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No. SCWC-22-0000129, Thursday, March 21, 2024, 2 p.m.

No. SCWC-22-0000129, Thursday, March 21, 2024, 2 p.m.

STATE OF HAWAI‘I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. PATRICK H. OKI, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

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The above-captioned case was set for oral argument on the merits at:

Supreme Court Courtroom
Ali‘iōlani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

The oral argument was also livestreamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at and ʻŌlelo53.

Attorney for Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant PATRICK H. OKI:

     Taryn R. Tomasa, Deputy Public Defender

Attorney for Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee STATE OF HAWAI‘I:

     Brian R. Vincent, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney  

NOTE Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Lisa M. Ginoza, filed 01/23/24.

NOTE Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Vladimir P. Devens, filed 01/24/24.

NOTE:  Order assigning Circuit Judge Jeannette H. Castagnetti, and Circuit Judge Gary W.B. Chang, in place of Ginoza, J., recused, and Devens, J., recused, filed 01/30/24.

NOTE Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 02/08/24.

COURT:  Recktenwald, C.J., McKenna and Eddins, JJ., and Circuit Judge Castagnetti, in place of Ginoza, J., recused, and Circuit Judge Chang, in place of Devens, J., recused.

Brief Description:

This is the second round of appeals from defendant Patrick H. Oki’s (“Oki”) conviction for fraudulently obtaining money from a local accounting firm at which he was a managing partner. Oki was convicted of three counts of first-degree theft, one count of second-degree theft, three counts of money laundering, two counts of use of a computer in the commission of the thefts in the first degree, and four counts of second-degree forgery. Oki was sentenced to twenty years’ incarceration for the use of a computer counts; the next-longest terms were ten years. Oki was also ordered to pay restitution of $440,158.54, pursuant to statute during his incarceration and at a rate of at least $30 per month after his release.

Oki raises three issues on certiorari.  First, Oki challenges his convictions for use of a computer as illegal because after he was charged with the offenses, but before his trial and sentencing, the subsection under which he was convicted of those counts was repealed.  The act repealing the subsection, Act 231, contained a savings clause, which provided in relevant part, “This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date[.]” 2016 Haw. Sess. Laws Act 231, § 70 at 775-76. The Circuit Court of the First Circuit (“circuit court”) denied Oki’s motion to correct illegal sentence, and the ICA affirmed to the extent the circuit court determined Oki’s sentence was not illegal.  The ICA determined this case was similar to State v. Reis, 115 Hawai‘i 79, 165 P.3d 980 (2007), in which the Hawai‘i Supreme Court interpreted similar savings clause language and held that “proceedings” unambiguously meant prosecutions, and that a penalty is “incurred” at the time of the commission of an offense.  Oki argues he should benefit from the subsection’s repeal because his trial and sentencing “proceedings” had not yet begun before the act’s effective date, and he had not yet “incurred” any penalty since he had not been sentenced as of the act’s effective date.  Oki posits his case is similar to State v. Avilla, 69 Haw. 509, 750 P.2d 78 (1988), in which the Hawai‘i Supreme Court interpreted the “proceedings” savings clause language to mean “bail proceedings,” not prosecutions.  Second, Oki challenges the payment schedule in his restitution order.  Third, Oki argues the ICA erroneously held that its remand mandate in Oki’s first appeal “precluded” the circuit court from revisiting the amount of restitution on remand.