A motor vehicle franchisor shall give its existing franchisees in the same line make within 20 miles of the proposed location for the proposed franchise or business as calculated using the methodology set forth in subsection f. of section 1 of P.L. 1982, c.156 (C.56:10-16) not less than 90 days' advance written notice of its intention to grant, relocate, reopen or reactivate a franchise of the same line make or establish, relocate, reopen or reactivate a business. Any franchisee in the relevant market area of the proposed franchise or business may file with the committee a protest to the granting, relocating, reopening or reactivation of the franchise or the establishment, relocation, reopening or reactivation of the business within 30 days of receipt of the notice or 30 days after the end of any appeal procedure provided by the motor vehicle franchisor, whichever is later. Any motor vehicle franchisee entitled to file a protest that does not receive the written notice from the motor vehicle franchisor and consequently does not file a protest may file an action in the Superior Court against the motor vehicle franchisor and the court shall enjoin and nullify the grant, relocation, reopening or reactivation of the franchise or the establishment, relocation, reopening or reactivation of the business, regardless of whether a protest by such motor vehicle franchisee would have been successful. In any such action, a successful motor vehicle franchisee shall be entitled to an award of reasonable attorneys' fees, court costs and expenses. A protest shall set forth all reasons for objecting to the granting, reopening, or reactivation of a franchise and shall be accompanied by a concise statement of the facts and supporting affidavits for all issues raised in the protest. When a protest is filed, the chairman of the committee shall notify the motor vehicle franchisor and the franchisee in writing that it has been filed and shall forthwith determine either to transmit the protests to the Office of Administrative Law for hearing or to conduct a hearing directly.
N.J.S. § 56:10-19