Judge: Michigan lawmakers must turn over records to Tesla

Posted at 7:51 AM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-22 07:51:46-04

A federal judge has ruled two Michigan lawmakers must surrender to Tesla Motors Inc. records of their communications with lobbyists over a law barring the electric car maker from selling directly to customers.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Ellen Carmody denied efforts by Republican Sen. Joe Hune of Gregory and Republican Rep. Jason Sheppard of Lambertville to quash the subpoenas.

The Detroit Free Press reports the lawmakers had argued their communications with third parties were privileged and should remain private, but Carmody ruled Monday that relevant communications between them and "non-legislative third parties" such as lobbyists and constituents must be surrendered.

A message seeking comment was left with Attorney General Bill Schuette's office.

Tesla last year sued Michigan over the 2014 law that ensures automakers can only sell through independent, franchised dealerships.