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Legal Information: District of Columbia

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of
April 5, 2024

What can I do if the stalker violates the anti-stalking order?

When you have an anti-stalking order (ASO), you are generally the one who will report any violations of that order. If the stalker violates the order, you can call the police and report the violation. Violation of a temporary or final ASO is known as “criminal contempt” and is also a misdemeanor crime, which can be punished by a fine of up to $1,000, by imprisonment for up to 180 days, or both.1 Also, if the stalker committed a separate crime while violating the order, such as hitting you, s/he can also be charged and punished separately for that crime.

Another option is to file a violation petition in court for contempt. You could return to the Domestic Violence Clerk to file:

  • a Motion to Adjudicate Civil Contempt, where you would be asking the court to make the stalker follow the order by imposing a fine or jail time; or
  • a Motion to Adjudicate Criminal Contempt, where you would be asking that the Office of the Attorney General bring charges against the stalker.1

1 D.C. Code § 16-1064(g), (h)