Alaska Dist. Ct. R. Civ. P. 32

As amended through September 16, 2021
Rule 32 - Presumption of Death
(a)Petition. Any interested person desiring to establish the presumption of death of a missing person in cases authorized by statute may file a verified petition in a district court in the district where it is believed the missing person has suffered death or in the district where such person last resided prior to the person's disappearance. The petition shall show the following:
(1) The name of the person believed to have suffered death.
(2) The circumstances leading to such belief.
(3) That after due and diligent search such person cannot be found.
(b)Jury. If the court is satisfied that the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the missing person afford reasonable grounds for believing that such person has suffered death, the court shall summon and impanel a jury of qualified persons. The members of the jury, before beginning their duties, shall be sworn to diligently inquire into and justly consider all the facts and circumstances concerning the disappearance of the missing person, and from a fair consideration thereof to determine whether the court is justified in entering an order declaring that such person is presumed to be dead.
(c)Hearing. The jury shall inquire into the facts set forth in the petition. The testimony of witnesses under oath shall be heard and other evidence presented as upon the trial of an action. Depositions may be accepted where the magistrate judge believes that travel time and costs do not warrant a personal appearance.
(d)Verdict-Approval by Court-Order. After having heard all of the evidence presented, the jury shall retire for deliberation. If by its unanimous verdict in writing the jury finds that it may be fairly presumed that the missing person has suffered death, the court must endorse upon the verdict its approval or disapproval of such findings. If approval is given, the court shall enter an order declaring that the missing person is presumed to be dead. The order shall take effect at the expiration of six months from the date that the jury's findings and verdict are approved, except that in cases where there is clear and convincing evidence of the presumed death the order will take effect at such earlier time as the court shall specify therein.
(e)Presumptive Death Certificate. After the order of approval referred to in subdivision (d) has become effective or upon receiving a copy of an order or decree of the superior court that a person has not been heard of for a period of five continuous years and is presumed to be dead, the magistrate judge shall make out, sign, and file with the Bureau of Vital Statistics a presumptive death certificate containing such information as may be required by the bureau. On the effective date of the order of presumptive death, the missing person shall be presumed to be dead, and the person's estate may be administered in accordance with the then existing provisions of law applicable to the administration of the estates of deceased persons.
(f)Correction of Presumptive Death Order and Certificate. If the body of the missing person is found, or such person is discovered to be alive after an order of presumptive death has been entered, the court shall conduct a hearing, with or without a jury, to determine the facts, and shall enter an appropriate order for the correction, substitution or removal by the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the presumptive death certificate in accordance with the findings made if additional facts are brought to light.

Alaska Dist. Ct. R. Civ. P. 32

Renumbered by SCO 225 effective February 2, 1976; amended by SCO 554 effective April 4, 1983; by SCO 899 effective January 15, 1989; by SCO 1153 effective July 15, 1994; and by SCO 1605 effective October 15, 2006; and by SCO 1829 effective October 1, 2014.

AS 09.55.020 (d) CROSS REFERENCE: AS 09.55.030 (e) CROSS REFERENCE: AS 09.55.050 (f) ;CROSS REFERENCE: AS 09.55.060