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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Hooks v. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union (3/2/2018) sp-7227

Hooks v. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union (3/2/2018) sp-7227

           Notice:   This opinion is subject to correction before publication in the P                     ACIFIC  REPORTER.  

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                       THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA                                       

RAND  JOSEPH  HOOKS,                                                  )  

                                                                      )     Supreme  Court  No.  S-16521  

                                 Appellant,                           )  


                                                                      )     Superior Court No. 3AN-16-05824 CI  

           v.                                                         )  


                                                                      )     O P I N I O N  


ALASKA USA FEDERAL CREDIT                                             )  


UNION and DENNIS ALBERT,                                                                                        

                                                                      )     No. 7227 - March 2, 2018  


                                 Appellees.                           )  




                      Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third  


                      Judicial District, Anchorage, Dani Crosby, Judge.  


                      Appearances:              Rand  Joseph  Hooks,  pro  se,  Anchorage,  


                      Appellant.           Richard  Ullstrom,  RCO  Legal-Alaska,  Inc.,  


                      Anchorage, for Appellee Alaska USA Federal Credit Union.  


                      Mario  L.  Bird,  Ross,  Miner  &  Bird,  PC,  Anchorage,  for  


                      Appellee Dennis Albert.  


                      Before:  Stowers, Chief Justice, Winfree, Maassen, Bolger,  


                      and Carney, Justices.  


                      BOLGER, Justice.  




                      A borrower defaulted on a loan, leading to a non-judicial foreclosure of a  


deed of trust on his property.  He filed suit against the property's new owner and the  


credit union that initiated the foreclosure, arguing the foreclosure and the transactions  

----------------------- Page 2-----------------------


preceding it were fraudulent and invalid. The superior court granted summary judgment  


for the defendants.  We affirm the superior court's conclusion that the borrower failed  


to  demonstrate  an  issue  of  material  fact  concerning  the  loan  origination  and  the  


foreclosure.   We also reject the borrower's claims that the superior court judge was  


biased and that the borrower's right to due process was violated.  




                    In December 2002 Rand Joseph Hooks Jr. obtained a loan from Homestate  


Mortgage  Company LLC (Homestate) to refinance an existing loan secured by his  


property.  Hooks signed a promissory note evidencing an obligation to repay the loan  


and a deed of trust giving Homestate a security interest in the property. The day the loan  


closed, Homestate sold the promissory note and the beneficial interest in the deed of trust  


to Alaska USA Federal Credit Union (Alaska USA).  A Homestate agent signed and  


transferred the note and also signed a document assigning the beneficial interest to  


Alaska USA.  


                    In 2015 the loan went into default. Alaska USA referred the defaulted loan  


and the deed of trust for foreclosure, and through the statutory nonjudicial deed of trust  


foreclosure process, the property was sold to Dennis Albert.  Hooks remained in the  


property despite the sale, and he filed a pro se complaint against Albert and Alaska USA.  


Hooks  alleged  that  Alaska  USA  had  committed  fraud,  that  it  did  not  possess  the  


document needed to initiate a foreclosure, and that banks and credit unions are legally  


prohibited from owning property.  Hooks also claimed that he, not Albert, owned the  




                    Alaska USA and Albert filed motions for summary judgment in July 2016.  


After Hooks failed to respond to the motions in a timely manner, the superior court  


issued  a  "Notice  Regarding  Motion  for  Summary  Judgment"  that  described  the  


requirements for opposing summary judgment and extended the deadline for responding  

                                                               -2-                                                         7227

----------------------- Page 3-----------------------


to the motions. However, Hooks did not file an opposition before the new deadline.  


When Hooks failed to appear at the August 22 trial call, the court took the trial off the  


calendar and instead held oral argument on the summary judgment motions on the date  


originally set for trial. At the court's request, Alaska USA sent Hooks a letter explaining  


the change.  


                    The oral argument took place on August 25, and all parties were present.  


Before  presenting  his  arguments,  Hooks  told  the  court  he  had  not  received  the  


defendants' summary judgment motions or the court's notice explaining how to oppose  


summary judgment; he also said he had not known about the trial call. Hooks explained  


he had not opened the court's emails because he had not recognized the email address  


the court had used to send them.  


                    At the oral argument, Hooks contested the legality of the loan origination  


and the foreclosure on several grounds.  He argued that the promissory note he signed  


during the loan origination process was itself an asset equal in value to the loan he  


received, that any debt was paid in full when he transferred this asset to the lender, and  


that he had never received a loan at all.   Hooks argued the lender had fraudulently  


concealed this information, causing him to mistakenly make payments for a number of  


years.  He also argued that there were technical defects in the deed of trust and that  


Alaska USA had failed to adequately validate the debt upon request.  


                    After oral argument the superior court verified that Hooks had copies of the  


summary judgment motions and the notice describing how to oppose a motion.  The  


court gave him 15 days to file a written opposition.   Hooks filed an opposition on  


September 2 and a second opposition on September 23.   In his oppositions Hooks  


presented several of the same arguments he had made during oral argument.  He also  


asserted that the loan constituted ultra vires activity and that Alaska USA did not possess  


the note when the foreclosure was initiated.  Alaska USA's and Albert's replies argued  

                                                               -3-                                                         7227

----------------------- Page 4-----------------------

that the loan origination and foreclosure were valid and that Hooks's factual assertions                                                                                     

were not based on personal knowledge as required under Alaska Civil Rule 56(e).                                                                                              

                               On   September   30   the   court   entered  an  order   granting   the   defendants'  

                                                                        1  The court concluded that there was no issue of material  

motions for summary judgment.                                                                                                                                                     

 fact regarding the existence of a loan and a lien on the property, that Alaska USA was  


 entitled to enforce the promissory note through foreclosure, and that Hooks's arguments  


 that  the  loan  was  ultra  vires  and  had  been  paid  off  by  the  promissory  note  were  


 groundless.  The court also held Albert was a bona fide purchaser entitled to possess the  


property and recover a money judgment from Hooks to compensate for lost rent, and it  


 ordered Hooks to vacate the property.  Hooks now appeals arguing that:  (1) summary  


judgment was inappropriate; (2) the superior court was biased; and (3) the superior court  


violated his due process rights.  


 III.           DISCUSSION  


               A.              Summary Judgment  


                               During the superior court proceedings, Hooks argued the foreclosure sale  


was void because the underlying debt was settled, unenforceable, or nonexistent; the  


 deed of trust was deficient; and Alaska USA lacked the authority to foreclose.  "We  



review grants of summary judgment de novo"  and will affirm when "the evidence in the  

                1              The court appears to have reviewed only Hooks' September 2 opposition.                                                                                                 

 The September 23 opposition was filed after the deadline the court established during                                                                                               

 oral argument.   

                2              Thomas v. Archer, 384 P.3d 791, 795 (Alaska 2016) (quoting Christensen  


 v. Alaska Sales & Serv., Inc. , 335 P.3d 514, 516 (Alaska 2014)).  


                                                                                               -4-                                                                                      7227

----------------------- Page 5-----------------------

record presents no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to                                                        

judgment as a matter of law."                    3  

                      Hooks attacks the debt on three closely related grounds.  First, he argues  

that the debt was satisfied in full when he transferred the promissory note to Homestate.  


He claims his signature imbued the note with a value equal to the value of the loan itself,  


 so after Homestate took possession of the note no further payments were required.  


 Second, he argues Homestate loaned him "credit" rather than "money," as evidenced by  


the fact he did not personally receive the amount loaned. Hooks claims that the National  


Bank Act does not authorize Homestate to lend credit4 and that the loan was therefore  


ultra vires.5         Lastly, he argues he never received a loan at all, meaning the promissory  


note is void for lack of consideration.  


                      Hooks's   claims   appear   to   be   premised   on   two   "interrelated   and  


overlapping" legal theories, which other courts have characterized as the "vapor money"  


                                                                   6  In McLaughlin v. CitiMortgage, Inc., afederal  

theory andthe"unlawful money"theory.                                                                                                 


district court analyzed both theories in detail:  


                                  The  essence  of  the  "vapor  money"  theory  is  that  


                      promissory notes (and similar instruments) are the equivalent  


           3          Id.   (quoting   Copper  River   Sch.  Dist.   v.   Traw,   9   P.3d   280,   283   (Alaska  


           4          See   12  U.S.C.    24  (2012)  (setting  forth  powers  of  national  banks).  

           5          See  First  Nat'l  Bank  of  Tallapoosa  v.  Monroe,  69  S.E. 1123  (Ga.   1911);  

Howard  &  Foster  Co.  v.  Citizens'  Nat'l  Bank  of   Union,   130  S.E.  758,  759  (S.C.   1925)  

 ("[A]  national  bank  .  .  .  ,  being  limited  in  its  powers  and  capacity,  cannot  lend  its  credit  

by  guaranteeing  the  debt  of  another.   All  such  contracts,  entered  into  by  its  officers,  are  

ultra  vires  .  .  .  .").  

           6          McLaughlin  v.  CitiMortgage, Inc., 726 F.  Supp. 2d 201, 209 (D. Conn.  



                                                                      -5-                                                               7227

----------------------- Page 6-----------------------

                                                of    "money"    that    citizens    literally    "create"    with    their  

                                                signatures.   .   .   .     Bolstering  this  argument (at least for                                                                                                                                     its  

                                                adherents)   is   the   fact   that  once   received,   banks   typically  

                                                deposit promissory notes into their own accounts and list                                                                                                                                              

                                               them as assets. . . .                                        

                                                                       At this point in the argument, plaintiffs relying on the                                                                                                                         

                                               vapor    money    theory   typically    introduce    an    additional  

                                               wrinkle:   whereas they gave the banks valuable "money" (in                                                                                                                                               

                                               the   form   of   a   promissory   note),   the   banks   gave   them  

                                                something that is essentially worthless:                                                                                                      "mere" credit . . . .                                                    

                                               As allegedly established by the "unlawful money" theory,                                                                                                                                  

                                                issuing credit violates the Constitution[] . . . .                                                                                                    

                                                                       This   "fact"   has   at   least   two   clear   benefits  to   the  

                                                []borrower . . . .            First, it means that the bank-lender gave                                                                                                                           

                                                essentially no consideration, and risked nothing, in making                                                                                                                             

                                               the purported loan, rendering the transaction void (or at least                                                                                                                                     

                                               voidable) under general principles of contract law.                                                                                                                 

                                                                       . . . [S]econd[,] . . . the []borrower actually comes out                                                                                                                        

                                                ahead in the transaction - after all, she is the only one who                                                                                                                                       

                                                gave   anything   of   value,   and   it   would   constitute   unjust  

                                                enrichment   for   the   bank   to   "keep"   the   value   of   what   the  

                                                []borrower gave it.                                               [7]  

                                               Hooks's suit deviates from this archetype in a single respect: he argues the  


National Bank Act, rather than the United States Constitution, barred Homestate from  


issuing credit.  This argument is untenable; it rests on a misreading of cases interpreting  


                        7                      Id.  at  212-13  (emphasis  omitted)  (citations  omitted).  

                                                                                                                                                    -6-                                                                                                                                          7227  

----------------------- Page 7-----------------------


the Act              and a misapplication of the holdings of those cases to a transaction involving                                                                                              


Homestate and Alaska USA - neither of which is governed by the Act.                                                                                                                       

                                  The vapor money and unlawful money theories "have been repeatedly  


                                                                                                                      10  and we reject them as well.  If loans  

rejected by every court to consider the issue,"                                                                                                                                                            


operated as Hooks claims they do, there would be no need for loans and no incentive to  


provide them.  The vapor money and unlawful money theories find no support in our  


case law, and Hooks's contention the note itself satisfied the debt is irreconcilable with  


our statutes governingnotestaken in exchange for an obligation.11  Furthermore, wehave  


indicated the transfer of money to a third party - what Hooks characterizes as a loan of  


mere "credit" - can serve as a valid basis for an enforceable loan.12                                                                                                               Hooks's vapor  


                 8               See Sharpe v. Wells Fargo Home Mortg.                                                                  , No. 1:12-CV-04292-CC-GGB,     

2013 WL 12109445, at *4 (N.D. Ga. Apr. 4, 2013) ("Even assuming that those cases                                                                                                                            

remain good law, they . . . merely stand for the proposition that a national bank cannot                                                                                                                

extend its credit to guarantee a debt owed by another."),                                                                                        report and recommendation     

adopted, No. 1:12-CV-04292-CC, 2013 WL 12106955 (N.D. Ga. July 15, 2013).                                                                                                                    

                 9               See Colorado ex rel. Salazar v. Ace Cash Express, Inc., 188 F. Supp. 2d  


 1282, 1284 (D. Colo. 2002) (explaining that the National Bank Act "regulates national  


banks and only national banks, which can be identified by the word 'national' in [their]  


name[s]" (quoting  Weiner v. Bank of King of Prussia, 358 F. Supp. 684, 687 (E.D. Pa.  


 1973))); Financial Institution Lists, OFFICE OF THE                                                                               COMPTROLLER OF THE                                        CURRENCY  


(Nov. 30, 2017),       

gs-assoc-lists/index-active-bank-lists.html (listing all national banks).                                                                                    

                 10              Demmler v. Bank OneNA, No. 2:05-CV-322,2006WL640499, at *4 (S.D.  


Ohio Mar. 9, 2006); see also McLaughlin, 726 F. Supp. 2d at 214 (listing cases).  


                 11              See  AS  45.03.310(b)(2)  ("[I]n  the  case  of  a  note,  suspension  of  [an]  


obligation continues until dishonor of the note or until it is paid; payment of the note  


results in discharge of the obligation to the extent of the payment.").  


                 12              See Johnson v. Schaub, 867 P.2d 812, 816-17 (Alaska 1994).  


                                                                                                         -7-                                                                                                 7227

----------------------- Page 8-----------------------


money and unlawful money arguments present no genuine issue of material fact;                                                                                                                                                               the  

 superior court correctly concluded they are without merit.                                                                                         

                                      Hooks's remaining arguments allege various technical deficiencies in both                                                                                                                          

the   loan   origination   process   and   the   foreclosure   proceeding.     These   arguments   are  

 similarly unavailing.   Hooks has abandoned most of his arguments related to the loan                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                         14      The only such argument he has arguably  

origination by not raising them on appeal.                                                                                                                                                                                  

preserved - that the deed of trust was invalid because Homestate's agent did not sign  


it during the origination process - is meritless; our statutes governing conveyances of  


interests in land15  and deeds of trust16  do not indicate a deed of trust must be signed by  


a lender in order to be valid.17  


                   13                 In thesuperior court,                                     Hooks pointed to asettlement statementindicating the                                                                                          

loan was paid "By/For Borrower" as evidence that he - not Homestate - paid off the                                                                                                                                                           

prior loan on the property. Hooks's interpretation of this document is "too incredible to                                                                                                                                                       

be believed by reasonable minds" and thus does not create a genuine issue of material                                                                                                                                  

fact.     Christensen v.                                      Alaska   Sales & Serv.,                                            Inc., 335                    P.3d   514,   520   (Alaska 2014)   

(quoting   Wilson v. Pollet                                              , 416 P.2d 381, 384 (Alaska 1966)).                                                                         The document clearly                         

describes a refinancing loan offered by Homestate.                                                                                                Homestate lent money to Hooks to                                                              

pay off the prior loan on the property.                                                                      The document would not exist in the absence of                                                                                     

this refinancing loan.                         

                   14                 See  Wasserman  v.  Bartholomew,  38  P.3d  1162,  1171  (Alaska  2002);  


Brandon v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 28 P.3d 269, 280 (Alaska 2001).  Similarly, Hooks's  


complaint alleged that the foreclosure was invalid because credit unions and banks  


"cannot own property" and "cannot sell what they do not own." This argument has also  


not been raised on appeal and is thus abandoned.  


                   15                 AS 34.15.010-.350.  


                   16                 AS 34.20.070-.135.  


                   17                 See AS 34.15.010(a) ("A conveyance of land, or of an estate or interest in  


land, may be made by deed, signed and sealed by the person from  whom the estate or  



                                                                                                                       -8-                                                                                                              7227

----------------------- Page 9-----------------------

                       Hooks challenges the foreclosure itself by arguing Alaska USA did not                                             

possess the promissory note when it initiated the foreclosure and was thus not entitled                    

                      18  and by asserting the debt was never "validated."  Alaska USA presented  

to enforce it,                                                                                                                       

an affidavit indicating it did possess the note, and - in contrast to Alaska USA's  


affiant - Hooks has not demonstrated that his claimto the contrary is "made on personal  


knowledge" or  that he "is competent  to  testify  to the matter[]."19                                                   Hooks's  second  


argument  - that  the debt was not validated - is not developed beyond that bare  


assertion;  Hooks  does  not  provide  any  support  for  this  contention  or  explain  the  


implications of the alleged deficiency. "Even a pro se litigant . . . must cite authority and  


provide a legal theory,"20  and we conclude that Hooks has not done so here.  Hooks's  


remaining arguments are presented for the first time on appeal, and we hold that they  


have been waived.21  


            17         (...continued)  


interest is intended to pass, who is of lawful age, or by the lawful agent or attorney of the  


person . . . ." (emphasis added)).  

            18         See AS 45.03.301.  


            19         Alaska R. Civ. P. 56(e).  Hooks complains Alaska USA "never submitted  


the original 'note' with the 'wet ink signature.' "   But he does not raise a genuine  


question as to the validity of the note or provide any other support for his argument that  


Alaska USA needed to present the original. See Kirby v. O'Dens, 673 F. App'x 880, 884  


(10th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, 138 S. Ct. 265 (2017).  


            20         Wright  v.  Anding,  390  P.3d  1162,  1169  (Alaska  2017)  (omission  in  


original) (quoting Casciola v. F.S. Air Serv., Inc., 120 P.3d 1059, 1063 (Alaska 2005));  


see also id. ("[A] pro se litigant's briefing must allow his or her opponent and this court  


to discern the pro se's legal argument." (quoting Casciola, 120 P.3d at 1063)).  


            21         See id. at 1169-70 (citing O'Callaghan v. State, 826 P.2d 1132, 1133 n.1  


(Alaska 1992)).  


                                                                        -9-                                                                 7227

----------------------- Page 10-----------------------

                                        Hooks has failed to demonstrate any issue of material fact concerning his                                                                                                                                        

 debt or Alaska USA's entitlement to enforce that debt by requesting the trustee to initiate                                                                                                                                                 

 a nonjudicial foreclosure.                                                    We conclude the superior court correctly granted summary                                                                                              

judgment in favor of the defendants.                                                                           

                    B.                  Bias  

                                        Hooks argues the superior court's conduct during and after the missed trial                                                                                                                                   

 call, legal conclusions,anduseofsupposedly demeaninglanguagedemonstratedjudicial                                                                                                                                                           

 bias. Hooks did not raise this claim in the trial proceeding, but we elect to review it "[i]n                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                     22      We have not determined what standard  

 light of [Hooks's] status as a pro se litigant."                                                                                                                                                                                       

 of review should apply to unpreserved bias claims, but have noted the "choices seem to  


 be de novo review and abuse of discretion review."23   However, "the choice is irrelevant  


 here, because we would reach the same conclusion under either standard."24  


                                        The requirements for establishing judicial bias are exacting.   Litigants  


 cannot rely solely on "adverse rulings" as evidence of bias;25  they must point to specific  


 actions, words, or aspects of the proceeding that show the court was not impartial.26  


 Furthermore, litigants alleging bias must prove "the judge formed an opinion . . . from  


                    22                  Michael M. v. Catherine T.                                                    , No. S-16121,                             2016 WL 6134804, at *9 (Alaska                                            

 Oct. 19, 2016).          

                    23                   Greenway  v.  Heathcott,  294  P.3d   1056,   1062-63  (Alaska  2013).  

                    24                  Id.  at   1063.  

                    25                  Kinnan v.  Sitka   Counseling,   349  P.3d   153,   160   (Alaska  2015)   (quoting  

Khalsa  v.  Chose,  261  P.3d  367,  376  (Alaska  2011)).  

                    26                  See  Williams v.  Williams, 252 P.3d 998,  1010 (Alaska 2011); Tillmon v.  


 Tillmon, 189 P.3d 1022, 1027 n.13 (Alaska 2008); Ward v. Urling, 167 P.3d 48, 57-58  


 (Alaska 2007).  


                                                                                                                           -10-                                                                                                                    7227

----------------------- Page 11-----------------------


extrajudicial sources, resulting in an opinion other than on the merits."                                                         Bias that arises     

from"knowledge . . . properly and necessarily acquired in the course of the proceedings"                                              

                                                                    28   In other words, bias stemming from "the facts  

does not have an extrajudicial source.                                                                                                               

adduced or the events occurring at trial" will rarely support a judicial bias claim.29  


                        We  conclude  Hooks's  bias  claim  does  not  satisfy  these  stringent  


requirements.  Hooks advances few examples of judicial behavior demonstrating bias,  


and those that he does discuss are unconvincing.  He alleges no extrajudicial source of  


bias, and neither the evidence of bias he presents nor our review of the record suggests  


the superior court's interactions with Hooks were influenced by anything other than "the  


facts adduced [and] the events occurring at trial."30  Moreover, we note the court went  


to great lengths to ensure Hooks had an opportunity to respond  to the defendants'  


summary judgment motions: it extended filing deadlines twice, provided an explanation  


of how to file an opposition, and elected to schedule oral argument even though the  


parties had not requested it.  In light of the court's "exemplary efforts in instructing and  


                               31  the absence of any compelling evidence of bias, and Hooks's failure  

advising" Hooks,                                                                                                                                  


            27           Williams, 252 P.3d at 1010.             



                        Hanson v. Hanson, 36 P.3d 1181, 1184 (Alaska 2001) (quoting Liteky v.  


 United States, 510 U.S. 540, 551 (1994)).  

            29          Id. (quoting Liteky, 510 U.S. at 551).  An opinion that "is so extreme as to  


display clear inability to render fair judgment" can evince judicial bias even when it  


arises fromknowledge gained during a proceeding. Id. (quoting Liteky, 510 U.S. at 551).  


This exception is rarely applied, see Loranger v. Stierheim, 10 F.3d 776, 780 (11th Cir.  


 1994), and we conclude that it is inapplicable here.  


            30          Hanson, 36 P.3d at 1184 (quoting Liteky, 510 U.S. at 551).  


            31          Olivit v. City & Borough of Juneau, 171 P.3d 1137, 1147 (Alaska 2007).  


                                                                           -11-                                                                     7227

----------------------- Page 12-----------------------

to allege bias stemming from an extrajudicial source, we hold that Hooks's contentions                                                                           

of bias are unwarranted.       

               C.            Due Process   

                             Hooks claims thesuperior courtviolated hisprocedural dueprocess                                                                              rights32  


by providing him with insufficient notice of the trial call and by not holding a trial.  He  


notes that the court sent him notice of the trial call in an email rather than by letter, and  


that the court used "an unfamiliar email, . . . and not . . . the email address that was given  


 [to  him]  in  Court."                         He  further  argues  the  superior  court  deprived  him  of  a  "fair  


opportunity to present his case through trial call and trial."  "Whether the superior court  



violated a party's due process rights is a question of law, which we review de novo." 


                             Hooks essentially argues the superior court's decision to resolve his case  


on the summary judgment motions deprived him of his day in court.  However, as we  



explained  in  Capolicchio v. Levy,                                              summary judgment "is adequate to prevent the  


violation of a party's due process right," as it is applied only in cases "in which the  


pleadings and evidence show 'that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and  



that [the moving] party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.' " 

                             Hooks was afforded a full opportunity to contest the defendants' motions  


for summary judgment.  At the conclusion of oral argument, the superior court allowed  


              32             While   Hooks   refers   to   "due   process"   generally   without   distinguishing  

between substantive and procedural due process, his claimis based on deficiencies in the                                                                                            

superior court's procedures.        

              33             Easley v. Easley, 394 P.3d 517, 520 (Alaska 2017) (quoting McCarrey v.  


Kaylor, 301 P.3d 559, 563 (Alaska 2013)).  


              34             194 P.3d 373 (Alaska 2008).  


              35            Id. at 381 (alteration in original) (quoting Alaska R. Civ. P. 56(c)); see also  


Foondle v. O'Brien, 346 P.3d 970, 976 n.36 (Alaska 2015).  


                                                                                        -12-                                                                                   7227

----------------------- Page 13-----------------------

 Hooks to file a written opposition to the motions for summary judgment, and gave him                                                                                                                                                          

 15 days to do so.                                      The court ensured Hooks had copies of the summary judgment                                                                                                            

 motions and thecourt's order explaining how to oppose a                                                                                                        motion for summary judgment.                                                                 

 And Hooks did in fact file an opposition before the deadline, which the court considered                                                                                                                                  

 before granting the defendants' motions.                                                                                   This level of process was, at a minimum,                                                        


 equivalent to the level of process this court found satisfactory in                                                                                                                       Capolicchio.  

                                       Hooks claims that inadequate notice of the impending trial call deprived  


 him of "a fair opportunity to present his case through trial call."  However, a trial call is  


 an  administrative  conference,  not  a  hearing  during  which  the  merits  of  a  case  are  


 "present[ed]" and "judged."37  The only practical consequence of Hooks's absence at the  


 trial call appears to have been the court's decision to take the trial off the calendar.  As  


 Capolicchio established, a court's decision to resolve a case on motions for summary  


judgment does not violate a litigant's right to due process.38   We thus conclude Hooks's  


 due process claim is without merit.  


 IV.                CONCLUSION  


                                       For the foregoing reasons, we AFFIRM the superior court's judgment.  


                    36                 In fact Hooks was afforded an opportunity to participate in the summary                                                                                                                 

judgment procedure more fully than the pro se litigant in                                                                                                                      Capolicchio.    The pro se                                           

 litigant in that case received no guidance on how to file an opposition, and did not do so.                                                                                                                                                                 

 Capolicchio, 194 P.3d at 377-79. In contrast the superior court's assistance and decision                                                                                                                                         

 to extend the filing deadline meant Hooks had a full and fresh opportunity to file an                                                                                                                                                             

 opposition after the argument.                            

                    37                 Matson v. State, Commercial Fisheries Entry Comm'n, 785 P.2d 1200,  


 1206 (Alaska 1990).  


                    38                  Capolicchio, 194 P.3d at 380-81.  


                                                                                                                        -13-                                                                                                                7227

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