Code of the District of Columbia

§ 15–102. Lien of judgment, decree, or forfeited recognizance.

(a) Each —

(1) final judgment or decree for the payment of money rendered in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, or the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, from the date such judgment or decree is filed and recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of the District of Columbia, and

(2) recognizance taken by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, or the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, from the date the entry or order of forfeiture of such recognizance is filed and recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of the District of Columbia, shall constitute a lien on all the freehold and leasehold estates, legal and equitable, of the defendants bound by such judgment, decree, or recognizance, in any land, tenements, or hereditaments in the District of Columbia, whether the estates are in possession or are reversions or remainders, vested or contingent. Such liens on equitable interest may be enforced only by an action to foreclose.

(b) Liens created as provided by this section continue as long as the judgment, decree, or recognizance is in force or until it is satisfied or discharged.

(c) This section shall not apply to any property that is owned by the District government or by any independent agency or instrumentality of the District government, nor to any property in which the District government or any independent agency or instrumentality of the District government has an interest, to the extent of that interest.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 523, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Nov. 2, 1966, 80 Stat. 1177, Pub. L. 89-745, §§ 2, 7; Mar. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 42, Pub. L. 90-263, § 2; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 553, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 144(2); June 6, 1996, D.C. Law 11-136, § 2, 43 DCR 2127.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 15-102.

1973 Ed., § 15-102.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-1210.

Cross References

Fees for the services of Recorder of Deeds, see § 42-1210.

Forfeited recognizances and judgments, executions upon, see § 16-709.

Purchase money lien, priority, see § 15-104.

Recorder of Deeds, fees, see § 42-1210.

Writ of execution, period during which writ may be issued or returned, see § 15-302.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2 of the Property Lien Emergency Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-168, December 8, 1995, 42 DCR 7067) and § 2 of the Property Lien Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-224, March 7, 1996, 43 DCR 1420).

Section 3 of D.C. Act 11-168 and § 3 of D.C. Act 11-224 provided for the retroactivity of the amendment by § 2 of the act.

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 11-108 added (c).

Section 3 of D.C. Law 11-108 provided that subsection (c) of § 15-102 shall be fully retroactive. Section 3 of D.C. Law 11-108, also provided that the Recorder of Deeds of the District of Columbia shall forthwith cause to be released from the records under his or her control all liens against property that is owned by the District government or by any independent agency or instrumentality of the District government, or in which the District government or any independent agency or instrumentality of the District government has an interest, to the extent of that interest.

Section 5(b) of D.C. Law 11-108 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Retroactivity of D.C. Law 11-136: Section 3 of D.C. Law 11-136 provided that § 2 of the act “shall be fully retroactive. The Recorder of Deeds of the District of Columbia shall forthwith cause to be released, from the records under the control of the Recorder of Deeds, all judgment liens against property that is owned by the District government or by any independent agency or instrumentality of the District government, or property in which the District government or any independent agency or instrumentality of the District government has an interest, to the extent of that interest.”