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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. del Rosario v. Clare (8/26/2016) sp-7120

del Rosario v. Clare (8/26/2016) sp-7120

          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  

JOYCE  A.  del  ROSARIO,  f/k/a  JOYCE                            )  

A.  CLARE,                                                        )     Supreme  Court  No.  S-15955  



                               Appellant,                         )     Superior Court No.  3AN-09-07066 CI  



                                                                  )     O P I N I O N  



KENNETH A. CLARE,                                                                                            

                                                                  )     No. 7120 - August 26, 2016  


                               Appellee.                          )  




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


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


                    Appearances:  Joyce  A.  del  Rosario,  pro  se,  Beaverton,  


                     Oregon,  Appellant.              Vikram N.  Chaobal,  Law  Offices  of  


                    Vikram N. Chaobal, LLC, Anchorage, for Appellee.  

                     Before:  Winfree, Maassen, and Bolger, Justices.  [Stowers,  


                     Chief Justice, not participating.]  


                     BOLGER, Justice.  



                     The superior court modified a child custody decree, granting sole legal  


custody  and  primary  physical  custody  to  the  child's  father  and  setting  a  visitation  


schedule.  The mother picked the child up for summer visitation but did not share her  


travel plans with the father and did not answer the phone or otherwise respond when the  

----------------------- Page 2-----------------------

father called for telephonic visitation with the child.                                                                                                                                                After five days with no word from                                                                                 

the mother or the child, the father filed a motion to show cause.                                                                                                                                                                                     The court ordered the                                                     

mother to place the child on the phone at the scheduled telephonic visitation times, to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

keep the father informed of the child's address and travel dates, and to give the child a                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

telephone provided by the father to facilitate their telephonic visitation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                The mother   

appeals, arguing that the custody decree did not give the father any telephonic visitation                                                                                                                                                                                                              

rights and that the court impermissibly modified the decree. She also argues that she did                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

not receive adequate notice of the father's motion.                                                                                                                                              We conclude that the court's orders                                                                                

were within its inherent power to interpret and enforce the custody decree and that the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

mother received adequate notice of the father's motion.                                                                                                                                                                

II.                       FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS                                    

                                                   Joyce del Rosario and Kenneth Clare were married in 2005 and have one                                                                                                                                                                                                      


child together, Kevin.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                           They divorced in 2010, and after a custody trial, the court gave  


both parents shared physical custody of Kevin but awarded sole legal custody of Kevin  


to Kenneth for one year, after which legal custody would revert to shared legal custody.  


                                                   In March 2014 Joyce informed Kenneth that she planned to move out of  


Alaska.  In response Kenneth moved to modify the custody decree, requesting primary  


physical and legal custodyofKevin and "amplevisitationduringthesummer months and  


for holidays" for Joyce.  


                                                   The court held a trial on Kenneth's motion over three days in January and  


February 2015 and made oral findings on the record after the close of trial.  It weighed  

                          1                        A pseudonym has been used to protect the child's privacy.                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                 -2-                                                                                                                                                     7120

----------------------- Page 3-----------------------


the   custodial  factors   under   AS   25.24.150   and   determined   that   most   of   the   factors  

weighed in Kenneth's favor.                                                                                                                                               It found that Kenneth's household was "a healthy and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 satisfactory environment," and it found that Joyce had unjustifiably prevented Kevin                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 from talking with Kenneth while in her custody.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Based on these findings, it awarded                                                                                                                                

Kenneth primary physical custody and sole legal custody of Kevin.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                             The court issued its written findings of fact and conclusions of law, along                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

with a modified custody decree, on May 8, 2015. The decree awarded Kenneth primary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

physical and sole legal custody and set out a visitation schedule. The schedule provided                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 for Joyce to have visitation with Kevin during his summer vacation and provided that                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Kevin   "shall   be   allowed   to   contact   the   non-custodial   parent   freely  and   without  

interference of the custodial parent at every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday at 7:30 pm                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Alaska Time."                                                                          It also required Joyce to "provide address and phone number contact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

information to [Kenneth] 10 days prior to . . . [Kevin]'s . . . travel."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

                                                                             On May 21 Joyce emailed Kenneth informing him that she planned to pick                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

up Kevin for her summer visitation on May 24, a Sunday.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kenneth asked her for more                                                                                                            

information:  dates of visitation, "[g]ood contact numbers, the address [Kevin] will be   

 at, etc."                                       Joyce responded only that she planned to have custody of Kevin until two                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

weeks before school began and that "[l]ocation varies." When pressed she provided her                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Alaska and Oregon addresses but did not specify when she planned to be at those                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 addresses with Kevin.                                                                                                            

                                                                             Joyce picked up Kevin on May 24. Kenneth called her that evening for his                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 scheduled visitation with Kevin, but she did not answer the phone.  After calling three                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

                                       2                                     AS   25.24.150(c)   provides   that   "[t]he   court   shall   determine   custody   in  

 accordance with the best interests of the child . . . .                                                                                                                                                                                                                         In determining the best interests of                                                                                                                                                                                

the child the court shall consider" eight specific factors as well as "other factors that the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 court considers pertinent."                                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -3-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 7120

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times, he left a voicemail stating he was trying to reach Kevin. The same thing happened  


when Kenneth called for visitation on Tuesday, May 26, and Thursday, May 28.  


                    On  May  29  Kenneth  filed  a  motion  to  show  cause  and  a  motion  for  


expedited consideration.  Joyce was served with the motions by email and by mail sent  


to the two addresses she had provided.  Kenneth stated that "[Kevin] ha[d] not been  


heard from since" being picked up by Joyce on May 24 and that Joyce had denied him  


three scheduled telephonic visitations.   He requested an order that Joyce appear at a  


hearing to "show cause for her conduct, and to formally declare where this child is going  


to be, and to allow telephonic visitation."  


                    The court granted the motion for expedited consideration on June 1 and  


held a hearing on the motion to show cause on June 2. Kenneth attended telephonically,  


but Joyce did not appear.  The court observed that Joyce appeared to be violating the  


custody decree by not permitting telephonic visitation with Kevin. It stated that "[i]t was  


the intention of the court, and if I misspoke then I need to correct it, . . . that the minor  


child shall be placed on the phone" at the specified times "and in addition to that, any  


time  [Kevin]  wants  to  get  on  the  phone,  that  he  be  allowed  free  access  without  


interference."  It also emphasized that "disclosure of the physical address and the actual  


address where the child will be at all times is something that is required by the court."  


                    The court issued an order following the hearing that it characterized as  


"Clarifying Telephonic Visitation with Father and Child."  The order provided:  


                               Telephonic  visitation  with  the  father  is  not  at  the  


                    discretion  of  the  child.             Telephonic  visitation  will  be  on  


                    Tuesdays,  Thursdays[,]  and  Sundays.                           The  child,  if  he  


                    chooses,  can  contact  his  father  at  any  time  and  shall  be  


                    allowed to do so.  


                               Ms. del Rosario[] will provide Mr. Clare the physical  


                    location and dates that the child will be residing in Alaska or  

                                                                -4-                                                         7120

----------------------- Page 5-----------------------

                                        Oregon.   Mr. Clare must also provide the same to Ms. [d]el                                                                                           


                                        Both parties appeared at a status hearing on June 18. Kenneth reported that                                                                                                                                   

he had been speaking regularly with Kevin and that he "ha[d] an idea" where Kevin was                                                                                                                                                                

living   because   Joyce's   husband   had   informed   him   that   they   were   in   Oregon.     At  

Kenneth's request the court orally ordered Joyce to give Kevin a telephone provided by                                                                                                                                                                    

Kenneth's attorney, to "give [Kevin]                                                                       the ability to keep it charged, and [to] allow [Kevin]                                                                         

to have it for purposes of contacting his father."                                                                                              

                                        Joyce appeals the clarifying order and the order issued at the status hearing.                                                                                                                                              

III.                STANDARD OF REVIEW                                      

                                        We determine de novo whether a superior court order modifies a final                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                    3     If the order enforces rather than modifies, we review the  

 decree or merely enforces it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 order  for  abuse  of  discretion.4                                                                "A  decision  constitutes  abuse  of  discretion  if  it  is  


 'arbitrary,  capricious,  manifestly  unreasonable,  or  .  .  .  stems  from  an  improper  


                               5                                                                                                                                                                                  6 

motive.' "   We review de novo whether a party received due process,  "adopting 'the  

rule of law that is most persuasive in light of precedent, reason, and policy.' "7  


                    3                   Horchover  v.  Field,  964  P.2d   1278,   1282  (Alaska   1998).  

                    4                  Id.  

                    5                   Gunn  v.  Gunn,  367  P.3d   1146,   1150  (Alaska  2016)  (omission  in  original)  

 (quoting  Roderer  v.  Dash,  233  P.3d   1101,   1107  (Alaska  2010)).  

                    6                   Grimmett   v.   Univ.   of  Alaska ,   303   P.3d   482,   487   (Alaska   2013)   (citing  

James  v.  State,  Dep't  of  Corr.,  260  P.3d   1046,   1050  (Alaska  2011)).  

                    7                   Philip J. v. State, Dep't of Health &Soc. Servs., Office of Children's Servs.,  


264 P.3d  842, 846 (Alaska 2011) (quoting Jeff A.C., Jr.  v. State,  117 P.3d 697, 702  


 (Alaska 2005)).  


                                                                                                                            -5-                                                                                                                   7120

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                              This case also involves the superior court's interpretation of its own order.                                                                                     

Although we have not specifically articulated a standard of review for this situation,                                                                                                      8  

 enforcement of an order - reviewed for abuse of discretion - necessarily involves  


                                                            9  and we have previously explained the abuse-of-discretion  

 interpretation of that order,                                                                                                                      


 standard for enforcement by pointing out that the court that entered the original order is  


 in the best position to interpret its own order.10                                                         Accordingly, we review the superior  


 court's interpretation of its own order for abuse of discretion.11  


               8              We review an interpretation of an order that incorporates a settlement                                                                   

 agreement de novo, but this is because the agreement is treated as a contract between the                                                                                              

parties.    Gaston v. Gaston                               , 954 P.2d 572, 574 (Alaska 1998).                                                The custody decree at                        

 issue in this case did not incorporate any agreement between the parties.                                                                      

               9              See Carnahan v. Romine, No. S-12076, 2007 WL 3317825, at *6 (Alaska  


Nov. 7, 2007).  


               10             See Johnson v. Johnson, No. S-12891, 2009 WL 564692, at *4 (Alaska  


 Mar. 4, 2009) ("[T]he superior court, as the author of the interim order, was in the best  


position to decide what it had intended when it entered the interim order."); Carnahan,  


 2007 WL 3317825, at *6 ("[T]he meaning of a divorce decree is best interpreted by the  


 superior court itself; for this reason we review orders enforcing property divisions in  


 divorce decrees for abuse of discretion." (citing Horchover v. Field, 964 P.2d 1278, 1281  


 (Alaska 1998))).  For this reason we do not take up our brief indication in Gallant v.  


 Gallant that de novo review may be appropriate in this circumstance. 945 P.2d 795, 802  


n.13 (Alaska 1997).  


               11             The deference due to a superior court's interpretation of an order may vary  


 depending on the circumstances.  For example, Maine courts give particular deference  


when "the judge who clarified the judgment is also the judge who initially issued the  


judgment."   Voter v. Voter, 109 A.3d 626, 630 (Me. 2015).  Here, the same judge who  


 issued the modified custody decree issued the clarifying order less than one month later.  


                                                                                            -6-                                                                                    7120

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



          A.	       The  Superior  Court  Did  Not  Impermissibly  Modify  The  Custody  



                    Joyce argues that the court's clarifying order and its later oral order, which  


required her to facilitate access to the provided telephone, impermissibly modified the  


custody decree. She points to four alleged modifications: (1) she claims that the custody  


decree did not grant Kenneth any telephonic visitation rights; (2) she argues that the  


clarifying order unreasonably required her to provide constant real-time updates of  


Kevin's physical location, in addition to the address and contact information required by  


the decree; (3) she claims that the clarifying order made visitation non-discretionary on  


Kevin's part, while the decree simply required Joyce to allow him to call Kenneth if he  


wishes; and (4) she points out that the requirement that she give Kevin the telephone  


appeared  nowhere  in  the  decree.                     The  first  two  of  these  arguments  are  based  on  


misinterpretations of the court's orders, and the second two fail because those aspects of  


the court's orders were within the court's inherent authority to enforce the custody  



                    1.	       ThecustodydecreegrantedKennethtelephonicvisitationrights.  


                    Joyce's primary argument on appeal is that the custody decree did not grant  


Kenneth any visitation rights while Kevin was in her physical custody, and therefore the  


clarifying  order  impermissibly  modified  the  original  decree  by  granting  Kenneth  


visitation.  The original decree provided:  "The minor child shall be allowed to contact  


the non-custodial parent freely  and  without interference of the custodial parent" at  


specifieddays and times. Joyceapparently interprets "non-custodial parent"torefer only  


to herself, the parent without legal custody, and concludes that the custody decree did not  



                    Because  the  court  did  not  modify  the  decree,  we  also  reject  Joyce's  


argument that the alleged modifications violated her due process rights.  

                                                               -7-	                                                            7120  

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

 require her to allow Kevin to contact Kenneth, the "custodial parent." The superior court                                                                                                                             

 interpreted its decree to grant Kenneth visitation rights when he did not have physical                                                                                                        

 custody of Kevin, as evidenced by the clarifying order and by the court's comments at                                                                                                                                          

 the   June   2  and   June   18   hearings.     Joyce   thus   essentially   challenges   the   court's  

 interpretation of its own decree.                                


                                    Interpreting an order requires discerning the intent of the issuing court.                                                                                                                         

 All parts of an order are read together and are considered as a whole.14  When written and  


 oral rulings are not inconsistent "the transcript [of the oral ruling] should properly be  


 considered."15   "The record [also] should be taken into consideration in determining the  


 intent, scope[,] and effect of an order."16  Although the contested provision of the decree  


 is arguably ambiguous, Joyce's interpretation that the decree did not grant Kenneth any  


 visitation is implausible, especially given the court's factual findings.  


                                    Read  as  a  whole,  the  custody  decree  supports  the  superior  court's  


 interpretation.                            Generally,  the  decree  refers  either  to  "Mother"  or  "Father"  or  to  


 "Defendant" or "Plaintiff" when addressing a specific party.  The provision in question  


 is the only point at which the decree refers to the "custodial parent" or to the "non- 


 custodial parent."  If this provision were meant to grant telephonic visitation rights to  


                  13                See Riggs v. Coonradt                                     , 335 P.3d 1103, 1109 (Alaska 2014) (remanding to                                                                                

 superior court because of "doubt as to whether the court intended to incorporate" a                                                                                                                                             

 changed visitation schedule into a signed custody decree);                                                                                            Feichtinger v. State                                , 779 P.2d     

 344, 347 (Alaska App. 1989) ("Generally, where a trial court order is susceptible of two                                                                                                                                  

 independent interpretations and it is impossible to determine which motivated the trial                                                                                            

judge, a remand for clarification is necessary.").                                            

                  14               Johnson v. Johnson, 544 P.2d 65, 69 n.5 (Alaska 1975).  


                  15               Ronne v. Ronne, 568 P.2d 1021, 1023-24 (Alaska 1977) (quoting Johnson,  


 544 P.2d at 69 n.5).  


                  16               Id. (quoting Johnson, 544 P.2d at 69 n.5).  


                                                                                                               -8-                                                                                                     7120

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

Joyce but not to Kenneth, it likely would have stated either that                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "[Kevin] shall be                                                                                          

 allowed   to   contact Mother" or                                                                                                                                                                                                    that "[Kevin] shall be allowed                                                                                                                                                                                                            to   contact Plaintiff."                                                                                                                                      

Instead, the use of "custodial" and "non-custodial" signals that the custodial parent                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

would sometimes be the mother and sometimes be the father.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                The court's oral and written findings also support its interpretation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          After  

trial, the court specifically found that Joyce was preventing Kevin from calling Kenneth                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 and that she was falsely stating Kevin did not want to talk to his father.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           It reiterated this                                                                        

 concern in its written findings of fact.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It would be surprising for the court to admonish                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Joyce for interfering with Kenneth's telephonic visitation rights if it had removed any                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 such rights in its custody decree, especially considering that Kevin would be in Joyce's                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 custody for most of his summer vacation. Moreover, there is no indication in the record                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

that the court intended to restrict Kenneth's telephonic visitation rights.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The court   

 awarded sole legal custody to Kenneth and found nearly every custodial factor weighed                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

in his favor; one would expect the court to explain or make its intent explicit if it                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

intended to restrict Kenneth's access to Kevin while he is in Joyce's custody.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                The superior court accordingly did not abuse its discretion by interpreting                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

its decree to grant Kenneth telephonic visitation or by ordering Joyce to permit such                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

visitation in its clarifying order.                                                                                                                                                                                                  17  

                                                          17                                    Under this interpretation, Joyce's claim that the clarifying order set no                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 specific time for Kevin's visits with Kenneth while the original order set a time of day                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 for her own visits also fails.  Because the original order required both parents to allow   

Kevin to contact the other "every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday at 7:30 pm Alaska                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Time," the clarifying order did not require her or Kevin to "make numerous attempts at                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 contacting [Kenneth] for hours on end" on those days.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Instead, it simply required her to                                                                                                                                                                                          

 comply with the original order by placing Kevin on the phone at 7:30 p.m. Alaska time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -9-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7120

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                    2.	        The court did not order Joyce to provide real-time updates of  


                               Kevin's location.  


                    Joyce also argues that the court's oral order following the June 18 hearing  


modified  the  custody  decree  by  requiring  her  to  give  constant  updates  of  Kevin's  


location to Kenneth, "even in real time while mother and child may be in transit from one  


point to another."   She does not explain how she reached this interpretation of the  


June 18 order, but the court did make two statements that could arguably support this  


interpretation.  The court stated that Joyce should "be sharing the location of [Kevin],  


where he is going to be from day to day, who's going to be taking care of him, and how  


to get him on the phone," and it closed the hearing by stating that "there should be no  


time in which either parent is wondering where [Kevin] is or how to get a hold of him."  


                    Joyce's interpretation of the court's statements is implausible in the context  


of these proceedings.  The June 18 hearing was a status hearing following the clarifying  


order, which required Joyce to "provide [Kenneth] the physical location and dates that  


[Kevin] will be residing in Alaska or Oregon."  Joyce had not done so before taking  


custody in May, despite the decree's requirement that she "provide address and phone  


number contact information to [Kenneth] 10 days prior to . . . [Kevin]'s . . . travel."  


Instead, she informed Kenneth that "[l]ocation varies," provided her addresses in Alaska  


and Oregon, but failed to disclose when she and Kevin would be at either address. In this  


context, the court's comments at the June 18 hearing are best read as instructing Joyce  


to  tell  Kenneth  when  Kevin  will  be  residing  at  a  given  address,  instead  of  simply  


providing a list of possible locations and leaving Kenneth to guess where Kevin might  


be at any given time.  

                                                               -10-	                                                        7120

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

                                        3.	                  The court's other orders were within its inherent authority to                                                                                                                                    

                                                             enforce the custody decree.                                     

                                        Joycepointsto two alleged modifications that do seemto imposeadditional                                                                                                                         

obligations on the parties.                                                     First, the clarifying order declared that telephonic visitation                                                                                          

with Kenneth "is not at the discretion of the child," while the original custody decree                                                                                                                                                           

stated that Kevin "shall be allowed to contact the non-custodial parent."                                                                                                                                                 Second, at the                    

June 18 hearing the court orally required Joyce to bring a particular telephone to Kevin                                                                                                                                                           


for contacting his father; no such requirement is found in the original custody decree.                                                                                                                                                                                  


                                        Joyce  argues  that  the  clarifying  order  and  the  subsequent  oral  order  


imposed new substantive burdens not contemplated by the original decree, and were  


therefore impermissible modifications.  But the superior court has the inherent power,  



as well as the duty, to enforce its decrees.                                                                                             By enforcing the custody decree through  


those means, the court did not abuse its discretion.  


                                         Courts may impose additional burdens when necessary to enforce their  


decrees.  In Horchover v. Field, we held that the superior court had the inherent power  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   20        Although the  


to order a party to a divorce to provide an accounting of his assets. 

divorce decree did not require an accounting, requiring one was "in reality . . . the only  


way for the court to determine whether" the husband was violating the decree as the wife  


                    18                  Joyce suggests that the court's order provides that Kevin may                                                                                                                           only  contact  

his father from this telephone and may not use a different telephone.  She is incorrect;   

the language of the order contains no such requirement and it is implausible that the court                                                                                                                                                           

intended to limit Kevin's ability to communicate with Kenneth.                                                                                                                                    

                    19                   Wahl v. Wahl, 945 P.2d 1229, 1232 (Alaska 1997).  


                    20                   964 P.2d 1278, 1285 (Alaska 1998).  


                                                                                                                             -11-	                                                                                                                     7120

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


alleged,        particularly"in light          of[his]demonstrated willingness                     toignorehisobligations       


under   the   agreement."                                                                                                  

                                            And  in  State,  Department  of  Revenue,  Child  Support  


Enforcement Division v. Deleon, we held that the superior court's inherent power to  


enforce its decrees authorized the court to enforce a child support order by requiring a  

                                                                                             23  We noted that "[t]here is  


delinquent parent to apply for the permanent fund dividend. 

particular justification for such action by a court when necessary to preserve the rights  


of children";24   a court "not only has the right, but . . . [a] duty to make its decrees  


effective and to prevent evasions thereof."25                         In honoring this obligation, the court may  


"make 'alterations necessary to obtain a result altogether consistent with the original  


decree.' "26  


                     The superior court's orders fit this rubric. With respect to the provision that  


"visitation . . . is not at the discretion of the child," it appears the court aimed to ensure  


that Joyce actually facilitated such visitations instead of failing to answer the phone or  


to call Kenneth at the appointed hour.  In its oral findings, the court detailed its concern  


that Joyce was unjustifiably interfering with Kevin's telephonic visitation with Kenneth;  


           21        Id.  at   1284.  

           22        Id.  at   1285.  

           23        103  P.3d  897  (Alaska  2004).   Alaska  Statute  22.10.025(b)  now  explicitly  

authorizes  the  superior  court  to  apply  for  a  permanent  fund  dividend,  but  this  statute  was  

not  in  effect  when  the  superior  court  in  Deleon  issued  its  order.   Compare  ch.  108,    11,  

SLA 2004 (effective July 1, 2004),  with  Deleon,   103  P.3d  at  898  (superior  court order  

issued  in  2003).  

           24        Deleon,  103 P.3d at 899 (quoting Johnson  v. Johnson, 544 P.2d 65, 72  


(Alaska 1975)).  


           25        Id. (quoting Johnson, 544 P.2d at 72).  


           26        Id. (quoting Johnson, 544 P.2d at 72).  


                                                                 -12-                                                           7120

----------------------- Page 13-----------------------

it specifically rejected Joyce's assertion that Kevin was afraid of his father and did not                                                                                                                    

want to talk with him.                                     The court's concern was reasonably aggravated when Joyce                                                                                    

dropped out of contact immediately                                                            after   taking   physical custody                                           of Kevin                  for   the  

summer, causing Kevin                                          to miss three telephonic visitations with his father without                                                                       

explanation. As in                            Horchover, Joyce's apparent recalcitrance meant that "in reality" the                                                                                           

only way to ensure that Joyce allowed Kevin to speak with his father was to order her   

                                                                  27    And the result - that Kevin has the opportunity to speak  

to place him on the phone.                                                                                                                                                                             

with his father at the designated times - was "altogether consistent with the original  


decree."28   Thus the order was "a reasonable . . . way of ensuring that [Joyce] is honoring  


the court's decree,"29  and as such, it was within the court's inherent power to enforce the  


custody decree.  


                                 Similarly with respect to the provided telephone, the court determined that  


providing Kevin with his own telephone for visitation was a proper method of ensuring  


Kevin could speak with his father.  Given Joyce's history of interfering with Kenneth's  


communications with Kevin, the requirement that Joyce provide the phone also was a  


reasonable way of ensuring that Joyce allows Kevin to contact his father per the decree.  


                 B.	             Joyce Received Sufficient Notice Of And Opportunity To Respond To  


                                 Kenneth's Motions.  


                                 Joyce also argues that she did not receive adequate notice of Kenneth's  


                 27              Horchover, 964 P.2d at 1284;                                              see also Deleon                        , 103 P.3d at 899 ("There is                                    

particular justification for such action by a court when necessary to preserve the rights                                                                                                               

of children." (quoting                                 Johnson, 544 P.2d at 72)).                            

                 28              Deleon, 103 P.3d at 899 (quoting Johnson, 544 P.2d at 72).  


                 29              Horchover, 964 P.2d at 1285.  


                                                                                                      -13-	                                                                                              7120

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motions to show cause and to expedite consideration.                                                                She claims that she was only                      

served by email, despite never having consented to email service, and that she did not                                                                                   

                                                                                             31    But the certificates of service for the  

have enough time to respond to the motions.                                                                                                                              

motions indicate that they were mailed to Joyce on May 29; the court order granting  


expedited consideration was mailed to her on June 1.  At the June 2 hearing, Kenneth's  


attorney reported that he had served Joyce by certified mail at both of the addresses she  


had provided as well as by email, and in an affidavit he stated that he called Joyce on  


May 28 and left a message informing her that he intended to file the motions. Joyce was  


thus served properly pursuant to Alaska Civil Rule 5(b), which provides that service may  


be made by first class mail to a party's last known address and that service is complete  


upon mailing.  Kenneth's attorney additionally used every other method at his disposal  


to notify Joyce of the motions.  Given the urgency of the situation, this supplied Joyce  


with reasonable notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond to Kenneth's motions.32  


Furthermore, Joyce was present at the June 18 hearing and had the opportunity to address  


              30           Although this argument does not appear in Joyce's statement of points on                                                                        

appeal, it does appear in her brief; we address it here with the "leniency . . . afforded                                                                   

pro se litigants" in mind.                         Kaiser v. Sakata                 , 40 P.3d 800, 803 (Alaska 2002) (citing                                        Noey  

v.  Bledsoe, 978 P.2d 1264, 1270 (Alaska 1999)).                                     

              31           See Alaska R. Civ. P. 5.1(c)(2) (permitting service by email on "a person  


who  has  consented  to  be  served  in  this  manner").                                                          Joyce  suggests  that  she  was  


constrained by time because she could only respond to Kenneth's motion by mail, but  


Alaska  Civil  Rule  77(g)  expressly  allows  responses  to  motions  for  expedited  


consideration "in person, by telephone or in writing."  Alaska R. Civ. P. 77(g)(6)-(7).  


              32           See Alaska R. Civ. P. 77(g)(6) ("The court may not grant the motion for  


expedited consideration prior to allowing the opposing party a reasonable opportunity  

to respond . . . absent compelling reasons for a prompt decision and a showing that  


reasonable efforts were made to notify the opposing party of the motion for expedited  


consideration in time to allow a reasonable opportunity to respond.").  


                                                                                    -14-                                                                             7120

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the issues raised in Kenneth's motion and the propriety of expedited consideration; she                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

raised no procedural concerns at that time.                                                                                                                                                                

V.                                  CONCLUSION  

                                                                        We AFFIRM the superior court's orders.                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -15-                                                                                                                                                                                                   7120

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