Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Alaska Stat. § 12.30.027(b) violates the equal protection clause of the federal and state constitutions because it sweeps too broadly, infringing the liberty interests of persons who pose no threat of future violence. U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1; Alaska Const. art. I, § 1.
Petitioner husband was charged by respondent State with fourth-degree assault on his wife. After more than two years, the husband was still awaiting trial. Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 12.30.027(b), one of the conditions of the husband's pre-trial release, which was imposed by the District Court, Third Judicial District, Anchorage, Alaska, forbade the husband from returning to the residence he shared with his wife and daughter. Petitioner husband sought to modify his release conditions, arguing that the release condition violated the equal protection clause of the federal and state constitutions because it burdened the liberty interests of individuals who pose no danger to the alleged victim. He also argued that his right to procedural due process was violated because he was deprived of a fundamental liberty interest without the opportunity for a meaningful hearing.
Did § 12.30.027(b) violate Alaska's guarantee of equal protection under Alaska Const. art. I, § 1?
The appellate court agreed that § 12.30.027(b) violated Alaska's guarantee of equal protection under Alaska Const. art. I, § 1. The statute eliminated all judicial discretion to permit a person charged with a crime involving domestic violence to return to the family residence. Moreover, the category of "crime involving domestic violence" included many crimes that had nothing to do with physical assault committed by one domestic partner upon another. Parties who were charged with, but not yet convicted of, a crime involving domestic violence retained an important liberty interest in choosing their family living arrangements. Further, less restrictive alternatives were available.