In In re Hospitalization of Connor J., the supreme court held that the superior court did not commit “plain error” by relying on a committee’s attorney’s assertion that the committee was waiving his right to appear at a commitment hearing. The committee, Connor, was not present at a hearing before a standing master to determine whether he would be involuntarily committed to an in-patient psychiatric hospital. Connor’s attorney did not raise any objections when the master stated on several occasions that Connor was waiving his right under AS 47.30.735(b)(1) to be present at the hearing. After testimony from the treating physician, who stated that no suitable alternatives to involuntary commitment existed here, the master recommended that Connor be involuntarily committed for thirty days. The superior court, noting that Connor had waived his right to appear, adopted the master’s recommendation and issued an order of involuntary commitment. On appeal to the supreme court, Connor argued that it was a plain error that neither the master nor the superior court made findings regarding Connor’s ability to give his “informed consent” before waiving his right to appear, as required by AS 47.30.735(b)(1). Because no objection was raised as to Connor waiving his right to appear during either the initial commitment hearing or the subsequent hearing before the superior court, the supreme court reviewed the decision under the “plain error” standard. The “plain error” standard requires an obvious mistake that is obviously prejudicial. Given that neither the master nor the superior court had been made aware of contradictory evidence, the supreme court found that it was not an obvious or obviously prejudicial error to assume that the defense attorney had received informed consent from her client to waive his right to appear. Rejecting the committee’s argument, the supreme court held that the superior court was justified in relying on the defense attorney’s assertion that the committee had properly waived his right to appear.
 440 P.3d 159 (Alaska 2019).