Code of the District of Columbia

§ 23–1502. Hearing on recall of out-of-State witnesses by State courts; determination; travel allowance; penalty.

(a) If a judge of a court of record in any State which by its laws has made provision for commanding persons within that State to attend and testify in the District of Columbia certifies under the seal of the court (1) that there is a criminal prosecution pending in that court, or that a grand jury investigation has commenced or is about to commence, (2) that a person within the District of Columbia is a material witness in the prosecution or grand jury investigation, and (3) that his presence will be required for a specified number of days, upon presentation of that certificate to any judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, except as provided in subsection (c), such judge shall fix a time and place for a hearing, and shall make an order directing the witness to appear at a time and place certain for the hearing.

(b) If at the hearing the judge determines that the witness is material and necessary, that it will not cause undue hardship to the witness to attend and testify in the prosecution or grand jury investigation in the requesting State, and that the laws of such State and of any other State through which the witness may be required to pass by ordinary course of travel, will give to him protection from arrest and the service of civil and criminal process, he shall issue a summons, with a copy of the certificate attached, directing the witness to attend and testify in the prosecution or grand jury investigation, as the case may be, at a time and place specified in the summons. In any such hearing the certificate shall be prima facie evidence of all the facts stated therein.

(c) If the certificate presented under subsection (a) recommends that the witness be taken into immediate custody and delivered to an officer of the requesting State to assure his attendance, in the requesting State, the judge may in lieu of notification of hearing, direct that the witness be forthwith brought before him for a hearing. If the judge at the hearing is satisfied of the desirability of the custody and delivery of the witness, he may, in lieu of issuing subpoena or summons, order the witness to be forthwith taken into custody and delivered to an officer of the requesting State. The certificate shall be prima facie proof of the desirability of the custody and delivery of the witness.

(d) Any witness who is summoned as above provided and, after being paid or tendered by some properly authorized person the fees and allowances authorized for witnesses in criminal cases in United States district courts, fails without good cause to attend and testify as directed in the summons, shall be punished in the manner provided for the punishment of any witness who disobeys a summons issued from the Superior Court.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 651, Pub. L. 91-358, title II, § 210(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 23-1502.

1973 Ed., § 23-1502.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 2 of the Uniform Act to Secure the Attendance of Witnesses from Without a State in Criminal Proceedings.