2 Oct. 2014

Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. Wins for Indian Auto Manufacturer in New Hampshire

Posted By Shaheen & Gordon, P.A.

Shaheen & Gordon attorneys Steven Gordon and Benjamin Siracusa Hillman, along with King & Spalding, LLC of Georgia, prevailed today in the New Hampshire Supreme Court on behalf of Mahindra & Mahindra, Ltd., a motor vehicle manufacturer, in a jurisdictional dispute. You can read the New Hampshire Supreme Court's opinion in Mahindra & Mahindra, Ltd. v. Holloway Motor Cars of Manchester, LLC, et al. here.

In this case, Holloway and other dealers claimed before the New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Industry Board that Mahindra violated distributor and franchise agreements that they entered into with a third party, Global Vehicles, U.S.A., for the sale of Mahindra vehicles in New Hampshire. The Board issued notice of a pre-hearing conference, which Mahindra, based in India, did not receive. When a notice of hearing later issued, Mahindra's Georgia attorneys wrote a letter to the Board for the sole purpose of raising objections, including that Mahindra was not subject to the Board's jurisdiction, had not been properly served in accordance with the Hague Convention, and that any dispute between Mahindra and Global Vehicles was already subject to an international arbitration. Ultimately, the Board issued a default judgment against Mahindra because its representatives did not appear at the hearing. The Board refused to vacate the default, as did the superior court, and Mahindra appealed.

Due to the advocacy of attorneys from Shaheen & Gordon and King & Spalding, the New Hampshire Supreme Court vacated the default judgment. The Court agreed with Mahindra that they were not served in the manner required by the Hague Convention and had not waived that defense. With this opinion, the Court confirms that personal jurisdiction must be obtained through proper service of process. This decision illustrates Shaheen & Gordon's tradition of obtaining excellent results for its clients.

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