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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. In the Matter of the Protective Proceedings of W.A. (09/26/2008) sp-6309

In the Matter of the Protective Proceedings of W.A. (09/26/2008) sp-6309, 193 P3d 743

     Notice:   This opinion is subject to correction  before
     publication  in  the  Pacific  Reporter.   Readers  are
     requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk
     of  the  Appellate  Courts, 303  K  Street,  Anchorage,
     Alaska 99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878,
     e-mail corrections@appellate.courts.state.ak.us.


            THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA

In the Matter of the Protective )
Proceedings of: ) Supreme Court No. S-12673 )
) Superior Court No.
W.A., ) 3DI-05-00002 PR
)
Appellant. ) O P I N I O N
)
) No. 6309 - September 26, 2008
          Appeal  from the Superior Court of the  State
          of    Alaska,   Third   Judicial    District,
          Dillingham, Fred Torrisi, Judge.

          Appearances: Joseph R. Faith, Dillingham, for
          Appellant.  Janella K. Combs, Bristol Bay Law
          Center, Dillingham, for Gladys L., Appellee.

          Before:    Fabe,  Chief  Justice,   Matthews,
          Carpeneti,  and Winfree, Justices. [Eastaugh,
          Justice, not participating.]

          CARPENETI, Justice.

I.   INTRODUCTION
          The respondent in a guardianship proceeding appeals the
superior  courts appointment of a permanent guardian.  He  argues
that  the  superior  court  was  not  presented  with  clear  and
convincing evidence that (1) he is totally incapacitated and  (2)
alternatives  to  guardianship  are  not  feasible.  Because  the
superior  court did not err in finding that there was  clear  and
convincing evidence that the respondent is incapacitated and that
alternatives  to  guardianship are not feasible,  we  affirm  the
decision of the superior court.
II.  FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
     
          This  case  involves an attempt by  a  group  of  adult
siblings to obtain a guardian for W.A., their brother.  W.A. is a
forty-five year old male who has not held regular employment  for
over  twenty  years.  Until this case arose, he  lived  with  his
eighty-one  year old mother, who has serious health problems  and
takes oxygen.  W.A.s father died when W.A. was four or five years
old.   According to W.A.s sister, Gladys L., W.A.  started  using
drugs at a very young age, which had a very detrimental impact on
his mental capacity, but his mother continually cared for him and
didnt want to turn him out to the street.
          On  February  9,  2005,  Gladys  L.,  joined  by  other
siblings  and  family  members, filed an Emergency  Petition  for
Appointment   of  a  Temporary  Guardian  and  a   Petition   for
Appointment  of a Guardian as a result of W.A.s erratic  behavior
and  abusive  treatment of their mother.   Gladys  L.  filed  the
petitions  because W.A.s behavior had reached the point  that  it
was causing [the siblings] to fear for [their] mothers safety not
to  mention her life and others safety, and the prospect  of  him
hurting  her or himself was escalating.1  Gladys L. alleged  that
W.A.  struggled with mental illness and chronic substance  abuse.
She stated that W.A. will not leave the house unless he is drunk,
that  he  forces their 81 year old mother to stay in her  bedroom
beginning 10 pm until morning, which forces her to urinate  in  a
can  in her bedroom, that he is verbally abusive and controlling,
that  he talks to an imaginary companion, and that he speaks  all
thoughts out loud and laughs to himself.
          Magistrate Monte L. Brice, acting as a Master  for  the
Superior  Court,  held an initial hearing when the  petition  was
filed on February 9.  A second hearing was held on February 11 to
consider   the  emergency  petition  for  a  temporary  guardian.
Participating  in  the  hearing were W.A.,  his  attorney  Joseph
Faith, various members of the family who were co-petitioners with
Gladys  L.,  Elizabeth Donnelly of the Office of Public  Advocacy
(OPA),  court-appointed  visitor2  Marieann  Vassar,  and  court-
appointed   expert  medical  professional  Dr.   Kathy   Hyndman.
Magistrate  Brice ordered W.A. to submit to interviews  with  the
court  visitors office and an expert physician in order to obtain
better  information on W.A.s capacity.  However,  the  magistrate
continued the hearing on the emergency petition until February 15
so  that  W.A.s counsel could have more time to prepare  and  the
requisite interviews could be conducted.
          Before the continued hearing, expert physician Dr. Dave
Powers  interviewed  W.A. and  submitted to the  court  a  report
outlining his conclusions from that interview.  The interview and
report were intended to focus on whether W.A. lacks a capacity to
make  informed decisions about care and treatment services.   Dr.
Powers summarized his findings:
          [W.A.]  has  lived with his  mother  his
          entire  life.   He has  no  job  or  job
          training, he has no bank account, he has
          never paid a bill, had never ordered  an
          item from a catalog.  He doesnt shop for
          groceries  or clothing, and doesnt  even
          buy   his   own  cigarettes.   He   also
          certainly has very limited or inadequate
          housekeeping,  cooking,  and  self  care
          skills.  I do not think that [W.A.]  has
          the ability to adequately manage his own
          financial affairs or household affairs.
          
          Magistrate Brice heard testimony on February 15 and 16.
Dr.  Powers  testified that [W.A.] pretty staunchly,  steadfastly
denies that he has any problems with either alcohol abuse or with
any kind of mental illness even though he has been diagnosed with
both  of  those  problems, and that this  denial  makes  it  very
difficult  for him to ever receive treatment.  When  asked  about
his  recommendation, Dr. Powers stated that  he  would  recommend
that  [W.A.] get a temporary guardian and also that he undergo  a
neuropsychiatric  evaluation.   Members  of  W.A.s  family   also
testified.  W.A.s sister, Janice B., testified that W.A. did  not
appear to bathe regularly.  Frank W., W.A.s nephew who lived with
W.A.  for  a period of time, testified that he has not seen  W.A.
cook  or  do laundry and that there have been incidents in  which
W.A.  starts talking delusional.  Frank also testified that  W.A.
often remains isolated in the back room of his mothers house  and
rarely goes past the porch.
          The  court  visitor testified regarding the report  she
submitted  after her interview with W.A, in which  she  explained
that  [W.A.]  would benefit from the appointment of  a  temporary
guardian.   She  testified that W.A. was successful  with  simple
tests involving memory and short term learning abilities, such as
identifying his address and objects such as a house, a bus, and a
dog.   However, W.A. was unable to perform a simple  mathematical
test of subtract[ing] seven from 100 and . . .  subtracting seven
from  the answer from his previous subtraction until he was  told
to  stop.   The court visitor testified that W.A. was  unable  to
tell her when he was born; instead he responded to her inquiry by
saying that he did not own anything before 1979.  W.A. had  mixed
results  on various other simple tests, but he did show  that  he
had  the ability to communicate in writing and spell simple words
correctly.  When asked to make a conclusion in the context of the
temporary  guardianship statute, AS 13.26.140, the court  visitor
stated, I cant in good faith say that this meets all the criteria
for an emergency appointment.
          After hearing all testimony Magistrate Brice released a
First  Interim  Masters  Report  on  February  22,  in  which  he
concluded that he could not find by clear and convincing evidence
that  the  statutory criteria for the appointment of a  temporary
guardian  was met.  Magistrate Brice noted that the main  concern
of  the petitioners is, in fact, the protection of [W.A.s mother]
from  [W.A.],  but  that  the welfare of [W.A.]  is  a  secondary
concern.   He also explained that he would await legal  memoranda
from  the  court  visitor and from W.A.s attorney discussing  the
courts authority to make an appointment of someone to serve in  a
capacity similar to but without the full authority of a temporary
guardian before submitting a follow-up masters report.
          On  February 23, the court visitor submitted a brief to
the  superior court, in which she appeared to reverse course from
her  hearing  testimony  by stating that [W.A.]  could  meet  the
requirements for the appointment of a temporary guardian  as  set
out  in  AS  13.26.140.   On March 14 she submitted  supplemental
materials documenting  W.A.s various trips to the emergency  room
at  Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.  The court visitor
explained  in  her  supplemental brief that the  records  reflect
W.A.s pattern of accessing medical services at the emergency room
for  alcohol related injuries.  The records also reveal that W.A.
is  consistently diagnosed with schizophrenia and  alcohol  abuse
when he visits the emergency room.
          Magistrate  Brice  submitted a Second  Interim  Masters
Report on March 30.  The first issue addressed in the report  was
the  following:  Where  the criteria for appointing  a  temporary
guardian  have not been proved by clear and convincing  evidence,
can  a  temporary partial guardian be appointed?  The  magistrate
stated that he remained unconvinced that the petitioners had  met
the  statutory standard for appointment of a temporary  guardian,
even  if  the  temporary guardian would be  a  partial  guardian.
Thus, the magistrate recommended that the request for a temporary
guardian  be  denied, but without prejudice.  He also recommended
that   the  court  grant  any  motion  by  the  visitor   for   a
neuropsychological evaluation.
          On  June  8,  pursuant  to the Second  Interim  Masters
Report  and a request by the court visitor, Superior Court  Judge
Fred Torrisi ordered W.A. to submit to a psychiatric examination.
Dr. Joanette Sorkin of Alaska Native Medical Center performed the
examination on June 9 in Dillingham.  Dr. Sorkin found that  W.A.
had  severe  deficits with medical decision-making capacity  that
were  likely  precluding  his ability to  make  informed  medical
decisions regarding his treatment and where he lives.  Dr. Sorkin
also  expressed concern about W.A.s apparent intoxication  during
the    assessment.    She   recommended   that    W.A.    undergo
neuropsychological  testing,  preferably  after   a   period   of
abstinence from intoxicating substances.
          On June 14 Dr. Bruce Allen, a psychologist at Kanakanak
Hospital,  interviewed  W.A. after  the  local  chief  of  police
reported  that  W.A. was trying to entice young  girls  into  his
home.   Dr.  Allen referred W.A. to Alaska Psychiatric  Institute
(API), and W.A. was admitted there on June 15.
          W.A.  stayed at API for one month.  While at API,  W.A.
had  a neuropsychological screening and diagnostic interview with
Dr.  David  Sperbeck.  Dr. Sperbeck reported that W.A.  exhibited
delusional  beliefs  and eccentric, overly  verbal,  and  overtly
paranoid  behaviors.  According to the court visitor,  who  spoke
with Dr. Sperbeck, the doctor strongly supports appointment of  a
guardian  and  conservator for [W.A.].  The  court  visitor  also
spoke  with W.A.s psychiatrist at API, Dr. Mark Erickson,  and  a
social  worker  at  API,  Anne OBrien,  who  both  supported  the
appointment of a guardian.  W.A. was discharged from API on  July
15  and  began  staying primarily at Brother Francis  Shelter  in
Anchorage.
          The  court  visitor filed her Second Status  Report  on
July  29.   She  documented  W.A.s experiences  at  API  and  his
subsequent  discharge to Brother Francis Shelter.  She concluded,
I  believe  there is adequate evidence to support the appointment
of a guardian and conservator for [W.A.], at least on a temporary
basis.  The court visitor recommended that the court appoint  OPA
as guardian and conservator for W.A.
          On  August  5,  pursuant  to  Magistrate  Brices  Third
Interim   Masters   Report,  the  superior  court   ordered   the
appointment of a temporary guardian, finding that the petitioners
had  shown by clear and convincing evidence that W.A. was in need
of  the  appointment.  W.A. stipulated to the  appointment  of  a
temporary guardian, but he was not prepared to stipulate  to  the
appointment  of a permanent guardian.  In the order appointing  a
temporary  guardian, the superior court also scheduled a  hearing
on permanent guardianship.
          The  hearing  on the petition for a permanent  guardian
occurred  on  October 28.  At the time of the hearing,  W.A.  was
residing  at  the  Turnagain Assisted Living Home  in  Anchorage.
W.A.  indicated at the hearing that he would agree  to  having  a
guardian  until  June  2006.   However,  much  of  his  testimony
throughout the hearing was not coherent and revealed his  serious
difficulty  articulating  his  thoughts  and  understanding   his
circumstances.   W.A. testified, Im capable of  handling  my  own
financial needs.  However, he did not know the cost of staying at
the  assisted living home where he was living.  When  pressed  on
how he would pay to continue staying at the assisted living home,
he  was  unable  to provide a coherent answer.   When  W.A.s  own
attorney asked him what he would do with the money if he received
a  permanent  fund  dividend, W.A. was  incapable  of  answering,
instead focusing on the fact that he cannot get a permanent  fund
dividend  check.  He also testified that he is capable of  making
decisions  about  his  medical care.  He discussed  treatment  he
received  for a broken arm, but much of his testimony  about  his
arm  was  confusing  and  vague, and  he  was  unable  to  answer
questions about whether he went to the hospital immediately after
injuring  his arm.  W.A. also testified, Im capable of making  my
own  mental health decisions, but he appeared unable to elaborate
on the issue.
          Gladys  L. and the court visitor also testified at  the
October 28 hearing.  Gladys L. testified that W.A. has never  had
a  checking  account.   She  also testified  that  whenever  W.A.
receives  his  Bristol Bay Native Corporation checks  her  mother
comes to live with her because W.A. goes to the liquor store  and
comes  back to the house to drink.  She stated that he has  never
purchased  any of his  . . . personal items and that  the  family
purchases things like deodorant, toothbrushes, and toothpaste for
him.   The  court  visitor indicated that after  reviewing  W.A.s
records and interviewing W.A., she did not believe he could  make
medical  decisions  for  himself.  She also  testified   that  he
doesnt  seek  out  mental health care and that he  would  not  be
capable of managing his finances in a responsible fashion.
          On  June  4, 2006, Magistrate Brice submitted a masters
report  regarding  permanent  guardianship.   In  the  report  he
stated,  [W.A.]s history indicates that he lacks the  ability  to
make  rational  financial,  medical or mental  health  decisions.
Many  of  his past decisions have been against his best  interest
and  have  had  extremely  adverse results.   He  concluded,  [a]
guardianship order should issue and a guardianship plan should be
presented  to  the  court giving the guardian authority  to  make
decisions  regarding  [W.A.]s medical care, mental  health  care,
housing  and financial decisions.  It should provide an allowance
in  an  amount  to  be  determined  by  the  guardian  for  small
expenditures determined by [W.A.].
          On  March 15, 2007, the superior court issued its final
order  for appointment of a permanent guardian and a guardianship
plan.   The  court  found  that   W.A.  is  incapacitated,   that
alternatives   to  guardianship  and  conservatorship   are   not
feasible,  and that appointment of a guardian and conservator  is
necessary to provide for W.A.s needs.  The guardianship plan gave
the guardian, Crystal Smith of OPA, full authority to provide for
W.A.s  medical  care,  mental  health  treatment,  housing,   and
personal care, and full control of W.A.s estate and income to pay
for  the  costs  of  services for W.A.  However,  the  plan  also
provided  that the guardian will encourage [W.A.] to  participate
in all decisions that affect [him] and to act on [his] own behalf
to the maximum exten[t] possible.
          W.A. appeals.
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
          We   review  the  superior  court's  factual   findings
including a finding of incapacity  for clear error, which we find
only  when we are left with a definite and firm conviction  based
on the entire record that a mistake has been made.3  The decision
to appoint a guardian for an incapacitated person is committed to
the  sound  discretion of the superior court and is reviewed  for
abuse of discretion.4  We will find an abuse of discretion if the
superior  court  considers improper factors,  fails  to  consider
statutorily mandated factors, or assigns too much weight to  some
factors.5

IV.  DISCUSSION
     A.   The Superior Court Did Not Err in Finding That W.A.  is
          Incapacitated.
          
          W.A. challenges the superior courts finding that he was
incapacitated.  Specifically,  W.A.  alleges  that   the   expert
physician and court visitor could not tell whether W.A.s behavior
was the result of incapacity or choice; that W.A. passed the mini-
competency  exam administered to him in February 2005;  and  that
Dr. Powers, the court visitor and Magistrate Brice could not find
that  the  statutory  criteria for  appointment  of  a  temporary
guardian were met.
          Gladys  L. argues that [t]here was sufficient  evidence
to  support  the  Superior Courts finding that W.A.  was  .  .  .
incapacitated.    She   alleges  that   qualified   professionals
continuously  found  that  W.A.[] was  unable  to  make  rational
decision[s].

          Alaska  Statute  13.26.113  governs  appointment  of  a
guardian.   Alaska Statute 13.26.113(b) states, [t]he  burden  of
          proof by clear and convincing evidence is upon the petitioner,
and   a   determination  of  incapacity  shall  be  made   before
consideration  of  proper  disposition.   Thus,  the  clear   and
convincing   evidentiary  standard  applies   to   the   capacity
determination.6 An incapacitated person is a person whose ability
to  receive and evaluate information or to communicate  decisions
is  impaired  for reasons other than minority to the extent  that
the   person   lacks  the  ability  to  provide   the   essential
requirements  for the persons physical health or  safety  without
court-ordered assistance.7  [E]ssential requirements for physical
health or safety are defined by statute as the health care, food,
shelter, clothing, personal hygiene, and protection without which
serious  physical injury or illness is more likely  than  not  to
occur.8
          The  evidence  presented by the court  visitor,  expert
medical  professionals, and members of W.A.s family reveals  that
W.A. lacks the ability to provide the essential requirements  for
his physical health or safety.  Gladys L. testified that W.A. has
never  had a bank account and that his family has always provided
him  with  a  place to live, paid for his food, and supplied  him
with personal belongings.  She explained that the little money he
has  received from Bristol Bay Native Corporation has been  spent
on  alcohol.  The court visitor testified that she had  not  seen
any  evidence  of  W.A.  making rational  medical  decisions  for
himself,  that he does not recognize his mental health  problems,
and  that he would not be capable of managing his finances  in  a
responsible  fashion.   Dr. Sorkin, a psychiatrist,  stated  that
W.A.s  severe deficits with medical decision-making  have  likely
precluded  him  from  making  informed  medical  decisions.   Dr.
Sperbeck  reported  on  W.A.s  delusional  beliefs  and   overtly
paranoid  behaviors  and  strongly  supported  appointment  of  a
guardian  for W.A.  W.A.s psychiatrist at API and his API  social
worker  also  supported  the  appointment  of  a  guardian.   The
conclusions of these medical and mental health professionals, the
court  visitor,  and  W.A.s  family  members  provide  sufficient
support  for the superior courts conclusion that there was  clear
and convincing evidence of W.A.s incapacity.
          W.A.s  arguments to the contrary are largely  based  on
testimony  presented at the first hearing for  appointment  of  a
temporary  guardian, before much of the information  about  W.A.s
condition  was  determined through interviews  and  psychological
evaluations.   For  example, W.A. states that  the  court  expert
physician and court visitor could not tell whether W.As  behavior
and  choice of lifestyle was the result of incapacity or  choice.
However,  that  statement must be put  into  context.   What  the
expert   and   visitor  actually  explained  was  that   such   a
determination   could  not  be  definitively   made   without   a
neuropsychological examination.  Thereafter, a neuropsychological
examination was conducted by Dr. Sperbeck, and as a result,  both
he  and  the  visitor supported appointment of a guardian.   W.A.
also  argues that he passed the mini-competency exam administered
by  the  court  visitor  in February 2005.   However,  the  court
visitor testified that W.A. was unable to complete a simple  math
          problem, that he was unable to say where he was born or provide
relevant information about his life before 1979, and that he  had
general  difficulty with memory.  Finally, W.A. argues  that  Dr.
Powers,  the court visitor, and Magistrate Brice could  not  find
that  the  statutory  criteria for  appointment  of  a  temporary
guardian  were  met.  However, Dr. Powers originally  recommended
that  he  get a temporary guardian, and after further  interviews
and  medical examinations, both the court visitor and  Magistrate
Brice  concluded that a temporary guardian should  be  appointed,
and  they  subsequently concluded that a permanent  guardian  was
appropriate.
          Thus,  the superior courts finding that there was clear
and convincing evidence of incapacity was not clearly erroneous.
     B.   The   Superior  Court  Did  Not  Err  in  Finding  That
          Alternatives to Guardianship Are Not Feasible.
          
          Part  of  W.A.s  statement of the issue  presented  for
review  argues that the evidence was insufficient to find that  a
combination  of alternatives to guardianship and the  appointment
of  a  partial guardian was not feasible or adequate to meet  the
needs  of  respondent.   Gladys L. responds  that  [d]ue  to  his
complete  inability  to  care  for himself  with  any  degree  of
autonomy,  there are no less restrictive means available  than  a
full-time guardian.
          W.A.  fails  to  present any potential alternatives  to
guardianship  that  may  be feasible and does  not  substantively
address   the  issue  of  guardianship  alternatives  or  partial
guardianship.   Rather,  he  simply quotes  the  language  of  AS
13.26.113.  Thus, W.A.s argument on this issue is waived.9   Even
if  W.A. had not waived the argument, however, it would still  be
without merit.
          The   guardianship  provisions  direct  the  court   to
determine whether alternatives to full guardianship are feasible.
According to AS 13.26.113(c)-(f),
          (c)   If  the  respondent  is  found  to   be
          incapacitated, the court shall determine  the
          extent  of the incapacity and the feasibility
          of  alternatives to guardianship to meet  the
          needs of the respondent.
          (d)  If it is found that the alternatives  to
          guardianship  are feasible  and  adequate  to
          meet  the needs of the respondent, the  court
          may   dismiss   the  action  and   order   an
          alternative form of protection.
          (e)  If  it  is found that the respondent  is
          able  to  perform some, but not all,  of  the
          functions   necessary   to   care   for   the
          respondent,  and alternatives to guardianship
          are  not feasible or adequate to provide  for
          the  needs  of the respondent, the court  may
          appoint  a  partial  guardian,  but  may  not
          appoint a full guardian.
          (f)  If  it  is found that the respondent  is
          totally  without  capacity to  care  for  the
          respondent   and   that  a   combination   of
          alternatives   to   guardianship   and    the
          appointment  of  a partial  guardian  is  not
          feasible or adequate to meet the needs of the
          respondent,  the  court may  appoint  a  full
          guardian.
          
In In the Matter of O.S.D., we held that the clear and convincing
evidence  standard  stated  in  section  113(b)  applies  to  any
determination  which may lead to the imposition of  guardianship,
including  the  determination of whether there  existed  adequate
alternatives  to  full guardianship.10  Because  it  was  unclear
whether the master applied the [clear and convincing] standard to
the  determination of whether there existed adequate alternatives
to  full  guardianship, we remanded for a determination  of  what
standard of proof was applied below.11
          Although the superior courts final order in the present
case  did  not  explicitly  state that  it  found  by  clear  and
convincing evidence that there are no adequate alternatives,  the
order  did  explicitly state that [a]lternatives to  guardianship
and  conservatorship have been considered and are  not  feasible.
The  courts  statement  about feasible  alternatives  immediately
follows  its statement that the respondent has been shown  to  be
incapacitated  by clear and convincing evidence, indicating  that
the  court  believed both findings were supported  by  clear  and
convincing evidence.  The court also explained that it had  fully
accept[ed]  Magistrate Brices recommendation.  Magistrate  Brices
recommendation   stated,  [b]ased on the  testimony  and  various
medical,  mental health and visitor reports, I am satisfied  that
the evidence is clear and convincing that [W.A.] is incapable  of
making financial, medical, and mental health decisions and is  in
need of a permanent guardian.  Because Magistrate Brice found  by
clear and convincing evidence that W.A. is in need of a permanent
guardian   and  thus  that alternatives to guardianship  are  not
feasible   the  superior courts acceptance of  Magistrate  Brices
recommendation   reveals that the superior  court  also  believed
that  clear  and  convincing evidence showed a lack  of  feasible
alternatives to guardianship.
          The  superior  courts  conclusion  that  there  are  no
adequate alternatives to full guardianship is amply supported  by
the evidence in the record, which reveals W.A.s inability to make
rational  decisions  regarding his medical care,  mental  health,
finances,  and  even  daily living.  Thus,  the  superior  courts
finding  that  alternatives to guardianship are not feasible  was
not clearly erroneous.
V.   CONCLUSION
          Because the superior court did not err in finding  that
there   was   clear  and  convincing  evidence   that   W.A.   is
incapacitated   and  that  no  feasible  alternatives   to   full
guardianship exist, we AFFIRM the decision of the superior court.

_______________________________
     1    It does not appear that any single event involving W.A.
prompted the decision to file the petition.

     2    AS 13.26.106(c) requires the court to appoint a visitor
and  states,  [t]he visitor shall arrange for evaluations  to  be
performed  and  prepare a written report to  be  filed  with  the
court. . . . The visitor shall interview the respondent . .  .  .
The  visitor  shall  conduct  the interviews  and  investigations
necessary  to prepare the report . . . .  AS 13.26.106(d)  states
that  the  appointment of the visitor shall be made  through  the
office of public advocacy.

     3     Casey  v. Semco Energy, Inc., 92 P.3d 379, 382 (Alaska
2004).

     4     See  H.C.S. v. Cmty. Advocacy Project of Alaska, Inc.,
42 P.3d 1093, 1096 (Alaska 2002).

     5    Id.

     6     In  the Matter of O.S.D., 672 P.2d 1304, 1305  (Alaska
1984).

     7    AS 13.26.005(5).

     8    AS 13.26.005(2).

     9     See Adamson v. Univ. of Alaska, 819 P.2d 886, 889  n.3
(Alaska  1991)   (where a point is given only a cursory statement
in  the  argument  portion of a brief,  the  point  will  not  be
considered on appeal).

     10    672 P.2d at 1306.

     11    Id.

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