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I am a bit unclear about your question:
- do you ask about metadata assigned to folders, or
- do you ask about metadata assigned to items in folders?
Starting from #2, if you forget about folders, there is standard functionality that you can use to restrict, enable, ... metadata for an item. Read this chapter: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E21764_01/doc.1111/e10978/c04_metadata.htm#sthref288 to get full details.
I am not sure whether you can use anything of this functionality (profiles, option lists, etc.) when you check in a new folder. I doubt it, though. The logic of folders is slightly different - whilst e.g. profiles correspond to "content item", you don't find such a correspondence in folder's hierarchy (why a folder could not contain various content types, for instance?)
Last question is, from where you want to use this functionality - even for items. In 10g, Desktop Integration Suite's functionality was rather limited (often it was supposed that a user will just 'throw' an item to a folder, and metadata will be inherited from folders). You might have to upgrade your DIS to 11g; it should work even with 10g Content Server, but make sure you verify it before mass upgrade. In 11g, DIS should offer profiles, etc. with full capabilities.