Sec. 44.21.415. Office of elder fraud and assistance.
(a) The office of elder fraud and assistance is established in the office of public advocacy to investigate complaints involving fraud committed against older Alaskans who are not otherwise able to bring a complaint without assistance, as defined in regulation, and to provide assistance to older Alaskans who are victims of fraud. The office shall work with local, state, and national law enforcement and social service agencies through cooperative agreements and may bring civil enforcement actions for injunctive and other relief for fraud committed against older Alaskans.
(b) In conducting an investigation under this section, the office of elder fraud and assistance may issue subpoenas, conduct interviews, and examine the business records, advances, transactions, and relevant records associated with the alleged fraud committed against an older Alaskan. The office may enter into contracts with attorneys and seek a court order to enforce a subpoena.
(c) In addition to the functions described under (a) and (b) of this section, the office of elder fraud and assistance shall provide information, referrals, and other assistance to older Alaskans who are victims of fraud and make recommendations to the commissioner for regulations on eligibility for assistance needed to implement this section.
(d) A cooperative agreement under (a) of this section must include a description of office operations and investigation protocols.
(e) Subject to the discretion of the court and standards established in regulation adopted by the commissioner of administration and taking into consideration the financial condition of the parties to a civil suit brought under this section, the office of public advocacy may seek recovery of all or part of litigation costs and fees from any party, including costs incurred during the investigation of the case, when the office of public advocacy is found to be a prevailing party after trial or settlement negotiation. The office of public advocacy shall enter into a fee agreement with a client that is consistent with this section, the Alaska Rules of Court, and the Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct.
(f) Nothing in this section prohibits the Department of Law from investigating or prosecuting a person for unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of trade or commerce under AS 45.50.471 and 45.50.495.
(g) In this section,
(1) "fraud" means
(A) robbery, extortion, and coercion under AS 11.41.500 - 11.41.530;
(B) offenses against property under AS 11.46.100 - 11.46.740; or
(C) exploitation of another person or another person's resources for personal profit or advantage with no significant benefit accruing to the person who is exploited;
(2) "older Alaskan" means a person residing in the state who is 60 years of age or older.
Sec. 44.21.420. Employment of office personnel.
(a) The commissioner of administration may employ guardians ad litem, public guardians, clerical staff, and other assistants that the commissioner determines are needed to perform the duties set out in AS 44.21.410. Employees under this subsection are in the classified service under AS 39.25.100 .
(b) The commissioner of administration may employ attorneys needed to perform the duties set out in AS 44.21.410 . Attorneys employed by the commissioner of administration in the office of public advocacy are in the partially exempt service under AS 39.25.120 .
(c) The commissioner of administration may contract for services of court-appointed visitors and experts needed to perform the duties set out in AS 44.21.410 . The commissioner may contract with attorneys to provide legal representation, and with other persons to provide guardian ad litem services, as needed to perform the duties set out in AS 44.21.410 . The commissioner may determine the rate of compensation for contractual services, taking into account the time involved, the skill and experience required, and other pertinent factors.
Sec. 44.21.430. Attorneys engaged by public advocacy office.
(a) Only an attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state may be retained under contract by the office of public advocacy to provide legal representation. A person is not eligible to be an attorney employed by the office unless admitted to the practice of law in this state no later than 10 months following the commencement of the person's employment by the office.
(b) An attorney employed by the office of public advocacy may not engage in the private practice of law unless the attorney provides services to the office as an independent contractor.
Sec. 44.21.440. Conflicts of interests.
(a) Services and legal representation rendered by the office of public advocacy, whether performed by a person under contract or by an employee of the office, shall be provided in a manner that avoids conflicts of interests.
(b) The office of public advocacy may not use improper pressure to influence the professional judgment of a person who is paid by the office of public advocacy to act as an attorney, a guardian ad litem, or a visitor for a guardianship or conservatorship established under AS 13.26.
Sec. 44.21.450. Civil liability of volunteer guardians.
(a) A volunteer guardian ad litem under the supervision of the office of public advocacy is not civilly liable for acts or omissions during the good faith performance of duties as a guardian unless the acts or omissions constitute gross negligence.
(b) This section does not affect the civil liability of the office of public advocacy.
Sec. 44.21.460. Nonattorney volunteer guardians ad litem.
A nonattorney volunteer guardian ad litem may not give legal advice or act in the capacity of attorney for a minor before a court or administrative agency.
Sec. 44.21.470. Definition.
In AS 44.21.410 - 44.21.460, "volunteer guardian ad litem" means a court-appointed special advocate (CASA).
Sec. 44.21.500. - 44.21.508. Office of Equal Employment Opportunity. [Repealed, E.O. No. 91 Sec. 3 (1995)].
Repealed or Renumbered
Sec. 44.23.010. Attorney general.
The principal executive officer of the Department of Law is the attorney general.
Sec. 44.23.020. Duties; and powers; waiver of immunity.
(a) The attorney general is the legal advisor of the governor and other state officers.
(b) The attorney general shall
(1) defend the Constitution of the State of Alaska and the Constitution of the United States of America;
(2) bring, prosecute, and defend all necessary and proper actions in the name of the state for the collection of revenue;
(3) represent the state in all civil actions in which the state is a party;
(4) prosecute all cases involving violation of state law, and file informations and prosecute all offenses against the revenue laws and other state laws where there is no other provision for their prosecution;
(5) administer state legal services, including the furnishing of written legal opinions to the governor, the legislature, and all state officers and departments as the governor directs; and give legal advice on a law, proposed law, or proposed legislative measure upon request by the legislature or a member of the legislature;
(6) draft legal instruments for the state;
(7) make available a report to the legislature, through the governor, at each regular legislative session
(A) of the work and expenditures of the office; and
(B) on needed legislation or amendments to existing law;
(8) prepare, publish, and revise as it becomes useful or necessary to do so an information pamphlet on landlord and tenant rights and the means of making complaints to appropriate public agencies concerning landlord and tenant rights; the contents of the pamphlet and any revision shall be approved by the Department of Law before publication; and
(9) perform all other duties required by law or which usually pertain to the office of attorney general in a state.
(c) Before January 1, 1999, the attorney general may, in a case that involves the state's title to submerged lands, or in any case in which the state seeks to allocate fault to the federal government or a federal employee under AS 09.17.080 , waive the state's immunity from suit in federal court provided under the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The expiration on January 1, 1999, of the attorney general's authority to waive the state's Eleventh Amendment immunity does not affect existing waivers in ongoing cases.
(d) The attorney general may, subject to the power of the legislature to enact laws and make appropriations, settle actions, cases, and offenses under (b) of this section.
(e) There is established within the Department of Law the function of public advocacy for regulatory affairs. The attorney general shall participate as a party in a matter that comes before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska when the attorney general determines that participation is in the public interest. When considering whether participation is in the public interest, the attorney general shall consider the issues the Regulatory Commission of Alaska must take into consideration under AS 42.05.141 (d).
(f) The attorney general shall designate not less than one-half attorney position in the Department of Law for the purpose of prosecuting actions for fraudulent acts related to workers' compensation under AS 23.30.
(g) The attorney general may, in cases that involve compliance, discharge, or enforcement of responsibilities assumed by the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities under AS 44.42.300 , waive the state's immunity from suit in federal court provided under the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
(h) The attorney general shall continue to review federal statutes, regulations, presidential executive orders and actions, and secretarial orders and actions that may be in conflict with and that may preempt state law. If, after review, the attorney general believes that a federal statute, regulation, presidential executive order or action, or secretarial order or action would preempt a state law if constitutional and properly adopted in accordance with federal statutory authority but also believes that the federal statute, regulation, presidential executive order or action, or secretarial order or action is unconstitutional or was not properly adopted in accordance with federal statutory authority, the attorney general shall report the findings to the chairs of the house and senate committees having jurisdiction over judicial matters. The report shall be submitted to the legislature on or before January 15th of each year and must include
(1) a copy of the federal statute, regulation, presidential executive order or action, or secretarial order or action that the attorney general finds was not properly adopted in accordance with federal statutory authority or is unconstitutional;
(2) a citation to the state law that is in conflict with the federal statute, regulation, presidential executive order or action, or secretarial order or action identified in (1) of this subsection;
(3) a written opinion explaining
(A) the basis for finding that the federal statute, regulation, presidential executive order or action, or secretarial order or action is unconstitutional or was not properly adopted in accordance with federal statutory authority;
(B) the conflict between the federal statute, regulation, presidential executive order or action, or secretarial order or action identified in (1) of this subsection and the state law identified in (2) of this subsection and why, if properly adopted, the federal statute, regulation, presidential executive order or action, or secretarial order or action would preempt the state law;
(C) the effect on the state if the state law identified in (2) of this subsection is found by a court to be preempted by the federal statute, regulation, presidential executive order or action, or secretarial order or action identified in (1) of this subsection; and
(D) litigation the attorney general is party to or aware of concerning a conflict between a federal statute, regulation, presidential executive order or action, or secretarial order or action that would preempt state law if constitutional, but that the attorney general or another party claims is unconstitutional; and
(4) other information relevant to the findings by the attorney general.
(i) If requested by a military judge or the convening authority of a court-martial, the attorney general shall assist the court-martial in obtaining the commitment of a person accused of an offense under AS 26.05 for a competency examination under AS 12.47.100 or on a finding of incompetency under AS 12.47.110 .
Sec. 44.23.025. Department housing.
The Department of Law may operate state housing in support of its statutory responsibilities and charge rent consistent with applicable collective bargaining agreements, or, if no collective bargaining agreement is applicable, competitive with market conditions.
Sec. 44.23.030. Promotion of uniform laws.
(a) The Department of Law shall examine, collect, and arrange data as to prevailing laws in the United States and other countries on marriage, divorce, insolvency, wills, executors and administrators, probate practice, taxation, commercial law, civil and criminal practice in the courts, elections, insurance, real property, all phases of corporation law, forms of notarial certificates, vital statistics, attachments, banking, partnership, and other subjects where uniformity is considered important. It shall investigate the best means to assimilate and make uniform the laws of the several states, territories, and districts of the United States, and shall investigate and report upon these matters whenever the governor or the legislature refers them to it for investigation or action.
(b) At least one member of the Department of Law shall attend each meeting of the National Conference on Uniform State Laws.
Sec. 44.23.040. Records, reports, and recommendations on uniform laws.
The Department of Law shall, not less than 30 days before the beginning of each regular session of the legislature, present to the governor a report of its activities under AS 44.23.030 , together with recommendations that it considers proper. The governor shall notify the legislature when it convenes that the report is available.
Sec. 44.23.050. Employment of attorney to appear before distant court.
If a matter in which the state is interested is pending in a court distant from the capital, and it is necessary for the state to be represented by counsel, the attorney general, with the approval of the governor, may engage one or more attorneys to appear for the attorney general. The attorney general may pay for these services out of appropriations for the attorney general's office.
Sec. 44.23.060. Discovery of information and data from transportation business.
(a) In a hearing or proceeding in which the attorney general appears before a board, court, commission, committee, or officer of the United States involving traffic and commerce or rates of transportation between points in intrastate or interstate transportation, the attorney general may
(1) demand from a person engaged in the transportation business between those points, that information which is
(A) pertinent at the hearing or proceeding; or
(B) necessary to prepare for the defense of the interests of the people of the state at the hearing or proceeding; and
(2) may require by notice in writing that the person furnish for inspection, within a reasonable time, books or other records in the possession of the person showing
(A) the amount of freight and passenger traffic to and from or in the state;
(B) the rates charged on each class of freight or passenger;
(C) the carriage expense;
(D) other expense in aggregate and detail including overhead charges;
(E) the bonded and other indebtedness and interest charges;
(F) the gross capital invested and how invested;
(G) amounts charged off for depreciation;
(H) the gross and net income; and
(I) other data, either in detail or the aggregate, necessary or pertinent in the hearing or proceeding.
(b) If the person does not furnish the data, information, books, or records for inspection by the attorney general within a reasonable time, upon a written demand by the attorney general that specifically sets out the information required, and the reason and need for its use in the hearing or proceeding, the attorney general may present to the judge of a state court a petition in the name of the state for the furnishing of the data, information, books, or records for inspection. The petition must set out the nature of the hearing or proceeding for which the information is required, the necessity or materiality of it, and other facts that are pertinent to showing the court the importance of obtaining the information.
(c) If the court is satisfied that the petition is made in good faith to obtain information necessary or important to the state or its people at the hearing or proceeding designated and that the information can or ought to be supplied to the state, the court shall issue an order directing the person to appear before the court on a certain day and hour to show cause why an order should not issue directing the furnishing of the data, records, or books or part of them as the court considers proper. The order shall be served on the person as other process of the court.
(d) At the time set in the order, or at another time set by the court, the court shall hear and determine the issues formed by the petition and the answer to it, if filed, and shall determine whether
(1) the information or data mentioned in the petition is necessary or important to the state in the hearing in which it is proposed to be used;
(2) it can be obtained; and
(3) the person should produce it or a part of it for the purpose designated.
(e) If the court finds that the information or data is important to the petitioner in preparing for the trial or is necessary or important at the hearing and that it should be furnished the attorney general for preparation for use in or production at the hearing, the court shall enter an order setting out the time within which the information or data shall be furnished or produced for inspection and whether in whole or in part and what part.
(f) If the person does not furnish the attorney general with the information for inspection in the manner and within the time set out in the order, the person is guilty of contempt and is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000. The fine shall be paid to the state treasury.
Sec. 44.23.070. Victim/witness assistance program.
If the Department of Law maintains a victim/witness assistance program, subject to sufficient appropriations for the purpose, the services of that program shall be extended to victims of criminal offenses committed by persons under 18 years of age so that victims of these offenses may exercise the rights provided to them by law.
Sec. 44.23.080. Subpoena power of attorney general in cases involving use of an Internet service account.
(a) If there is reasonable cause to believe that an Internet service account has been used in connection with a violation of AS 11.41.452, 11.41.455, or AS 11.61.125 - 11.61.128, and that the identity, address, and other information about the account owner will assist in obtaining evidence that is relevant to the offense, a law enforcement officer may apply to the attorney general or the attorney general's designee for an administrative subpoena to obtain the business records of the Internet service provider located inside or outside of the state.
(b) If an application meets the requirements of (a) of this section, the attorney general or the attorney general's designee may issue an administrative subpoena to the Internet service provider requiring the production of the following records:
(1) the name and other identifying information of the account holder;
(2) the address and physical location associated with the account;
(3) a description of the length of service, service start date, and types of service associated with the account.
(c) A subpoena issued under (b) of this section must prescribe a reasonable time after service for the production of the information.
(d) Service of a subpoena issued under (b) of this section may be by any method authorized by law or acceptable to the Internet service provider. At any time before the return date specified on the subpoena, the Internet service provider may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for the judicial district in which the provider resides or does business for an order modifying or quashing the subpoena or for an order sealing the court record.
(e) If the Internet service provider refuses to obey a subpoena issued under (b) of this section, the superior court may, upon application of the attorney general or the attorney general's designee, issue an order requiring the Internet service provider to appear at the office of the attorney general with the information described in the subpoena.
(f) An Internet service provider who knowingly fails to produce the information required to be produced by the subpoena or court order is guilty of contempt under AS 09.50.010 .
(g) Nothing in this section limits the authority of law enforcement from obtaining process from the court or through a grand jury subpoena to obtain the information described in (b) of this section.
(h) A person may not bring a civil action against an Internet service provider, its officers, employees, agents, or other person for complying with an administrative subpoena issued under (b) of this section or a court order issued under (e) of this section.
(i) For purposes of this section, the attorney general's designee may be the deputy attorney general of the division of the Department of Law that has responsibility for civil cases or the division of the Department of Law that has responsibility for criminal cases.
Article 01. POWERS AND DUTIES