Is there a statute of limitations for filing ethics complaints?
Yes. The time period is 180 days from the time that you could have known, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, the facts giving rise to your complaint.
How do I know whether to file an ethics complaint or to request arbitration?
Generally, ethics complaints are filed about behavior; arbitration is requested when there is a dispute over real estate commissions.
Can I file an arbitration request and an ethics complaint at the same time?
Yes. Both case types can be filed at the same time. If the Grievance Committee determines that both cases warrant hearings, the arbitration will be held first.
I'd like to file a complaint, but what about confidentiality?
All ethics complaints are kept strictly confidential. Only the staff involved in the administration of cases, members of the Grievance Committee, and the Professional Standards Committee members assigned to the hearing panel will have access to ethics complaints.
Is there a special form I should use when filing an ethics complaint?
File an ethics complaint using Ethics Complaint Form E-1, available from MCBOR. This form must be accompanied by your typewritten narrative or chronological summary describing the events that occurred.
Where do I submit the ethics complaint?
Submit your complaint online or send via regular mail to:
Medina County Board of REALTORS®
2530 Medina Road, Ste. 100
Medina Ohio 44256
Will the person who I'm filing against be notified of my complaint?
Yes. Once your formal complaint has been submitted to MCBOR and it has been determined by the Grievance Committee that the complaint constitutes potentially unethical conduct or is a matter for arbitration, a complete copy is sent to the respondent for a reply.
How do I know which Article of the Code of Ethics to name in my complaint?
The Code of Ethics is supported by Standards of Practice, which can help explain the types of behavior covered by each Article.
Do I name the Article, or the Standard of Practice, in my complaint?
Ethics complaints should be filed based on alleged violation of specific Articles of the Code of Ethics. You may, however, identify appropriate Standards of Practice in support of your complaint.
What if the respondent is not a member of MCBOR?
Ethics complaints are filed with the Board of REALTORS® where the responding party holds membership.
Who establishes the rules that MCBOR follows in handling ethics complaints?
MCBOR is required to follow the guidelines and procedures outlined in the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual of the National Association of REALTORS®.
How long does the process take?
If an ethics complaint goes to a hearing, the process may take 2-3 months. This is because of the time that must be allowed for responses, review by the Grievance Committee, proper notification, and scheduling of the hearing.
What happens if a REALTOR is found in violation of the Code of Ethics?
If the hearing panel finds a member to be in violation of the Code of Ethics, they may recommend that the Board of Directors impose disciplinary sanctions. Each case provides the Hearing Panel's decision based on the facts and the rationale for the decision, but does not specify a specific sanction or discipline to be imposed. There are two reasons for this.
- Any sanction imposed must always fit the offense and must involve every consideration of justice, equity, and propriety.
- A Hearing Panel may base its recommendation for discipline on a Member's past record of ethics violations.
The Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual establishes that a Member Board may utilize a wide range of sanctions for ethics violations. These sanctions include:
- Letter of Warning with copy to be placed in Member's file;
- Letter of Reprimand with copy to be placed in Member's file;
- 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;
- $500 Administrative Hearing Fee
- Appropriate and reasonable fine not to exceed $5,000;
- Member placed on probation for a stated period of time not less than thirty (30) days but no more than one (1) year;
- Membership of individual suspended for a stated period not to exceed one (1) year, with automatic reinstatement of membership in good standing at the end of the specified period of suspension (decision should be written clearly articulating all intended consequences, including denial of MLS participatory or access privileges).