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Part 1, Section 1: Definitions Relating to Ethics

Part 1, Section 1: Definitions Relating to Ethics

As used herein,

(a) “Agent” means a real estate licensee (including brokers and sales associates) acting in an agency relationship as defined by state law or regulation. (Revised 4/98)

(b) “Board” means this organization, either the ____________ (local) Board/Association of REALTORS® or the ____________ (state) Association of REALTORS®.

(c) “Broker” means a real estate licensee (including brokers and sales associates) acting as an agent or in a legally recognized non-agency capacity. (Adopted 4/98)

(d) “Client” means the person(s) or entity(ies) with whom a REALTOR® or a REALTOR®’s firm has an agency or legally recognized non-agency relationship. (Revised 11/97)

(e) “Counsel” means an attorney at law or a REALTOR® whether in the same or in another firm. (Amended 11/95)

(f) “Customer” means a party to a real estate transaction who receives information, services, or benefits but has no contractual relationship with the REALTOR® or the REALTOR®’s firm. (Revised 11/97)

(g) “Directors” means the Board of Directors of the Board (State Association) as interpreted by Policy Statement #33. (Revised 11/91)

(h) “Electronically,” “electronic means,” “technology,” “technological means,” and related terms include, but are not limited to, the Internet, Internet-based websites, all forms of Internet communication, e-mail, facsimile correspondence, telephone, and all other forms of distance communication. (Adopted 5/06)

(i) “Expulsion from Membership” means expulsion from membership in the Board for a period not less than one (1) but not more than three (3) years, with reinstatement to membership by application only as a new member after the end of the period of expulsion, with the application considered on its merits.

(j) “Fine—Appropriate and Reasonable” means a fine commensurate with the gravity of the determined offense against the Code and against the Board, and ranging in any amount determined, but not to exceed $15,000, to any Board Member with respect to any single ethics hearing, irrespective of the number of Code violations determined. (Revised 5/13)

(k) “Hearing” may refer either to an ethics hearing relating to disciplinary matters or to an arbitration hearing in which the dispute generally involves entitlement to a commission or to compensation. (Revised 11/93)

(l) “Immediate Family” as used in the Code of Ethics includes, but is not limited to, the REALTOR® and the REALTOR®’s spouse and their siblings, parents, grandparents, children (by birth or adoption), grandchildren, and other descendants. (Adopted 11/89)

(m) “Letter of Reprimand” means a letter to a Board Member advising of a lack of professional conduct determined by a due process hearing of the Professional Standards Committee and affirmed by the Board of Directors, and advising that the letter is to be construed as an official reprimand. (Revised 11/88)

(n) “Letter of Warning” means a letter to a Board Member advising of a lack of professional conduct determined by a due process hearing of the Professional Standards Committee and affirmed by the Board of Directors, and warning that future similar conduct could result in more severe sanction. (Revised 11/88)

(o) “Member” means REALTOR® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® members of this Board (State Association). REALTORS® who participate in MLS or otherwise access MLS information through any Board in which they do not hold membership are subject to the Code of Ethics in that Board. (Amended 11/95)

(p) “Party” (Parties) means the complainant(s) or respondent(s) in disciplinary proceedings and in arbitration hearings referred to in Part Four and Part Ten of this Manual. (Revised 11/91)

(q) "Person" means a natural person. (Adopted 11/13)

(r) “Probation” means that another form of discipline recommended by the Hearing Panel will be held in abeyance for a stipulated period of time which may not exceed one (1) year. Any subsequent finding of a violation of the Code of Ethics during the probationary period may, at the discretion of the Board of Directors, result in the imposition of the suspended discipline. Absent any subsequent findings of a violation during the probationary period, both the probationary status and the suspended discipline shall be considered fulfilled, and the record shall reflect the fulfillment. (Revised 11/96)

(s) “Public Trust” refers to demonstrated misappropriation of client or customer funds or property, willful discrimination, or fraud resulting in substantial economic harm. (Adopted 1/02)

(t) “REALTOR® principal” includes licensed or certified individuals who are sole proprietors, partners in a partnership, officers or majority shareholders of a corporation, or office managers (including branch office managers) acting on behalf of principals of a real estate firm who subscribe to the Code of Ethics as a condition of membership in a local Board, State Association, and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. The phrase REALTOR® principal includes those REALTORS® who participate in a Multiple Listing Service through any Board or Association in which they do not hold membership. (Revised 5/97)

(u) “Secretary” means the Executive Officer of any Board. (Revised 11/98)

(v) “Suspension of Membership” means suspension of all Board/Association provided membership rights, privileges and services (including those provided by the State and National Association) not available to nonmembers for a period not less than thirty (30) days and not longer than one (1) year on terms and conditions expressly stated for an established period of time, including use of the terms REALTOR® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, with automatic reinstatement of all withdrawn membership rights, privileges, and services at the end of the period of suspension. The thirty (30) day minimum and one (1) year maximum do not apply where suspension is imposed for a remediable violation of a membership duty (e.g., failure to pay dues or fees or failure to complete educational requirements). Although membership rights, privileges, and services are withdrawn as specified in the notice of suspension, membership, per se, including the duty to abide by the Code of Ethics and the obligation to pay membership dues continues during the period of suspension. Suspended members shall not be obligated for payment of other fees or charges except for continued optional services of the Board. Any failure to abide by the terms and conditions of the suspension, or the finding of a violation of the Code of Ethics after a hearing as provided by the professional standards procedures of the Board bylaws, shall be grounds for consideration as to possible extension of the suspension or expulsion from membership in the Board. (Revised 05/04)

(w) “Training Requirement for Ethics or other Appropriate Training” means a letter from the Board President or Professional Standards Chairperson to a Board Member advising of a lack of professional conduct determined by a due process hearing by the Professional Standards Committee, and directing the member to attend the ethics portion of the Board Indoctrination Course or other appropriate course or seminar specified by the Hearing Panel which the respondent could reasonably attend taking into consideration cost, location, and duration.

(x) “Tribunal” means those persons serving in a given case on a Grievance Committee or a Hearing Panel of the Professional Standards Committee in either an ethics or arbitration proceeding, or a Board of Directors or appropriate body appointed by a Board of Directors to act in its behalf. No individual may participate in the deliberation of more than one tribunal on the same matter. (Revised 5/88)

(y) “Unauthorized disclosure” means a report or publication under any circumstances not established in this Manual. (Adopted 11/91)