Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–803.01. Sealing of arrest records of fugitives from justice.

(a) A person arrested upon a warrant issued pursuant to § 23-701 or arrested within the District of Columbia as a fugitive from justice without a warrant having been issued may file a motion to seal the record of the District of Columbia arrest and related Superior Court proceedings at any time after the person has appeared before the proper official in the jurisdiction from which he or she was a fugitive.

(b)(1) The Superior Court shall grant a motion to seal if:

(A) The arrest was not made in connection with or did not result in Regulations charges or federal charges in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the person;

(B) The person waived an extradition hearing pursuant to § 23-702(f)(1) and was released pursuant to § 23-702(f)(2) or detained pursuant to § 23-702(f)(3); and

(C) The person proves by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she has appeared before the proper official in the jurisdiction from which he or she was a fugitive.

(2)(A) In all other cases under this section, the Superior Court may grant a motion to seal if it is in the interest of justice to do so. In making this determination, the court shall consider:

(i) The interests of the movant in sealing the publicly available records of his or her arrest and related court proceedings;

(ii) The community’s interest in retaining access to those records;

(iii) The community’s interest in furthering the movant’s rehabilitation and enhancing the movant’s employability; and

(iv) Any other information it considers relevant.

(B) The burden shall be on the movant to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that it is in the interest of justice to grant relief.

(c) If the Court grants the motion to seal:

(1)(A) The Court shall order the prosecutor and any law enforcement agency to remove from their publicly available records all references that identify the movant as having been arrested.

(B) The prosecutor’s office and law enforcement agencies shall be entitled to retain any and all records relating to the movant’s arrest in a nonpublic file.

(C) The prosecutor’s office and law enforcement agencies shall file a certification with the Court within 90 days that, to the best of its knowledge and belief, all references that identify the movant as having been arrested have been removed from its publicly available records.

(2)(A) The Court shall order the clerk to remove or eliminate all publicly available court records that identify the movant as having been arrested.

(B) The clerk shall be entitled to retain any and all records relating to the movant’s arrest, related court proceedings, or conviction in a nonpublic file.

(3) The Court shall not order the redaction of the movant’s name from any published opinion of the trial or appellate courts that refer to the movant.

(4) Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, the clerk and any other agency shall reply in response to inquiries from the public concerning the existence of records which have been sealed pursuant to this chapter that no records are available.

(5) No person as to whom relief pursuant to this section has been granted shall be held thereafter under any provision of law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of failure to recite or acknowledge his or her arrest as a fugitive from justice in response to any inquiry made of him or her for any purpose.

(6) For purposes of this section, the entities listed in § 16-801(11)(D)-(F) shall be considered public.


(June 15, 2013, D.C. Law 19-319, § 4(c), 60 DCR 2333; Dec. 13, 2013, D.C. Law 20-50, § 4(b), 60 DCR 15151.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-806.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-50 rewrote (b)(2).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Criminal Record Sealing Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-99, July 1, 2013, 60 DCR 10009, 20 DCSTAT 1805).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Criminal Record Sealing Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-168, September 30, 2013, 60 DCR 14734).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 2(b) and 3 of the Criminal Record Sealing Temporary Act of 2013 (D.C. Law 20-38, Nov. 5, 2013, 60 DCR 12149).