Legal Information: District of Columbia

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
April 14, 2016

Do I have to register my protection order in D.C. in order to get it enforced?

No. Neither federal law nor D.C. law1 requires that you register your protection order in order to get it enforced. (However, if your order is not entered into the registry, it may be more difficult for a D.C. law enforcement official to determine whether your order is real, and it could take longer to get your order enforced.) It is also not required that you show the police officer a certified copy of your order, as long as the order seems valid, the officer must enforce it. If you don't have any copy of the order at the time you report the violation, the officer could even consider other information in determining whether there is probable cause to believe that a valid protection order exists.2

1 D.C. Code § 16-1043(c)
2 D.C. Code § 16-1043(a),(b)