745 W. 4th Ave., Suite 250 Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 274-4621

Anchorage Courts suspends most hearings due to novel corona virus (COVID-19)


In the Matter of the: Suspension of Certain Hearings, PJ ORDER # 847

Effective 18 March 2020, the following prioritization of court hearings will take
effect in Anchorage, Palmer, and Kenai

1. In-custody arraignments and bail hearings (both criminal and juvenile) shall
proceed. If possible, defendants, counsel, and others shall attend by video
or telephone.
2. Change of plea hearings shall proceed. Parties may schedule change of
pleas by email.
3. Pretrial conferences, trial calls, adjudications of petitions to revoke
probation, and omnibus hearings are suspended.
4. Change of pleas and sentencings of defendants likely to be released from
custody soon will be given priority over those cases with likely lengthier
sentences. Individual judges shall make the determination of what
changes of plea and sentencings should be held.
5. Anchorage pre-indictment hearings are suspended. However, on 19 March
2020 the PIH shall proceed, but only for those defendants who were
arrested since 12 March 2020 and are still in custody. Subsequent PIHs
shall be limited to those defendants who were arrested since the previous
PIH and are still in custody. Time is tolled in all suspended cases. Criminal
Rule 5(e).
6. Therapeutic courts and the PACE hearings are suspended.
7. Competency hearings are suspended. However, hearings may proceed
telephonically, if the defendant waives his or her in-person presence.
8. Police officials may submit applications for search warrant by telephone or
affidavit. If submitted by affidavit, the application shall include a telephone
number at which the officer may be reached.
9. Time is tolled in all criminal cases. Criminal Rule 45(d)(7).
10. Hearings on petitions for domestic violence, stalking orders (both ex parte
and long term), and for testing/isolation/quarantine orders shall proceed.
11 . Hearings on petitions for Title 47 involuntary commitment or medication
orders shall proceed.
12. Hearings on temporary custody petitions in CINA and juvenile delinquency
cases shall proceed.
13. All traffic, change of name, FED, and small claims cases and marriage
ceremonies are suspended.
14. All domestic relations hearings are suspended, except litigants may seek to
haire hearings on emergency child custody issues.
15. Ali other civil case hearings are suspended, except litigants may seek to
have hearings on emergency issues.
16. To the extent possible litigants and counsel shall attend hearings by video
or ‘telephone. A request to attend a civil hearing or non-jury trial in person
shOl be addressed to the assigned judge.
17. This Order and the suspensions will be revisited no later than 31 March
2020 as the results of the quarantines are evaluated
18. The possible application of this Order or a variant of it to other court
locations within the Third Judicial District is being evaluated.

DONE this 17th day of March 2020, at Anchorage, Alaska.
William F. Morse
Presiding Judge
Third Judicial District