ARTICLE XIV / Code of Ethics
§14.1 National Code. The Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is adopted as the Code of Ethics of the Association and shall be considered a part of its rules and regulations, and the Code of Ethics and the rules and regulations of the Association shall, in the future, be deemed to be amended and changed whenever said Code of Ethics is amended or changed by the NAR.
§14.2 A local association, prior to referring an ethics complaint or arbitration request for reviewto the State Association, should exhaust all efforts to impanel an impartial tribunal to conduct either the original hearing or the appeal or procedural review. These efforts may include the appointment of knowledgeable members of the association on an ad hoc basis to serve on either a hearing panel or on behalf of the board of directors. If, because of notoriety, etc., the association cannot impanel an impartial tribunal, the association may refer the matter to the State Association, and the State Association may delegate to another association or a regional enforcement facility, the authority to hear the case on behalf of the State Association. No association or regional enforcement facility, however, may be required to accept this delegation of authority. If no other entity is amenable to conducting the review, the State Association shall be responsible for conducting the hearing.
§14.3 Allegations of ethical violations and contractual disputes (and non-specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4) between REALTORS and between REALTORS and their customers or clients may be submitted to an ethics or arbitration panel at the State Association level under the following circumstances:
(a) Allegations of unethical conduct made against a REALTOR who is directly a member of the Association and not a member of any Local Board.
(b) Allegations of unethical conduct made against a REALTOR in the instance in which the Local Board, because of size or other valid reason, determines that it cannot provide a due process hearing of the matter and petitions the Association to conduct the hearing.
(c) Contractual disputes (and non-specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4 between REALTORS, who are directly members of the Association and are not members of any Board.
(d) Contractual disputes (and specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4) between REALTORS who are not members of the same board where the matter has been referred to the State Association by both local boards.
(e) Contractual disputes (and specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4) between a REALTOR who does not hold membership in any association, but is directly a member of the State Association, and a REALTOR who is a member of an association.
(f) Contractual disputes (and specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4) between REALTOR members of the same association where the association with good and sufficient reason is unable to arbitrate the controversy. (Explanation: This provision is not designed to relieve a local association of its primary responsibility to resolve differences arising between members of the same association. The section recognizes that in some associations with limited membership, usual arbitration procedures may be impossible.)
(g) Contractual disputes between a customer or a client and a REALTOR where the association with good and sufficient reason is unable to arbitrate the dispute or the REALTOR is a direct member of the State Association.
§14.4 The responsibility of the association and of association members relating to the enforcement of the Code of Ethics, the disciplining of members, the arbitration of disputes, and the organization and procedures incident thereto shall be governed by the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual of the National Association, as from time-to-time amended, which by this reference is made a part of this Code of Regulations.
§14.5 If a REALTOR member (as defined in Article I, Section 1.1, of these Code of Regulations) resigns from the association or otherwise causes membership to terminate with an ethics complaint pending, the Executive Committee may condition the right of the resigning member to reapply for membership upon the applicant's certification that he/she will submit to the pending ethics proceeding and will abide by the decision of the hearing panel.
If a REALTOR member (as defined in Article I, Section 1.1, of these bylaws) resigns or otherwise causes membership to terminate, the duty to submit to arbitration (or to mediation if required by the association) continues in effect even after membership lapses or is terminated, provided that the dispute arose while the former member was a REALTOR.
§14.6 New Member Orientation. Applicants for REALTOR membership shall complete an orientation program on the Code of Ethics of not less than two (2) hours and thirty (30) minutes of instructional time. This requirement does not apply to applicants who have completed comparable orientation in another association, provided that membership has been continuous, or that any break in membership is for one year or less.
Failure to satisfy this requirement within 180 days of the date of application will result in denial of the membership application.
§14.7 REALTOR Code of Ethics Training. Effective January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2021, and for successive three year periods thereafter, each REALTOR member of the association (with the exception of REALTOR members granted REALTOR Emeritus status by the NAR) shall be required to complete ethics training of not less than two (2) hours and thirty (30) minutes of instructional time. This requirement will be satisfied upon presentation of documentation that the member has completed a course of instruction conducted by this or another association, the State Association of REALTORS, NAR, which meets the learning objectives and minimum criteria established by NAR from time to time. REALTOR members who have completed training as a requirement of membership in another association and REALTOR members who have completed the New Member Code of Ethics Orientation during any three year cycle shall not be required to complete additional ethics training until a new three year cycle commences.
Failure to satisfy the required periodic ethics training shall be considered a violation of a membership duty. Failure to meet the requirement in any three-year cycle will result in suspension of membership for the first two months (January and February) of the year following the end of any three year cycle or until the requirement is met, whichever occurs sooner. On March 1 of that year, the membership of a member who is still suspended as of that date will be automatically terminated.
§14.8 Public Announcements. The release or annunciation of any statement for public information, by an officer or Director of the Association that is contrary to established policy of the Association, without prior consent of the Chief Executive Officer of the Association shall constitute a breach of conduct and may result in expulsion from membership, as provided in Article VII.
This in no way shall be construed to deny an individual the right to express his personal views, so long as he does not imply that he is speaking for the Association.