Examples of Unconstitutionally Vague Statutes
In Blanco v. Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools, 158 Pa. Commw. 411, 631 A.2d 1076 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1993), the Court considered the meaning of Section 2 of the Private Licensed Schools Act. Section 2 exempted schools teaching housekeeping and "other service occupations" from having to be licensed.
Because "other service occupations" was not defined, this Court held that action could not be taken against a bartending school that failed to obtain a license.
Stated otherwise, without an implementing regulation, a bartending school could reasonably believe it was entitled to the Section 2 exemption. Cf., Fumo v. Commonwealth Insurance Department, 58 Pa. Commw. 392, 427 A.2d 1259 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1981) (holding that statutory licensing standards of "good business reputation" and "worthy of a license" were saved from being unconstitutionally vague by regulations that specified that certain criminal convictions constituted a violation of these standards).
Likewise, in Pennsylvania Bar Association v. Commonwealth, 147 Pa. Commw. 351, 607 A.2d 850 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1992), this Court invalidated Section 1822(b)(5) of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa. C.S. 1822(b)(5), which required insurers to report "suspected fraudulent claims" to a statutorily created Motor Vehicle Fraud Index Bureau, along with "identification of attorneys representing claimants" in such claims.
This Court declared Section 1822(b)(5) to be unconstitutional because, inter alia, the lack of a legislative definition of what constituted a "suspicion" of fraudulent activity was unconstitutionally vague.
There was no way to ascertain how or when an insurer would classify a claim as a "suspected fraudulent claim." Id. at 859.
Finally, in Watkins v. State Board of Dentistry, 740 A.2d 760, 764 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1999), the Court found a regulation of the State Dental Board unconstitutionally vague.
The regulation, formerly at 49 Pa. Code 33.340(a)(2), required "appropriate monitoring equipment" for the administration of general anesthesia. Id. at 762.
Because the term "appropriate monitoring equipment" was not defined, it could be given different meanings, rendering the regulation unconstitutionally vague.