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 9.7 Violation Review Hearings
- Section 9.6.1 - MLS Fine Waiver
- 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 the MLS 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)
Note 1: A participant (or user/subscriber, where appropriate) can be placed on probation. Probation is not a form of discipline. When a participant (or user/subscriber, where appropriate) is placed on probation the discipline is held in abeyance for a stipulated period of time not longer than one (1) year. Any subsequent finding of a violation of the MLS rules 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 are considered fulfilled, and the individual’s record will reflect the fulfillment. The fact that one or more forms of discipline are held in abeyance during the probationary period does not bar imposition of other forms of discipline which will not be held in abeyance. (Revised 05/14)
Note 2: MLS participants and subscribers can receive no more than three (3) administrative sanctions in a calendar year before they are required to attend a hearing for their actions and potential violations of MLS rules, except that the MLS may allow more administrative sanctions for violations of listing information provided by participants and subscribers before requiring a hearing. The MLS must send a copy of all administrative sanctions against a subscriber to the subscriber’s participant and the participant is required to attend the hearing of a subscriber who has received more than three (3) administrative sanctions within a calendar year.
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 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.
If, within a calendar year, a Participant or Subscriber receives more than three (3) Notice of Fine notifications, as described in Section 9.6, they will be required to appear at a hearing before a CVR MLS Compliance Panel for a disciplinary conclusion for each subsequent fine incident. The MLS Compliance Panel may impose additional discipline and sanctions in accordance with these rules and NAR guidelines. Additionally, a Subscriber must appear at each hearing with their participant broker or any supervising broker of record.
Each hearing shall be subject to the administrative fee set forth in Section 9.7 in addition to any violation fine.
If the revision to a correctable violation is made pursuant to the instructions in the Notice of Violation within the Grace Period of the Notice, or if satisfactory evidence refuting the alleged violation is submitted to CVR MLS staff within the Grace Period provided in the Notice of Violation, the violation will be dismissed.
If the Participant or Subscriber fails to correct the violation(s) within the Grace Period 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, unless the Respondent files a request for a review hearing before a CVR MLS Compliance Panel or the Subscriber or Participant has incurred Multiple Violations, as defined in Section 9.5.
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 will be suspended from CVR MLS and the Lockbox System until the violation has been corrected and the fine has been paid.
Repeated violations of CVR MLS Rules and Regulations may result in other fines or discipline, as applicable. (See Section 9.5 Multiple 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. When requested by a complainant, the MLS will process a complaint without revealing the complainant’s identity. If a complainant is subsequently forwarded to a hearing and the original complainant does not consent to participating in the process, the MLS will appoint a representative to serve as the complainant.
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.
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 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.