Investigation of Complaint By The Grievance Committee
1. Committee not required, but may elect to send complaint to respondent and invite a response.
2. Unless board/associaiton procedures require a response, respondent is not in violaiton of membership duty for not responding. However, the Grievance Committee then must decide on facts in hand, or review further, as necessary.
3. Committee must make sure it does not conduct a "hearing" and does not exceed its function.
4. In the event the complaint is from a client, customer, or a member of the general public and the Grievance Committee determines that the complaint is vague, overly general, does not allege violations of specific Articles, or is otherwise insufficient in its face, a member of the Grievance Committee may be assigned by the Chairperson of the Grievance Committee to assist the complainant in preparing the complaint in proper form.
Grievance Committee May Act On Its Own Initiative
Even when no formal complaint is received, the committee may conduct its own investigation and file its own complaint.
Review Of Requests For Arbitration
The Grievance Committee considers whether the request is in proper order, the proper parties are named, whether the request has been filed within the one hundred eighty (180) day time limit.
Is Request Arbitrable? Mandatory or Voluntary?
The committee must decide whether the matter is properly arbitrable. If it is not related to a real estate transaction, it is not arbitrable.
A determination must also be made as to whether the dispute falls into mandatory arbitration or voluntary category. (See Section 44, Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual, NAR)
The Grievance Committee must decide if the board/association is capable of arbitrating the dispute. An amount too small or too large may be the basis upon which a board/association refuses to provide arbitration.
A board/association may also decline to provide arbitration in cases where the legal complexity of the issue presented by be beyond the ability of the board/association's arbitrators to resolve in a knowledgeable fashion.
If the board/association is unable to form a competent and unbiased hearing panel of peers, the board may elect to refer the matter to the state association with a request that the state arbitrate it. If the state association cannot or refuses to hear it, the parties are released from their obligation to arbitrate.
If the board/association offers mediation, it is to the parties' and the board/association's advantage to use the process as a preliminary alternative to arbitration.
Grievance Committee's Dismissal Of Complaint Final Unless Appeal Made To Directors
When a Grievance Committee dismisses a request for arbitration, the decision is final, unless one of the parties appeals the dismissal to the Board of Directors. The directors may confirm dismissal or order that the dispute be arbitrated.