Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 120

03/08/2010 01:30 PM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+ HB 238 LANDLORD REJECTION OF OCCUPANT/SUBLEASE TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ HB 334 MILITARY DEPLOYMENT AND CHILD CUSTODY TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 334(JUD) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 71 ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES REGISTRY TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 71(JUD) Out of Committee
         HB 334 - MILITARY DEPLOYMENT AND CHILD CUSTODY                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:47:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL   NO.  334,  "An  Act   establishing  child  custody,                                                               
modification, and visitation standards  for a military parent who                                                               
is  deployed;  and  amending  Rule  99,  Alaska  Rules  of  Civil                                                               
Procedure."  [Before the committee was CSHB 334(MLV).]                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:49:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KACI SCHROEDER  HOTCH, Staff, Representative Bill  Thomas, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  on  behalf of  the  sponsor,  Representative                                                               
Thomas,  noted  that  the  country's  recent,  frequent  military                                                               
deployments have  put enormous strain  on military  families, and                                                               
that  this strain  has sometimes  resulted in  divorce and  child                                                               
custody battles.   House Bill  334 would provide the  courts with                                                               
guidelines  for  balancing  the   issues  of  child  custody  and                                                               
military deployment.  For example,  the bill precludes the courts                                                               
from considering  military deployment  as a factor  when awarding                                                               
child custody;  provides for an  expedited hearing so  that child                                                               
custody matters could be addressed  before the military member is                                                               
deployed; allows a military member  to delegate visitation rights                                                               
to another family  member - in this way, the  child would be able                                                               
to maintain  contact with that  side of the family;  provides for                                                               
temporary child custody  orders if warranted -  such orders would                                                               
expire within  10 of the  deployed parent's returning  [home] and                                                               
notifying  [the other  parent] that  he/she was  ready to  resume                                                               
custody; and proposes to amend  Rule 99(a) of the Alaska Rules of                                                               
Civil  Procedure  such  that  the courts  shall  allow  video  or                                                               
Internet  testimony   by  a  deployed   parent  during   a  child                                                               
custody/visitation  hearing/deposition.   However, the  bill also                                                               
stipulates that none  of the aforementioned may take  place if it                                                               
wouldn't be in the best interest of the child.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:52:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[The committee then  listened to a recording of  a news broadcast                                                               
regarding deployed  military personnel involved in  child custody                                                               
battles.]                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:56:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRIGADIER   GENERAL    THOMAS   H.   KATKUS,    Acting   Adjutant                                                               
General/Commissioner, Department of  Military & Veterans' Affairs                                                               
(DMVA), noted that during the  last eight-and-half years that the                                                               
country has been at war,  several pieces of legislation have been                                                               
passed to support  the military as it  holistically addresses the                                                               
three  primary  components  of   deployment:    the  family,  the                                                               
employers, and  the military  members themselves.   In  order for                                                               
military  personnel  to  remain  fully  engaged  and  focused  on                                                               
winning the  nation's battles,  they must  not be  distracted and                                                               
shouldn't  have to  be worried  about  what's going  on at  home.                                                               
Unfortunately, custody issues  arising from deployment constitute                                                               
a  major  distraction from  the  focus  on staying  alive  during                                                               
battle and  achieving the  mission, and so  HB 334  is critically                                                               
important, and  other states have adopted  similar legislation in                                                               
an effort to address this critical issue.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG surmised  that HB  334 could  be viewed                                                               
one  of two  ways:   it  could be  viewed as  primarily an  issue                                                               
involving the military member and  his/her rights, or it could be                                                               
viewed more  along the lines  of how  most courts would  view it,                                                               
which is  as a  custody or visitation  battle involving  at least                                                               
one person  who happens to  be a  military member.   He predicted                                                               
that HB 334  would be used almost exclusively  in custody battles                                                               
between warring parents, with the child as the prize.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BRIGADIER  GENERAL  KATKUS offered  his  belief  that HB  334  is                                                               
intended to  avoid that  by keeping the  issue on  neutral ground                                                               
via  not  giving   weight  to  the  fact   of  deployment,  which                                                               
constitutes  an   uncontrolled  circumstance  for   the  military                                                               
member, who shouldn't be placed  at a disadvantage with regard to                                                               
custody issues simply for serving his/her country.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG referred  to  the language  on page  1,                                                               
lines  6-8,  that  says  in part,  "a  parent's  temporary  duty,                                                               
mobilization,  or   deployment  to   military  service   and  the                                                               
resultant temporary  disruption to  the schedule  of a  child ...                                                               
may  not be  a  factor in  a court's  decision".   He  questioned                                                               
whether  this  language  is  only  addressing  a  very  temporary                                                               
situation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BRIGADIER GENERAL KATKUS said he assumes that that's correct.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:02:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALLEN  M.  BAILEY, Attorney  at  Law;  Chair, Custody  Committee,                                                               
Section of Family Law, American  Bar Association, first mentioned                                                               
that  he practices  family  law, and  that he  is  also a  former                                                               
member of  the American Bar Association's  Commission on Domestic                                                               
Violence, and  a member  of the  Alaska Bar  Association's Family                                                               
Law section's  Executive Committee.   He then offered  his belief                                                               
that HB 334 would not only  be good for military members, but, if                                                               
administered properly  by [the Alaska Court  System (ACS)], would                                                               
also  be good  for the  children  of military  members; the  bill                                                               
would not  affect the  bottom line of  child custody  issues, and                                                               
could  be used  to  support the  relationship  between a  service                                                               
member and his/her children.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BAILEY  characterized proposed AS 25.20.095(c)  as a critical                                                               
provision   because  it   stipulates  that   any  delegation   of                                                               
visitation rights must  be in the child's best  interest and that                                                               
the family member receiving the  delegation must have an existing                                                               
close relationship  with the  child.   Citing the  Alaska Supreme                                                               
Court  case, Evans  v. McTaggart,  he  offered his  understanding                                                             
that  based  on  Alaska  case   law,  a  standard  of  clear  and                                                               
convincing evidence  would be used  in such situations.   He then                                                               
noted  that although  proposed AS  25.20.095(d)  provides for  an                                                               
expedited  hearing, it  contains  a discrepancy  because it  also                                                               
allows for an additional 10-day  notice - contrary to the concept                                                               
of the  term, "expedited".   Alaska law, specifically Rule  77 of                                                               
the Alaska  Rules of Civil  Procedure, already provides  for what                                                               
he termed, "a much used" method  by which to request an answer to                                                               
a legal question on an  expedited basis; he indicated, therefore,                                                               
a  belief that  the bill's  fiscal  impact could  be lessened  by                                                               
simply relying on  that existing method rather than  by trying to                                                               
establish a new method via proposed subsection (d).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:08:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAGE HODSON, Alaska Moms for  Custodial Justice, after explaining                                                               
that  her group  is  concerned primarily  about situations  where                                                               
domestic  violence,   child  abuse,  and  child   custody  issues                                                               
overlap,  relayed that  her  group also  advocates  for the  best                                                               
interests of  the children.   She  said she  likes the  intent of                                                               
HB 334,  as  well  as  some  of  its  provisions,  such  as  that                                                               
pertaining    to   video    and    Internet   participation    in                                                               
custody/visitation hearings/depositions,  but is  concerned about                                                               
the focus  on parents' rights over  the rights of children.   Her                                                               
first concern with  HB 334, she relayed, is that  it doesn't make                                                               
a distinction regarding the length  of a deployment; for example,                                                               
for  a deployment  lasting seven  years -  seven years  out of  a                                                               
child's life  - it would be  hard to expect the  courts to ignore                                                               
the  fact that  such a  lengthy deployment  is going  to have  an                                                               
impact  on a  child's life.   She  expressed her  hope that  some                                                               
cleanup  language regarding  the  length of  deployment could  be                                                               
inserted into HB 334.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. HODSON explained that another concern  she has with HB 334 is                                                               
that  it doesn't  seem to  distinguish between  custodial parents                                                               
and noncustodial  parents, or take  into account  different types                                                               
of shared  custody arrangements;  for example,  there could  be a                                                               
reason  why  a  parent  is  noncustodial  and  has  only  limited                                                               
visitation rights -  such as having a substance  abuse problem in                                                               
his/her past  or being a  perpetrator of domestic  violence (DV).                                                               
Moreover, such  reasons could make  other provisions of  the bill                                                               
problematic,  such as  the one  pertaining to  the delegation  of                                                               
visitation.  That  provision, she opined, has  the most problems,                                                               
particularly in light  of the U.S. Supreme Court  case, Troxel v.                                                             
Granville, in which  the court ruled that  it is unconstitutional                                                             
to  delegate visitation  to  grandparents over  the  wishes of  a                                                               
custodial parent.   Furthermore, delegating visitation  rights to                                                               
third parties could serve to  destabilize children even more; for                                                               
example, if  one parent  is deployed,  it may  be better  for the                                                               
children to stay in one primary  home and not have their weekends                                                               
or school days disrupted in order to stay with a third party.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HODSON  offered her  understanding  that  in addressing  the                                                               
issue  of third  party  visitation, the  bill  doesn't appear  to                                                               
contain  language stipulating  that  a hearing  must take  place,                                                               
although not requiring  a hearing could prove  detrimental to the                                                               
children, particularly  given that in child  custody proceedings,                                                               
domestic violence is often missed  initially, and given that such                                                               
behavior is often  passed down from generation to  generation - a                                                               
perpetrator of  DV often  learns that behavior  growing up  in an                                                               
abusive home,  in this case  his/her child's  grandparents' home.                                                               
This  lack  of a  required  hearing  in the  provision  regarding                                                               
delegating visitation is  of concern to her, as is  the fact that                                                               
the  provision appears  to create  a special  class of  litigants                                                               
wherein  only  deployed  military litigants  receive  preference.                                                               
Such a preference could face a legal challenge.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HODSON noted  that  proposed  AS 25.20.095(f)(2)  stipulates                                                               
that the court order entered  into under the section must require                                                               
the nondeployed  parent to  facilitate electronic  and telephonic                                                               
contact  between the  child  and his/her  deployed  parent.   She                                                               
characterized  the   intent  of  this  provision   as  good,  but                                                               
cautioned  that  perhaps the  phrase,  "must  require" should  be                                                               
changed to the  phrase, "may require" in order to  give the court                                                               
discretion  in cases  where the  deployed parent  has perpetrated                                                               
domestic violence, for example, or  where there are other reasons                                                               
why such  a requirement wouldn't be  in the best interest  of the                                                               
child.    She  then  pointed out  that  the  implied  preferences                                                               
embedded in some  of the current child  custody statutes conflict                                                               
with  current   DV  statutes,  often  resulting   in  the  courts                                                               
minimizing how the  domestic violence perpetrated in  the home is                                                               
affecting the children.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. HODSON,  in conclusion,  said:  "I'm  concerned about  ... so                                                               
much  attention ...  given, particularly,  to  the delegation  of                                                               
visitation,  because  it  does  indicate  that  it's  an  implied                                                               
preference for  that, as  a standard,  rather than  something the                                                               
court may consider."  In  response to comments and questions, she                                                               
said she  would prefer that  the phrase, "may" or  "may consider"                                                               
be used throughout the prevision  pertaining to the delegation of                                                               
visitation instead  of the  phrase, "must"  or "shall";  that she                                                               
believes the intent  of the bill is very good;  that her concerns                                                               
regarding  the  bill  are  not   intended  to  dishonor  military                                                               
members; and that whether the  reason for a parent being overseas                                                               
makes  a  difference  to  a  child depends  on  his/her  age  and                                                               
maturity.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:16:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANDREA WELLS,  Family Readiness  Support Assistant,  3rd Maneuver                                                               
Enhancement  Brigade,  U.S.  Department of  Defense  (DOD),  Fort                                                               
Richardson,  Alaska;  Court  Appointed  Special  Advocate  (CASA)                                                               
Volunteer, Alaska CASA Program,  Office of Public Advocacy (OPA),                                                               
Department of Administration (DOA),  after mentioning that she is                                                               
also a military spouse, offered her  belief that HB 334 is really                                                               
needed  -   particularly  given   that  soldiers   are  deploying                                                               
constantly and  leaving their  family members  behind -  and said                                                               
that she supports HB 334 on  a personal level because she and her                                                               
husband,  who is  about  to deploy,  are  currently addressing  a                                                               
child custody issue.   She said that she  really appreciates [the                                                               
provisions  mandating   the  court  to  order   a  delegation  of                                                               
visitation rights],  and that  it's been  disturbing to  her that                                                               
when the  courts or various  other agencies [consider  the issues                                                               
of child custody and military  deployment], they only look at the                                                               
military  member in  terms of  providing financial  stability and                                                               
medical resources.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. WELLS opined that it's  very important for military personnel                                                               
to be  a part of  their children's lives regardless  that they've                                                               
been deployed.   There are  plenty of agencies  and organizations                                                               
that consider the welfare of  children, but none that address the                                                               
issues specific  to the  children of  military personnel,  and so                                                               
the effect  on a  military member when  his/her child  is removed                                                               
from  the home  must be  considered, particularly  given that  in                                                               
certain situations, it's  not always in the best  interest of the                                                               
child to  live with the  other parent, who, depending  on his/her                                                               
lifestyle, may not  be able to maintain a familiar  home life for                                                               
the child.   A  lot of  issues must  be considered  when military                                                               
members deploy, and military members  should not be penalized for                                                               
serving their  country and protecting  its citizens,  she opined,                                                               
and expressed her hope that HB  334 would move forward as soon as                                                               
possible.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:20:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK  SAN  SOUCI,  Northwest   Regional  Liaison,  State  Liaison                                                               
Office, U.S.  Department of Defense  (DOD), mentioned that  he is                                                               
operating under the  direction of the Under  Secretary of Defense                                                               
for Personnel and  Readiness, and the Deputy  Under Secretary for                                                               
Military  Community &  Family Policy.   He  relayed that  the DOD                                                               
supports the  language currently in  HB 334, surmising  that some                                                               
would say  that it's  better than similar  laws in  other states.                                                               
The issue addressed  by the bill has become an  important one for                                                               
the  DOD,  which  believes  that  the welfare  of  the  child  is                                                               
paramount;  that  the  demands  of military  service  should  not                                                               
abrogate  the   parent's  rights;  that  this   issue  should  be                                                               
addressed at  the state level  rather than at the  federal level;                                                               
and  that there  are several  protections states  can enact  that                                                               
would serve  both the rights  of the  parents and the  welfare of                                                               
the children.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAN  SOUCI concluded by  saying that with  the substantially-                                                               
increased and  continued activity  of the country's  armed forces                                                               
around  the world,  many  states are  recognizing  the need  [for                                                               
legislation  such as  HB  334],  and noted  that  32 states  have                                                               
passed laws with  some provisions similar to those in  HB 334 and                                                               
that 11 states are considering  similar legislation.  In response                                                               
to questions,  he reiterated  that the DOD  supports the  bill as                                                               
currently  written; noted  that the  bill is  partially based  on                                                               
model legislation; and  opined that it's arguable  whether any of                                                               
the provisions of HB 334 are unconstitutional.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:25:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADAM  TOREM, Attorney  at  Law,  after relaying  that  he is  the                                                               
immediate past  chair of the  Washington State  Bar Association's                                                               
(WSBA's) Legal  Assistance to Military Personnel  (LAMP) Section,                                                               
mentioned that HB  334 is based on Washington law  that's been in                                                               
effect for about nine months.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
[Chair Ramras turned the gavel over to Vice Chair Dahlstrom.]                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOREM noted that  he is also a U.S. Air  Force reservist.  He                                                               
then  offered his  belief that  the  ruling in  Troxel would  not                                                             
apply  to  the  bill's  provisions regarding  the  delegation  of                                                               
visitation rights  because that case  did not involve  a question                                                               
of custody between two parents,  and offered his understanding of                                                               
how the  courts in Washington  address such situations  under the                                                               
aforementioned  Washington  law, which  is  to  grant the  family                                                               
visitation that would  otherwise have taken place  except for the                                                               
fact that the parent was deployed.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[Vice Chair Dahlstrom returned the gavel to Chair Ramras.]                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TOREM  offered  his  additional  understanding  that  [under                                                               
HB 334,] the  courts would be upholding  the delegated visitation                                                               
rights as requested  by an otherwise fit  parent who's deploying.                                                               
This would ensure  that such parents have less to  worry about on                                                               
the battlefield.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:30:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  predicted   that  because  the  bill's                                                               
proposed delegation of visitation rights  would result in a third                                                               
party becoming  involved in a  case that would  otherwise pertain                                                               
solely to a custody agreement  between a child's two parents, the                                                               
courts in  Alaska would apply  the standard set out  in McTaggart                                                             
of  clear and  convincing  evidence  - a  standard  based on  the                                                               
Alaska Supreme Court's reading of Troxel.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOREM  disagreed, citing the  explicitness of  Washington law                                                               
as sufficient to  prevent the courts in the  Alaska from applying                                                               
that  standard, and  surmising  that any  such  issues that  come                                                               
before the court would still be  viewed as just a contest between                                                               
two  parents  who happen  to  be  addressing  the question  of  a                                                               
temporary  delegation of  visitation rights  - rather  than as  a                                                               
contest  between  a  parent  and a  third  party  addressing  the                                                               
question of permanent visitation rights  [such as was the case in                                                               
both Troxel  and McTaggart].   He  indicated that  Washington law                                                           
supports the concept  of mediation as the first  resort, and that                                                               
no constitutional problems with that law have arisen.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG pointed out,  however, that under Alaska                                                               
law,  mediation is  not  mandatory, surmising  that  "if the  ...                                                               
delegatee  -  the grandparents  -  wish  to intervene,  it  would                                                               
probably, I believe,  be reversible error to deny  them the right                                                               
when they're the  real parties in interest."  He  also noted that                                                               
Washington law  says that the  court "may" order a  delegation of                                                               
visitation rights, whereas  the bill says that  the court "shall"                                                               
order a delegation of visitation rights.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOREM offered  his understanding, though, that  the courts in                                                               
Alaska would  have the same  amount of discretion under  the bill                                                               
as  Washington  courts  have under  Washington  law  because  the                                                               
language  of proposed  AS 25.20.095(c)  says  that delegation  of                                                               
visitation  rights shall  be ordered  only "if"  the court  finds                                                               
that  the delegatee  is a  family member  with an  existing close                                                               
relationship to  the child, and  that the delegation would  be in                                                               
the  child's  best  interest.    Any lawyer  should  be  able  to                                                               
successfully argue that  the term, "may" has the  same meaning as                                                               
the terms, "shall" and "if" when used together, he ventured.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG pointed  out, however,  that Washington                                                               
law also  uses the  term, "if"  along with the  term, "may".   He                                                               
posited that the intent of the  bill would be clearer if the bill                                                               
said, "may".                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOREM acknowledged that Washington law uses the term, "may".                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:37:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALLISON  E. MENDEL,  Attorney at  Law,  mentioned that  she is  a                                                               
member of  the Alaska Bar  Association's Family Law  section, and                                                               
was present when the original version  of HB 334 was presented to                                                               
the section  and so heard  other members' comments  regarding it.                                                               
She  indicated that  she  specializes in  the  field of  domestic                                                               
relations, and  that in the  approximately 400 divorce  cases she                                                               
has  handled,  she  has represented  both  military  members  and                                                               
nonmilitary members, and expressed concern  with the way the bill                                                               
is currently drafted  and how it interacts  with existing statute                                                               
and whether  it's going  to achieve what  it's intended  to, that                                                               
being, she surmised, to provide  stability in the contact between                                                               
the deployed military member and  his/her child and family, and a                                                               
solution  to perceived  problems  with how  the  court system  in                                                               
Alaska deals with the issues [of deployment and child custody].                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS disagreed that those are the goals of the bill.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MENDEL  explained that the  Family Law section of  the Alaska                                                               
Bar Association feels  strongly that there isn't  any evidence of                                                               
a  problem with  the Alaska  Court System  (ACS) in  terms of  it                                                               
treating   military   families,  especially   deployed   members,                                                               
respectfully;  and that  that has  been her  experience as  well:                                                               
that the  ACS - having so  much contact with military  families -                                                               
treats them  very respectfully  and is  very careful  about their                                                               
rights  -  whether  they  are  military  members  or  nonmilitary                                                               
members.   She  said  she is  not  sure that  there  really is  a                                                               
problem  for the  bill to  respond to;  moreover, the  bill could                                                               
potentially  create a  problem when  both parents  addressing the                                                               
issue of child custody are  military members.  She indicated that                                                               
she, too, has concerns about the  mandatory nature of some of the                                                               
bill's provisions, and  its lack of clarity  regarding under what                                                               
conditions  visitation rights  could be  delegated, and  that she                                                               
would prefer that  the bill not make  the already-difficult issue                                                               
of child custody worse in any respect.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MENDEL -  remarking on  the bill's  potential constitutional                                                               
problems in light of the  courts' rulings in Troxel and McTaggart                                                           
- said  she believes that  there may  be other ways  of achieving                                                               
the  bill's  goals regarding  the  delegation  of visitation,  an                                                               
issue  which, she  opined,  must be  carefully  considered.   The                                                               
bill,  she   noted,  doesn't  actually   address  the   issue  of                                                               
delegating  visitation  rights  to a  military  member's  current                                                               
girlfriend/boyfriend, as  some have indicated it  would; instead,                                                               
HB 334's  proposed AS 25.20.095(h)(2)  defines the  term, "family                                                               
member" as:   "a  person who  is an  adult sibling,  aunt, uncle,                                                               
first  cousin,  or grandparent  related  by  blood, adoption,  or                                                               
marriage or  a stepparent to  the child who  is the subject  of a                                                               
custody order  issued under this  section;".  In  many instances,                                                               
she surmised,  this could  be present a  problem for  those whose                                                               
relationship can't be so defined.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. MENDEL relayed  that the biggest problem with HB  334 is that                                                               
it is unclear with regard to  how it would interact with Alaska's                                                               
existing  child  custody laws;  for  example,  under proposed  AS                                                               
25.20.110(e), even as an experienced  practitioner of family law,                                                               
she is unable to determine when  to tell the court that she wants                                                               
a hearing,  how the court  is going to implement  that provision,                                                               
or  even  how the  proposed  procedure  outlined in  proposed  AS                                                               
25.20.110(e)  is intended  to  work.   It's  important that  such                                                               
procedural problems  be addressed before the  bill moves forward,                                                               
so that it can  be effective and easy to apply.   The idea behind                                                               
HB 334,  she opined, is  a good one,  but it's important  for the                                                               
bill  to be  of a  piece with  existing Alaska  statutes so  that                                                               
everyone can apply it properly.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:43:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked Ms.  Mendel whether  she believes                                                               
that the  potential constitutional problem could  be addressed by                                                               
adding  the phrase,  "by clear  and convincing  evidence" to  the                                                               
language on  page 2, line  2, such that proposed  AS 25.20.095(c)                                                               
would  then in  part read:    "if the  court finds  by clear  and                                                               
convincing evidence that ...".                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MENDEL surmised that it would,  and indicated that in lieu of                                                               
such a  change, some  type of  a standard  should be  inserted in                                                               
order to  address issues such as  those raised in McTaggart.   In                                                             
response to a question, she  predicted that as currently written,                                                               
the  bill  would  invite  litigation   because  it  has  so  many                                                               
potential  trouble spots.   Referring  to the  bill's stipulation                                                               
that a  court cannot  consider deployment as  a factor,  she said                                                               
she  couldn't  envision  how  the court  could  possibly  make  a                                                               
decision on  behalf of a  child without at least  considering the                                                               
fact that the  parent is being deployed.  In  fact, shouldn't the                                                               
court consider  the fact  of deployment  in order  to be  able to                                                               
make adequate  accommodations for the  child to see  the deployed                                                               
parent's  other family  members?   She  opined  that the  current                                                               
language of  that stipulation doesn't  mean what she  believes is                                                               
intended, that being to ensure  that the court doesn't punish the                                                               
deployed parent for being deployed.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  opined that the purpose  of the bill is  to require                                                               
the  court  to  consider  the   deployment,  rather  than  simply                                                               
allowing the court  the discretion to consider  the deployment if                                                               
it so chooses.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MENDEL agreed,  but pointed  out that  the language  instead                                                               
says  that  deployment  "may  not   be  a  factor  in  a  court's                                                               
decision", and  thus won't  ensure that  the court  considers the                                                               
problems facing the deployed parent.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:45:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  opined that the problems  with the bill                                                               
could be  cured, and relayed  that he  wants the bill  to succeed                                                               
rather than  be struck down  by the courts.   He referred  to the                                                               
language of  proposed AS 25.20.095(e), which  requires a deployed                                                               
parent's waiver of his/her rights  and protections with regard to                                                               
custody or  visitation to  be in  writing.   He asked  Ms. Mendel                                                               
whether she would  support amending that provision  such that the                                                               
deployed  parent would  be required  to  expressly waive  his/her                                                               
rights  or protections  "in  writing  or on  the  record".   This                                                               
should address  situations in which  the waiver is "done  in open                                                               
court," he remarked.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. MENDEL offered her belief  that requiring the waivers to only                                                               
be in writing would be unduly restrictive.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  noted that the language  of proposed AS                                                               
25.20.095(e) in part  says, "A parent who is deployed  may not be                                                               
construed  to  have  waived  any   rights  or  protections",  and                                                               
questioned whether  that language  should instead say,  "A parent                                                               
who is deployed may not be  presumed to have waived any rights or                                                               
protections".                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MENDEL  said she doesn't  know what the term,  "construed" is                                                               
intended  to  mean.    If  the   drafter  meant  to  refer  to  a                                                               
presumption,  then the  term, "presumed"  would be  the preferred                                                               
term to  use in the  bill, because the term,  "construed" doesn't                                                               
have an accepted legal meaning.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:48:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK E. SULLIVAN, Attorney at  Law, mentioned that in addition to                                                               
practicing family  law for over  30 years,  he is also  a retired                                                               
U.S.  Army Reserve  Judge  Advocate General  [with  the rank  of]                                                               
Colonel, the author of "the  military divorce handbook" published                                                               
by the American  Bar Association, and "a fellow"  of the American                                                               
Academy of  Matrimonial Lawyers.   He  explained that  during the                                                               
last  three  years,  he  has been  working  on  military  custody                                                               
statutes  in  15  states,  and   has  testified  against  similar                                                               
legislation  before Congress  because he  believes that  it's the                                                               
job of the  states to address this issue rather  than that of the                                                               
federal  government.    Noting that  he  wrote  North  Carolina's                                                               
statutes   addressing  military   custody   and  visitation,   he                                                               
characterized  HB 334  as a  [much] better  bill because  it goes                                                               
several steps beyond North Carolina's statutes.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. SULLIVAN  offered his understanding  that HB 334  won't allow                                                               
the absence  of a parent due  to deployment to be  construed as a                                                               
waiver of rights to be with  the child unless there is an express                                                               
waiver to  that effect; would  require the nondeployed  parent to                                                               
make the  child available to  the deployed parent  during periods                                                               
of leave  from deployment; would  require the  nondeployed parent                                                               
to  facilitate contact  between the  deployed parent  and his/her                                                               
child;  would mandate  that the  deployed  parent provide  timely                                                               
information  about  his/her  leave schedule  to  the  nondeployed                                                               
parent; and would  require the nondeployed parent  to provide the                                                               
deployed  parent with  immediate  notification of  any change  of                                                               
address or contact information.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SULLIVAN, in  conclusion,  offered his  belief  that HB  334                                                               
would  make  Alaska  one  of the  leading  states  in  protecting                                                               
children   of  military   members   and   the  military   members                                                               
themselves,  and that  its passage  would help  ensure that  this                                                               
issue is addressed at the state  level rather than at the federal                                                               
level.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:53:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  1,                                                               
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 2, following "finds":                                                                                         
          Insert "by clear and convincing evidence"                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG,  referring to  a copy of  the McTaggart                                                             
case, offered his belief that it's  very clear that it involved a                                                               
visitation contest between  a parent and a third  party; that the                                                               
court  required the  third party  to bear  the burden  of proving                                                               
that  the  best interests  of  the  child  would be  promoted  by                                                               
visitation with  the third  party; and that  "this" was  based on                                                               
the U.S. Supreme  Court's ruling in Troxel.  He  said he does not                                                             
believe that the  court would, in any manner,  consider "this" to                                                               
be a contest between the  two parents, because the person getting                                                               
the visitation would be a third party.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SULLIVAN, in response to  a question, expressed disfavor with                                                               
Amendment 1,  and indicated that  [the lack of the  language it's                                                               
proposing to add] hasn't been seen  as a problem by the courts in                                                               
North Carolina, Washington,  Vermont, Indiana, Colorado, Alabama,                                                               
or Illinois; those  courts have not viewed  [the current language                                                               
of proposed AS 25.20.095(c)] as raising a Troxel issue.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BAILEY said:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The issue  is whether  or not a  court faced  with this                                                                    
     kind  of  delegation,  which impliedly  says  that  the                                                                    
     left-behind  parent  is  not fit  to  make  appropriate                                                                    
     visitation  decisions  --  The [Alaska]  Supreme  Court                                                                    
     said, "we believe that a  finding of parental unfitness                                                                    
     to make  a visitation decision  should be made  using a                                                                    
     clear  and convincing  evidence  standard  in order  to                                                                    
     reduce  the possibility  of  an erroneous  interference                                                                    
     with parental  prerogatives." ...  As a person  who had                                                                    
     an  excellent relationship  with his  grandparents when                                                                    
     ...  I was  a child,  I  understand why  this has  been                                                                    
     proposed.    I'm  just  concerned  about  our  [Alaska]                                                                    
     Supreme Court's legal ruling.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call vote  was  taken.   Representatives  Gruenberg  and                                                               
Holmes  voted   in  favor  of   Amendment  1.     Representatives                                                               
Dahlstrom,  Herron, Gatto,  Lynn,  and Ramras  voted against  it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 1 failed by a vote of 2-5.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:58:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  2,                                                               
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 11, following "writing":                                                                                      
          Insert "or on the record"                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  explained  that sometimes  waivers  of                                                               
rights or  protections with regard  to custody or  visitation are                                                               
made on the record in open court, rather than in writing.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. SULLIVAN, in  response to a question, said he  has no problem                                                               
with Amendment 2.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM removed her objection.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS,  indicating that there were  no further objections,                                                               
announced that Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:59:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG made motion  to adopt Amendment 3, which                                                               
read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 9:                                                                                                            
          Delete "construed"                                                                                                    
          Insert "presumed"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. SULLIVAN, in response to  a question, relayed that he doesn't                                                               
have a problem with Amendment 3.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM removed her objection.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced that Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:00:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  [made a  motion to adopt]  Amendment 4,                                                               
labeled 26-LS1310\S.7, Mischel, 3/8/10, which read:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 18, following "circumstances":                                                                                
          Insert "that materially affects the welfare of                                                                        
     the child if the court  approves a military family care                                                                    
     plan  and  if  the  temporary  duty,  mobilization,  or                                                                    
     deployment  is  for a  period  that  is less  than  six                                                                    
     months"                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 18, following "consider":                                                                                     
          Insert "the terms of the parent's military family                                                                     
     care plan and"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   RAMRAS  indicated   that  there   was  an   objection  to                                                               
Amendment 4.   He  expressed disfavor  with  establishing a  time                                                               
limit on deployment.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. SULLIVAN, in response to a question, indicated agreement.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG [made  a motion  to amend]  Amendment 4                                                               
such that  the language it  proposes to add  to page 3,  line 18,                                                               
would no longer  contain the words:  "and if  the temporary duty,                                                               
mobilization, or  deployment is  for a period  that is  less than                                                               
six months".                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS,  after ascertaining  that there were  no objections                                                               
to  the amendment  to Amendment  4, stated  that Amendment  4 was                                                               
amended.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SULLIVAN,  in response  to  a  question, indicated  that  he                                                               
disapproves of Amendment 4, as amended.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  explained that a "military  family care                                                               
plan" can  be prepared by  a military family, and,  under Arizona                                                               
law,  can be  presented to  the court;  and that  the purpose  of                                                               
Amendment  4, as  amended,  is to  state that  if  the court  has                                                               
already approved  the military family  care plan, then  the court                                                               
doesn't have to  approve anything else - "it will  take the place                                                               
of  a  second  hearing."    He predicted  that  Amendment  4,  as                                                               
amended, would save [proposed AS  25.20.110(d)] from being unduly                                                               
burdensome.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SULLIVAN,   in  response  to   a  question,   surmised  that                                                               
Amendment 4,  as amended,  would allow  the military  family care                                                               
plan to be a substitute plan for the court.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG concurred.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call vote  was  taken.   Representatives  Gruenberg  and                                                               
Holmes   voted   in   favor   of   Amendment   4,   as   amended.                                                               
Representatives  Herron,   Lynn,  Dahlstrom,  and   Ramras  voted                                                               
against  it.   Therefore, Amendment  4, as  amended, failed  by a                                                               
vote of 2-4.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:05:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  5,                                                               
labeled 26-LS1310\S.6, Mischel, 3/8/10, which read:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 6, following "(a)":                                                                                           
          Insert "In determining the availability of a                                                                          
     parent  for  custody  or visitation,  if  a  parent  is                                                                    
     deployed  or in  a  position where  the  parent may  be                                                                    
     deployed,  the  court  shall take  particular  care  to                                                                    
     ensure  that the  child  has  the maximum  opportunity,                                                                    
     consistent  with the  best interests  of the  child, to                                                                    
     have contact with the parent."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   explained  that  Amendment   5  would                                                               
protect the  child's right  to have  contact with  the [deployed]                                                               
parent.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. SULLIVAN relayed that he had no objection to Amendment 5.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM removed her objection.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG,  in response  to a  question, explained                                                               
that the  policy being  set via  Amendment 5  is that  the courts                                                               
shall take steps  to ensure that the deployed  parent and his/her                                                               
child  have maximum  contact with  each  other.   He offered  his                                                               
understanding  that that's  the  whole  purpose of  HB  334.   In                                                               
response  to further  questions,  he assured  the committee  that                                                               
adoption  of Amendment  5 wouldn't  have  any effect  on how  the                                                               
military conducts its operations.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced that Amendment 5 was adopted.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:07:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  6,                                                               
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 6-8:                                                                                                         
          Delete all material                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Reletter the following paragraphs accordingly.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, lines 15-16:                                                                                                       
          Delete all material                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Reletter the following paragraphs accordingly.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG explained that  Amendment 6 would delete                                                               
the provisions regarding an expedited  hearing because in Alaska,                                                               
under Rule 77 of the Alaska  Rules of Civil Procedure, the courts                                                               
already provide for expedited hearings.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SULLIVAN,  in response  to  a  question, indicated  that  he                                                               
doesn't think that adopting Amendment 6 would be a good idea.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BAILEY  concurred that  provisions  within  Rule 77  already                                                               
provide  for an  expedited  hearing  for good  cause.   The  only                                                               
requirement for  the court to  comply with, he remarked,  is that                                                               
it  give "the  other side"  at least  24 hours'  notice before  a                                                               
motion is acted upon, adding  that Rule 77 requires the attorneys                                                               
involved  to cooperate  "in letting  each other  know if  they're                                                               
going to do this."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  predicted that Rule 77  would allow for                                                               
a more expedited  hearing than that outlined in  the bill because                                                               
[part  of]  the  language  Amendment 6  is  proposing  to  delete                                                               
provides for  an additional  10 days'  notice, which,  he opined,                                                               
would be counterproductive.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:11:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG  WOOLIVER,  Administrative Attorney,  Administrative  Staff,                                                               
Office  of  the  Administrative  Director,  Alaska  Court  System                                                               
(ACS), in response to a  question, offered his understanding that                                                               
Rule 77 would provide for a hearing sooner.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG, in  response to  a question  regarding                                                               
Amendment 6, offered  his belief that the language  that would be                                                               
deleted from  page 4, lines  15-16, pertains specifically  to the                                                               
military member, whereas the language  that would be deleted from                                                               
page 2,  lines 6-8, could be  used by either party  because it is                                                               
not, by  its terms,  limited.  Either  party, he  remarked, could                                                               
make use of Rule 77.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call vote  was  taken.   Representatives  Gruenberg  and                                                               
Holmes  voted in  favor of  Amendment 6.   Representatives  Lynn,                                                               
Dahlstrom,  Herron,  and Ramras  voted  against  it.   Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 6 failed by a vote of 2-4.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:14:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  [made a  motion to adopt]  Amendment 7,                                                               
labeled  26-LS1310\S.5,   Mischel,  3/8/10,  which   [along  with                                                               
typographical errors] read:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 13, following "cause":                                                                                        
          Insert ";                                                                                                             
               "(4)  "parent" includes a legal guardian of                                                                      
     the child"                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 26:                                                                                                           
          Delete "and military service"                                                                                         
          Insert ", military service, and "parent""                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS stated that there was an objection.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG explained that [this additional                                                                        
definition is necessary] because it is not uncommon for the                                                                     
courts to establish a legal guardian for a child.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS, after ascertaining that the objection was removed,                                                                
announced that Amendment 7 was adopted.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:15:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG made a motion to adopt Amendment 8,                                                                    
labeled 26-LS1310\S.3, Mischel, 3/8/10, which read:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 16:                                                                                                           
          Delete "the nondeployed"                                                                                              
          Insert "each"                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 17:                                                                                                           
          Delete "deployed parent's child and the deployed                                                                      
     parent"                                                                                                                    
          Insert "other parent and the child"                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 19:                                                                                                           
          Delete "and"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 21, following "schedule":                                                                                     
          Insert "; and                                                                                                         
               (4)    each    parent    provide    immediate                                                                    
         notification of a change of address or contact                                                                         
     information as provided under AS 25.20.110(e)(5)"                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 8:                                                                                                            
          Delete "the parent who is not deployed"                                                                               
          Insert "each parent"                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 9:                                                                                                            
          Delete "deployed"                                                                                                     
          Insert "other"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 12:                                                                                                           
          Delete "who is not deployed"                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   explained  that  Amendment   8  would                                                               
stipulate   that  each   parent  has   the  duty   to  facilitate                                                               
communication  between  the  child   and  his/her  other  parent,                                                               
thereby providing  for as much communication  as possible between                                                               
the child and both of his/her parents.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.   SULLIVAN,  in   response   to  a   question,  agreed   with                                                               
Representative Gruenberg.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM removed her objection.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced that Amendment 8 was adopted.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:17:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  [made a  motion to adopt]  Amendment 9,                                                               
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 8:                                                                                                            
          Delete "schedule"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG made a motion  to amend Amendment 9 such                                                               
that the  language that  would be  deleted from  page 1,  line 8,                                                               
would  be,   "schedule  of  a".     There  being   no  objection,                                                               
Amendment 9 was amended.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  noted that if Amendment  9, as amended, were  to be                                                               
adopted, proposed AS 25.20.095(a) would then read:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     (a)  Except as  provided  in this  section, a  parent's                                                                    
     temporary   duty,   mobilization,  or   deployment   to                                                                    
     military   service   and    the   resultant   temporary                                                                    
     disruption  to the  child of  the parent  may not  be a                                                                    
     factor  in  a  court's  decision to  grant  or  deny  a                                                                    
     petition for custody or visitation.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. SULLIVAN said he doesn't have any objections to Amendment 9,                                                                
as amended.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM removed her objection.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced that Amendment 9, as amended, was                                                                        
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:19:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG [made a motion to adopt] Amendment 10,                                                                 
labeled 26-LS1310\S.1, Mischel, 3/8/10, which read:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 22 - 25:                                                                                                     
          Delete "In making a determination of the best                                                                         
     interests of  the child, the  court shall  consider the                                                                    
     factors under AS 25.24.150(c)  and apply the rebuttable                                                                    
     presumption   under   AS 25.24.150(g)  to   visitation,                                                                    
     delegation,  and  custody   orders  issued  under  this                                                                    
     section."                                                                                                                  
          Insert "In making a determination of the best                                                                         
     interests of  the child, the  court shall  consider (1)                                                                    
     the  factors   under  AS 25.24.150(c)  and   apply  the                                                                    
     rebuttable   presumption   under   AS 25.24.150(g)   to                                                                    
     visitation,  delegation,  and   custody  orders  issued                                                                    
     under  this section,  and (2)  any  history of  violent                                                                    
     behavior exhibited by a parent."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 30, following "partner.":                                                                                     
          Insert "The court shall make specific written                                                                         
     findings  regarding the  considerations required  to be                                                                    
     considered in (1) and (2)  of this subsection.  In this                                                                    
     subsection,  "history  of  violent behavior"  does  not                                                                    
     include   any   behavior   or  actions   performed   or                                                                    
     undertaken in connection with military duties."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM objected.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. SULLIVAN, in response to a question, opined that the                                                                        
adoption of Amendment 10 would be a good idea.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM removed her objection.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS, indicating that there were no further objections,                                                                 
announced that Amendment 10 was adopted.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:22:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG [made  a  motion  to adopt]  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 11, such that on page  2, line 29, the word, "domestic"                                                               
would  be deleted,  and such  that on  page 2,  lines 29-30,  the                                                               
words, "against a spouse, a  child, or a domestic living partner"                                                               
would  be removed.   He  explained that  he wants  the courts  to                                                               
consider  whether  the  person  has  a history  of  any  kind  of                                                               
violence, not just domestic violence.   There being no objection,                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 11 was adopted.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:23:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  [made a motion to  adopt] Amendment 12,                                                               
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 2:                                                                                                            
       Delete "result in immediate danger of irreparable                                                                        
     harm"                                                                                                                      
          Insert "be detrimental"                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. SULLIVAN,  in response to a  question, said he does  not like                                                               
Amendment  12  because  it's  appears  to  be  open  ended.    He                                                               
explained  that when  he drafted  language  for North  Carolina's                                                               
statutes,  the idea  behind  the language  that  Amendment 12  is                                                               
proposing to  delete was that  if a person  is going to  stop the                                                               
return  of the  child to  the custodial  parent, then  the person                                                               
needs to be able to allege  an emergency - otherwise there should                                                               
be  a presumption  that the  child  is going  to go  back to  the                                                               
custodial  parent,  and  the  issue  of  whether  that  would  be                                                               
detrimental could then be litigated afterwards.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced that Amendment 12 was withdrawn.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:26:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a motion  to adopt  Amendment 13,                                                               
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, lines 10-11:                                                                                                       
       Delete "(b) A parent who is deployed may petition                                                                        
        a court of competent jurisdiction for custody or                                                                        
     visitation.  The"                                                                                                          
          Insert "(b) If a parent petitions a court of                                                                          
     competent jurisdiction for custody or visitation, the"                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG opined  that it's  clear under  current                                                               
law that  a parent  who's deployed,  obviously, may  petition the                                                               
court,  and so  the  language in  proposed  AS 25.20.095(b)  that                                                               
again references deployment  is unnecessary; "all we  have to say                                                               
is,  if  the  parent  petitions,   then  the  petition  shall  be                                                               
construed ..., et cetera."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SULLIVAN said  that  although it  sounds  like Amendment  13                                                               
would  clarify the  [provision],  his intention  in drafting  the                                                               
language  currently in  proposed AS  25.20.095(b) was  to specify                                                               
that  there  could  be  a   separate  [additional]  petition  for                                                               
affirmative  relief  in the  context  of  custody and  visitation                                                               
that's not the original petition for custody or visitation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG opined that  it's not necessary to state                                                               
that.  "That's clear; you can do it  by a motion or you can do it                                                               
by an original action  - under the laws of Alaska,  you can do it                                                               
either way," he concluded.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. SULLIVAN, acknowledged  that point, and said  he doesn't have                                                               
an objection.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call vote  was  taken.   Representatives  Gruenberg  and                                                               
Holmes voted  in favor  of Amendment  13.   Representatives Lynn,                                                               
Dahlstrom,  Herron,  and Ramras  voted  against  it.   Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 13 failed by a vote of 2-4.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:28:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a motion  to adopt  Amendment 14,                                                               
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 1:                                                                                                            
          Delete "shall"                                                                                                        
          Insert "may"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM objected.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call vote  was  taken.   Representatives  Gruenberg  and                                                               
Holmes  voted   in  favor  of  Amendment   14.    Representatives                                                               
Dahlstrom,   Herron,  Lynn,   and   Ramras   voted  against   it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 14 failed by a vote of 2-4.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:29:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM  moved  to  report  CSHB  334(MLV),  as                                                               
amended,  out of  committee with  individual recommendations  and                                                               
the accompanying  fiscal notes.   There being no  objection, CSHB
334(JUD)  was   reported  from   the  House   Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB 334 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 334
02 HB334 CS(MVA) v. S.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 334
03 HB334 Sectional.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 334
04 HB334-1-1-022410-CRT-N.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 334
05 HB334CS(MLV)-LAW-CIV-03-05-10.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 334
06 HB334 Support.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 4/9/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 334
07 HB334 Bill v. R.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 334
01 HB238 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 238
02 HB238 ver R.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 238
03 HB238 Fiscal Note-CED-COM-2-11-10.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 238
04 HB238 HUD Letter 7-18-07.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 238
05 HB238 AHFC Comments.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 238