Title 5
Businesses and Professions

Chapter 20.5
Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons

R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-20.5-15

§ 5-20.5-15. Hearings before revocation or suspension of license.

(a)(1) Before refusing to issue a license or suspending or revoking a license on its own motion, the division of professional regulation shall notify the applicant or licensee of its intended action and the grounds for the action. The applicant or licensee may, within twenty (20) days, file with the division a request for a hearing stating his or her answer to the grounds specified in the notification. The division shall consider the answer and set a date for a hearing, notifying the applicant or licensee of the date at least twenty (20) days prior to the hearing date.

(2) Before refusing to issue a license or suspending or revoking an existing license upon the verified written complaint of any person stating a cause of action under § 5-20.5-17, the department of business regulation shall, in writing, notify the accused applicant or licensee of its receipt of the complaint, enclosing a copy of the complaint. The accused applicant or licensee shall, within twenty (20) days, file his or her answer to the complaint or complaints with the department.

(3) The division shall transmit a copy of the answer to the complainant or complainants and set a time and place for a hearing, which is at least twenty (20) days prior to the hearing date.

(4) All notices and answers required or authorized to be made or filed under this section may be served or filed personally, or by certified mail to the last known business address of the addressee. If served personally, the time runs from the date of service; if by registered mail, from the postmarked date of the letter enclosing the document.

(5) Hearings are open to the public, and are conducted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 35 of title 42, relating to administrative procedures, and the department’s rules of procedure for administrative hearings, and the applicant or licensee has an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel. A hearing officer appointed by the director shall render a decision on any application or complaint within sixty (60) days after the final hearing in the matter and shall immediately notify the parties to the proceedings, in writing, of its ruling, order, or decision. In the event the matter contained in the complaint has been filed or made a part of a case pending in any court in this state, the division may then withhold its decision until the court action has been concluded. Hearings shall be held in accordance with rules promulgated by the division in conformity with law.

(b) Any unlawful act or violation of any of the provisions of this chapter by any salesperson is not cause for the suspension or revocation of the license of the broker with whom he or she is affiliated unless it appears to the satisfaction of the division of professional regulation that the broker had knowledge of the unlawful act or violation.

(c) The division of professional regulation is authorized and empowered to issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of records or documents. The process issued by the division may extend to all parts of the state, and process may be served by any person designated by the division. The person serving that process shall receive any compensation that is allowed by the division, not to exceed the fee prescribed by law for similar services. All witnesses subpoenaed who appear in any proceedings before the division shall receive the same fees and mileage allowances allowed by law, and all those fees and allowances are taxed as part of the cost of the proceedings.

(d) Where, in any proceeding before the division of professional regulation, any witness fails or refuses to attend upon subpoena issued by the division, or refuses to testify, or refuses to produce any records or documents, the production of which is called for by the subpoena, the attendance of the witness and the giving of his or her testimony and the production of the documents and records shall be enforced by any court of competent jurisdiction of this state in the same manner as are enforced the attendance, testimony of witnesses, and production of records in civil cases in the courts of this state.

History of Section.
P.L. 1973, ch. 215, § 2; P.L. 1985, ch. 181, art. 59, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 102, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 113, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 92, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 93, § 1.