August 21, 2017
Court Upholds Constitutionality of Below Cost Selling Law
Back in February, NJGCA notified all members that Speedway filed a law-suit against the State of New Jersey, challenging the constitutionality of the State’s ban on below cost selling. Since 2008, when the New Jersey Legislature made its first attempt to abolish the below cost selling law, NJGCA has been engaged in repeated and near-constant efforts to maintain the ban. Given our commitment to protecting this law over the past 10 years, NJGCA is continuing to monitor any court proceedings and participating in whatever capacity we can. NJGCA, and Counsel Frank Brennan, have had numerous meetings and phone calls with the Deputy Attorneys General representing the State of New Jersey in this case. Since Speedway is actually suing the State of New Jersey, the State is the defendant in this case.
Several months ago, the State filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and deny any sort of trial for Speedway’s claims. On Friday, that motion to dismiss was argued in Mercer County Superior Court. The result of the hearing was an outright dismissal of the lawsuit. In her dismissal summation, Judge Walcott-Henderson cited numerous times that the intent of the New Jersey Legislature was crystal clear with regard to their wishes that a below cost selling ban remain in existence in New Jersey. Not only was it the Legislature’s intent, but she cited the fact that there were numerous and recent debates and deliberations by the Legislature to decide this issue. Each deliberation by the Legislature eventually sided with the NJGCA position that the “below cost selling” ban should remain in effect.
For now, the below cost selling ban remains intact and is now supported by a court decision in our favor. However, and this is a very big however, it is more than likely that Speedway will appeal the Judge’s decision to a higher court. Speedway currently has 45 days to file an appeal, and we will discuss more of the details in this week’s upcoming Road Warrior on Thursday.