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(a) The Director may investigate facts and assemble documents relevant to a dispute filed with the Commission, and may summarize the issues in the dispute. The Director may notify a party if, in the Director’s opinion, a dispute was not properly filed with the Commission, and may inform each party of the possible sanctions under Section 10B-13(d).
(b) If the Director, after reviewing a dispute, finds that, assuming all facts alleged by the party that filed the dispute are true, there are no reasonable grounds to conclude that a violation of applicable law or any association document has occurred, the Director may so inform the Commission. The Commission must dismiss a dispute if it finds that there are no reasonable grounds to conclude that a violation of applicable law or any association document has occurred, or it may order the Director to investigate further. The Commission may reconsider the dismissal of a dispute under this subsection if any party, in a motion to reconsider filed within 30 days after the dispute is dismissed, shows that:
(1) the Commission erroneously interpreted or applied applicable law or an association document; or
(2) material issues of fact that are necessary to a fair resolution of the dispute remain unresolved.
(c) If the Director, after reviewing a dispute and any investigation, finds reasonable grounds to conclude that a violation of applicable law or an association document has occurred, the Director must attempt to resolve the matter through informal negotiation including, in the Director's discretion, mediation. Each party named in the dispute or its representative must attend any mediation conference scheduled by the Director under this Section unless excused by the Director. If the party that files the dispute refuses or fails to participate in the mediation, the Director must dismiss the dispute. If the party that is the subject of the dispute refuses or fails to participate in the mediation, the Director must refer the dispute to the Commission for resolution. The party that is the subject of the dispute may not appear at the hearing, and the hearing panel may award relief to any party that the facts on the record warrant.
(d) Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties in writing, a mediation conference is informal and nothing said or done during a mediation conference is admissible in any subsequent hearing under this article.
(e) The Commission must promptly schedule a hearing under Section 10B-13 if either: (1) mediation has not occurred within 90 days after the Director found reasonable grounds to believe a violation occurred; or (2) the Director decides at any time that mediation would be fruitless. The Director may extend the mediation deadline by mutual consent of the parties. (1990 L.M.C., ch. 33, § 1; 1994 L.M.C., ch. 9, § 1; 1996 L.M.C., ch. 13, § 1; 2005 L.M.C., ch. 26, § 1; 2016 L.M.C., ch. 10, § 1.)
Editor’s note—2016 L.M.C., ch. 10, § 2, states: Sections 10B-11(c), (d), and (e), as amended by this Act, which require attempted informal resolution of disputes, including mediation, apply to all disputes filed with the Commission after this Act takes effect as provided in Charter Section 112.
2005 L.M.C., ch. 26, §§ 2 and 3, state:
Sec. 2. Regulations. A regulation which implements a function transferred to the Office of Consumer Protection by this Act continues in effect until otherwise amended or repealed, but any reference to any predecessor department or office must be treated as referring to the Office of Consumer Protection.
Sec. 3. Transition. This act does not invalidate or affect any action taken by the Department of Housing and Community Affairs before this Act took effect. Any responsibility or right granted by law, regulation, contract, or other document, and which is associated with a function transferred by this Act from the Department of Housing and Community Affairs, is transferred to the Office of Consumer Protection.