High Court Rejects Appeal Over New Hampshire Auto Dealer Law

The Supreme Court said Monday it won't hear an appeal from John Deere and other farm equipment manufacturers seeking to overturn a New Hampshire law they say unfairly treats their products like cars and trucks.

The justices let stand a New Hampshire Supreme Court ruling that upheld the state's Automobile Dealer Bill of Rights law. It was expanded in 2013 to include protections for farm equipment distributors in addition to auto and truck dealers.

The law bars manufacturers from terminating dealer contracts without just cause.

Farm equipment makers claim the law unconstitutionally interferes with their contracts. The state says the law simply merges regulations that dealt separately with auto makers and farm and tractor manufacturers.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said the law leveled the playing field between manufacturers and dealers.

"Let's hope that Deere and the other equipment manufacturers recognize this is a good and fair law and will not take further actions that would needlessly delay this law's implementation, causing more harm to New Hampshire consumers and dealers," said Pete McNamara, president of the New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association.

A message seeking comment was left with a lawyer for the manufacturers.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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