MEMBERSHIP DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES
Section 1 Association By-laws and Rules of Conduct
Any member of the Association may be disciplined for violation of the Association By-laws or of the Rules of Conduct contained within the Association Code of Ethics.
The Association By-laws and Code of Ethics shall be adopted and may be amended from time to time by the Association.
Notice of any amendments to the Association By-laws and/or Code of Ethics shall be distributed to all members of the Association. Members unwilling to comply with the Association By-laws and/or Code of Ethics or any amendments thereto must submit their resignation from membership with the Association.
Section 2 Filing of complaints
Any member of the Association or any member of the public many file a complaint with the President or any of the Board
Members alleging that a member has violated one or more of the Association By-laws and/or Rules of Conduct contained within the Code of Ethics. Complaints received through operation of the Referral Service Program may also be reviewed. Complaints must be filed in writing. No special form of the complaint is necessary, except the name, address and phone number of the complainant and the member and a summary of the facts of the complaint should be included.
The President shall provide a complaint form format to any person requesting the same. Complaints may be filed on a confidential basis with identity of the complainant known only to the President, but the complainant shall be informed that such person may be requested to appear at a hearing before the Board of Directors at which time their identity will be revealed.
Section 3 Initial Screening of Complaint
The Board of Directors shall initially screen all complaints in order to determine which complaints should be forwarded to the Grievance Committee (the Committee) for further review. The President shall report to the Association a summary of all complaints not forwarded, on a quarterly basis, in order that they may monitor and determine the nature of complaints, which should be forwarded to the Committee. Complaints received through the operation of the Referral Service Program, which do not appear to violate the rules of Conduct may be referred by the President to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program offered by the Association.
Section 4 Grievance Committee
The Committee shall be governed by the following rules.
a. Role of the Grievance Committee. The role of the Committee is to investigate complaints. The Committee shall not determine the validity of any complaint filed, but by majority vote of the Committee shall determine whether a complaint shall be referred to the Board for hearing. If a complaint is referred, the committee shall designate which Association By-law or Rule of Conduct may be applicable. The Committee is empowered to interview and gather evidence from all persons who have relevant information with respect to a complaint. All evidence gathered by the committee shall be confidential except to the extent it is disclosed to the Board of Directors in a disciplinary hearing, as provided below. Association members are required to cooperate with the
Committee investigation process.
b. Composition of the Grievance Committee. The Committee shall be composed of two Referral Service members and one member of the Board of Directors.
c. Disposition of Complaints. On a quarterly basis the Committee shall report to the Board a summary of the nature of all complaints that it decided not to refer to the Board.
Section 5 Board of Directors. With respect to the disciplinary hearing process, the Board shall be governed by the following.
a. Board of Directors. The Board shall act as the decision maker in determining whether any actions of a member have violated the Association By-laws and/or Rules of Conduct.
b. Composition of the Board of Directors for Hearing Purposes.
All members of the Board are eligible to hear any complaints referred to the Board by the Committee, except the Board member who serves on the committee shall not be eligible. However, such member is eligible to present evidence on behalf of the Grievance Committee. A majority of the Board members eligible to act at the hearing shall constitute a quorum for purposes of holding the hearing. The vote of a simple majority of the Board members attending the hearing shall be necessary in order for the Board to act.
c. Hearing Procedure. In the event a complaint is referred to the Board for hearing, the President shall schedule the time and place of hearing and give the affected member at least ten (10) days written notice of the hearing, along with a copy of the written complaint. The member shall be informed of the opportunity to attend the meeting and to be heard in person or by counsel and to present testimony at the hearing. A member of the Committee shall initiate the hearing by presenting the members evidence. A record of the hearing may be made by electronic recording unless waived by the Committee, the Board and the affected member.
d. Permissible Action by the Board of Directors. At the conclusion of the hearing, or at a later time if the Board decides additional deliberation is necessary, the Board may take any one or more of the following actions:
1. Dismiss the complaint on the grounds that a violation of the Association By-laws or of the Rules of Conduct was not shown.
2. Issue a letter of reprimand or admonishment to the member.
3. Suspend the membership of the member for a specific period of time and designate what actions, if any must be taken by the member in order to reinstate membership.
4. Terminate membership of the member in the Association.
Any ruling by the Board shall be in wiring and maintained with the Association records with a copy of the ruling to be delivered by first class mail to the member and/or its counsel and the individual who initiated the complaint. The confidentiality of the Board’s ruling shall be determined by the Board given the specific facts and circumstances of the matter under review.
e. Appeal. The ruling of the Board shall be final and not subject to further appeal.