Greenway v. Heathcott

[CIVIL PROCEDURE

In Greenway v. Heathcott,[1] the supreme court held that it is not always an abuse of discretion to not inform a litigant of the need or the ability to do something.[2] In 2007, Greenway sued Heathcott, her former domestic partner, for a variety of domestic issues.[3] At trial, Greenway, proceeding pro se, had witness affidavits rejected.[4] She subsequently lost all her claims.[5] On appeal, Greenway argued the court should have provided more assistance during the trial.[6] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that while a pro se means litigant is given help with procedural requirements, the court must not participate too much in the trial.[7] Thus, the court concluded it was not its duty to inform her the witnesses whose affidavits had been rejected could be called telephonically to present their testimony.[8] Greenway was fully aware such procedure was at her disposal since she had called witnesses telephonically earlier in the trial.[9] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that it is not always an abuse of discretion to not inform a litigant of the need or the ability to do something.[10]


[1] 294 P.3d 1056 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 1072.

[3] Id. at 1060.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6] Id.

[7] Id. at 1072.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

[10] Id.

Greenway v. Heathcott

[CIVIL PROCEDURE

In Greenway v. Heathcott,[1] the supreme court held that it is not always an abuse of discretion to not inform a litigant of the need or the ability to do something.[2] In 2007, Greenway sued Heathcott, her former domestic partner, for a variety of domestic issues.[3] At trial, Greenway, proceeding pro se, had witness affidavits rejected.[4] She subsequently lost all her claims.[5] On appeal, Greenway argued the court should have provided more assistance during the trial.[6] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that while a pro se means litigant is given help with procedural requirements, the court must not participate too much in the trial.[7] Thus, the court concluded it was not its duty to inform her the witnesses whose affidavits had been rejected could be called telephonically to present their testimony.[8] Greenway was fully aware such procedure was at her disposal since she had called witnesses telephonically earlier in the trial.[9] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that it is not always an abuse of discretion to not inform a litigant of the need or the ability to do something.[10]


[1] 294 P.3d 1056 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 1072.

[3] Id. at 1060.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6] Id.

[7] Id. at 1072.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

[10] Id.