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Legal Information: District of Columbia

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
November 1, 2019

What is an extreme risk protection order?

An extreme risk protection order is a civil court order prohibiting an individual (called the respondent) from having possession or control of, purchasing, or receiving any:

  • firearm;
  • ammunition;
  • registration certificate;
  • license to carry a concealed pistol; or
  • dealer’s license.1

1 D.C. Code § 7-2510.01(1)

Who can file for an extreme risk protection order?

You can file for an extreme risk protection order if there is significant danger that the respondent will cause bodily injury to himself/herself or others by having possession or control of, purchasing, or receiving any firearm or ammunition and:

1. you are related to the respondent by:

  • blood;
  • adoption;
  • guardianship;
  • marriage
  • domestic partnership;

2. you and the respondent:

  • have a child in common;
  • live together; or
  • have a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship; or

3. you are filing in your official capacity as any of the following:

  • a sworn member of the Metropolitan Police Department; or
  • a mental health professional.1

1 D.C. Code § 7-2510.01(2)

What types of orders are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of extreme risk protection orders: ex parte extreme risk protection orders and final extreme risk protection orders.

An ex parte extreme risk protection order is issued without the respondent having notice of the case beforehand and without the respondent being present at the hearing. An ex parte extreme risk protection order can last up to ten days. If the judge schedules a new hearing date to give more time for the respondent to be served with notice of the case, the judge can extend the ex parte order up to 15 days.1

A final extreme risk protection order can be issued after the respondent has notice of the case and a chance to participate in a hearing. A police officer must serve the respondent with notice of the hearing at least five business days before the hearing date. If a police officer is unable to serve the respondent, the judge can schedule a new hearing date and give the police another chance to serve the respondent. 2 If the judge issues a final extreme risk protection order, it will last for one year after the date the order is issued.3

1 D.C. Code § 7-2510.04(h)
2 D.C. Code § 7-2510.03(b)
3 D.C. Code § 7-2510.03(i)

What protections can I get in an extreme risk protection order?

In both an ex parte and a final extreme risk protection order, the judge can order that the respondent not possess, control, purchase, or receive any:

  • firearm;
  • ammunition;
  • registration certificate;
  • license to carry a concealed pistol; or
  • dealer’s license.1

1 D.C. Code §§ 7-2510.03(h); 7-2510.03(g)