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The Northern Justice Project in the News:
A soldier tried to buy a motorcycle in Anchorage. His lawyer says he was targeted by a ‘yo-yo scam’
Zachariah Hughes (December 5, 2019, Alaska Public Media)
Anchorage, Alaska - On Tuesday, Army Specialist Austin Deehan filed a civil case in state Superior Court alleging misconduct by a local car dealership over a financial arrangement critics call a "yo-yo scam."...  [more]

He Held Her Down, Choked Her, And Masturbated Onto Her. The Law Said It Wasn’t Sexual Assault.
David Mack (June 15, 2019,
Anchorage, Alaska - A shocking case in Alaska has highlighted a loophole in sexual assault statutes nationwide. Now the survivor of the attack is sharing her story for the very first time...  [more]

"From shadows to the light:" Attorneys argue foster children's Social Security rights
Grant Robinson (April 3, 2019,
Anchorage, Alaska - Five years after filing a complaint, a lawsuit against the State of Alaska for seizing the Social Security of children in foster care took one step toward resolution Tuesday morning....  [more]

Lawsuit seeks to eliminate Medicaid application backlog
Andrew Kitchenman (April 3, 2019, Alaska Public Media & KTOO)
Juneau, Alaska - A lawsuit aims to force the state government to close the backlog of thousands of applications for Medicaid. The lawsuit was moved to federal court from Anchorage Superior Court last week.....  [more]

Lawsuit challenges state’s Medicaid policy denying transgender-related health care coverage
Renee Gross (March 6, 2019,
Anchorage, Alaska - A transgender woman is suing the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services commissioner for denying transition-related health care coverage under Medicaid. The lawsuit, which seeks to be class action, was filed in federal court on Monday. ....  [more]

State sued over Medicaid application backlog
Grant Robinson (March 1, 2019, KTUU)
Anchorage, Alaska - The state of Alaska is facing s a lawsuit for failing to process Medicaid applications in the time frame required by federal law....  [more]

Anchorage prosecutors failed victim in Schneider assault, lawsuit says
Casey Grove (November 19, 2018,
Anchorage, Alaska - There have been more court filings this week against 34-year-old Anchorage resident Justin Schneider, who received a plea agreement earlier this fall for what many people thought amounted to a sexual assault...  [more]

Victim in ‘one free pass’ case files civil lawsuit against Justin Schneider
Michelle Theriault Boots (November 14, 2018,
Anchorage, Alaska - The 26-year-old victim in a notorious “one free pass” case has filed a civil lawsuit against Justin Schneider, the Anchorage man who received a no-jail sentence for assaulting....  [more]

Sitka police officer files sexual harassment lawsuit
Emily Kwong (October 16, 2018, KCAW)
Sitka, Alaska - A female police officer filed a sexual harassment complaint against the Sitka Police Department on Thursday. 32-year-old Mary Ferguson alleges that throughout her time on the force, she was treated differently because of....  [more]

Alaska Native Female Police Officer Sues Police Department Where She is Employed
Levi Rickert (October 15, 2018,
Sitka, Alaska - Mary Ferguson, 32, an Alaska Native police officer has filed a lawsuit against her employer, the Sitka Police Department, where she is the only female sworn officer on the police force....  [more]

Sitka police deny allegations of retaliation against employee
Alex McCarthy (September 26, 2018, Juneau Empire)
Sitka, Alaska - The Sitka Police Department is denying allegations that it retaliated against one of its employees for whistleblowing, according to court records filed earlier this month....  [more]

Sitka police officer files whistleblower lawsuit
(August 23, 2018, KCAW News)
Sitka, Alaska - A Sitka police officer has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the city. Although the suit asks for no monetary relief, other than “actual and compensatory damages,” the 14-page document casts shade over the procurement and investigative practices...  [more]

Alaska judge: Fred Meyer used ‘deceptive’ means to overcharge car-battery buyers
Alex DeMarban (May 16, 2018,
Anchorage, Alaska - An Alaska judge ruled Wednesday that the Fred Meyer grocery chain violated Alaska law by charging people $5 to $15 extra for car battery and other battery purchases, claiming that a nonexistent state law required them to do so...  [more]

Alaska’s Economy Loses Millions to Predatory Lenders
Goriune Dudukgian (April 5, 2018,
Anchorage, Alaska - Consumers protected by 'payday loan rule' - The flashing neon lights and bright signs of payday lenders offering short-term loans at more than 400 percent interest have become a fixture in towns and cities across the Frontier State. But while these predatory lenders...  [more]

Alaskans harmed by financial misconduct deserve remedies
Goriune Dudukgian (July 30, 2017, Daily News-Miner)
A new rule will restore Alaskans’ rights in court when they are harmed by financial misconduct — such as the Wells Fargo scandal that resulted in 5,970 or more fake accounts in Alaska and millions across the country. ...  [more]

Should foster kids know when the state uses their benefits?
Anne Hillman (March 2, 2017, Alaska Public Media)
Some foster kids are eligible to receive Social Security benefits, but the kids and their families don’t always know the money is available. Instead, the state applies for the benefits and puts the funds toward paying for foster care services. Now a lawsuit is asking if the state needs to notify families and guardians before it starts taking the money...  [more]

State of Alaska, NARF, Northern Justice Project and ACLU Reach Settlement in Yup'ik Language, Voter-Assistance Case
(Alaska Business Monthly)
Anchorage, Alaska - The Alaska Attorney General's Office today joined the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), the American Civil Liberties Union, the Northern Justice Project, four Alaska Native elders and four tribal governments in announcing a settlement of litigation in Nick, et al. v. Bethel, et al. According to the settlement, the State of Alaska will make enhancements to language assistance for Yup'ik-speaking voters available at elections in the Bethel area...  [more]

State Questions Religious Protection for Fishermen
Rachel D'Oro (January 13, 2013,
Anchorage, Alaska - State prosecutors are disputing religious protection claims by Alaska Native fishermen cited for illegal fishing who say bans on their subsistence lifestyle violate their spiritual freedoms....  [more]

How Climate Change Is Destroying a Native Alaska Religion
Erin Amato (July 26, 2014 The Wilson Quarterly)
In 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers listed Newtok, Alaska — population 345 — as a “priority action community.” The ground beneath the village is quickly slipping into the sea: Within just two years, some houses may be underwater. Thanks to climate change, residents are seeing storm surges intensify...  [more]

When Global Warming Kills Your God
Adam Weymouth (June 3, 2014 The Atlantic)
“So there is a black fish swimming up the river, looking for a fish trap to swim into. Cycle of life, right?” Grant Kashatok was telling me stories the traditional Yup’ik way—his fingers entwined with string, like a child playing cat’s cradle. As he spoke, he looped the string into different shapes: it became a hunter, a mountain, a boat, an oar. “And he came to a fish trap that was broken,” he said...  [more]

Anchorage School District Sued Over Suspensions Procedure
(May 15, 2015
Anchorage, Alaska - The Anchorage School District is being sued by parents who say the district's written notification process for student suspensions does not provide explanations for those disciplinary actions. The Northern Justice Project Civil rights law firm in Anchorage is representing the plaintiffs, Kiana Putnam and BreeAnn Davis, in the class-action case filed Friday....  [more]

Zoning Code in Jeopardy
(Scott Christiansen, October 24, 2013 Anchorage Press)
City attorneys and lawyers from the Northern Justice Project are negotiating an end to a two-year-old lawsuit that sought to overturn an Anchorage zoning ordinance that put restrictions on apartment buildings meant to house the city’s homeless chronic street drunks. Details of a settlement are not yet clear because the negotiations are not conducted in public, but the resolution will....  [more]

Wards Fighting Guardians' Heavy Caseloads
(Julie St. Louis, Nov. 2, 2015 Courthouse News Service)
Anchorage, Alaska (CN) - In the last five years, the caseloads of public guardians in Alaska have steadily increased to a current total of 83 wards for each guardian. This leaves guardians with the Office of Public Advocacy just one hour and 42 minutes per month to manage each ward's medical care, government benefits, housing, vocational services and any income the ward is....  [more]

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