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John Deere and Company, CNH America LLC and AGCO Corporation have filed a lawsuit against the state of New Hampshire, saying that a recently passed law that classifies off-road heavy equipment as “motor vehicles” is unconstitutional.
The bill, S.B. 126, was signed into law by Governor Maggie Hassan on June 25, 2013, according to an announcement of the lawsuit by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. The plaintiffs are expected to ask the state court to issue a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the law prior to the its September 23, 2013 effective date.
The bill repeals a 1995 law and subjects equipment manufacturers to the state’s Motor Vehicle Dealer Law, according to AEM legal counsel George Keeley.
According to the new law the following are now considered motor vehicles: farm and utility tractors, forestry equipment, industrial equipment, construction equipment, farm implements, farm machinery, yard and garden equipment, attachments, accessories and repair parts.
“In other words, there’s no difference under NH law between a Buick and a Bulldozer,” Keely says in the AEM announcement. Keely adds that New Hampshire is the only state in the U.S. that has made this type of classification.
Deere, CNH and AGCO argue that the law is unconstitutional because it applies retroactively to existing contracts. The lawsuit outlines 11 ways in which the new law will hurt these companies’ dealer agreements.
Deere, CNH and AGCO are asking the state court to declare the law unconstitutional.