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Legal Information: District of Columbia

Statutes: District of Columbia

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Updated: 
July 13, 2021

§ 16-1003. Petition for civil protection.

(a) A person 16 years of age or older may petition the Domestic Violence Division for a civil protection order against a respondent who has allegedly committed or threatened to commit:

(1) An intrafamily offense, where the petitioner is the victim, or, if the offense is punishable under § 22-1001 or § 22-1002, where the victim is an animal that the petitioner owns, possesses, or controls;

(2) Sexual assault, where the petitioner is the victim;

(3) Trafficking in labor or commercial sex acts, as described in § 22-1833, where the petitioner is the victim; or

(4) Sex trafficking of children, as described in § 22-1834, where the petitioner is the victim.

(b) A minor who is at least 13 years of age but less than 16 years of age may petition the Domestic Violence Division for a civil protection order against a respondent who has allegedly committed or threatened to commit:

(1) An intrafamily offense, where the petitioner is the victim, or, if the offense is punishable under § 22-1001 or § 22-1002, where the victim is an animal that the petitioner owns, possesses, or controls; provided, that the petitioner is an intimate partner;

(2) Sexual assault, where the petitioner is the victim; provided, that the respondent does not have a significant relationship, as that term is defined in § 22-3001(10), with the petitioner; or

(3) Sex trafficking of children, as described in § 22-1834, where the petitioner is the victim.

(c) A minor who is less than 13 years of age may not petition for a civil protection order on their own behalf.

(d)(1) The parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian of a minor may file a petition for a civil protection order on a minor’s behalf.

(2) The following individuals may, at the request of a minor 13 years of age or older, file a petition for a civil protection order on the minor’s behalf:

(A) A person 18 years of age or older to whom the minor is related by blood, adoption, legal custody, marriage, or domestic partnership; or

(B) A sexual assault youth victim advocate, as that term is defined in § 23-1907(14).

(e) A minor’s custodial parent, guardian, or custodian may not file a petition for a civil protection order against the minor.

(f)(1) The Office of Attorney General may:

(A) If the petitioner is unable to petition on the petitioner’s own behalf, intervene in a case and represent the interests of the District of Columbia at the request of the petitioner, a person petitioning on the petitioner’s behalf, or a government agency; or

(B) At the request of the petitioner or a person petitioning on the petitioner’s behalf, provide individual legal representation to the petitioner in proceedings under this subchapter.

(2) If the Office of the Attorney General intervenes in a case under paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection, the intervention shall continue until:

(A) The court denies the petition for a civil protection order; or

(B) The Office of the Attorney General withdraws from the intervention.

(g) The Domestic Violence Division may appoint attorneys to represent a party if the party:

(1) Is a minor;

(2) Is not represented by an attorney; and

(3) The appointment would not unreasonably delay a determination on the issuance or denial of a temporary protection order or civil protection order.

(h) When computing a time period specified in this subchapter or in an order issued under this subchapter that is stated in days or a longer unit of time:

(1) Exclude the day of the event that triggers the time period;

(2) Count every day, including intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays; and

(3) Include the last day of the time period, but if the last day of the time period specified falls on a Saturday, Sunday, a legal holiday, or a day on which weather or other conditions cause the court to be closed, the time period specified shall continue to run until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or a day on which weather or other conditions cause the court to be closed.