A federal magistrate ordered two Michigan lawmakers to hand over correspondence to Tesla Inc. regarding the state's law prohibiting direct-to-consumer sales as the company fights for the right to sell and repair its vehicles in the state.
Tesla is prohibited from selling its vehicles in Michigan by an amendment to the state's dealer franchise law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2014.
On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ellen Carmody denied a request to halt two subpoenas Tesla filed in June against state Sen. Joe Hune and state Rep. Jason Sheppard, both Republicans.
In addition to communications involving Hune and Sheppard, Tesla requested all correspondence among Snyder, the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association and others involved in banning the company from operating in the state. Dealers and government officials are rejecting the subpoenas, alleging their correspondence is protected under state law.
The subpoenas are part of a lawsuit Tesla filed against the state in federal court last September contesting the sales ban.
Carmody said in a June hearing in Grand Rapids, Mich., that most of the documentation Tesla seeks is "fair game" and would be accessed by attorneys only, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The subpoena for Hune will be limited to 12 months before and six months after the passage of the law on Oct. 21, 2014, the ruling reads.
Carmody said that it would be "absurd" for Sheppard's subpoena to cover the same time period as Hune's because Sheppard was not in office during the listed period. She said Sheppard's subpoena will be limited to correspondence Jan. 1, 2015-Dec. 31, 2016.
Carmody's order could be appealed to U.S. District Judge Janet Neff, who is handling the case, the newspaper reported.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's office did not immediately respond for comment on whether it plans to appeal.