ARBITRATION

Long Island Board of Realtors®, Inc. (LIBOR) Members and Multiple Listing Service of Long Island, Inc. (MLSLI) Participants agree and are bound to arbitrate through LIBOR all contractual and specific non-contractual disputes as defined by Article 17 of the Code of Ethics.

IMPORTANT

  • In order to bring an arbitration, the transaction must have actually closed.
  • An arbitration must be brought within 180 days after the closing of the transaction or within 180 days after the facts constituting the arbitrable matter could have been known in the exercise of reasonable diligence, whichever is later.
  • Both Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) must be a Realtor® Principal (MLSLI Participant, Designated Realtor®, or Office Manager).

COMPLAINANT FILING FOR ARBITRATION

  • Complainant initiates the filing of an arbitration request by filling out the Arbitration Request form which is located at www.lirealtor.com under Dispute Resolution Center.
  • The Arbitration Request Form is where the Complainant enters the Complainant(s) information, such as name, address, and phone number. You should include the information where you want to be contacted in regard to your arbitration request.
  • There may be more than one Complainant.
  • A Complainant must be a Realtor® Principal (MLSLI Participant, Designated Realtor®, or Office Manager).
  • The Arbitration Request Form is also where you enter the Respondent information.
  • There may be more than one Respondent.
  • All Respondents must be Realtor® Principals (MLSLI Participant, Designated Realtor®, or Office Manager).
  • Complainant can name as Respondent a Realtor Principal, Firm, or both.
  • Awards can only be made against named parties in the Arbitration Request and Agreement. Therefore, awards are not enforceable against parties not named in the Arbitration Request and Agreement. For example, if only a Realtor® Principal is named as Respondent in the Arbitration Request, any award is not enforceable against the Firm. If only the Firm is named as Respondent in the Arbitration Request and Agreement, any award is not enforceable against the Realtor® Principal.
  • What is the advantage of naming both the Realtor® Principal and the Firm as Respondents? Naming a Realtor® Principal as a Respondent enables you to know who will participate in the hearing from the Respondent’s firm and naming the Firm may increase the likelihood of collecting any resulting award.
  • You need to choose whether you want Respondent to be the Realtor® Principal, Firm, or both.
  • You also must include a detailed narrative that explains the facts that constitute your arbitration request.
  • You must indicate the address of the home for which the commission is in dispute, the amount in dispute, and the date of closing (or date of lease if rental).
  • Also include the name of any Realtor® non-principals affiliated with your firm that has a financial interest in the outcome of the arbitration. This person has the right to be present throughout the hearing.
  • Gather all your documentation to support your arbitration request and return it with your Arbitration Request form.
  • You must indicate whether or not the circumstances giving rise to the arbitration request is involved in civil or criminal litigation.
  • You must decide if you would like to request the mediation services of LIBOR. Please see the Mediation Section in Dispute Resolution Center for a detailed description of the benefits of Mediation.
  • By submitting the Request and Agreement to Arbitrate the Complainant is consenting to the arbitration and is agreeing to be bound by the arbitration award and to comply with any award promptly.
  • Before your Arbitration Request can be processed, you must submit to LIBOR payment in the amount of $350.00 for arbitration filing fees.
  • The Arbitration Request, narrative, and any supporting documentation can be filed online, emailed at PSC@lirealtor.com, faxed to (631)661-6919, or mailed to LIBOR, PSC Dept. 300 Sunrise Highway West Babylon, NY 11704.

AFTER COMPLAINANT SUBMITS THE REQUEST AND AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATE

  • When the Professional Standards Staff receives the Complainant’s Request and Agreement to Arbitrate along with the statement, supporting documentation, and $350 filing fee, they will schedule the complaint to be heard by the Grievance Committee.
  • The Grievance Committee will decide whether or not the case is arbitrable.
  • The Grievance Committee considers the following factors in deciding whether or not a case is arbitrable:
    • Are all the necessary parties named in the request for arbitration;
    • Was the request filed within 180 days after the closing of the transaction or within 180 days after the facts constituting the arbitrable matter could have been known in the exercise of reasonable diligence;
    • Were the parties members of LIBOR at the time the facts giving rise to the dispute occurred;
    • Is litigation pending in connection with the same transaction (there is a possibility arbitration will be held in abeyance if a matter is pending in litigation);
    • Is the matter arbitable.
  • If the Grievance Committee decides that the case is not arbitrable, the Complainant will be notified
  • If the Grievance Committee decides that the case is arbitrable, the case will proceed to an Arbitration Hearing.

RESPONDENT

  • If the Grievance Committee finds that the Complainant’s case is arbitrable, a packet will be sent to the Respondent along with a letter advising the Respondent that the Complainant(s) has submitted a Request for Arbitration against Respondent(s).
  • Respondent will be sent a copy of the Complainant’s Request and Agreement to Arbitrate along with a copy of the Complainant’s statement of complaint and all documentary evidence produced by the Complainant.
  • The Respondent has 20 days from the service of these documents to file their reply paperwork to the Professional Standards Staff at 300 Sunrise Highway West Babylon New York.
  • Respondent must fill out and return within the required time period the form called Response and Agreement to Arbitrate.
  • The Respondent can assert a counter-claim against the complainant. This is where the Respondent believes that there is an arbitrable case against the Complainant relating to the same set of facts and circumstances.
  • At the space beneath the heading RESPONDENTS the Respondent must fill out the name of the Realtor® Principal (MLSLI Participant, Designated Realtor®, or Office Manager) and the Realtor® Principal must sign on the appropriate line.
  • The Realtor® Principal’s address and telephone number along with the date must be filled out.
  • By signing the Response and Agreement to Arbitrate, the Respondent is consenting to the Arbitration and is agreeing to be bound by the arbitration award and to comply with any award promptly.
  • The Respondent must also submit a statement on a separate sheet of paper explaining the facts the Respondent believes negates the Complainant’s position. This statement must be either typewritten or printed clearly. The statement must be attached to the Response and Agreement to Arbitrate. If the Respondent is submitting a counter-claim, the statement of facts must include facts to support the Respondent’s counter-claim against the Complainant. In a counter-claim, the Respondent has the burden of proving why the Respondent is right.
  • The Response and Agreement to Arbitrate along with the statement of facts and any supporting documentation must be returned to the Professional Standards Staff by email (psc@lirealtor.com), fax (631-661-6919), or mail (PSC Dept., 300 Sunrise Hwy, West Babylon, NY 11704).
  • The Respondent must also send in a check in the sum of $350.00 payable to LIBOR for arbitration filing costs.

 COMPLAINANT AND RESPONDENT – ARBITRATION

  • The Complainant and Respondent will each be sent a packet regarding the Arbitration Hearing.
  • The packet will include a letter advising the parties of the date, time and location of the Arbitration Hearing.
  • If you are unable to attend the hearing on the scheduled date, you must notify the Professional Standards Supervisor within 48 hours to reschedule.
  • The Complainant and Respondent each get one adjournment of the hearing.
  • The packet will also include a list of potential arbitrators. You may object to 10 panel members without explaining your reason. If you object to more than 10 panel members you must state the reason in writing for your objection. Your objections will be considered by the Professional Standards Chairperson. A panel member will be disqualified only if the panel member:
    • Is related by blood or marriage (to the fourth degree) to either the Complainant or Respondent, or
    • Is an employer, partner, or employee or in any way associated in business with either Complainant or Respondent; or
    • Is a party to the hearing, or a party or a witness in any other pending case involving a party to this hearing; or
    • Cannot render a fair or impartial decision provided that the party explains their reason for this belief and such reason is acceptable to the person authorized to make such determinations.
  • Any objections to a panel member must be made to the Professional Standards Supervisor within 48 hours of your receipt of the packet. Your failure to object within the allotted time will constitute your consent to the entire panel.
  • Each party must submit a written notice to LIBOR and the other party(ies) listing the names of each witness the party intends to call at the hearing. The written notice must be sent to LIBOR and the other party(ies) not less than 10 days prior to the hearing date. A failure to submit a written notice listing the name of each witness to LIBOR and the other party(ies) within this time period will result in a decision by the Chairperson as to the permissibility of the witness to appear at the hearing and to give testimony and may result in the refusal to allow the witness to appear and give testimony.
  • Each party must submit all documents and evidence they intend to offer at the hearing to LIBOR and the other party(ies) not less than 10 days prior to the hearing date. A failure to submit the evidence to LIBOR and the other party(ies) within this time period will result in a decision by the Chairperson as to the admissibility of the evidence and may result in a ruling by the Chairperson that the evidence is not admissible at the hearing. An adjournment of the hearing could also occur.
  • If a party intends to have legal counsel present at the hearing, that party must submit written notice to LIBOR and the other party(ies) not less than 10 days prior to the hearing date. The notice must include the legal counsel’s name, address and telephone number. A failure to submit the notice within this time period will result in a decision by the Chairperson whether or not to adjourn the hearing.
  • The following is a list that you should carefully consider for your Arbitration Hearing:
    • All witnesses and parties who can give evidence or testimony with respect to the issues involved in the Arbitration
    • All listings, binders, contracts and any other agreements or written data that in any way pertains to the issues involved in the Arbitration
    • If the issues revolve around the action of a salesperson, listing broker, or Zone Chairperson, be certain that they are present as a witness
    • Any other proof, data, or evidence which is necessary to establish your complaint or defense.

    ARBITRATION HEARING

    •  The Arbitration Hearing Panel will conduct the hearing fairly and in accordance with due process.
    • The Hearing will be recorded by the Hearing Panel. No party may bring their own recording device to the Hearing.
    • The Hearing Panel shall afford all parties a full opportunity to be heard, present witnesses, and offer evidence, subject to its judgment as to relevance.  The Chairperson will give an opening statement explaining procedure.
    • The testimony of all witnesses and parties will be sworn or affirmed. All witnesses will be excused from the hearing except while testifying.
    • The parties will be given an opportunity to present evidence and testimony on their behalf and they may call witnesses.
    • The parties and their legal counsel will be given the opportunity to examine and cross examine all witnesses and parties.
    • The panel members may ask questions at any time during the proceedings.
    • The Chairperson may exclude any question ruled to be irrelevant or argumentative.
    • Each side may make a closing statement.
    • The Complainant will make the first closing statement and the Respondent will make the final closing statement.
    • When the Hearing is finished, the Hearing Panel will go into executive session to decide the case.
    • The decision of the Hearing Panel will be reduced to writing and signed by the arbitrators or a majority of them. A copy shall be sent to each party and a copy will be filed with the Secretary of the Board.

    PROCEDURAL REVIEW

    • Within 20 days upon receipt of the Award by the Arbitrators a written request for Procedural Review may be submitted by either party to an Arbitration Hearing.
    • The Board of Directors Special Review Panel shall not hear a Procedural Review with respect to the merits of an arbitration award and shall not review evidence offered with respect to the merits of the award. The Board of Directors Special Review panel shall only hear Procedural Reviews based upon a claim of deprivation of due process.
    • Any request should cite grounds for alleged procedural deficiencies or other irregularities the party believes constitute deprivation of due process (for example fraud, coercion, bias, prejudice, evident partiality).
    • There is a $500.00 filing fee for Procedural Review.

    ENFORCEMENT

    • If a member fails to comply with an award, the recipient to whom the award has been rendered by the Arbitration Panel shall be advised by LIBOR to seek judicial enforcement in a court of law and to request reimbursement of legal fees incurred in seeking enforcement.
    • The member who fails to comply with an award may also be in violation of a membership duty and may be subject to a Disciplinary Hearing.