Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–1374. Service of process.

(a) The plaintiff shall set forth in the caption of the complaint the last address known to the plaintiff or to the attorney filing the complaint of each defendant, as obtained from:

(1) Any records examined as part of the title examination;

(2) The Recorder of Deeds; and

(3) Any other address that is known to the plaintiff or the attorney filing the complaint.

(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not require the plaintiff or the attorney for the plaintiff to make any investigations or to search any other records or sources of information other than those stated.

(c) This subsection applies only if a last known address for a defendant is obtained as provided under subsections (a) and (b) of this section. The plaintiff shall cause a copy of the order of publication to be mailed by first class, certified mail, postage prepaid, to each defendants address as determined by the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

(d) Notice to a defendant may be made in any other manner that results in actual notice of the pendency of the action to the defendant. If notice is given under this subsection, the plaintiff shall file an affidavit that fairly describes the method and time of service.

(e)(1) A final judgment may not be entered earlier than the later of:

(A) One year following the initial scheduling conference in the foreclosure action; or

(B) Four months following the completion of service on the owner and all parties identified as defendants in § 47-1371.

(2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to any final judgment in which all interested parties have disclaimed any interest in the property subject to the judgment or in a case where a real property was sold under § 47-1353(a)(3) or (b).


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334; Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(c)(26), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, §§ 7102(c)(26), 7104, 61 DCR 9990.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-1370 and § 47-1378.

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-141, repealed before its effective date, would have deleted the third sentence in the introductory language of (c) which read: “If a defendant is not served by summons or as provided by subsection (d) of this section, the plaintiff shall file an affidavit in the action, which affidavit”; and would have rewritten (e).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 rewrote (c) and (e).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(oo) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-381, June 6, 2002, 49 DCR 5674).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-456, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8107).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-510, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10247).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(27) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-342, May 28, 2014, 61 DCR 5691).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7112(c)(26) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(27) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-409, Aug. 1, 2014, 61 DCR 8281).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(26) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(26) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 20-141 became effective on Dec. 4, 2014, but was repealed prior to its effective date by emergency D.C. Act 20-377, § 7114, eff. July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, by emergency D.C. Act 20-449, § 7104, eff. October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, by emergency D.C. Act 20-566, § 7104, eff. January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.