Realtors lawsuit pits Palm Beaches against Miami

Court hearing set for Sept. 3.
Court hearing set for Sept. 3.

The Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches filed suit alleging misuse of its multiple listing service by a smaller Realtors group in Jupiter and the Miami Association of Realtors.

The suit charges that the Jupiter-Tequesta-Hobe Sound Association of Realtors provided the Miami Realtors with unauthorized access to the multiple listing service of the Palm Beaches Realtors.

The Jupiter Realtors and the Miami Realtors, which plan to merge next month, used the plaintiff’s multiple listing service “without permission, consent or payment,” according to the suit.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra denied a request by the Palm Beaches Realtors to prohibit the use of its multiple listing service by the Miami Realtors.  Instead, the judge issued a restraining order that bars the Miami Realtors from destroying or limiting access to the Palm Beaches Realtors’ database with more than 30,000 properties.

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Marra wrote in the restraining order that the Palm Beaches Realtors showed a “substantial likelihood” that it could prove the Jupiter Realtors and Miami Realtors were guilty of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

The judge scheduled a hearing on the complaint for Sept. 3.

Multiple listing services showing homes listed for sale are “proprietary and copyrighted,” Dionna Hall, chief executive officer of the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches, said in a statement. [Sun-Sentinel] – Mike Seemuth