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Alaska Court System and Jury Excusals

Thursday, May 3, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sheri Ryan
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The Alaska Chiropractic Society started receiving reports in October, 2017 regarding a change in who could complete a jury duty excuse - chiropractic patients were experiencing difficulty with the Alaska Court System accepting excusals when signed by a chiropractic physician.  The matter was referred to the ACS Legislative Committee to determine what had changed to prompt this situation. 

An Administrative Bulletin 66.2 effective 11/29/2016 changed how clerks handled excusals from jury service.  Clerks could only accept excusals from jury service when the excusal was completed by one of the medical professionals listed in Administrative Rule 15(f)(2)(B) - licensed physician, psychologist, nurse practitioner, or physician's assistant.  Per the bulletin, the term "physician" was defined as a person who has a medical degree and is licensed to practice medicine, including osteopaths.  It's important to note that jury excusals were not being rejected by the court system when signed by a chiropractic physician.  The procedure for their acceptance had been modified.  Any excusal signed by a chiropractic physician had to be approved by a judge - clerks did not have it within their authority to accept. 

The Alaska Chiropractic Society reached out to the Alaska Board of Chiropractic Examiners for assistance with the Alaska Court System to change how the courts were defining "physician" in their bulletin.  The  Board of Chiropractic Examiners met on 12/15/2017 to discuss and act on the situation.  Here's the excerpt from the board meeting minutes dated 12/15/2017. 

"The Board feels the Court system has likely committed an oversight, as its language in its bulletin does not comport with existing law regarding classifications of physicians, and appears to ignore the scope of practice of Chiropractors in Alaska. The Board feels that this contradiction, from the court system, can lead to unnecessary confusion on Chiropractic scope, potential conflicts between legally qualified physician recommendations and jury duty policy, as well as the potential harm or exacerbation of injuries to patients who are called to jury duty. In light of those facts, the board decided to seek clarification and consistency from the court system."  On a motion duly made by Walter Campbell, seconded by Jeffrey Reinhardt, and approved unanimously it was RESOLVED that Walter Campbell write a letter to Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Craig Stowers regarding AS.23.30.395. and how the bulletin the Alaska Court system provides does not support actual statutes already in place.

GOOD NEWS!  The Alaska Court system has now amended Administrative Bulletin 66.2 to include chiropractors!  Here's the letter from Doug Wooliver, Deputy Administrative Director with the Alaska Court System notifying the Alaska Board of Chiropractic Examiners of the resolution.  Click here or on the letter below to see a larger copy.  

 


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Alaska Chiropractic Society, PO Box 111507, Anchorage, AK  99511-1507 
    
Phone: (907) 903-1350   Fax:  (907) 770-3790   Email:  info@akchiro.org