BISMARCK — The state of North Dakota will appeal a federal judge's recent ruling preventing it from implementing a new law that supporters dubbed a "farm equipment dealer bill of rights."
A notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit was filed by the state's attorneys Friday, Jan. 12. The state seeks to challenge U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland's Dec. 14 order issuing a preliminary injunction, which he said will preserve the status quo while the case is pending.
Hovland said "common sense dictates that the law cannot stand constitutional muster" because it applies retroactively, prohibits arbitration clauses in contracts and conflicts with previous decisions involving similar legislation.
The Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers and companies like Deere & Co. and Kubota Tractor Corp. filed the lawsuit in July, just before the new law was to become effective, arguing it would "impose unprecedented restrictions" on their business relationships with dealers. Senate Bill 2289 sailed through the Legislature last year with only five dissenting votes between the two chambers.