Code of the District of Columbia

§ 24–614. Cost of treatment.

(a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, if a person receives care, treatment, or any other services under this subchapter: (A) such person (or his estate); and (B) such person’s father, mother, spouse, or adult children, shall be liable (each according to his ability, as determined by the Mayor, and in the order listed above) to reimburse the District of Columbia, for all or such part of the actual cost of providing such services, as the Mayor may require. The liability of any person described in clause (B) of this paragraph shall be determined by the Mayor after notice to such person that services have been or will be rendered under this subchapter and the Mayor has found that such person is able to reimburse the District of Columbia for all or a part of the cost of providing such services. Such person may not be held liable for the cost of any services rendered more than 90 days prior to the date of issue of such notice. The Mayor shall determine the ability of the person who received services under this subchapter (or his estate) or his father, mother, spouse, or adult children, as the case may be, to reimburse the District of Columbia, by an examination conducted under oath. In any one case the Mayor may conduct as many examinations as he determines are necessary to ascertain the ability of such person (or his estate) or his relatives to so reimburse the District of Columbia. In the case of a person committed under § 24-527(a), the Mayor may conduct such examination at any time after a petition for such person’s commitment is filed under such section; and in the case of a person committed under § 24-527(b), such examination may be conducted by the Mayor at any time after the court serves notice of the hearing to be conducted under subsection (b) of such section. In all other cases the Mayor may conduct an examination at any time.

(2) Any person described in clause (B) of paragraph (1) of this subsection who is liable to the District of Columbia under this section may apply to the Mayor to have such liability waived. The Mayor may waive such liability if he determines that it would be unreasonable to impose such liability because of the desertion or neglect of such person by the recipient of services under this subchapter or because of other factors similarly affecting the relationship between such person and such recipient. The Mayor shall prescribe procedures for the filing and hearing of such application under this paragraph.

(b) The Mayor may bring an action against a person made liable under subsection (a) of this section for all or any part of the cost of services provided under this subchapter to require such person to satisfy such liability. In such an action the court may issue an order requiring any such person who is a party to such action to satisfy such liability in accordance with such terms as the court may prescribe. Such order may be enforced in the same manner as orders for alimony.

(c) Sums collected by the Mayor under this section shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the District of Columbia.


(Aug. 4, 1947, ch. 472, § 14; Aug. 3, 1968, 82 Stat. 623, Pub. L. 90-452, § 3(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 24-534.

1973 Ed., § 24-534.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.