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Substitute House Bill No. 5450

Public Act No. 04-70

AN ACT CONCERNING GASOLINE FRANCHISES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (f) of section 42-133l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

(f) No franchisor, directly or indirectly, through any officer, agent or employee, shall do any of the following: (1) Require a franchisee at the time of entering into an agreement to assent to a release, assignment, novation, waiver, or estoppel which would relieve any person from liability imposed by sections 42-133j to 42-133n, inclusive; (2) prohibit, directly or indirectly, the right of free association among franchisees for any lawful purpose; (3) prohibit the transfer by will of any franchise and the rights of any franchisee under any franchise agreement to a spouse or child of such franchisee; (4) require or prohibit any change in management of any franchise unless such requirement or prohibition of such change shall be for good cause, which cause shall be stated in writing by the franchisor; (5) impose unreasonable standards of performance upon a franchisee; (6) fail to deal in good faith with a franchisee; (7) sell, rent or offer to sell to a franchisee any product or service for more than a fair and reasonable price; (8) impose on a franchisee by contract, rule or regulation, whether written or oral, any standard of conduct unless the franchisor, his agents or representatives sustain the burden of proving such to be reasonable and necessary; (9) discriminate between franchisees in the charges offered or made for royalties, goods, services, equipment, rentals, advertising services, or in any other business dealing, unless (A) any such type of discrimination between franchisees would be necessary to allow a particular franchisee to fairly meet competition in the open market, or (B) to the extent that the franchisor satisfies the burden of proving that any classification of or discrimination between franchisees is reasonable, is based on franchises granted at materially different times and such discrimination is reasonably related to such difference in time or on other proper and justifiable distinctions considering the purposes of sections 42-133j to 42-133n, inclusive, and is not arbitrary; [. Nothing shall be construed under this subsection, however, as granting to any franchisor any right which may be limited by any other state or federal statutes; ] (10) notify the franchisee of a claimed breach of franchise agreement for good cause later than one hundred eighty days from the date said good cause arises or one hundred eighty days after the franchisor knew or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known of said claimed good cause; or (11) require or coerce a gasoline franchisee to sell gasoline at a specific price or in a specific price range.

Approved May 10, 2004