Smith v. TRCI

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Administrative Law
  • Date Filed: 10-16-2013
  • Case #: A147284
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court;
  • Full Text Opinion

A correctional facility's housing unit guidelines which are not "mere applications" of existing rules, are rules subject to APA rulemaking procedures.

Smith challenged the validity of what Smith contended are administrative rules adopted by Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) without complying with the Oregon Administrative Procedure Act. Smith challenged: (1) a portion of a Department of Corrections newsletter declaring nude pictures to be contraband, (2) TRCI housing unit guidelines in their entirety as well as the inmate orientation handbook, and (3) Seven specific provisions of the TRCI housing unit guidelines. The Court of Appeals held: (1) The newsletter was not a rule and the Court therefore lacked jurisdiction to review it; (2) Smith failed to state with particularity his specific challenge to the 92-page, single-spaced housing guidelines, and his challenge to the guidelines as a whole is therefore dismissed. Finally, the Court held (3) that one of the seven provisions was not a “rule” but rather a statement of consequences for noncompliance with other rules, but that the other six provisions were, in fact, rules subject to APA rulemaking procedure. However, provisions 1-3 (mandating reporting to cells during specific times, prohibiting loitering and slamming weights, and prohibiting unauthorized tampering with personal property) were mere applications of existing rules, but 4-6 (outlining where photographs may be taken, mandating vending procedure, and outlining conduct during meal times) were not mere applications of existing rules, and were held invalid. Petition for judicial review dismissed in part and rules held invalid in part.

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