SENATE BILL NO. 224
AS AMENDED BY
SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 3 AND HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 49, TITLE 6, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLE FRANCHISING PRACTICES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend §4915(a), Chapter 49, Tile 6, Delaware Code, by striking the word "if" immediately following the word "thereafter" in the third sentence of said subsection (a) and Inserting in lieu thereof the word and comma "unless" and further deleting the word not immediately preceding the word "permitting" in the same third sentence.
Section 2. Amend §4915(c), Chapter 49, Title 6, Delaware Code, by striking the word not immediately preceding the word "entering" in said subsection (c).
Section 3. Amend §4915(d), (e) and (f) of Chapter 49, Title 6, Delaware Code, by striking said subsections in their entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following new subsections to read as follows:
"(d) The manufacturer and proposed additional or relocating new motor vehicle dealer shall have the burden of proof to establish that good cause exists for permitting the proposed addition or relocation under this Section.
(e) The Public Service Commission or his designee shall conduct the hearing and render Its final determination within 90 days after a protest is filed.
(f) Any parties to a hearing by the Public Service Commission concerning the establishing or relocating of a new motor vehicle dealer shall have a right of review of the decision in the Superior Court; if no decision is made by the Public Service Commission within 90 days of the protest then the matter 'shall be heard and determined by the Superior Court on application by either party filed within 120 days after the protest.
(g) All new motor vehicle dealers in the State shall bear the costs of the administration of this Chapter by means of an annual assessment which shall be established by the Commission and shall be no more than what is reasonably needed to defray the annual cost of administering this Chapter; provided, in the event the Commission determines that any action or actions by a manufacturer pursuant to this Section are frivolous, the Commission may assess the reasonable cost of the hearing against the manufacturer. Such assessment shall be paid by each new motor vehicle dealer on or before March 31 of each year. If a new motor vehicle dealer fails to pay the assessment, it shall pay a penalty of 12 percent of the amount due for each month or fraction thereof that the amount is unpaid. The Commission many enforce the collection of any delinquent assessment, or portion thereof, by legal action or in any other manner by which the collection of debts due the State may be enforced. All assessments under this Section shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of a New Motor Vehicle Dealer Fund to be used for the administration of this Chapter by the Commission, as authorized by the General Assembly in its annual operating budget. Any amount which remains in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be applied on an equal basis to the assessment charged against each new motor vehicle dealer for the next succeeding fiscal year."
Approved July 12, 1989.