Can a Prisoner Challenge a Prison Bulletin Regarding Clothing ?
In Small v. Horn, 554 Pa. 600, 722 A.2d 664 (1998) the Department of Corrections issued two "bulletins" that limited the nature of garments that inmates were allowed to wear and possess.
Nine inmates challenged the "bulletins," stating that they were regulations and as such should have been promulgated pursuant to the notice-and-comment provisions of the Documents Law.
The Supreme Court stated that "the authority to make rules concerning the management of state correctional institutions can fairly be implied from its enabling statute." Id.
The Court goes further by citing language from Independent State Store Union v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board., 495 Pa. 145, 432 A.2d 1375 (1981), to come to the conclusion that:
The Court thus recognized a category of agency decisions that are inherently committed to the agency's sound discretion and that cannot reasonably be subjected to the "normal public participation process."
In other words, the Court "acted to prevent the regulatory process from being used as a means to micromanage state liquor stores." 554 Pa. at 610, 722 A.2d at 669.