Wagner v. Wagner

In Wagner v. Wagner, 205 P.3d 306 (Alaska 2009), the Alaska Supreme Court confronted a very similar problem. The plaintiff in Wagner received a judgment for specific performance related to monthly payments owed by the defendant. Id. at 308-09. The defendant appealed the judgment, but the appeal was ultimately dismissed for lack of prosecution. Id. at 309. Later, the defendant appealed the writ of execution enforcing the arrearages owed to the plaintiff. Id. Two of the arguments raised on appeal - that the amount of the monthly payments was wrongly calculated and that specific performance should not have been ordered - were found to be barred because the plaintiff had already received a final judgment. Id. at 309-10. The court reasoned that "[e]xecution does not give a party a second chance to appeal the merits more than thirty days after the entry of final judgment." Id. at 310. However, the Wagner court was willing to consider the question of whether payments owed to one of the defendant's creditors should be deducted in calculating the amount owed under the writ of execution. Id. In finding that no such deduction was necessary, the court determined that the calculation used in the writ of execution was consistent with the jury's findings and prior statements made by the trial court. Id. The sum stated in the writ of execution was obtained using the same methodology used in calculating the judgment. Id. This suggests that an appeal from a writ of execution can be used to challenge inconsistencies between the writ of execution and the judgment that preceded it. Id.