Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Marketing Agreements.


§ 36–303.01. Nonwaiverable conditions; conditions affecting marketing agreements.

(a) All marketing agreements shall be in writing and shall be subject to the nonwaiverable conditions set forth in this section, whether or not such conditions are expressly set forth in such marketing agreements. For the purposes of this section, the term “marketing agreement” shall also include any oral or written collateral or ancillary agreement. No marketing agreement shall:

(1) Require a retail dealer to keep his retail service station open for business for any specified number of hours per day, or days per week, or for any specified hours of the day, or days of the week, except as otherwise provided in § 36-303.03(c)(5);

(2) Require a retail dealer to purchase or accept delivery of, on consignment or otherwise, any products from the distributor other than such motor fuels and petroleum products as are specified in the marketing agreement;

(3) Fix, maintain, or establish, or grant to the distributor the right, privilege, or authority to fix, maintain, or establish, the prices at which the retail dealer shall sell any motor fuels, petroleum products, or automotive products;

(4) Require the retail dealer to meet any sales quotas for any motor fuels, petroleum products, or automotive products;

(5) Prohibit a retail dealer from selling, assigning, or otherwise transferring his marketing agreement or any interest therein to another person;

(6) Prohibit a retail dealer from purchasing or accepting delivery of, on consignment or otherwise, any motor fuels, petroleum products, automotive products, or other products from any person who is not a party to the marketing agreement or prohibit a retail dealer from selling such motor fuels or products, provided that if the marketing agreement permits the retail dealer to use the distributor’s trademark, the marketing agreement may require such motor fuels, petroleum products, and automotive products to be of a reasonably similar quality to those of the distributor, and provided further that the retail dealer shall neither represent such motor fuels or products as having been procured from the distributor nor sell such motor fuels or products under the distributor’s trademark;

(7) Require a retail dealer to take part in any promotional or advertising campaign which will require the retail dealer to use, utilize, or accept any premiums, coupons, posters, stamps, tickets, gifts, bonuses, rebates, or other promotional items;

(8) Contain any provision which in any way limits the right of any party to such marketing agreement to a trial by jury or to the interposition of counter-claims or cross-claims;

(9) Contain any provision which requires the retail dealer to assent to any release, assignment, novation, waiver, or estoppel which would relieve any person from any liability imposed by this subchapter or would negate any rights granted to a retail dealer by this subchapter;

(10) Be for a term of less than 1 year; or

(11) Contain any term or condition which, directly or indirectly, violates this subchapter.

(b) Nothing contained within this section shall be construed as prohibiting a distributor from suggesting or advising the retail dealer of appropriate or reasonable hours of operation, days of operation, or prices, provided that the distributor shall in no way or manner attempt to threaten or coerce the retail dealer into following his suggestions or advice. Nothing contained within this section shall be construed as prohibiting a retail dealer from agreeing to purchase or accept delivery of other products or equipment from the distributor or from participating financially or otherwise in any promotional or advertising campaign sponsored by the distributor, provided that the distributor shall in no way or manner attempt to threaten or coerce such actions on the part of the retail dealer.


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-123, § 4-201, 24 DCR 2371.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 10-221.

1973 Ed., § 10-221.


§ 36–303.02. Disclosures to prospective retail dealers.

Prior to entering into any marketing agreement with any prospective retail dealer, a distributor shall disclose the information set forth in this section to such prospective retail dealer in writing. Prior to transferring any marketing agreement or interest therein to any prospective transferee, a retail dealer shall disclose the information set forth in this section to such prospective transferee in writing:

(1) The name and last known address of the previous retail dealer or dealers for the immediately prior 3-year period or for the entire period during which the distributor has either sold or distributed motor fuels or petroleum products to or through such retail service station location or owned, leased, or otherwise controlled such location, whichever period is shorter, and the grounds or reasons for the termination of, cancellation of, or failure to renew each marketing agreement with such previous retail dealer or dealers; and

(2) The existence of any present commitments, negotiations, or plans for the future sale, demolition, or other disposition of such location.


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-123, § 4-202, 24 DCR 2371.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 10-222.

1973 Ed., § 10-222.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 36-303.06.


§ 36–303.03. Termination, cancellation, and failure to renew.

(a)(1) A retail dealer shall have the right to terminate or repudiate any marketing agreement to which he is a party for any reason, without the imposition of any damages or penalties and without any recourse by the distributor for such termination or repudiation, within 7 days, not including Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays, after the day on which performance of such marketing agreement commences. For purposes of this subsection, the term “marketing agreement” shall not include any renewal, extension, modification, amendment, or novation of an existing marketing agreement. For purposes of this subsection, the term “performance” shall mean the granting of a present right, privilege, or authority to use a trademark, the granting of a present right, privilege, or authority to occupy a retail service station, or the actual delivery of any motor fuels, petroleum products, or automotive products to the retail dealer. In order to exercise his right to terminate or repudiate a marketing agreement pursuant to this subsection, the retail dealer shall:

(A) Mail written notice, by registered or certified mail, to the distributor of his intention to exercise his right under this subsection within the period specified in this subsection;

(B) Discontinue use of any trademark presently being used by such retail dealer pursuant to the marketing agreement;

(C) Deliver or tender, so far as is practical, to the distributor all money, equipment, and merchantable products, including all motor fuels, petroleum products, and automotive products which the retail dealer has not presently sold, which have been loaned, sold, or delivered to the retail dealer pursuant to the marketing agreement within 10 days after mailing the notice specified in this subsection; and

(D) Deliver or tender to the distributor full possession of any retail service station provided by the distributor pursuant to the marketing agreement within 10 days after mailing the notice specified in this subsection.

(2) The retail dealer shall receive full credit, or the cash equivalent, for all money, equipment, and merchantable products delivered to the distributor pursuant to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of this subsection. Nothing contained within this subsection shall be construed as granting a similar right to terminate or repudiate to the distributor under a marketing agreement or as prohibiting the retail dealer from cancelling a marketing agreement during the period specified in this subsection.

(b)(1) No retail dealer or distributor, except as otherwise provided in subsection (a) of this section, shall terminate, cancel, or fail to renew a marketing agreement unless he furnishes prior written notice to the other party. Such notice shall be sent to the other party by registered or certified mail not less than 90 days prior to the date on which the marketing agreement is to be terminated, cancelled, or not renewed, unless a shorter period is provided for in this subsection. Such notice shall contain a statement of the party’s intention to terminate, cancel, or fail to renew the marketing agreement, the date on which such action shall become effective, and a statement of the specific grounds for such action. No distributor shall terminate, cancel, or fail to renew a marketing agreement, or notify a retail dealer of his intention to take such action, unless he reasonably and in good faith believes that the facts and circumstances existing do, in fact, justify his reliance on the grounds specified in his notice of intention to take such action. Notice furnished pursuant to this subsection shall be effective on the date of the mailing.

(2) In the event that a termination or cancellation is based upon 1 or more of the grounds specified in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (10) through (17) of subsection (c) of this section, the 90 days advance notice shall not be required. However, in such an event, the distributor shall furnish written notice to the retail dealer as far in advance of the effective date of such termination or cancellation as is reasonably practical under the circumstances.

(3) The distributor’s failure to furnish prior written notice, as required by this subsection, of his intention not to renew a marketing agreement, whether or not such marketing agreement provides for automatic extension or renewal, shall constitute a renewal of the marketing agreement for a term of 1 year from its stated expiration date.

(c) No distributor shall terminate or cancel any marketing agreement with a retail dealer, either directly or indirectly, unless such termination or cancellation is based upon 1 or more of the grounds specified in this subsection. No distributor shall terminate or cancel any marketing agreement with a retail dealer unless the grounds for such termination or cancellation are expressly set forth in the marketing agreement:

(1) The retail dealer has failed to pay financial obligations due to the distributor under the marketing agreement, including, but not limited to, rents for any equipment or retail service station provided by the distributor and payments for any motor fuels, petroleum products, or automotive products delivered, on consignment or otherwise, to the retail dealer by the distributor pursuant to the marketing agreement, within the time and in the manner prescribed by the marketing agreement;

(2) The retail dealer has filed for or has been declared bankrupt, has petitioned for or has been declared insolvent, or has petitioned for a reorganization or credit arrangement under the applicable laws;

(3) A termination or dissolution of the partnership, corporation, or other entity operating the retail service station or the death of the retail dealer, provided that a termination or dissolution of a partnership or other entity shall not constitute a ground for the termination or cancellation of a marketing agreement where the remaining partners or individual members of the other entity have notified the distributor of their intention to operate the retail service station and to acquire the interests of the departing partners or members pursuant to § 36-303.05(a) to (d);

(4) The retail dealer has voluntarily abandoned, or has given notice of his intention to voluntarily abandon, his retail service station, other than pursuant to subsection (a) of this section or § 36-303.05;

(5) The retail dealer has unjustifiably left his retail service station vacant or unattended for an unreasonable period of time or has unjustifiably failed to open his retail service station for business for an unreasonable number of days during any calendar year. The period of time and number of days which shall be deemed unreasonable shall be expressly set forth in the marketing agreement, but in no event may such period of time be less than 9 consecutive days or such number of days be less than 18 days during any calendar year;

(6) The retail dealer, or some other person over whom the retail dealer has control and was grossly negligent in not exercising such control, has wilfully or maliciously destroyed or damaged the real or personal property, including any equipment that is used in the operation of the retail service station, of the distributor furnished pursuant to the marketing agreement and the retail dealer has refused to replace or repair such real or personal property;

(7) The retail dealer, or some other person over whom the retail dealer has control and was grossly negligent in not exercising such control, has deliberately adulterated, commingled, misbranded, mislabeled, or misrepresented to his customers any motor fuels, petroleum products, or automotive products delivered to the retail dealer by the distributor pursuant to the marketing agreement in a manner prohibited by the marketing agreement or by federal or District of Columbia law or contrary to customary practices in the retail service station industry;

(8) The retail dealer has made materially false, deceptive, or misleading representations to the distributor which are related to the operation of his retail service station business;

(9) The retail dealer has failed to comply with any federal or District of Columbia laws, rules, or regulations relating to the operation of a retail service station, including, but not limited to, laws, rules, or regulations relating to the payment of taxes and the maintenance of any necessary licenses, permits, or registrations, which the marketing agreement made the retail dealer responsible for complying with, and such failure to comply with such laws, rules, or regulations has or will adversely affect the business relationship between the retail dealer and the distributor or the business of the distributor;

(10) The retail dealer has been convicted of the commission or attempt to commit a felony, criminal misconduct or violations of law involving moral turpitude, fraud, or commercial dishonesty, which is related to the operation of his retail service station business and which would affect the ability of the retail dealer to operate his retail service station business or would tend to defame or seriously damage the reputation of the distributor or his trademark, provided that this subsection shall not apply to convictions that have been disclosed to the distributor by the retail dealer prior to entering into the marketing agreement;

(11) The condemnation, appropriation, or other public taking of the retail service station location covered by the marketing agreement, in whole or part, pursuant to the power of eminent domain or the loss of or damage to the retail service station facility by an act of God, to the extent that such taking or damage makes the continued operation of the retail service station completely unfeasible;

(12) The marketing agreement grants the retail dealer the right, privilege, or authority to occupy a retail service station leased by the distributor from another person and such lease is terminated, cancelled, or not renewed by such other person for a cause beyond the reasonable control of the distributor;

(13) The distributor has lost his legal right, for a cause beyond his reasonable control, to grant the retail dealer the right, privilege, or authority to use any trademark provided for in the marketing agreement;

(14) The retail dealer has so severe a physical or mental disability that he is rendered incapable of operating his retail service station for an unreasonable period of time and has been unable to provide for the continued operation of his retail service station by another person;

(15) The retail dealer has failed to substantially comply with any other essential and reasonable requirement, condition, or provision expressly set forth in the marketing agreement;

(16) The existence or occurrence of any cause or circumstance which would make termination or cancellation of the marketing agreement reasonable, just, and equitable in light of the facts and circumstances then existing; or

(17) The retail dealer and the distributor have executed a mutual agreement to terminate the marketing agreement in writing.

(d) No distributor shall fail to renew a marketing agreement with a retail dealer, either directly or indirectly, unless such failure to renew is based upon 1 or more of the grounds specified in this subsection. No distributor shall fail to renew a marketing agreement unless the grounds for such failure to renew are expressly set forth in the marketing agreement:

(1) The existence of any of the grounds which would justify the termination or cancellation of a marketing agreement pursuant to subsection (c) of this section;

(2) The distributor intends to and does in fact withdraw entirely, within 1 year of the effective date of the notice furnished pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, from the sale in the District of Columbia of motor fuels, petroleum products, and automotive products;

(3) The marketing agreement grants the retail dealer the right, privilege, or authority to occupy a retail service station owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the distributor and the distributor intends to and does in fact withdraw entirely, within 1 year of the effective date of the notice furnished pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, from the business of owning, leasing, controlling, and operating retail service stations in the District of Columbia;

(4) The marketing agreement grants the retail dealer the right, privilege, or authority to occupy a retail service station owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the distributor and the distributor intends to sell or lease the retail service station location to a person other than a subsidiary, parent, affiliate, or other entity controlled or managed by the distributor or controlling or managing the distributor, for a purpose other than the retail sale of motor fuels or intends to relinquish a leasehold interest in the retail service station location, without any intention of purchasing, executing a new lease for, or otherwise regaining control of the location;

(5) A failure on the part of the distributor and the retail dealer, both parties having acted in good faith in trying to effect a renewal, to agree to any reasonable and essential changes in or additions to the marketing agreement considering the then existing facts and circumstances;

(6) The retail dealer has failed to make reasonable repairs and maintenance to the real or personal property of the distributor furnished pursuant to the marketing agreement provided that the marketing agreement requires the retail dealer to assume such responsibility for repair and maintenance;

(7) The retail dealer has failed to substantially comply with any reasonable minimum standards for the operation of a retail service station which are expressly set forth in the marketing agreement, including, but not limited to, standards concerning the cleanliness and appearance of the retail service station and the safeness of facilities and services, within a reasonable time after receiving written notice of noncompliance and such failure to comply will damage the integrity of the distributor’s trademark or the reputation of either the distributor or other retail service stations operating under the distributor’s trademark; or

(8) The distributor has received substantiated repeated customer complaints concerning the conduct or practices of the retail dealer, including, but not limited to, repair or maintenance work of a substandard quality, obnoxious or disrespectful behavior towards customers, or dishonest, unethical, or fraudulent practices, and the continuance of such conduct or practices will damage the integrity of the distributor’s trademark or the reputation of either the distributor or other retail service stations operating under the distributor’s trademark.

(e)(1) No distributor shall terminate, cancel, or fail to renew any marketing agreement, either directly or indirectly, for any of the following reasons:

(A) Refusal of the retail dealer to accept a renewal of a marketing agreement for a term of less than 1 year;

(B) Refusal of the retail dealer to take part in any promotional or advertising campaign, to meet sales quotas suggested by the distributor, to purchase or accept delivery of any motor fuels or petroleum products not specified in the marketing agreement, or any other products or equipment, to sell motor fuels, petroleum products, or automotive products at a price suggested by the distributor, or to comply with any standard of performance imposed upon such retail dealer by the distributor which exceeds the standards of performance imposed by the marketing agreement;

(C) Refusal of the retail dealer to keep his retail service station open and operating during those hours or days which, in the reasonable opinion of the retail dealer, are unprofitable or to follow the suggestions or advice of the distributor concerning days or hours of operation;

(D) The retail dealer’s attempt to exercise his right to sell, assign, or otherwise transfer his marketing agreement or any interest therein to another person; or

(E) The distributor’s desire to obtain possession of a retail service station currently leased to the retail dealer in order to engage in the retail sale of motor fuel on its own behalf.

(2) No marketing agreement shall specify any of the reasons contained in this subsection as grounds for the termination of, cancellation of, or failure to renew such marketing agreement by the distributor.


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-123, § 4-203, 24 DCR 2371; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 51, 53 DCR 6198.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 10-223.

1973 Ed., § 10-223.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 36-303.01, § 36-303.04, and § 36-303.06.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (c)(14), deleted “been afflicted with” following “retail dealer has”.


§ 36–303.04. Retail dealer’s remedies.

(a) The remedies provided for in this section are in addition to any and all other remedies available to the retail dealer under this subchapter, the marketing agreement, any other statute or act, or law or equity.

(b) In the event of any termination of, cancellation of, or failure to renew a marketing agreement, whether by the unilateral action of either the retail dealer or the distributor, by mutual agreement, by the death of the retail dealer, or otherwise, the distributor shall make or cause to be made an offer in good faith to repurchase from the retail dealer or his legal representative within 30 days after the effective date of such termination, cancellation, or nonrenewal, any and all merchantable products, including, but not limited to, any motor fuels, petroleum products, and automotive products, at the full price originally paid or at the then current wholesale price, whichever price shall be lower, and any and all equipment, including any equipment which has been affixed or appended, after April 19, 1977, with the permission of the distributor, to a retail service station leased from the distributor, at the current fair market value, which have been purchased by the retail dealer from the distributor and which have been tendered, to the extent that such tender may be practical, by the retail dealer or his legal representative to the distributor. If the distributor does not make or cause to be made a good faith offer to repurchase the retail dealer’s products and equipment within the 30-day period provided for in this subsection, the retail dealer or his legal representative may sell the products and equipment for as reasonable a price as may be obtained, may apply the balance owed by the distributor against any existing indebtedness owed by the retail dealer to the distributor, and shall have a cause of action against the distributor for the difference. In the event that the distributor repurchases the retail dealer’s products and equipment the distributor shall have the right to first apply the value of the products and equipment being repurchased against any existing indebtedness owed directly to the distributor by the retail dealer. The distributor’s obligation to repurchase shall be enforceable only to the extent that there are no other valid claims or liens against such products or equipment by or on behalf of other creditors of the retail dealer.

(c) Equipment purchased or otherwise acquired by the retail dealer and affixed or appended, after April 19, 1977, with the permission of the lessor, to a retail service station leased by the retail dealer shall remain the property of the retail dealer, notwithstanding the fact that it is permanently affixed or the existence of any contrary provisions in a marketing agreement, other agreement, or law. Upon the termination of, cancellation of, or failure to renew a lease or other agreement or the termination of, cancellation of, or failure to renew a marketing agreement, the retail dealer or his legal representative shall have a reasonable time in which to remove such equipment. In removing such equipment, the retail dealer or his legal representative shall leave the retail service station premises in substantially the same condition as they were at the time the equipment was affixed or appended.

(d) If the distributor terminates, cancels, or fails to renew a marketing agreement for any of the grounds specified in § 36-303.03(c)(2), (3), (11), or (14) and § 36-303.03(d)(2), (3), or (4) or for any cause or circumstance allowed under § 36-303.03(c)(16) which involves the retail dealer’s failure to comply with the marketing agreement or which was not beyond the reasonable control of the distributor to prevent, the distributor shall pay to the retail dealer, within 30 days of the effective date of the termination, cancellation, or failure to renew, the full value of any business goodwill enjoyed by the dealer on the effective date of the notice furnished pursuant to § 36-303.03(b).


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-123, § 4-204, 24 DCR 2371.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 10-224.

1973 Ed., § 10-224.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 36-303.06.


§ 36–303.05. Sale, assignment, or other transfer of a marketing agreement.

(a) No distributor shall unreasonably withhold his approval of any sale, assignment, or other transfer, including any transfer of the retail dealer’s right, privilege, or authority to occupy a retail service station pursuant to a marketing agreement, of a marketing agreement or any interest therein to another person by a retail dealer.

(b) No retail dealer shall sell, assign, or otherwise transfer a marketing agreement or any interest therein unless he furnishes prior written notice to the distributor of his intention to make such sale, assignment, or other transfer. Such notice shall be sent to the distributor by registered or certified mail and shall include the prospective transferee’s name and address, a statement of the prospective transferee’s financial qualifications, a statement of the prospective transferee’s business experience during the previous 5 years, and a statement of the prospective transferee’s ability, character, and credit history.

(c) The distributor shall either approve or disapprove such sale, assignment, or other transfer in writing within 60 days after receipt of the notice specified in subsection (b) of this section. A distributor’s failure to notify the retail dealer of his approval or disapproval shall be construed as an approval of the proposed sale, assignment, or other transfer.

(d) In order for a sale, assignment, or other transfer of a marketing agreement to be valid, the prospective transferee shall agree in writing to comply with all valid requirements, conditions, and provisions of the existing marketing agreement which may be applicable.

(e)(1) A prospective transferee shall have the right to terminate or repudiate any sale, assignment, or other transfer of a marketing agreement or any interest therein for any reason, without the imposition of any damages or penalties for such action and without any recourse by the transferor or distributor for such action, within 7 days, not including Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays, after the day on which the sale, assignment, or other transfer is consummated. In order to exercise his right under this subsection, the transferee shall:

(A) Mail written notice, by registered or certified mail, to the transferor and the distributor of his intention to exercise his right under this subsection within the period specified in this subsection;

(B) Discontinue use of any trademark presently being used by such transferee pursuant to the marketing agreement;

(C) Deliver or tender, so far as is practical, to the transferor or distributor, as appropriate, all money, equipment, and merchantable products which have been loaned, sold or delivered to the transferee by either the transferor or the distributor and which the transferee has not already sold, within 10 days after mailing the notice specified in this subsection; and

(D) Deliver or tender to the transferor full possession of any retail service station transferred to the transferee within 10 days after mailing the notice specified in this subsection.

(2) The transferee shall receive full credit, or the cash equivalent, for all money, equipment, and merchantable products delivered or tendered to the transferor or distributor, as appropriate, pursuant to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of this subsection. Nothing contained within this subsection shall be construed as granting a similar right to terminate or repudiate to either the transferor or the distributor.

(f)(1) Upon the death or retirement of a retail dealer, the distributor shall grant a 1-year trial marketing agreement in the name of a successor who has been designated by the retail dealer and approved by the distributor. The designated successors shall be limited to a retail dealer’s spouse, adult children, adult stepchildren, and the approval of the designated successor by the distributor shall not be unreasonably withheld.

(2) In order for the requirement in paragraph (1) of this subsection to be effective, the retail dealer shall have provided written notice to the distributor designating the successor dealer. The distributor shall approve or disapprove the designated successor, in writing, within 60 days after receipt of the written designation notice. A distributor’s failure to notify a retail dealer of the approval or disapproval of any designated successor shall be construed as an approval of the designated successor.

(3) A 1-year trial marketing agreement shall contain the same terms and conditions as were contained in the marketing agreement in effect prior to the retail dealer’s death or retirement. Pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter, a successor dealer, with the approval of the distributor, may sell, assign, or otherwise transfer the trial marketing agreement granted under paragraph (1) of this subsection.


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-123, § 4-205, 24 DCR 2371; Feb. 9, 1984, D.C. Law 5-45, § 2, 30 DCR 5635.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 10-225.

1973 Ed., § 10-225.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 36-303.03.

Cross References

General powers of personal representatives, see § 20-741.


§ 36–303.06. Civil actions.

(a)(1) In addition to any and all other remedies available to the retail dealer under this subchapter, the marketing agreement, any other statute or act, or law or equity, a retail dealer may maintain a civil action against a distributor for:

(A) Failure to make such disclosures as are required by § 36-303.02;

(B) Failure to repurchase as required by § 36-303.04(b);

(C) Failure to pay the full value of any business goodwill as required by § 36-303.04(d);

(D) Wrongful or illegal cancellation of, termination of, or failure to renew a marketing agreement with the retail dealer under § 36-303.03;

(E) Unreasonably withholding approval of a proposed sale, assignment, or other transfer of the marketing agreement.

(2) The court may award actual damages, including ascertainable loss of goodwill as provided for in § 36-303.04(d), sustained by the retail dealer as a result of the distributor’s violation of this subchapter and may also grant such other legal or equitable relief as may be appropriate, including, but not limited to, declaratory judgment, specific performance, and injunctive relief.

(3) The court may, unless the action was frivolous, direct that costs of the action, including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees, be paid by the distributor. If the court finds that the distributor’s wrongful or illegal termination of, cancellation of, or failure to renew the marketing agreement was wilful or intentional, the court may also award the retail dealer ascertainable loss of goodwill and punitive damages.

(b) No prospective transferee shall have a cause of action against a distributor as a result of the distributor’s disapproval of a proposed sale, assignment, or other transfer of a marketing agreement.

(c) A civil action brought by a retail dealer against a distributor pursuant to this section shall be commenced within 2 years after such cause of action arose.


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-123, § 4-206, 24 DCR 2371.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 10-226.

1973 Ed., § 10-226.


§ 36–303.07. Application of subchapter.

(a) This subchapter shall only apply to that portion of a marketing agreement which concerns the operation of a retail service station which is located within the District of Columbia and only to the extent of the business conducted by a retail dealer within the District of Columbia.

(b) This subchapter shall apply to any and all marketing agreements entered into after April 19, 1977. The term “entered into” shall include any renewal, extension, modification, amendment, or novation of a preexisting marketing agreement.

(c) This subchapter shall also apply to any failure to renew a preexisting marketing agreement.


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-123, § 4-207, 24 DCR 2371.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 10-227.

1973 Ed., § 10-227.