Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–2303.05. Answer.

(a)(1) In answer to a notice of infraction, a person to whom the notice was issued may:

(A) Admit, by payment of the civil fine and any related vehicle conveyance fee, the commission of the infraction;

(A-i) Admit with explanation; or

(B) Deny the commission of the infraction.

(2) A person charged with a parking violation may contest the charge through an adjudication by mail, through the Department's website, or through a personal appearance at a hearing limited to one or more of the following grounds with appropriate evidence to support:

(A) That the respondent was not the owner or lessee of the cited vehicle at the time of the infraction;

(B) That the cited vehicle or its state registration plates were stolen at the time of the violation occurred;

(C) That the relevant signs prohibiting or restricting parking were missing or obscured;

(D) That the relevant parking meter was inoperable or malfunctioned through no fault of the respondent;

(E) That the facts alleged on the parking violation notice are inconsistent or do not support a finding that the specified regulation was violated;

(F) That the vehicle was suddenly mechanically disabled; provided, that the vehicle was removed as soon as practicable; or

(G) That the operator suddenly needed immediate medical assistance.

(b) A person to whom a notice of infraction has been issued may answer by personal appearance, by mail, or through the Department's website.

(c) A person admitting the commission of an infraction shall, at the same time the person submits an answer, pay the civil fine, any related vehicle conveyance fee assessed by the District, and any additional penalties, established pursuant to § 50-2301.05, as may be due for failure to answer within the time required by subsection (d) of this section without appearing at the hearing.

(c-1) A person admitting the commission of an infraction with an explanation may include in the answer an explanation as to why the fine or penalty should be reduced. A hearing examiner may, upon consideration of the explanation, order the reduction of the fine or penalty.

(d)(1) A person to whom a notice of infraction has been issued shall answer within 30 calendar days of the date the notice was issued, or within a greater period of time as prescribed by the Director by regulation. Failure to answer the notice within this period shall result in the imposition of monetary penalties established by § 50-2301.05, in addition to the potential civil fine for the infraction and any related vehicle conveyance fee.

(2) If a person fails to answer within 60 days, or within a greater period of time as prescribed by the Director by regulation, the commission of the infraction shall be deemed admitted and all penalties, fines, and any vehicle conveyance fees shall be assessed. Not more than 50 days after the notice is issued, the Director shall send, by regular mail, to the address in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ records, if such address was supplied to the Department of Motor Vehicles, notice of the outstanding notice of infraction and of the impending deemed admission. This subsection shall not apply to any participant in the fleet adjudication program.

(3) Not Funded.

(e) Repealed.

(f) Except as set forth in subsection (g) of this section, a deemed admission pursuant to subsection (d)(2) of this section by a person not participating in the fleet reconciliation program may be vacated if the Department receives by mail or through the Department's website, within 60 calendar days of the date of the admission, a written application to vacate; provided, that if the individual's motor vehicle has been immobilized or impounded pursuant to §  50-2201.03(k), or the individual is unable to obtain a license or permit pursuant to §  47-2862(a)(1)(C) or (F) or (a)(6), an application may be submitted by mail, through the Department's website, or in person and shall include:

(1) A sufficient defense to the charge as set forth in subsection (a)(2) of this section; and

(2) Excusable neglect for failing to answer within the time period provided for in subsection (d) of this section.

(g) A deemed admission pursuant to subsection (d)(2) of this section by a person not participating in the fleet reconciliation program may be vacated if the Department receives by mail or through the its website within one year of the date of the admission, a written application to vacate that sets forth a sufficient defense to the charge as described in subsection (a)(2)(A) or (B) of this section; provided, that if the individual's motor vehicle has been immobilized or impounded pursuant to §  50-2201.03(k), or the individual is unable to obtain a license or permit pursuant to §  47-2862(a)(1)(C) or (F) or (a)(6), an application may be submitted by mail, through the Department's website, or in person.


(Sept. 12, 1978, D.C. Law 2-104, § 305, 25 DCR 1275; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-198, § 504(c), 43 DCR 4569; March 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-76, § 2(b), 45 DCR 481; Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-289, § 302(i), 48 DCR 2057; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-279, § 301(g), 54 DCR 903; Mar. 20, 2009, D.C. Law 17-303, § 4(b), 55 DCR 12803; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 164(b), 56 DCR 1117; July 23, 2014, D.C. Law 20-127, § 3(h), 61 DCR 5711; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C.Law 22-175, § 2(g), 65 DCR 9546.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-625.

1973 Ed., § 40-1119.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-331, § 50-2201.03, § 50-2301.05, and § 50-2303.06.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-289 validated a previously made change and rewrote subsec. (d).

D.C. Law 16-279, in subsec. (a), par. (2), added subpars. (F), and (G); in subsec. (b), substituted “telephone, email, or through the Department’s website” for “telephone”; in subsec. (d), par. (2), substituted “mail, to the address in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ records, if such address was supplied to the Department of Motor Vehicles,” for “mail”; and added subsec. (f).

D.C. Law 17-303, in subsec. (a)(1)(A), substituted “civil fine and any related vehicle conveyance fee” for “civil fine”; in subsec. (c), substituted “civil fine, any related vehicle conveyance fee assessed by the District,” for “civil fine”; in subsec. (d)(1), inserted “and any related vehicle conveyance fee”; and, in subsec. (d)(2), substituted “penalties, fines, and any vehicle conveyance fees” for “penalties and fines”.

D.C. Law 17-353 made a technical amendment to the enacting clause of D.C. Law 16-279, § 301(g), which did not change the text of the section.

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-127 made a minor stylistic change in (a)(1)(A) and added (a)(1)(A-i); substituted “by mail, or through the Department’s website” for “or by mail. Answers by telephone, email, or through the Department’s website may be permitted by regulation” in (b); substituted “the person submits an answer” for “he submits an answer” in (c); added (c-1); repealed (e); rewrote the introductory language of (f); added “as set forth in subsection (a)(2) of this section” in (f)(1); and added (g).

Applicability

Applicability of D.C.Law 22-175: § 3 of D.C.Law 22-175 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(g) of D.C.Law 22-175 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 504(c) of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-302, July 25, 1996, 43 DCR 4181), § 504(c) of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-429, October 29, 1996, 43 DCR 6151), § 504(c) of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Congressional Adjournment Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-2, February 19, 1997, 44 DCR 1590), § 2(b) of the Traffic Adjudication Fleet Adjudication Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-122, August 1, 1997, 44 DCR 4649), and § 2(b) of the Fleet Traffic Adjudication Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-173, October 30, 1997, 44 DCR 6911).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of D.C. Law 20-127, § 5, see § 7009 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 D.C. Law 20-127, § 5, see § 7009 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 D.C. Law 20-127, § 5, see § 7009 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).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 503(c) of Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Temporary Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Law 11-226, April 9, 1997, law notification 44 DCR 2584).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(b) of Fleet Traffic Adjudication Temporary Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Law 12-49, February 27, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 1510).

Transfer of Functions

The functions of the Department of Transportation were transferred to the Department of Public Works by Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1983, effective March 1, 1984.

Editor's Notes

Mayor authorized to issue rules: Section 3 of D.C. Law 12-76 provided that the Mayor may issue rules to implement the provisions of the act.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-127: Section 5 of D.C. Law 20-127, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7009, provided that the act shall apply as of October 1, 2014.