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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§ 16-1004. Petition; notice; temporary order.

(a) Upon a filing of a petition for civil protection, the Domestic Violence Unit shall set the matter for hearing, consolidating it, where appropriate, with other matters before the court involving members of the same family.

(b)(1) If, upon the filing of a petition under oath, a judicial officer finds that the safety or welfare of the petitioner or a household member is immediately endangered by the respondent, the judicial officer may issue, ex parte, a temporary protection order.

(2) An initial temporary protection order shall not exceed 14 days except, if the last day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, a day observed as a holiday by the court, or a day on which weather or other conditions cause the court to be closed, the temporary protection order shall extend until the end of the next day on which the court is open. The court may extend a temporary protection order in additional 14 day increments, or longer increments with the consent of the parties, as necessary until a hearing on the petition is completed.

(3) If a respondent fails to appear for a hearing on a petition for civil protection after having been served in accordance with the Rules of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and a civil protection order is entered in accordance with § 16-1005, the temporary protection order shall remain in effect until the respondent is served with the civil protection order or the civil protection order expires, whichever occurs first.

(c) A temporary protection order issued pursuant to this section shall include a notice explaining that:

(1) If the day on which the temporary protection order is set to expire is a Saturday, Sunday, a day observed as a holiday by the court, or a day on which the weather or other conditions cause the court to be closed, the temporary protection order shall remain in effect until the end of the next day on which the court is open; and

(2) If the respondent fails to appear for a hearing on a petition for civil protection after having been served, and a civil protection order is entered, the temporary protection order will remain in effect until the respondent is served with the civil protection order or the civil protection order expires, whichever occurs first.

(d) Pursuant to the Rules of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, the respondent, and in cases where the respondent is a minor, the respondent's custodial parent, guardian, or custodian, shall be served with notice of the hearing and an order to appear, a copy of the petition, and a temporary protection order, if entered. The court may also cause notice to be served on others whose presence at the hearing is necessary to the proper disposition of the matter.

(e) If a minor has filed a petition for civil protection without a parent, guardian, or custodian, and if the minor is residing with a parent, guardian, or custodian, the court shall send a copy of any order issued pursuant to subsection (b)(1) of this section and notice of the hearing to that parent, guardian, or custodian, unless, in the discretion of the court, notification of that parent, guardian, or custodian would be contrary to the best interests of the minor. If the court does not send notice to the parent, guardian, or custodian with whom the minor resides, the court may, in its discretion, send notice to any other parent, guardian, custodian, or other appropriate adult.

(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 547, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 131(a); Sept. 14, 1982, D.C. Law 4-144, § 5, 29 DCR 3131; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-204, § 4, 53 DCR 9059; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 143, 56 DCR 1117; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-368, § 3(b)(2), 56 DCR 1338.)