Carvalho v. Carvalho

In Carvalho v. Carvalho, 838 P.2d 259, 259-60, 263 (Alaska 1992) the Alaska Supreme Court vacated a judgment for child support arrears issued after a hearing that consisted entirely of the attorneys' oral argument and references to previously filed affidavits and memoranda. Although the attorney for the father attempted to present evidence on disputed issues and informed the trial court that the father was available to testify, the trial court refused to take additional evidence or testimony. Id. at 260-61, 263. On appeal, the court "recognized that in a proceeding to collect past due child support some procedural safeguards are reasonably eased to ensure that the child's welfare is protected," but nevertheless held that "the trial court's refusal to admit the father's testimony or take other evidence at the hearing deprived the father of a meaningful opportunity to be heard." Id. at 263. The court reasoned that the case "clearly involved contested facts . . . and the father's only opportunity to present live testimony or to cross-examine the mother came at the hearing." Id.