Supreme Court of Alaska (2022)
In Anniskett v. Tracey, No. S-17398, 2022 WL 2717712 (Alaska July 13, 2022) (unpublished), the supreme court affirmed the superior court’s rulings declining to set aside a probate settlement agreement and dismissing, for failure to state a claim for relief, a separate lawsuit alleging conversion of estate property filed by the personal representative of the probate estates. (Id. at *1). Anniskett, the personal representative of her parents’ estates, agreed in a probate settlement agreement that certain estate property gifted to her sister, Tracey, was to be excluded from probate. (Id.). At a hearing, Anniskett once again agreed to the probate settlement agreement’s treatment of the estate property gifted to Tracey, and the court signed an order accepting the agreement. (Id. at *1–2). Years later, Anniskett filed a motion to set aside the probate settlement agreement, alleging that Anniskett was fraudulently induced into agreeing to the probate settlement agreement. (Id. at *3–4). Additionally, Anniskett filed a separate civil complaint alleging conversion of the estate property gifted to Tracey. (Id. at *4). The superior court denied Anniskett’s motion to set aside the probate settlement agreement and dismissed Anniskett’s conversion lawsuit. (Id. at *4–5). Anniskett appealed both rulings. (Id. at *5). The supreme court held that the motion to set aside the probate settlement agreement was time-barred under the Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure. (Id. at *6). Further, the supreme court held that the conversion lawsuit failed because of claim preclusion and Annisket’s failure to allege any nonconclusory facts that could support the action. (Id. at *8–9). The supreme court affirmed the superior court’s rulings declining to set aside the probate settlement agreement and dismissing the conversion lawsuit for failure to state a claim for relief. (Id. at *11).