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Agency Discretion in Rulemaking

While crafting rules and regulations, an administrative agency should not act without rhyme or reason.  The agency can exercise discretion in using its delegated rulemaking power.  Unless the judgment of an agency is not in accordance to the prescribed mandatory adoption of a rule, the courts will not interfere in its exercise of rulemaking power.

In Bayonet Point Hospital, Inc. v. Department of Health & Rehabilitative Services, 490 So. 2d 1318 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1st Dist. 1986), appellant hospital applied for review of an order of the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, Florida denying its petition to change the rule setting forth the standards for the issuance of certificates of need to cardiac catheterization laboratories.  Appellant alleged that the rule was out of date.  However, the court contended that the rulemaking function involved the exercise of discretion, and that the court would not substitute its judgment for that of appellee unless a statute mandated the adoption of a requested rule.

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