Citation Notices, Fines, and the Citation Review Process

I received a Citation Notice. What do I do?

Make sure to correct the violation to prevent the issuance of additional citations. If the violation was corrected on your behalf by CRMLS Staff, this information will be included within the Citation Notice.

Within 20 calendar days of the date of the Citation Notice, you can either pay the fine assessed or, if you wish to contest the violation and associated citation, submit a Citation Review Request Form online no later than the Citation Review Deadline noted on your Citation Notice. Click here for the Citation Review Request online form.

If the fine is not paid in full nor is a Citation Review Request Form submitted within 20 calendar days of the issuance if the Citation Notice, your access to MLS Services will be suspended. If your access is suspended, the only option for reinstatement is payment in full.

What is the process for a Citation Review Request?

Initial Review and Preparation

After a timely request for a Citation Review is submitted online, users will receive an automatic confirmation email. The associated invoice will be voided pending the outcome of the Citation Review or hearing. The investigation and all related evidence will be reviewed by the CRMLS Billing Department and a Citation Review Packet will be prepared and forwarded to the user’s local Association/Board for further review by their Grievance Committee.

Association/Board Review and Scheduling of the Hearing

As set forth in detail in the California Association of Realtors Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual: If the Grievance Committee determines there is enough evidence to proceed to a full hearing, the user’s local Association/Board will notify the user of this decision and will contact the user to schedule the hearing. Alternatively, if the Grievance Committee finds a hearing is not warranted, the user will be notified of this decision and the associated invoice will be cancelled.

Findings of the Hearing Panel

After the hearing, the user will be provided with the decision of the hearing panel. Upon hearing the evidence and considering the positions of the parties, the panel may agree or disagree with the citation. If the citation is upheld, the panel may uphold, waive, increase, or decrease the fine amount, and may also impose an administrative fee in addition to the fine. The panel will also provide a deadline for payment, which must be paid in full to prevent the suspension of the user’s access to MLS services. At this point, the initial invoice will be reinstated and resent with the proper modifications specified in the hearing outcome.

Please be advised that the current CRMLS hearing administrative fee associated with the review and hearing process is $200 but is only assessed if the hearing panel upholds the citation. The user’s Association/Board may also have a fee associated with the hearing process. Note also that the hearing panel may bring additional MLS Rule or Code of Ethics violations claims and associated fines or penalties in connection with the review and hearing process.

Can I still submit a Citation Review Request Form if I already paid my fine?

Yes. The Citation Review process remains the same if the fine is paid prior to the submission of a Citation Review Request Form, subject to the following conditions:

The invoice will remain as paid until the hearing is held and a decision is made by the hearing panel. If you are found in violation at the hearing, you will be responsible for the $200 CRMLS administrative fee and may be subject to additional fines and administrative fees added by your Association/Board. If you are NOT found in violation, your payment will be refunded by CRMLS. Please allow 3-5 business days from the date of the refund.

If you choose to submit a request for a Citation Review after you have paid the fine, the review request must be submitted no later than the Citation Review Deadline noted on your Citation Notice. Any submissions after this deadline will not be eligible for a review.

I received multiple citations, can I submit one request for all of them?

Yes. If the violations are related, you may address all citations to be reviewed on one form. Please be sure to include all case numbers on the Citation Review Request Form. CRMLS may reach out to clarify this information, if necessary.

Can I submit a Citation Review Request form on my Broker’s behalf?

No. A Broker must submit a request for a Citation Review for their own violation as he or she must agree to the terms outlined in the Citation Review Request Form. However, a Broker always has the option to contest a violation on behalf of his or her agent(s).

Can I withdraw my request for a Citation Review if I change my mind?

Yes. At any time up to the date of the hearing, or even at the hearing, you may withdraw your request for a Citation Review and elect to make payment in full. If you choose to pay in full in lieu of a Citation Review or hearing, please contact your Association/Board AND CRMLS’s Billing Department to request the reinstatement of your invoice.

I don’t agree with the fine amount or the CRMLS Rule. What can I do?

The CRMLS Rules and Regulations are derived from the C.A.R. and N.A.R. model MLS rules, with some variations based on rules proposed by the CRMLS Rules Committee. All CRMLS Rules and Regulations and associated fines are approved by the Board of Directors before being published. If you disagree with the CRMLS Rules and Regulations or the fines associated with such Rule violations set forth in the CRMLS Citation Policy, contact the MLS Committee at your Association/Board, who may then bring the issue before the CRMLS Rules Committee.

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