Initial Review by Grievance Committee and Citation Panel
- When Long Island Board of Realtors®, Inc. (LIBOR) Grievance Committee receives a written ethics complaint, it will review the complaint consistent with the current NAR Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual (COE). The Grievance Committee may add or delete articles or respondents consistent with the procedures set forth in the COE.
- If the Grievance Committee determines there is not a potential violation of any Article, the complaint will be dismissed according to the terms of the COE, preserving the complainant’s right to appeal the dismissal.
- If the Grievance Committee determines that (i) the complaint alleges potential violation(s) of Article(s) of the COE which are not included in the Citation Schedule, or (ii) the complaint includes some Article(s) covered by the Citation Schedule and some that are not, the complaint will be referred to the Professional Standards Committee for a hearing consistent with the policies and procedures set forth in the COE for ethics hearings.
- If the Grievance Committee determines that the complaint alleges only allegations of violations included in the Citation Schedule, the Grievance Committee will refer the complaint to the Citation Panel.
- When the Grievance Committee refers a complaint to the Citation Panel, the Citation Panel will review the complaint and all accompanying evidence. If the Citation Panel finds that the complaint alleges violations of Article(s) included in the Citation Schedule, the Citation Panel will issue a citation and impose discipline consistent with LIBOR’s Citation Schedule. In the event the Citation Panel determines that either (i) the complaint does not allege a violation of the Article(s) included in the Citation Schedule, or (ii) the conduct described in the complaint paperwork is sufficiently egregious to warrant a hearing rather than a citation, the Citation Panel will refer the complaint to the Professional Standards Committee for a hearing consistent with the policies and procedures set forth in the COE for ethics hearings.
- When an ethics complaint and an arbitration request arising out of the same facts and circumstances are filed at the same time, the arbitration hearing shall be held first, and the citation(s) issued or ethics hearing held after the conclusion of the arbitration hearing consistent with the COE.
Issuance of Citations
- Citations will be sent to respondents. A copy of the citation will also be sent to the Realtor® Principal of respondent’s office. If the respondent changes firms before or after the complaint is filed but before the citation is issued, both the former and current Realtor® Principal will be sent a copy of the citation.
- A copy of the entire complaint and evidence will be included with the citation to give the respondent sufficient information to understand the basis of the citation.
- The respondent will have twenty (20) days from transmission of the citation to request a full due process hearing on the complaint.
- If the respondent accepts the citation, or if the respondent does not request a hearing within the required time period, payment must be received by the association no later than thirty (30) days from the transmission of the citation to respondent. The respondent will have six (6) months to complete any educational courses included in the citation.
- The case will be deemed to be closed upon receipt of payment, and the completion of any educational courses, and at that time notice will be provided to the complainant that a citation has been issued and paid.
- Failure to pay the citation within thirty (30) days, and failure to complete any educational course(s) within six (6) months, from the transmission of the citation to respondent will result in the automatic suspension of membership until the citation has been fulfilled.
- If the respondent requests a hearing within the required time period, the complaint will be referred for hearing. The complainant who initially filed the complaint will be given the option to proceed as the complainant for the purposes of the hearing, and will be afforded all due process rights provided for in the COE. Should the complainant be a member of the public who refuses or is unable to participate in the hearing, or should the complainant be a Realtor® member who refuses or is unable to participate in the hearing, the provisions of the COE relating to this scenario will apply.
- Any REALTOR® is limited in the number and type of citations that he/she may receive, according to the following rules:
a. No more than two (2) citations will be issued to a member within a consecutive twelve (12) month period, starting on the date the first complaint was filed, at LIBOR.
b. No more than three (3) citations will be issued to a member within a consecutive thirty-six (36) month period, starting on the date the first complaint was filed, at LIBOR.
c. No additional citations are permitted where the cumulative fine for the citations issued would be more than $5,000.00 in any three (3) year period at LIBOR.
d. LIBOR has elected to adopt an escalating fine schedule for repeat citations. The Citation Panel may only consider the past citations for the particular conduct alleged in the complaint.
- The fact that a respondent has previously been issued a citation for any violation, whether or not it was paid, will not be admissible in any ethics or arbitration hearing, including a hearing to consider a complaint where the respondent rejected a citation and requested a hearing. A hearing panel may consider citations previously issued to the respondent for the purpose of determining appropriate discipline as provided in Paragraph 4 below.
- Citations will not be considered in any publication of violations should such rules be adopted by LIBOR.
- Where a hearing panel finds a violation of the Code of Ethics after a hearing, it may consider past citations in determining an appropriate sanction only if the citation was issued for the same violation at issue in the hearing. Hearing panels will not be informed of past citations for other violations.
- LIBOR staff will track the number of citations issued, the number of citations paid, and the violations for which citations were issued. This information may be provided in the aggregate to the Board of Directors, but will not include details about the complaints, nor identify the complainants or respondents.
- The allegations, discussions and decisions made in the citation process are confidential and will not be reported or published by the Board, any member of a tribunal, or any party under any circumstances except those established in Limitations Paragraph 5 of this policy and the COE as from time to time amended.