The law amends the sections of the license law dealing with the disciplinary process the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing must follow if it finds that a licensee has violated one of the provisions dealing with agency. Currently, if such a violation is believed to have occurred, the Division must conduct a full administrative hearing in front of a hearing officer. This is extremely costly to the Division in terms of staff time and overhead expense. It is also very costly to the licensee who usually hires legal counsel to represent him at such a hearing and must travel to the Division’s office in either Columbus or Cleveland.
Under the law, the Superintendent of Real Estate will have the discretion to issue a “citation” to a licensee who is believed to have violated the agency provisions. This citation will notify the licensee of the charge against him and offer him the option of paying a $200 fine. If the licensee wishes to contest the charge, he may still require a full administrative hearing before a hearing officer.
Such a citation process is currently utilized by the Division for advertising infractions. It is believed such a process for agency violations will permit the Division to still enforce the license law, but do so in a more expedient manner that saves not only the Division, but also the licensee time and money.
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