Code of the District of Columbia

§ 28–3909. Restraining prohibited acts.

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, if the Attorney General for the District of Columbia has reason to believe that any person is using or intends to use any method, act, or practice in violation of section 28-3803, 28-3805, 28-3807, 28-3810, 28-3811, 28-3812, 28-3814, 28-3817, 28-3818, 28-3819, or 28-3904, and if it is in the public interest, the Attorney General, in the name of the District of Columbia, may bring an action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to obtain a temporary or permanent injunction prohibiting the use of the method, act, or practice and requiring the violator to take affirmative action, including the restitution of money or property. In any action under this section, the Attorney General shall not be required to prove damages and the injunction shall be issued without bond.

(b) In addition, in an action under this section, the Attorney General for the District of Columbia may recover:

(1) From a merchant who engaged in a first violation of section 28-3803, 28-3805, 28-3807, 28-3810, 28-3811, 28-3812, 28-3814, 28-3817, 28-3818, 28-3819, or 28-3904, a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation;

(2) From a merchant who engaged in a first violation of section 28-3803, 28-3805, 28-3807, 28-3810, 28-3811, 28-3812, 28-3814, 28-3817, 28-3818, 28-3819, or 28-3904 and who subsequently repeats the same violation, a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each subsequent violation;

(3) Economic damages; and

(4) The costs of the action and reasonable attorneys' fees.

(c) The Attorney General for the District of Columbia may also:

(1) represent the interests of consumers before administrative and regulatory agencies and legislative bodies;

(2) assist, advise, and cooperate with private, local, and federal agencies and officials to protect and promote the interests of consumers;

(3) assist, develop, and conduct programs of consumer education and information through public hearings, meetings, publications, or other materials prepared for distribution to consumers;

(4) undertake activities to encourage local business and industry to maintain high standards of honesty, fair business practices, and public responsibility in the production, promotion, and sale of consumer goods and services and in the extension of consumer credit;

(5) perform other functions and duties which are consistent with the purposes or provisions of this chapter, and with the Attorney General's role as parens patriae, which may be necessary or appropriate to protect and promote the welfare of consumers;

(6) negotiate and enter into agreements for compliance by merchants with the provisions of this chapter; or

(7) publicize its own actions taken in the interests of consumers.

(d) The Attorney General for the District of Columbia may apply the provisions and exercise the duties of this section to landlord-tenant relations.


(Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-234, § 2(h), 38 DCR 296; Oct. 19, 2000, D.C. Law 13-172, § 1402(e), 47 DCR 6308; July 17, 2018, D.C. Law 22-140, § 2(d), 65 DCR 5970; Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-206, § 2(b), 65 DCR 12363.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28-3909.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 28-3910 and § 28-5003.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-172 designated the existing text as subsec. (a), deleted from the second sentence thereof “on behalf of any identifiable person,” preceding “may recover restitution”, and added subsecs. (b) and (c).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of At-Risk Tenant Protection Clarifying Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-486, Oct. 22, 2018, 65 DCR12042).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of At-Risk Tenant Protection Clarifying Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-402, July 16, 2018, 65 DCR 7518).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of At-Risk Tenant Protection Clarifying Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-164, Oct. 23, 2017, 64 DCR 10790).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of At-Risk Tenant Protection Clarifying Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-23, Mar. 27, 2017, 64 DCR 3065).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of At-Risk Tenant Protection Clarifying Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-576, Dec. 19, 2016, 63 DCR 15695).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 1402(e) of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-376, July 24, 2000, 47 DCR 6574).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1402(e) of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-438, October 20, 2000, 47 DCR 8740).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of At-Risk Tenant Protection Clarifying Temporary Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Law 22-172, Oct. 30, 2018, 65 DCR 9540).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of At-Risk Tenant Protection Clarifying Temporary Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Law 22-45, Jan. 25, 2018, 64 DCR 12399).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of At-Risk Tenant Protection Clarifying Temporary Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Law 21-271, Apr. 15, 2017, 64 DCR 944).