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Part 2, Section 14: Nature of Discipline

Part 2, Section 14: Nature of Discipline

Disciplinary action may consist only of one or more of the following. Refer to Appendix VII to Part Four of this Manual for sanctioning guidelines.

(a) Letter of Warning with copy to be placed in member’s file;

(b) Letter of Reprimand with copy to be placed in member’s file;

(c) Requirement that member 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;

(d) Appropriate and reasonable fine not to exceed $15,000 (Revised 5/13);

(e) Member placed on probation for a stated period of time not less than thirty (30) days nor more than one (1) year;*

(f) Membership of individual suspended for a stated period not less than thirty (30) days nor more than one (1) year with automatic reinstatement of membership in good standing at the end of the specified 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). The Directors may order suspension unconditionally, or they may, at their discretion, give the disciplined member the option of paying to the Board, within such time as the Directors shall designate, an assessment in an amount fixed by the Directors, which may not exceed $15,000 and which can be utilized only once in any three (3) year period, in lieu of accepting suspension. But, if the conduct for which suspension is ordered consists of failure to submit a dispute to arbitration, the Directors may not permit the disciplined member to avoid suspension without submitting to the arbitration in addition to paying the assessment, unless in the meanwhile the dispute has been submitted to a court of law without any objection by any party that it should be arbitrated;** *** (Revised 5/13)

(g) Expulsion of individual from membership with no reinstatement privilege for a specified period of one (1) to three (3) years, with reinstatement of membership to be by application only after the specified period of expulsion, on the merits of the application at the time received (decision should be written clearly articulating all intended consequences, including denial of MLS participatory or access privileges); (Revised 4/96)

(h) Suspension or termination of MLS rights and privileges may also be utilized. Suspension of MLS services may be no less than thirty (30) days nor more than one (1) year; termination of MLS services shall be for a stated period of one (1) to three (3) years; (Revised 5/02)

*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)

**$15,000 is the maximum fine that may be assessed regardless of the number of Articles of the Code of Ethics that a member is determined to have violated in any given hearing. It is noted that a “reasonable and appropriate” fine may vary from $1 to $15,000 and should relate to the gravity of the offense and objective of the proposed sanction. (Revised 5/13)

***Boards are advised that they should be guided by the provisions of Part Four, Section 24, Initial Action by Directors, and Part Ten, Section 56, Enforcement, of this Manual. Judicial enforcement should be used to enforce any award in arbitration. (Revised 9/87)

(i) REALTORS® who participate in MLS or otherwise access MLS information through any Board or Association in which they do not hold membership are subject to the Code of Ethics in that Board or Association on the same terms and conditions as Board members. Discipline that may be imposed may be the same as but shall not exceed the discipline that may be imposed on members. Boards entering into regional or reciprocal MLS agreements are encouraged to include provisions requiring signatory Boards to respect, to the extent feasible, decisions rendered by other Boards involving suspension or expulsion from membership or from MLS. (Revised 4/96)

In addition to any discipline imposed, Boards and Associations may, at their discretion, impose administrative processing fees not to exceed $500 against each respondent found in violation of the Code of Ethics or other membership duties. Any administrative processing fee will be in addition to, and not part of, any disciplinary sanction imposed. Boards and Associations shall determine in advance when, and under what circumstances, administrative processing fees will be imposed so that imposition is a matter of administrative routine. (Revised 11/12)