Article 9: COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES
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- Section 9.1 Deleted 5/14
- Section 9.2 Violation Reporting
- Section 9.3 Authority to Impose Sanctions
- Section 9.4 Notice of Violation
- Section 9.5 Multiple Violations
- Section 9.6 Notice of Fine
- Section 9.6.1 - MLS Fine Waiver
- Section 9.7 Hearing Request
- Section 9.8 Appeals
- Section 9.9 Lockbox Key Violations
- Section 9.10 Breach or Threatened Breach
- Section 9.11 Listings of Suspended Participants
- Section 9.12 Listings of Suspended Subscribers
- Section 9.13 Listings of Expelled Participants
Violations of CVR MLS Rules and Regulations are discovered in several ways. Regular audits are performed by CVR MLS staff, but peer review also plays an important part in identifying inconsistencies and non-compliance. Participants and Subscribers may report alleged violations by using the Report a Listing function in Matrix or contacting the MLS Compliance Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804.422.5002.
By becoming and remaining a participant or subscriber in CVR MLS, each Participant and Subscriber agrees to be subject to the rules and regulations and any other CVR MLS governance provision. CVR MLS may, through the administrative and hearing procedures established in these rules, impose discipline for violations of the rules and other MLS governance provisions. Discipline that may be imposed may consist of one or more of the following:
a. letter of warning
b. letter of reprimand
c. attendance at MLS orientation or other appropriate courses or seminars which the participant or subscriber can reasonably attend taking into consideration cost, location, and duration
d. appropriate, reasonable fine not to exceed $15,000
e. probation for a stated period of time not less than thirty (30) days nor more than one (1) year
f. suspension of MLS rights, privileges, and services for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than one (1) year
g. termination of MLS rights, privileges, and services with no right to reapply for a specified period not to exceed three (3) years.
If CVR MLS staff determines that a violation of the Rules and Regulations has occurred a Notice of Violation will be emailed to both the Participant and Subscriber. The notice will specify the violation and indicate that the violation recipient has five (5) days correct the violation or submit documentation that the finding of violation is incorrect. Violations of MLS rules that are time sensitive, including but not limited to listing entry and status updates are not correctable and will be issued subject to appropriate fines provided herein.
CVR MLS distributes all violation and fine notices via e-mail. All Participants and Subscribers are required to provide CVR MLS with a valid contact email address. Not having an e-mail address or having an incorrect email address on file with CVR MLS does not excuse a Participant or Subscriber from their responsibility to pay assessed MLS fines or respond to notices within the specified time periods.
Multiple Violations of the CVR MLS Rules and Regulations – If a Participant or Subscriber has six (6) or more un-refuted Notices of Violation within a calendar month, or six (6) violations of the same rule within a in a calendar year the Participant or Subscriber will be fined $500.00. This fine will apply regardless of whether the underlying violations were corrected and/or a fine was assessed for the individual violations.
Practice Note: The goal of the MLS compliance process is to maintain the quality and integrity of the MLS database. The intent of Section 9.5 is to address repeat violations of the same rule and patterns of consistent rule violation. The violation count includes violations that are corrected within five (5) of receipt of a violation notice. So it is important to respond to all violation notices promptly and to notify the MLS if you dispute the finding of violation. The compliance software will occasionally recognize some data or lack thereof as a violation. In the case of this sort of false positive situation, you should respond to the notice and provide an explanation.
If a violation is corrected within five (5) days of the date of the Notice of Violation, or satisfactory evidence refuting the alleged violation is submitted to CVR MLS staff within Participant’s days of the date of the Notice of Violation, the violation will be dismissed. However, repeated violation of CVR MLS Rules and Regulations may result in other fines. (See Section 9.5 Multiple Violations).
If the Participant or Subscriber fails to correct the violation(s) within Participant’s days of the Notice of Violation or submit satisfactory evidence refuting the alleged violation a “Notice of Fine” will be e-mailed to both the Participant and Subscriber. The violation must be corrected and the fine paid within five (5) days from the date of the Fine Notice subject to the Respondents right to request a hearing before the CVR MLS Compliance Committee. If the Participant or Subscriber fails to pay an assessed fine or to request a hearing within five (5) days of the Notice of Fine, the Participant or Subscriber found to be in violation will be suspended from CVR MLS and CVR MLS Lockbox system until the violation has been corrected and the fine has been paid.
MLS fine waivers may be earned through the completion of an approved Road Rules class and may be applied to a single MLS violation up to $250. MLS fine waivers expire in one year from the date of the class in which the wavier was earned. MLS fine waivers must be earned prior to violation notice. You may only have one MLS fine waiver on file. The fine credit does not apply to lockbox, password sharing and MLS security violations.
If the recipient of a Notice of Fine wishes to dispute the finding of a violation or the sanction imposed, they may request a review within five (5) days of the date of the Notice of Fine. The review request should include the Notice of Fine, the reason he or she is disputing the finding of violation and/or fine and any relevant supporting documentation.
Violation review hearings will be conducted in accordance with the procedures outlined in the NAR Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual. A $250 administrative fee will be assessed if the violation(s) which are the subject of the hearing are determined to be valid by a hearing panel and/or the CVR MLS Board of Directors.
If an MLS Participant or Subscriber found in violation of the CVR MLS Rules and Regulations wishes to appeal an enforcement decision, fine or disciplinary action imposed by the CVR MLS Compliance Committee they may do so by submitting a request for an appeal to the CVR MLS Board of Directors within ten (10) days of the date of the decision or assessment of a fine(s) or discipline. The decision of the CVR MLS Board of Directors shall be final. An administrative fee of $250 must accompany all appeal requests. If the CVR MLS Board of Directors reverses the hearing panels enforcement decision the administrative fee of $250 and original hearing fee shall be refunded. Rev 6/13
Article 12 of the Rules and Regulations sets out the fines, penalties and procedures for violations of Lockbox security and Keyholder conduct. Lockbox security and Key violations are not considered correctable violations and are subject to immediate fines.
In the event of a breach or threatened breach by a Participant or Subscriber of any provision of these Rules and Regulations or other applicable Association Bylaw, CVR MLS shall be entitled to an injunction restraining the Participant and/or Subscriber from continuing with such breach or prohibiting the threatened breach. Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting CVR MLS from pursuing any other remedies available to it for such breach or threatened breach, including the recovery of monetary damages from the Participant and/or Subscriber. If an injunction, remedy, finding, judgment or award is granted to CVR MLS against a Participant and/or Subscriber, such Participant and/or Subscriber shall be liable for all of CVR MLS attorney’s fees, court costs and expert witness expenses.
When a CVR MLS Participant is suspended from CVR MLS for failing to abide by a membership duty (i.e., violation of the Code of Ethics, association bylaws, MLS bylaws, MLS rules and regulations, or other membership obligation except failure to pay appropriate dues, fees, or charges), all Listings currently filed with the MLS by the suspended Participant shall, at the Participant’s option, be retained in the service until sold, withdrawn or expired, and shall not be renewed or extended by CVR MLS beyond the termination date of the Listing agreement in effect when the suspension became effective. Participants whose MLS access is suspended are not entitled to refund or credit of service fees for the period of time they do not have access to the CVR MLS system.
When a CVR MLS Subscriber is suspended from CVR MLS for failure to abide by a membership duty (i.e., violation of the Code of Ethics, association bylaws, MLS bylaws, MLS rules and regulations, or other membership obligation except failure to pay appropriate dues, fees, or charges), the affiliated Principal Broker/Participant shall receive ten (10) days notice to designate an active Subscriber as the Listing agent for all listings in the name of the Suspended Subscriber. In the event the Principal Broker/Participant does not designate a new Subscriber, the active Listings will be placed in the name of the Participant. Subscribers whose MLS access is suspended are not entitled to refund or credit of service fees for the period of time they do not have access to the CVR MLS system.
When a CVR MLS Participant is expelled from the MLS for failing to abide by a membership duty (i.e., violation of the Code of Ethics, association bylaws, MLS bylaws, MLS rules and regulations, or other membership obligations except failure to pay appropriate dues, fees, or charges), all Listings currently filed with the MLS by the expelled Participant shall, at the Participant’s option, be retained in the service until sold, withdrawn, or expired, and shall not be renewed or extended by CVR MLS beyond the termination date of the Listing Agreement in effect when the expulsion became effective. If a Participant has been expelled from the association (except where MLS participation without association membership is permitted by law) or MLS (or both) for failure to pay appropriate dues, fees, or charges, an association MLS is not obligated to provide MLS services, including continued inclusion of the expelled Participant’s Listings in the MLS compilation of current Listing information. Prior to any removal of an expelled Participant’s Listings from the MLS, the expelled Participant will receive ten (10) days written notice of the intended removal so that the expelled Participant may advise his clients.