In Schacht v. Kunimune, the Supreme Court held AS 13.33.211 applied to a dispute between a joint account owner and the creditor of his co-owner, and therefore absent clear contrary intent of the owners, that, for the purpose of third party creditors, an account’s fund’s belong to each co-owner in proportion to the net contribution of each one. A son challenged a creditor’s levy of his joint account with his father, where essentially the entire contents of the account levied were contributed by the son. The son brought AS 13.33.211 to the lower court’s attention after oral argument through a letter citing supplemental authorities sent pursuant to Alaska Civil Rule 77(l), however the lower court ruled in favor of the creditor and the son appealed. On appeal the creditor argued that the son’s statutory argument was not preserved and that the son had waived his rights under the statute by signing the agreement with his bank which contained different terms. Reasoning that the clear language of AS 13.33.211 applied to the situation and noting that the State had already interpreted the statute to apply to Department of Revenue and Child Support Services Division actions seizing joint bank accounts, the Supreme Court decided that where a joint account owner challenges a creditor’s levy of the account’s funds, each joint-owners’ net contribution of to the account is the presumptive measure to be applied in determining the appropriate amount of funds to levy unless the creditor rebuts the presumption by clear and convincing evidence. Surveying other authority in support, the Court further reasoned that the son did not knowingly waive any statutory rights in signing the bank agreement and therefore maintained his rights under the statute. Vacating the lower court’s decision and remanding for findings of fact under the correct standard of proof, the Supreme Court held that where a third party creditor levies a joint bank account AS 13.33.211 governs, requiring a determination by clear and convincing evidence of each joint account owner’s contributions to the account to determine which funds in the account are subject to levy.
Schacht v. Kunimune, 440 P.3d 149 (Alaska 2019).