Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–3103. Complaint.

(a) The complaint or an affidavit attached thereto shall describe the adverse impact of the drug-, firearm-, or prostitution-related nuisance upon the surrounding community.

(b) The complaint shall contain a description of attempts made by the plaintiff to notify the owner of the property on which the drug-, firearm-, or prostitution-related nuisance is situated about the drug-, firearm-, or prostitution-related nuisance and the resulting adverse impact. No complaint shall be filed unless a reasonable attempt at notice to the owner of the property on which the alleged drug-, firearm-, or prostitution-related nuisance is situated is made no later than 14 days prior to the filing of the complaint. This notice requirement may be satisfied either by a mailing to the last known mailing address of the owner or by posting a conspicuous notice at the property stating the general nature of the drug-, firearm-, or prostitution-related nuisance.

(c) When an action is brought pursuant to this chapter by a community-based organization, the complaint shall be supported by at least 1 person residing, either as a tenant or otherwise, or owning real property within 3000 feet of the property alleged to be a drug-, firearm-, or prostitution-related nuisance. Said support shall be in the form of an affidavit testifying to the fact that the affiant’s residence is within 3000 feet of the alleged drug-, firearm-, or prostitution-related nuisance, that the affiant has witnessed the activities alleged to constitute a drug-, firearm-, or prostitution-related nuisance, and that the affiant is aware of an adverse impact on the community stemming from the alleged drug-, firearm-, or prostitution-related nuisance.

(d) A copy of the summons and complaint shall be served upon the defendant at least 5 business days prior to the first hearing on the action. Service shall be made in accordance with the Rules of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or by posting a conspicuous notice at the property indicating the nature of the proceedings, a copy of the summons, and the time and place of the hearing. If service is made by posting at the property, a copy of the summons and complaint shall be sent, by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the last known mailing address, if any, of the defendant. If the defendant is not the owner of the property, a copy of the summons and complaint shall be mailed to the last known mailing address of the owner.


(Mar. 26, 1999, D.C. Law 12-194, § 4, 45 DCR 7982; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-81, § 3(b), 53 DCR 1050; Nov. 6, 2010, D.C. Law 18-259, § 7(b), 57 DCR 5591.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-3303.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3108 and § 42-3111.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-81 substituted “drug or prostitution-related” for “drug-related”.

D.C. Law 18-259 substituted “drug-, firearm-, or prostitution-related” for “drug or prostitution-related”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of chapter, see notes to § 42-3101.

Temporary Legislation

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3101.