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How Does That work? The Code of Ethics Enforcement Process

How Does That work? The Code of Ethics Enforcement Process

posted: 06/10/2019

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics has been the cornerstone of the REALTOR® membership for over 100 years and provides REALTORS® a process to police themselves and to raise the bar of professionalism. It is your duty as a REALTOR® to help enforce the Code of Ethics by filing complaints when necessary.

It is always refreshing when REALTORS® are willing to work out their disputes amicably and when learning takes place. Sometimes, however, the issue can be resolved only through a written complaint. When your efforts to resolve a dispute fail, or when a blatant violation occurs, the process is as follows:

  1. A complainant files a written complaint naming the Article(s) of the Code that is allegedly violated and includes a narrative clearly describing the behavior(s) that violated the Article(s).
  2. The complaint is reviewed by the Grievance Committee who then determines if (1) it meets the criteria to be forwarded to a Hearing Panel or (2) the Articles named are included in the Citation Policy.
  3. If the allegations are covered under the Citation Policy, a citation will be issued to the Respondent who determines if he/she wants to (1) admit guilt and pay the citation or (2) have a due process hearing letting a hearing panel determine guilt or innocence.
  4. If a hearing is warranted, the Respondent is notified, and the complaint and response are forwarded to MAR’s Professional Standards Committee who then schedules a hearing.
  5. At the hearing, both complainant and respondent can call witnesses, have an attorney present, present their cases in full, and cross-examine any witnesses.
  6. After the hearing, the Panel deliberates and creates a detailed Findings of Fact and a Conclusion.
  7. If the conclusion is that a violation occurred, the panel recommends specific discipline that can include one or more of the following:
    • The attendance at an education class
    • A permanent letter of reprimand or warning that remains in the member’s membership records
    • A fine up to $15,000
    • A suspension from membership
    • The termination of membership
    The discipline determined by the hearing panel is a recommendation to the Board of Directors.
  8. Parties have the right to appeal the decision of the Hearing Panel within 20 days following the hearing.
  9. If no appeal is filed or when the appeal process is complete, the CMR Board of Directors reviews the Decision and renders a final action: (1) to adopt the decision verbatim, (2) to send it back to the Panel to reconsider the discipline imposed or (3) to overturn and be heard by a different panel. In addition to any discipline imposed by a Hearing Panel and ratified by the Board of Directors, the Respondent is required to pay a $500 administrative fee to the Association within 30 days of receiving the final action.
  10. The CMR staff is responsible for ensuring any discipline imposed has been carried out as a membership duty.

Contact Jo Usry at for questions.