The Associated Press reports John Deere and other farm equipment manufacturers faced off this week against the state of New Hampshire over the so-called Auto Dealer Bill of Rights law, which lawmakers expanded to encompass manufacturers of tractors and yard and garden equipment.
On Thursday, September 10, 2015, lawyers for John Deere and other manufacturers argued their case in front of the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
According to the report:
"'It protects dealers and, I would argue, it hurts consumers,' attorney Gordon MacDonald, representing John Deere, told the court. Because the law is retroactive, it affects every existing contract the company has with dealers, he said.
"Assistant Attorney General Francis Fredericks argued that the new law is a merger of laws that previously dealt separately with automobile manufacturers and farm and tractor manufacturers. The new law bars manufacturers from terminating contracts with dealers without just cause and places the burden on the manufacturers to justify any terminations.
"MacDonald argues that that undermines the essence of Deere’s contracts with its dealers.
"'We agree with the dealers to sell certain products, where they can sell them and who can sell them,' MacDonald argued, saying provisions of the new law violate constitutional protections.
"Attorney Brian Cullen, representing Kubota Tractor Corp., said the law amounts to “a hostile takeover” of the industry."
The justices didn't indicate when they would make a ruling in the case.