As part of our ongoing effort to promote professionalism in our industry, and to hold GRAR members to a high standard of professional conduct, the GRAR Board of Directors established a Citation Policy based on NAR’s recommendation and model policy. In short, the Citation Policy is a way for minor complaints arising from potentially unethical behavior to be handled much more quickly than through the formal grievance process. There are times when minor mistakes are made and it is appropriate for the respondent to say "Sorry, it won’t happen again", pay a small fine, and move on.
Some compare the Citation Policy to a traffic ticket. If you are caught rolling through a stop sign and issued a ticket, you know you did it. You are probably going to admit you did it, pay the fine, and not do it again. It is a relatively minor violation that doesn’t require a court appearance or a trial. The goal of the ticket is to remind you of the law so that you no longer roll through stop signs.
In recent years we've heard from you that the grievance process is too long and cumbersome. In many cases, a member may have an experience that warrants a Professional Standards complaint, but they elect to not file it. The Citation Policy may help with many of these types of situations.
Here is how it works.
If you believe you are the victim of a violation of the Code of Ethics you can fill out a complaint as you normally would. If the Grievance Committee feels it meets the criteria for the Citation Policy they will pass it to the Citation Panel. The panel will review and determine whether to issue a citation to the respondent. The respondent can admit the violation and pay the fine or request a full hearing. If they pay the fine, the matter is closed, the record is sealed, and it will only impact the member if they have the same violation in the future. Past citations are not considered as evidence in other matters.
review the list of citable offenses associated with this policy
and avoid violations of the Code of Ethics. If you are the victim of a violation, we encourage you to file a complaint so that we can educate our members on proper ethical behavior and hold them accountable when they stray from ethical behavior.