In order for an ethics complaint to be processed, a formal complaint must be filed using the Ethics Complaint Form. As you complete the Ethics Complaint Form, you will need to refer to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS® to determine which Article(s) you believe have been violated. Your complaint should include a supporting document in the form of a narrative or chronological summary of the events that occurred.
Once the complaint is received by DMCAR, the case is sent to the Grievance Committee Chair for the assignment of a panel to conduct a review. This panel’s responsibility is to review the case and, based on guidelines they must follow, will determine if the case should be referred to hearing or dismissed.
If the case is referred to hearing, the DMCAR Professional Standards Committee will appoint a panel to hear the case and determine if the Code of Ethics has been violated. The hearing is typically held at the DMCAR office, and is set for a time convenient for all parties.
If the panel determines there has been a violation, they will take disciplinary action. Disciplinary sanctions can include the completion of an education class on a given topic, fines, letters of warning and reprimand, suspension, or termination of membership.
Before you file an Ethics Complaint, read this
FAQs- Ethics Complaints
Q: Is there a statute of limitations for filing ethics complaints?
A: Yes. 180 days from the time that you could have known there was a dispute.
Q: How do I know whether to file an ethics complaint or request arbitration?
A: Ethics complaints are filed about behavior; arbitration is requested when there is a commission dispute.
Q: Can I file an arbitration request and an ethics complaint at the same time?
A: Yes. Both case types can be filed at the same time. If the cases go to hearing, arbitration hearings are held first.
Q: Is there a cost to file an ethics complaint?
Q: I’d like to file a complaint, but am worried about confidentiality.
A: All ethics complaints are kept strictly confidential. Only staff involved in the administration of cases, along with the assigned members from the Grievance and Professional Standards Committees, have access to ethics complaints.
Q: Is there a special form I should use when filing an ethics complaint?
A: File an ethics complaint using Ethics Complaint Form E-1, available from DMCAR. The Ethics Complaint Form should include a supporting document in the form of a narrative or chronological summary of the events that occurred.
Q: Where do I submit the ethics complaint?
A: If your complaint is against a member of DMCAR, submit the complaint to Jacquie Wolff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Will the person who I’m filing against be notified of my complaint?
A: Yes. Once your complaint has been submitted to DMCAR, it is sent to the respondent for a reply.
Q: How do I know which Article of the Code of Ethics to name in my complaint?
A: The Code of Ethics includes Standards of Practice which explain the types of behavior covered by each Article.
Q: Do I name the Article or Standard of Practice in my complaint?
A: Ethics complaints should be filed based on the Articles of the Code of Ethics.
Q: How do I know where to file the ethics complaint?
A: Ethics complaints are filed with the Board/Association where the responding party holds membership.
Q: Who establishes the rules that DMCAR follows in handling ethics complaints?
A: DMCAR is required to follow the rules of the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual of the National Association of REALTORS®.
Q: How long does the process take?
A: If ethics complaints go to hearing, the process may take up to 2 months. This is because of the time that must be allowed for responses, proper notification, scheduling, etc.
Q: What happens if someone is found in violation of an Article of the Code of Ethics?
A: If the hearing panel finds that a member is in violation of the Code of Ethics, they have the authority to recommend that the Board of Directors impose disciplinary sanctions such as the completion of an education class on a given topic, fines, letters of warning and reprimand, suspension, or termination of membership.