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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  

                                                                                                                     

          corrections@akcourts.us.  



                      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  

                                                                  )  

          v.                                                                               

                                                                  )     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.  



I.        INTRODUCTION  



                                                                                                                              

                     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  


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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                                                                                                                                                                                                      



                                                                                    1  

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
  


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         2  

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                                                                                           

                                        Rosario.   



                                        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
  


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

                              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.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                



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

IV.	      DISCUSSION  



                                                                                                                      

          A.	       The  Superior  Court  Did  Not  Impermissibly  Modify  The  Custody  

                    Decree.  



                                                                                                                           

                    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  

decree.12  



                                                                                                                          

                    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  



          12  

                                                                                                                        

                    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.                                



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                13  

                                    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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                



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

                                                                                                                                 

                    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                                                                                                                                                           



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 18  

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,  



                                                                                                                                19  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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).  

                                                                                                                                   



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            21  

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



                                      22  

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).  

                                                                           



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----------------------- 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.  

                                                                                             



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                                                                                                              30  

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.").  

                                                                                                                                               



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----------------------- Page 15-----------------------

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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