within which to file suit.                       [16]  

We have also explained that:  


                          If the [person's] inquiry was not reasonable, then the cause of  


                          action accrues at the inquiry-notice date "unless a reasonable  


                          inquiry would not have been productive within the statutory  


                          period."               But  if  a  reasonable  inquiry  was  made,  the  


                          limitations   period   is   tolled   until   the   plaintiff   either:  


                           (1) "received actual knowledge of" the facts giving rise to the  


                          cause  of  action;  or  (2)  "received  new  information  which  


                          would prompt a reasonable person to inquire further."[17]  


                          The  superior  court  concluded  that  under  the  discovery  rule,  Jackson  


"reasonably should have discovered" that he had a property claimin 2007 because Judge  


Beistline's order had provided him with notice that APD held his property and that he  


needed to contact them.  Finding that Jackson failed to make such timely contact, the  


superior court concluded he had not met the requirements of the discovery rule and  


thereforehad not demonstrated "any legal basis to toll the two-year statute of limitations"  


that would enable his claim to survive under Rule 12(b)(6).  


                          We agree with Jackson that it was error for the court to conclude that his  


claim was time-barred under AS 09.10.070 on the ground that Jackson was on inquiry  


notice by 2007.  Assuming the facts as pleaded are true, we conclude that Jackson's  


complaint and attachments are sufficient to preclude dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6).  


             16           Id .   



                           Gefre, 306 P.3d at 1275 (first quoting Pedersen v. Zielski, 822 P.2d 903,  


908 (Alaska 1991); then quoting Cameron v. State, 822 P.2d 1362, 1367 (Alaska 1991)).  

                                                                                  -10-                                                                           7115

----------------------- Page 11-----------------------


While  his  pro  se  complaint  is  somewhat  difficult  to  fully  understand,  Jackson's  


complaint alleged the following facts.  In July 2004 his 1990 Oldsmobile was seized by  


police  and  sold  at  auction  two  months  later,  well  before  the  initiation  of  criminal  


proceedings against him.  In September 2006 the U.S. District Court ordered that his  


seized property - including the 1990 Oldsmobile and other property - be returned to  


him.  And in a May 2007 inventory filing in federal court "the government attest[ed] to  


the fact that APD [s]ervice storage is in possession of the 1990 Maroon Olds" but a letter  


dated a month later from APD indicated that this car was impounded on July 2004.  


                    Jackson's complaint also alleged that his property was converted and that  


the U.S. District Court retained jurisdiction over his property until August 2012:  "[a]t  


the time the conversion took place (from APD to the Municipality of Anchorage) the  


U.S. District Court still had jurisdiction (thus leaving any other perceived jurisdiction  


without authority to gain control of r[e]maining property, and [the September 2006 U.S.  


District court order] in force)."  The complaint further alleged the District Court did not  


"defer[] . . . jurisdiction to the [s]tate [c]ourts" until August 2012.   In addition, his  


complaint  alleged  that  sometime  before  August  2011,  the  Assistant  U.S.  Attorney  


assigned to Jackson's federal case notified him that APD would apply the proceeds of  


the sale of his outstanding property to a $6,000 debt with the Municipality, which  


Jackson inquired about by sending a letter to the Municipality in August 2011.  


                    Construing the complaint liberally, as we must, and treating all factual  


allegations as true, and even accepting the superior court's formulation of the discovery  


rule, Jackson's complaint alleged at least four potential accrual dates for his conversion  


claim: 2004 (initial seizure of property), 2007 (inventory list including 1990 Oldsmobile  


and notice of 2004 impoundment), 2011 (notification that value of remaining property  


would  satisfy  $6,000  debt),  and  2012  (order  from  Judge  Beistline  indicating  that  


Jackson's dispute "is with the Municipality of Anchorage").  It also provided support to  

                                                               -11-                                                         7115

----------------------- Page 12-----------------------

the allegation that Jackson made numerous inquiries relevant to each of these dates to                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

discover the status of his property and his claims. Given the myriad and complex factual                                                                                                                                                                                                     

allegations and the often inherently fact-specific nature of ascertaining when a plaintiff                                                                                                                                                                                           

has sufficient notice - actual or                                                                                            implied   - and whether                                                                     a plaintiff's inquiry                                                       was  

                                         18  it was error to conclude as a matter of law at the Rule 12(b)(6) motion to  


dismiss stage that Jackson's complaint was barred by the two-year statute of limitations.  


Construing the allegations in the complaint in Jackson's favor, his 2012 complaint was  


filed within the statute of limitations as calculated with reference to Judge Beistline's  


2012  order.                                       Therefore,  the  superior  court's  Rule  12(b)(6)  dismissal  of  Jackson's  


conversion claim was erroneous.  


V.                      CONCLUSION  


                                                We REVERSE the superior court's Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of Jackson's  


complaint and REMAND for further proceedings.  


                        18                      See, e.g.,  Gefre,  306 P.3d at 1274-76 (explaining the"doctrinal                                                                                                                                                        framework"  

ofthediscovery                                           ruleand                      recognizing that Alaska'sdiscovery rule"may                                                                                                                        providedifferent   

possible dates on which a statute of limitations can begin to run" depending on the cause                                                                                                                                                                                                        

of action, case-specific facts supporting that cause of action, and whether a claimant can                                                                                                                                                                                                               

make a "productive" inquiry);                                                                                   Cameron, 822 P.2d at 1367-68 (noting that whether a                                                                                                                                             

claimant's inquiry is "reasonable" is a factual question and observing that "it is often                                                                                                                                                                                                          

necessary to conduct discovery to determine whether a claim is barred");                                                                                                                                                                                         Pedersen,  822  

P.2d at 908 (concluding that "[w]here the plaintiff actually attempts an inquiry, the fairer                                                                                                                                                                                                      

question in our view, is to ask whether his inquiry was reasonable[;] [w]here there is no                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

attempt, however, there is no choice but to put the question in the abstract.").                                                                                                                                                                                                     

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