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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Jessica J., a minor v. State of Alaska (6/14/2019) sp-7378

Jessica J., a minor v. State of Alaska (6/14/2019) sp-7378

           Notice:  This opinion is subject to correction before publication in the PACIFIC  REPORTER.  

           Readers are requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts,  

           303 K Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878, email  

           corrections@akcourts.us.  



                      THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA                                    



JESSICA  J.,  a  Minor,                                             )  

                                                                    )    Supreme  Court  No.  S-17246  

                               Appellant,                           )  

                                                                                                                                 

                                                                    )    Superior Court No. 4FA-18-00019 DL  

           v.                                                       )  

                                                                    )                        

                                                                         O P I N I O N  

                    

 STATE OF ALASKA,                                                   )  

                                                                    )                                     

                                                                         No. 7378 - June 14, 2019  

                               Appellee.                            )  

                                                                    )  



                                                                                                       

                                  

                     Appeal  from  the  Superior  Court  of  the  State  of  Alaska,  

                                                                                                         

                     FourthJudicialDistrict, Fairbanks, ThomasI.Temple, Judge.  



                                                                                         

                     Appearances:  Diana Wildridge, Assistant Public Defender,  

                                                                                                             

                     and  Quinlan  Steiner,  Public  Defender,  Anchorage,  for  

                                                                                       

                     Appellant.  Aisha Tinker Bray, Assistant Attorney General,  

                                                                                                        

                     Fairbanks, and Kevin G. Clarkson, Attorney General, Juneau,  

                            

                     for Appellee.  



                                                                                                    

                     Before:  Bolger, Chief Justice, Winfree, Stowers, Maassen,  

                                          

                     and Carney, Justices.  



                                         

                     WINFREE, Justice.  



I.         INTRODUCTION  



                                                                                                                          

                     The Interstate Compact for Juveniles (ICJ) governs the return of juveniles  



                                                                                                                                      

who have left their home states without permission.  With her mother's permission, a  



                                                                                                              

juvenile left her home state to visit family friends in Alaska; she then refused to return  



                                                                                                                                

home.  The home state sought her return under the ICJ, and the Alaska superior court  


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

complied.   The superior court found that it was not authorized to consider the juvenile's                                                                                      



best interests and that the requisition paperwork demonstrated proof of entitlement for                                                                       



her return. We affirm the superior court's order, holding that the ICJ authorizes only the                                                                                                      



home   state   to   consider   a   juvenile's   best   interests   in   this  context   and   that   proof   of  



entitlement was established in this case.                                        



II.            FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS              



                                                                                                                           1  

                               In late April 2018, 15-year-old Jessica J.                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                              traveled from Iowa to Alaska to  



                                                                                                                                                                                   

spend the summer with family friends.  Jessica's divorced parents shared legal custody;  



                                                                                                                                                                                  

her mother, who retained primary physical custody, gave Jessica permission.  Jessica's  



                                                                                                                                                                                      

mother then changed her mind and told Jessica to return home. Jessica's mother booked  



                                                                                                                            

several return flights for Jessica, the final on May 30.  



                                                                                                                                                                                        

                               On May 30 Jessica's mother reported to Iowa police that the Alaska family  



                                                                                                                                                                                                         

friends refused to send Jessica home; the police treated Jessica as a missing person.  



                                                                                                                                                                                            

Alaska police located her at the family friends' home and indicated she was "safe until  



                                                                                                                                                                                             

[her]  mother  c[ould]  pay  for  plane  fare  out  of  Alaska."                                                                           But  the  Iowa  police  still  



                                                                                                                                                                                                   

considered Jessica a missing person, and a week later Alaska police located her at a  



                                                                                                                                                                                      

shelter, where she apparently had gone to avoid getting "the family that she was staying  



                                                                                                                                                                                       

with in trouble if there were legal repercussions . . . for staying in Alaska."   Police  



                                                                                                                                                               

transported her to a youth facility pending further legal proceedings.  



                                                                                                                                                                                                 

                               The  following  day  the  State  petitioned  the  Alaska  superior  court  to  



                                                                                                                                                                                           

"commence AS 47.15 Interstate Compact for Juvenile proceedings." The superior court  



                                                                                                                                                                                    

appointed counsel for Jessica and held five hearings on the matter.  At the first hearing,  



                                                                                                                                                                                                

the court appointed a guardian ad litem (GAL) for Jessica. The court acknowledged, but  



               1               We  use  a  pseudonym  to  protect  the  minor's  identity.  



                                                                                                -2-                                                                                                7378  


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

 did not consider, a petition for a domestic violence protective order that Jessica's father,                                                                                                                                                                          



 who also lived in Alaska, had filed on her behalf against her mother.                                                                                                                                                             



                                            At the second hearing, the superior court dismissed the father's petition for                                                                                                                                                          



 a domestic violence protective order, but it noted that it would consider a new petition                                                                                                                                                                          



 if Jessica's "attorney and/or her GAL now determine that she should have a [domestic                                                                                                                                               



 violence] order." The court stated that "if, in fact, the mother started this on a false basis,                                                                                                                                                                          



 which is that [Jessica] was missing or a runaway, that could affect whether or not the                                                                                                                                                                                           



 requisition from Iowa is, in fact, in order."                                                                                                    The court also stated that if Jessica were                                                                               



 returned to Iowa, there were "avenues other than living at home down there.                                                                                                                                                                                    And, in   



 fact, [her] father could file for change of custody or whatever else he might think is                                                                                                                                                                                               



 appropriate for him to do."                                                                



                                            Before the next hearing, Jessica's mother filed a petition and supporting                                                                                                                                   



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2  

 documents in the Iowa court seeking Jessica's forced return under ICJ Rule 6-103(3).                                                                                                                                                                                                          



 TheIowa court filled out the responsive paperwork, which included a finding that Jessica  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      



 "has run away; and that [Jessica's] continued absence from legal custody and control is  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       



 detrimental to the best interest of [Jessica] and the public."  Iowa's ICJ office sent the  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  



 required paperwork to Alaska's attorney general, who, in turn, notified thesuperior court  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 and requested a hearing.3  

                                                                                       



                       2                     The rule provides:                                              "When the juvenile is a runaway and/or an accused                                                                                                   



 status   offender,   the   legal   guardian  or   custodial   agency   shall   petition   the   court   of  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ULE   6-103(3)  

jurisdiction   in   the   home/demanding   state   for   a   requisition."     ICJ  R 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 (Interstate Comm'n for Juveniles 2018). The ICJ defines the "[h]ome state" as "the state  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 where the legal guardian or custodial agency is located" and the "[h]olding state" as "the  

                                                                                                                                         ULE   1-101.   In this case, Alaska is the holding                                                                        

 state where the juvenile is located."  ICJ R 

 state, and Iowa is the home state.                                                                            



                       3                     ICJ Rule 6-103(4) provides that after receiving the required paperwork, the  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 home state's ICJ office must "submit the requisition packet through the electronic data  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (continued...)  



                                                                                                                                          -3-                                                                                                                               7378
  


----------------------- Page 4-----------------------

                          At the third hearing, the superior court formally notified Jessica of the                                                                



                                                                      4  

requisition   per   ICJ   Rule   6-103(6).                                                                                                                        

                                                                            There  was  significant  debate  whether  the  ICJ  



                                                                                                                                                            

applied, and the court believed that Jessica should "have the opportunity . . . to present  



                                                                                                                                                                    

evidence to a court" that she should not be sent back.   Noting mixed authority on  



                                                                                                                                                         

whether holding states may consider a juvenile runaway's best interests before ordering  



                                                                                                                                                              

return, the court stated that "there is good reason to have the hearing held." At the fourth  



                                                                                                                                                                      

hearing, the superior court denied the order to enforce the requisition, in part due to  



                                                                                                                                                                 

concerns  about  it  being  based  on  false  information  regarding  whether  Jessica  was  



                                                                                                                                                                           

missing. The court ordered additional briefing on relevant case law and how to proceed.  



                                                                                                                                                                    

                          By the fifth hearing, in September, the superior court judge assigned to the  



                                                                                                                                  

case had retired; the newly assigned judge found that Jessica was subject to the ICJ as  



                                                                                                                                                                        

a runaway.  The court concluded that "there is no authority for this court to conduct a  



                                                                                                                                                                    

best-interests hearing" and that it would conduct a hearing only to determine whether the  



                                                                                                                                                    

requisition paperwork was in order.  At the final hearing, the superior court determined  



                                                                                                                                        

there was proof of entitlement and ordered Jessica's forced return to Iowa.  



                                                                                                                                                         

                          Jessica appeals, arguing that the superior court erred by failing to consider  



                                                                                                                                                               

her best interests as part of the ICJ requisition proceeding and by finding there was proof  



                                                              

of entitlement for her return to Iowa.  



             3            (...continued)  



                                                                                                                                                                    

system to the ICJ Office in the state where the juvenile is located."  Upon receipt, the  

                                                                                                                                                            

holding state's ICJ office must send the paperwork "to the appropriate court and request  

                                                                                                                                                                           

that a hearing be held within thirty (30) calendar days of the receipt of the requisition."  

           ULE  6-103(5).  

ICJ R 



             4            ICJ Rule 6-103(6) provides:  "The court in the holding state shall inform  



the juvenile of the demand made for his/her return and may elect to appoint counsel or                                                                                

a [GAL]. The purpose of said hearing is to determine proof of entitlement for the return  

                                                                                                                                                              

of the juvenile."     



                                                                                  -4-                                                                           7378
  


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

III.	      STANDARD OF REVIEW              



                      "We use our independent judgment to review matters of . . . statutory                                



                         5 

interpretation."                                                                                                                     

                             And we do so "according to reason, practicality, and common sense,  



                                                                                                                                           

considering  the  meaning  of  the  statute's  language,  its  legislative  history,  and  its  



                6  

purpose."   



IV.	       DISCUSSION  



                                                                                                                                      

           A.	        The ICJ Does Not Authorize The Holding State To Conduct A Best- 

                                                                                                                                             

                      Interests Analysis Before Ordering A Juvenile Runaway's Return.  



                                                                                                                                                 

                       1.	       The ICJ's plain language does not authorize the holding state  

                                                                                                    

                                 to consider a juvenile runaway's best interests.  



                                                                                                                                7  

                                                                                                                                   Nearly  

                      The ICJ governs the transportation of juveniles across state lines. 



                                                                                  8  

                                                                            

every state has adopted some version of the ICJ.                                                                            

                                                                                      The ICJ declares that compacting  



                                                                                                                                            

 states "recognize that each state is responsible for the proper supervision or return of  



                                                                                              9  

                                                                                                                                

juveniles . . . who have absconded, escaped, or run away."                                       These states "also recognize  



                                                                                                                                       

that each state is responsible for the safe return of juveniles who have run away from  



                                                                                            10  

                                                                                                 

home and in doing so have left their state of residence." 



           5          State  v.  Planned  Parenthood  of  the  Great  Nw.,  436  P.3d  984,  991  (Alaska  



2019).  



           6          Attorneys  Liab.  Prot.  Soc'y,  Inc.  v.  Ingaldson Fitzgerald,  P.C.,  370  P.3d  



 1101, 1105 (Alaska 2016)  (quoting  Municipality of  Anchorage v. Stenseth,  361  P.3d 898,  

 905  (Alaska  2015)).   



           7	         See generally AS 47.15.010.  

                                                     



           8          THOMAS           A.     JACOBS,   2   CHILDREN                   AND       THE      LAW :         RIGHTS         AND  



OBLIGATIONS,   8:53  (2018).  

                          



           9          AS  47.15.010.  



           10	        Id.  



                                                                     -5-	                                                              7378
  


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

                      ICJ Rule 6-103 governs the non-voluntary return of runaways.  This rule             



provides   that   the   runaway   juvenile's   legal   guardian   "shall   petition  the   court   of  

                                                                                                11   If the home state judge  

jurisdiction in the home/demanding state for a requisition."                                                                      



determines, among other things, "that said juvenile's continued absence from legal  

                                                                                                                                  



custody and control is detrimental to the best interest of said juvenile and the public," the  

                                                                                                                                      

judge completes a Form I Requisition for Runaway Juvenile. 12  The form and requisition  

                                                                                                                          



packet then are forwarded to the holding state, and the "court in the holding state shall  

                                                                                                              



inform the juvenile of the demand made for his/her return and may elect to appoint  

                                                                                                                              

counsel or a [GAL]."13  The "purpose of said hearing is to determine proof of entitlement  

                                                                                                                         

for  the  return  of  the  juvenile."14                   Although  the  ICJ  rules  do  not  define  "proof  of  

                                                                                                                                       



entitlement," if it "is not established, the [holding state] judge shall issue written findings  

                                                                                                                              

detailing the reason(s) for denial."15  

                                           



                      ICJ Rule 6-105 concerns the return of juveniles when there are reports of  

                                                                                                                                       



abuse or neglect.  Under that section:  

                                                



                      When a holding state has reason to suspect abuse or neglect  

                                                                                                          

                     by a person in the home/demanding state, the holding state's  

                                                                                                            

                      ICJ  Office  shall  notify  the  home/demanding  state's  ICJ  

                                                                                                               

                      Office       of      the     suspected          abuse        or     neglect.            The  

                                                                                                             

                     home/demanding  state's  ICJ  Office  shall  work  with  the  

                                                                                                                

                      appropriate authority and/or court of competent jurisdiction  

                                                                                                   

                      in  the  home/demanding  state  to  affect  the  return  of  the  

                                                                                                                



           11         ICJ  RULE  6-103(3).  



           12  

                             

                      ICJ RULE  6-103(3)(b);  ICJ  FORM  I  REQUISITION  FOR  RUNAWAY  JUVENILE  

(2016)  (emphasis  added).   



           13         ICJ  RULE  6-103(4),  (6).   



           14         ICJ  RULE  6-103(6)  



           15        Id.  



                                                                   -6-                                                            7378
  


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

                           juvenile. . . . Allegations of abuse or neglect do not alleviate                                            

                            a state's responsibility to return a juvenile within the time                                                      

                            frames in accordance with the rules.                                       [16]  



                            Jessica argues that "[a]lthough not explicit, the ICJ's current language  

                                                                                                                                                                



 indicates that an inquiry into best interests is required" by the holding state.  She argues  

                                                                                                                                                                      



that the ICJ allows the superior court to appoint a GAL whose "role in any case is to  

                                                                                                                                                                               



 investigate and inform the court of the child's best interest."  She argues that the GAL's  

                                                                                                                                                                     



role, read in conjunction with the holding state's requirement to conduct a hearing on  

                                                                                                                                                                              



proof of entitlement, "indicate[s] that a [holding state] court may take into consideration  

                                                                                                                                                        



the juvenile's best interest."  

                                                             



                            But as the State notes, "[a]ppointment of a [GAL] is not mandatory."  ICJ  

                                                                                                                                                                            



Rule 6-103(6) provides that the holding state "may elect to appoint counsel or a [GAL]."  

                                                                                                                                                                                     



 (Emphasis added.)  Based on this specific wording, not only is a GAL not required, the  

                                                                                                                                                                             



 GAL's role in protecting a juvenile's best interests would be the same as counsel's;  

                                                                                                                                                              



representation, by counsel or GAL if the court elects to appoint either, is limited to  

                                                                                                                                                                               

 contesting whether proof of entitlement has been established.17  

                                                                                                       



                            Further,  the  ICJ  accounts  for  the  holding  state's  concerns  about  the  

                                                                                                                                                                            



juvenile's best interests, mandating that "[w]hen a holding state has reason to suspect  

                                                                                                                                                                    



 abuse or neglect by a person in the home/demanding state, the holding state's ICJ Office  

                                                                                                                                                                       

 shall notify the home/demanding state's ICJ Office of the suspected abuse or neglect."18  

                                                                                                                                                                                     



After the holding state reports its suspicions, the "home/demanding state's ICJ Office  

                                                                                                                                                                      



 shall work with the appropriate authority and/or court of competent jurisdiction in the  

                                                                                                                                                                             



              16            ICJ R       ULE  6-105(1)-(2).  



              17            ICJ RULE  6-103(6) (providing that holding state must hold "hearing . . . to                                                                      

                                     

 determine proof of entitlement for the return of the juvenile").                                          



              18            ICJ R       ULE  6-105(1).   



                                                                                       -7-                                                                               7378
  


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

                                                                                                                                      19  

home/demanding state to affect the return of the juvenile" to the legal guardian.                                                         The  



ICJ   mandates   that   "[a]llegations   of   abuse   or   neglect   do   not   alleviate   a   state's  



                                                                                                                                              20  

responsibility to return a juvenile within the time frames in accordance with the rules."                                                          



                                                                                                                                   

The holding state thus must alert the home state when there are suspicions of abuse or  



                                                                                                                             

neglect, but the home state is the proper forum to address those concerns.  



                                                                                                                                         

                      Finally, under the expressio unius canon ofstatutory construction, theICJ's  



                                                                                                                                          

requirement  that  the  home  state  consider  a  juvenile's  best  interests,  without  also  



                                                                                                                                      

providing that the holding state consider the same, implies that the holding state should  

                                               21  The juvenile's best interests are not overlooked; the home  

                                                                                                                                        

not also conduct the inquiry. 



state expressly must find, albeit in a standardized form, that "said juvenile's continued  

                                                                                                                                 



absence from legal custody and control is detrimental to the best interest of said juvenile  

                                                                                                                                    



                           22  

and the public."                

              



                      Based on this plain language, we find unpersuasive Jessica's argument that  

                                                                                                                                           



"the ICJ's current language indicates that an inquiry into best interests is required" by  

                                                                                                                        



the holding state and that "a trial court must consider a non-delinquent juvenile's best  

                                                                                                                                           



interests prior to ordering the juvenile's requisition."  

                                                                    



           19         Id.   



           20         ICJ  RULE  6-105(2).  



           21         See  Ranney  v.  Whitewater  Eng'g,  122  P.3d  214,  218  (Alaska  2005)  (noting  



that   expressio   unius   canon   "establishes   the   inference   that,   where   certain   things   are  

designated  in  a  statute,   'all  omissions should be  understood  as  exclusions'  "  (quoting  

Croft  v.  Pan  Alaska  Trucking,  Inc.,  820  P.2d   1064,   1066  (Alaska   1991))).  



           22         ICJ  FORM  I  REQUISITION FOR  RUNAWAY  JUVENILE  (2016).  



                                                                      -8-                                                               7378
  


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

                                            2.	                   Legislative history also indicates that the holding state is not                                                                                                                                             

                                                                  authorized to consider a juvenile runaway's best interests.                                                                                                                



                                            Jessica argues that ICJ changes indicate the holding state must consider a                                                                                                                                                                 



juvenile runaway's best interests.                                                                                She contends that "[b]efore the Alaska legislature                                                                                    



 restructured [its version of the ICJ] in 2009, the statute included language providing for                                                                                                                                                                                      



 a court to consider a child's best interest" and that no legislative history exists indicating                                                                                                                                                            



 "that the Alaska legislature intended to prohibit Alaska courts from considering a child's                                                                                                                                                                       



 best interest as part of their considerations under the ICJ."                                                                                                                                    



                                            Although Jessica is correct that prior ICJ language explicitly mandated                                                                                                                                       



 considering a juvenile's best interests, that mandatehas                                                                                                                         always been directed to the home                                                        



 state in ordering a requisition, not to the holding state complying with a requisition.                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 Alaska initially adopted the ICJ in 1960;                                                                                                23                                                                                                                                          24  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                  a revised version was adopted in 2009.                                                                                                     



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 According to legislative staff, the new version "replace[d] the old [ICJ] which was  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 created in 1955. . . . The new [ICJ] ensures that all states will have identical language in  



                                                                                                                                                                                       25  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 their statutes which would help with compliance issues."                                                                                                                                      To ensure uniformity among  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 compacting states, the newly established Interstate Commission, rather than individual  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    26  

                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 states, would be responsible for creating and amending ICJ language. 



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                            Although  the  governing  body  for  language  changed,  the  substantive  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 requirement that the home state consider the juvenile's best interests did not.   The  



                       23                   Ch.  88,     1,  SLA   1960.  



                       24                   See  AS  47.15.010,  as  amended  by  ch.  37,    4,  SLA  2009.  



                       25                   Minutes,  Senate  Finance  Comm.  Hearing  on  HB   141,  26th  Leg.  (Apr.  18,  



 2009)  (Statement  of  Amanda  Mortenson,  Staff,  Representative  Coghill).  



                       26                   See  AS  47.15.010.  



                                                                                                                                          -9-	                                                                                                                             7378
  


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

original 1955 version of the ICJ, which governed in Alaska from 1960 through 2009,                                                                     27  



                                                                                                                                                

explicitly placed the burden of determining the juvenile's best interests on the home  



         28  

                                                                                                                                                     

state.         The text provided that after the legal guardian petitioned the home court, the  



                                                                                                                                          

home court judge could "hold a hearing thereon to determine whether for the purposes  



                                                                                                                                            

of [the ICJ] the petitioner is entitled to the legal custody of the juvenile, . . . and whether  



                                                                                                                                                       29  

                                                                                                                                                            

or  not  it  is  in  the  best  interest  of  the  juvenile  to  compel  his  return  to  the  state." 



                                                                                                                                                        

Although a hearing was not required, home state approval of a requisition required a  



                                                                                                                                                    30  

                                                                                                                                   

finding that return was "in the best interest and for the protection of such juvenile." 



                                                                                                                                                  

                        The ICJ's current version maintains the requirement that the home state  



                                                                                                                                                

court  consider  the  juvenile's  best  interests,  relocating  the  mandate  from  the  ICJ's  



                                                                                                                                                    

substantive text to the form the home state is required to sign before presenting the  



                                                                         31  

                                                                                                                                            

                                                                             As the State contends, "[i]t was and remains  

requisition paperwork to the holding state. 



                                                                                                                                            

the home state's responsibility or purview to determine the status of its juvenile resident  



                                                                                                                                                     

. . . . Nothing in the ICJ [a]rticles or [r]ules has shifted or added this obligation to the  



                                                                                                                                                        

asylum state."  And although the "omission of the 'best interests' language was not a  



                                                                                                                                           

targeted revision," as Jessica argues, Alaska, as a holding state, has never had statutory  



                                                                                                                                     

authority to consider a juvenile's best interests as part of ensuring proof of entitlement,  



                                                                                                                   

and nothing in Alaska's or the ICJ's legislative history suggests otherwise.  



            27          Ch. 88,  1, SLA 1960; ch. 37,  4, SLA 2009.                             



            28          INTERSTATE  COMPACT ON  JUVENILES, art. IV,  (a) (1955).                                                  



            29  

                              

                       Id .  



            30  

                              

                       Id.  



            31  

                                

                        See ICJ F        ORM  I R      EQUISITION FOR  RUNAWAY  JUVENILE  (2016).  



                                                                         -10-                                                                    7378
  


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

                                3.	             Neither                 case             law           from              other              jurisdictions                        nor           policy  

                                                considerations compels a different result.                                               



                                Jessica makes several additional arguments why                                                                            holding   states   should  



consider a juvenile's best interests before ordering return. She first points out that "cases                                                                                                   



from various other jurisdictions . . . support the position that a child be afforded a best                                                                                                          



interest consideration."                                  As she notes, courts in Montana, New York, Washington, and                                                                                  



                                                                                                                                                                                                           32  

West Virginia have required the holding state to consider a juvenile's best interests.                                                                                                                           



                                                                                                                                                                                                           33  

                                                                                                                                                                                   

But courts in North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas have ruled otherwise. 



                                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                We are persuaded by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's analysis in In the  



                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Interest of C.P., leading it to hold that the ICJ's "intent was that the requisitioning state,  



                                                                                                                                                                                                     

alone, should be charged with the duty of making findings regarding the juvenile's best  



                        34  

interests."                                                                                                                                                                                          

                              The court noted that this "conclusion comports with the logical notion that,  



                                                                                                                                                                                   

in  the  usual  case,  it  will  be  the  requisitioning  state  that  has  the  more  significant,  



                                                                                                                                                                                                

established, and longer-term contacts with the runaway child, thus placing it in a better  



                                                                                                                                                                                                           35  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

position to bring evidence to bear on the question of the juvenile's best interests." 



Highlighting the ICJ's focus on expedited return of juvenile runaways, the court stated  

                                                                                                                                                                                                 



that "the need for inconvenient and duplicitous determinations of the best-interests issue  

                                                                                                                                                                                                   



                32              Application of Pierce                              , 601 P.2d 1179 (Mont. 1979);                                             Application of Chin ,  



246 N.Y.S.2d 306 (N.Y. Sup. 1963);                                                        In re Wiles' Welfare                             , 547 P.2d 302 (Wash. App.   

 1976);  In re M.D.                        , 298 S.E.2d 243 (W. Va. 1982).                               



                33              Matter of Teague, 371 S.E.2d 510 (N.C. App. 1988); State ex rel. Juvenile  

                                                                                                                                                                                           

Dep't of Multnomah Cty. v. Edwards, 516 P.2d 1303 (Or. App. 1973); In the Interest of  

                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 C.P. 533 A.2d 1001 (Pa. 1987); In re Texas, 97 S.W.3d 744 (Tex. App. 2003).  

                                                                                                                                                                             



                34              533 A.2d at 1003.  

                                                              



                35	             Id.  

                                        



                                                                                                   -11-	                                                                                           7378
  


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

                                                                                                                                                                                                           36  

 was one of the obstacles that the [ICJ] was no doubt designed to eliminate."                                                                                                                                    The court   



 noted the "salient goal" of the ICJ to "promote interests in reciprocity and cooperation                                                                                                                   



 among the participating states" and stated:                                                       



                                     The furtherance of those interests is dependent upon each                                                                                             

                                     participating   state   recognizing   that   sister   sovereign   states  

                                     display   no   less   jurisprudential   excellence   in  dealing   with  

                                     issuesinvolvingthe                                    interests ofrunaway                                    children. Deference    

                                     to the best-interests determination of the requisitioning state                                                                                        

                                     is, therefore, an integral part of the scheme, and is a reason                                                                                 

                                     for   having   made   mandatory   an   asylum   state's   return   of  

                                    juveniles that are subject to valid requisition orders.                                                                                       [37]  



 The court concluded that the ICJ provides for a hearing which "allow[s] challenges to  

                                                                                                                     



 the legality of the proceedings as a matter of right" and that "litigation may address  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       



 matters of whether the form and contents of the requisition are in compliance, . . . [but]  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



 it does not encompass relitigation of the best-interests issue that is properly in the realm  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 of the requisitioning forum."38  

                                                          



                                     We agree with the Pennsylvania court and note that the ICJ's "Bench Book  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              



 for Judges" confirms this interpretation, providing that "[a]lthough it generally has been  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                



 held that a runaway is entitled to a hearing prior to being returned to the custodial state,  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 the nature of the hearing need not rise to the level of a full due process hearing."39  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   



                   36                Id.  at   1004.  



                   37                Id.   



                   38                Id.   



                   39                INTERSTATE   COMMISSION   FOR   JUVENILES,   BENCH   BOOK   FOR   JUDGES   &  



 COURT  PERSONNEL,  59  (2018);  see  also  JACOBS,  supra  note  8  ("The  asylum  state  has  no  

jurisdiction  to  inquire  into  the  juvenile's  best  interests,  although  at  least  one  jurisdiction  

 has  held  that  when  abuse  is  alleged,  the  asylum  state  may  require  the  requisitioning  state  

 to  produce  evidence  of  a  proposed  plan  for  dealing  with  the  juvenile  when  he  or  she  is  

                                                                                                                                                                                                        (continued...)  



                                                                                                                 -12-                                                                                                          7378
  


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

                                        Considering   other   policy,   Jessica   argues   that   "Alaska   courts   routinely  



consider a child's best interest as part of any proceeding involving the placement of non-                                                                                                                                                         



delinquent children."                                            Comparing this case to parental custody and child in need of aid                                                                                                                      



cases, Jessica argues that Alaska should conduct a best-interests inquiry in ICJ cases for                                                                                                                                                             



consistency.     But, as the State aptly notes, a case under the ICJ implicates different                                                                                                                                             



concerns than does a custody or child in need of aid case. It is not up to the holding state                                                                                                                                                       



to determine the juvenile runaway's ultimate placement; that question is reserved for the                                                                                                                                                              



home state, which "shall follow its procedures for reporting and investigating allegations                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                     40        Again, it is not that the juvenile runaway's best  

of abuse or neglect of juveniles."                                                                                                                                                                                                                 



interests never will be considered; rather, they will be considered in the home state's own  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   



proceedings.  As a matter of policy, it is not necessary for the holding state to conduct  

                                                                                                                                                                             



its own best-interests analysis.  

                                                                 



                                        Jessica also argues that, in her case, the "Alaska court [is] in the best  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   



position to conduct best interest inquiries."  She argues that "Alaska courts are much  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               



better poised to consider" her best interests because she "is subject to an Alaska custody  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         



order, and because there is an ongoing custody dispute between [her] parents" in Alaska  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            



courts.                    It  may  be  that  in  this  particular  case  Alaska  has  a  substantial  amount  of  

                                                                                                                                                                                           



information about Jessica and her parents, but this is not a reason to second-guess Iowa's  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            



determination that her best interests would be served by her return. As the Pennsylvania  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        



 Supreme Court concluded in C.P., the "salient goal" of the ICJ is "to promote interests  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       



                    39                  (...continued)  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               D  700  

returned."); Phillip E. Hassman, Annotation, Extradition of Juveniles, 73 A.L.R.3 

  2 (1976) ("Whether the extradition of a juvenile is in his best interest need not be                                                                                                                                                                 

determined by the asylum state before extraditing him under [the ICJ].").                                                                                                                                                 



                    40                  ICJ R           ULE  6-105(3).  



                                                                                                                          -13-                                                                                                                   7378
  


----------------------- Page 14-----------------------

                                                                                                                   41  

in   reciprocity   and   cooperation   among   the participating                                      states."            That goal,          which  



Alaska's legislature has adopted by implementing the ICJ, cannot be accomplished                                                



unless "each participating state recogniz[es] that sister sovereign states display no less                                                         



jurisprudential excellence in dealing with issues involving the interests of runaway                                                      



                  42  

 children."            



                        Not conducting a best-interests analysis under the ICJ will neither strip  

                                                                                                                                                 



Alaska's courts of the ability to rule in the parents' custody litigation nor take away  

                                                                                                                                                



Jessica's opportunity to challenge her mother's actions in Iowa courts. Second-guessing  

                                                                                                                            



the analysis could lead to interstate discord, which would not further the ICJ's goal of  

                                                                                                               



uniformity and trust in  other  court systems.   Although Alaska may have sufficient  

                                                                                                                                        



knowledge  about  Jessica's  best  interests  in  this  particular  case,  this  would  be  the  

                                                                                                                                                   



 exception and not the rule.  

                                                  



                        Jessica also asserts that "the ICJ does not provide an opportunity for the  

                                                                                                                                                    



 child to seek recourse once she is returned."  This is inaccurate; she will have the same  

                                                                                                                                                



recourse as any other child whose custody is with an allegedly abusive parent.  As the  

                                                                                                                                                    



 superior court noted at its second hearing, when Jessica is returned to Iowa there will be  

                                                                                                                                                     



"avenues other than living at home down there.  And, in fact, [her] father could file for  

                                                                                                                                                    



 change of custody or whatever else he might think is appropriate for him to do."   If  

                                                                                                                                                      



Jessica or others believe that her best interests are not served by being in her mother's  

                                                                                                 



legal or physical custody, the proper forum to litigate that issue is in the custody case,  

                                                                                                                   



not in this ICJ proceeding.  

                                                 



            41          533  A.2d  at   1004.  



            42          Id.  



                                                                         -14-                                                                        7378  


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

                                        4.	                Conclusion   



                                        The Iowa court found that it was in Jessica's best interests to be returned   



 to Iowa.                  The ICJ does not give the holding state authority to make that determination.                                                                                                                                                         



 Wethereforeaffirmthe superior court's determination that                                                                                                                it could not consider Jessica's   



                                                                                                                                                                43  

 best interests as part of the ICJ requisition proceeding.                                                                                                            



                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

                    B.	                 The Superior Court Did Not Err By Finding Proof Of Entitlement  

                                                                   

                                        Existed.  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                        Jessica argues that the superior court erred by finding there was proof of  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 entitlement, for two reasons. She first argues that the court erred by relying solely on the  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 Alaska ICJ Administrator's testimony that the paperwork was in order, without allowing  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 Jessica  to  present her  own  evidence.                                                                              She  also  argues  that  the  underlying  missing  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 person's report was fraudulent, necessarily tainting the requisition paperwork.   Both  



                                               

 arguments lack merit.  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

                                        Under ICJ Rule 6-103(3)(a), a petition for the non-voluntary return of a  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

juvenile runaway must state the juvenile's name and birthday, as well as the petitioner's  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 "basis of entitlement to the juvenile's custody, the circumstances of his/her running  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 away, his/her location at the time application is made, and other facts showing that the  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

juvenile is endangering his/her own welfare  or  the welfare of others and is not an  



                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 emancipated minor."  The petition must be verified by affidavit and accompanied by  



                    43                  In her reply brief Jessica argues that due process requires the holding state                                                                                                                            



 to consider a juvenile's best interests.                                                                        Although summarily raised before the superior                                                                       

 court in reference to other jurisdictions' holdings, Jessica waived this issue by failing to                                                                                                                                                           

 raise it in her opening brief and by failing to provide legal citations or argument on any                                                                                                                                                        

 relevant due process standard.                                                            See Levi v. Dep't of Labor & Workforce Dev.                                                                                          , 433 P.3d      

 1137, 1147 n.37 (Alaska 2018) (deeming issue waived when not argued in opening brief                                                                                                                                                           

 or raised before superior court);                                                           Burns-Marshall v. Krogman                                                          , 433 P.3d 1121, 1126 n.16                                       

 (Alaska 2018) (deeming issue waived when party failed to provide citations or legal                                                                                                                                                           

 arguments).  



                                                                                                                         -15-	                                                                                                                 7378
  


----------------------- Page 16-----------------------

                                                                                                                    44  

certified copies ofdocuments                          establishingtheentitlement claim.                                  After "itis determined       



that the juvenile should be returned, the judge in the home/demanding state shall sign"                                                                 

the requisition paperwork.                       45  



                                                                                                                                                 

                         Jessica's argument that she was not allowed to present evidence rebutting  



                                                                                                                                                        

Alaska's ICJ Administrator's testimony isinaccurate. Beforehearingtestimony onproof  



                                                                                                                                                         

of entitlement, the superior court stated that the "parties have an opportunity, if they want  



                                                                                                                                                       

to present any argument, that the requisition is not in order."  The court did not allow  



                                                                                                                                                               

Jessica's mother to testify, stating that "[t]here is no requirement under the ICJ for a  



                                                                                                                                                            

parent to testify to whether paperwork is in order.  That's a determination made by the  



                                                                                                                                      

InterstateCompact Administrator." Thecourtthen called onAlaska'sICJ Administrator,  



                                                                                                                                                 

who stated that, under ICJ Rule 6-103, the requisition contained each of the required  



                                                                                                                                                         

elements and that it had been reviewed by both an Iowa judge and Iowa's ICJ office prior  



                                                                                                                                                              

to Alaska's "receipt and review of that document."  The court found "the requisition is  



                                                                                                                                               

in order" and asked Jessica's counsel and GAL if they had anything to add.  



                                                                                                                                                   

                         The GALthen discussed, at some length, that the mother's original missing  



                                                                                                                                                  

person's report was fraudulent because Jessica was not actually missing.  The superior  



                                                                                                                                                       

court impliedly found that this alleged misrepresentation did not suffice to negate proof  



                                                                                                                                                                   

of entitlement, ordering Jessica's return under the ICJ in a written order later that day.  



                                                                                                                                                

The court heard Jessica's evidence relating to the missing person's report; her argument  



                                                                                                                                                   

that she was not allowed to present evidence on proof of entitlement therefore fails.  



                                                                                                                                                         

                         Jessica's  argument  that  the  underlying  missing  person's  report  was  



                                                                                                                                            

fraudulent, and therefore an invalid basis for the superior court's proof of entitlement  



                                                                                                                                                           

finding, also fails. In Matter of Aubree C. the New York family court stated that the ICJ  



            44           ICJ  RULE  6-103(3)(a)(i-iii).  



            45  

                                 

                         ICJ RULE  6-103(3)(b).  



                                                                             -16-                                                                            7378  


----------------------- Page 17-----------------------

does "not require any specific documentation of entitlement for the non-voluntary return                                                                           



                                                                                        46  

[of] the juvenile other than the requisition."                                                                                                                   

                                                                                             The court found that the ICJ lists certain  



                                                                                                                                                      

examples   but   "does   not   require   the   submission   of   any   specific   supporting  

                                  47   The court in that case examined the paperwork before it, finding that  

documentation."                                                                                                                                                        



it was not "in order" because it was not properly verified or signed by an appropriate  

                                                                                                                                                       

authority and "the ground cited for return . . . is not supported by documentation."48   The  

                                                                                                                                                                       

court thus denied enforcing the requisition order.49  

                                                                                        



                           Jessica  suggests  that  there  was  no  "appropriate  authority  from  the  

                                                                                                                                                                       



requisitioning state" in this case, like in Aubree C. , because an "ICJ official from Iowa  

                                                                                                                                                                    



was not present at the proof of entitlement hearing."  But the Aubree C.  court did not  

                                                                                                                                                                        



require the ICJ authority's presence at the hearing itself; the court required only that the  

                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                         50       Alaska's  ICJ  

requisition  paperwork  be  signed  by  an  appropriate   authority.                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                    



Administrator confirmed that the requisition paperwork in this case was proper:  The  

                                                                                                                                                                      



petition included the necessary information and the basis of entitlement, which was that  

                                                                                                                                                                       



Jessica "did not return" and that her mother "is the custodian and guardian." The petition  

                                                                                                                                                                



was verified by affidavit, certified copies of Jessica's birth certificate and the custody  

                                                                                                                                                               



order were attached, and an Iowa judge signed the requisition form.  

                                                                                                                                          



                           Jessica also argues that in the missing person's report her mother misstated  

                                                                                                                                                            



the date she had last seen Jessica and that this "may have affected the validity of the  

                                                                                                                                                                        



             46            79 N.Y.S.3d 478, 483 (N.Y. Fam. 2018).
                               



             47            Id.
   



             48
           Id.  at 484-85.   



             49            Id.  at 485.   



              50           Id.  at 484.   



                                                                                   -17-                                                                             7378
  


----------------------- Page 18-----------------------

                                                                                                                              

Missing Person'sreport and, therefore, undermined theAlaskacourt's determinationthat  



                                                                                                                   

the paperwork was 'in order.' " But even assuming the date's falsity, Iowa's requisition  



                                                                                                                       

did not rely on the missing person's report, instead relying on Jessica's mother's petition,  



                                                                                                                            

which stated that Jessica had run away and that her mother had legal custody.   The  



                                                                                                                              

petition alleged that Jessica was a "missing person in accordance to Iowa code" and did  



                                                                                                                                 

not include or allude to the missing person's report.  ICJ Rule 6-103 does not require a  



                                                                                                                       

missing person's report, and, therefore, its alleged invalidity in this case is not relevant  



                                                                                                                        

to whether the superior court appropriately found the requisition paperwork in order.  



                                                                                                                      

                    Jessica finally contends that the superior court erred by failing to consider  



                                                                                                                                    

evidence regarding her best interests before finding that proof of establishment existed.  



                                                                                                                          

This argument is just the "best interests" argument recast in proof-of-entitlement terms,  



                                                                          

and we reject it for the reasons discussed above.  



                                                                                                                   

                    The superior court properly considered whether the requisition paperwork  



                                                                                                                             

was in order and did not err by finding proof of entitlement existed in this case.  We  



                                                       

therefore affirm its decision on this issue.  



V.        CONCLUSION  



                    WeAFFIRMthesuperior court's ICJ order for Jessica to return to her home  

                                                                                                                           



state.  



                                                              -18-                                                        7378
  

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