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Legal Statutes: District of Columbia

UPDATED April 11, 2017

District of Columbia Statutes

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Subchapter I. Interfamily Proceedings Generally.

back to top§ 16-1003. Petition for civil protection.

(a) A petitioner, or a person authorized by this section to act on petitioner's behalf, may file a petition for civil protection in the Domestic Violence Unit against a respondent who has allegedly committed or threatened to commit one or more criminal offenses against the petitioner; provided, that:

(1) If the petitioner is a minor, the petitioner's parent, guardian, custodian, or other appropriate adult may file a petition for civil protection on the petitioner's behalf;

(2) A minor who is 16 years of age or older may file a petition for civil protection on his or her own behalf;

(3) A minor who is at least 12 but less than 16 years of age and a victim of intimate partner violence may file a petition for civil protection and participate in a hearing to seek a temporary protection order without a parent, guardian, custodian, or other appropriate adult acting on his or her behalf, but, under these circumstances, the court may appoint an attorney for the minor in accordance with section 16-1005(a-1)(3), if necessary, and if doing so will not unduly delay the issuance or denial of a temporary protection order;

(4) A minor who is at least 12 but less than 16 years of age and a victim of interpersonal or intrafamily violence may petition for civil protection only if his or her parent, guardian, or custodian files the petition on his or her behalf;

(5) A minor who is less than 12 years of age may petition for civil protection only if his or her parent, guardian, or custodian files the petition on his or her behalf; and

(6) A custodial parent, guardian, or custodian of a minor may not file a petition for civil protection against the minor.

(b) The Attorney General may provide individual legal representation to a petitioner, or person authorized by this section to act on petitioner's behalf, who files a petition in accordance with subsection (a) of this section. Whenever the Attorney General represents a petitioner under subsection (a) of this section, the representation shall continue until the civil protection order terminates or the Attorney General withdraws his or her appearance, whichever is earlier.

(c) If a petitioner is unable to file a petition on his or her own behalf or with the assistance of a parent, guardian, custodian, or other appropriate adult in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, the Attorney General may file a petition for civil protection on the petitioner's behalf at the request of the petitioner, the petitioner's representative, or a government agency. When proceeding on a petition filed under this subsection, the Attorney General represents the interests of the District of Columbia.
(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 546, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 131(a); Sept. 14, 1982, D.C. Law 4-144, § 4, 29 DCR 3131; Mar. 21, 1995, D.C. Law 10-237, § 2(b), 42 DCR 36; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-368, § 3(b)(2), 56 DCR 1338.)