Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–921.19. Enforcement.

(a) The Director may inspect private property located on public space and private work performed within public space and may perform such other inspections necessary to protect the public space or public safety or ensure compliance with this subchapter, the regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter, or permits, notices, or orders issued pursuant to this subchapter.

(b) Civil fines and penalties may be imposed as sanctions for any violation of this subchapter or any rules promulgated under the authority of this subchapter, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2 [§ 2-1801.01 et seq.] (“Civil Infractions Act”). Fines and penalties may be imposed for each day that a violation continues. Enforcement and adjudication of a violation shall be pursuant to the Civil Infractions Act.

(c)(1) For violations of this subchapter or any rules promulgated under the authority of this subchapter, the Director may issue a notice of infraction, pursuant to the Civil Infractions Act. The notice of infraction may impose a fine or penalty, may require the respondent to take action to correct a violation of a law or regulation or cease conduct that violates a law or regulation, or may both impose a fine or penalty and require the respondent to take action to correct a violation of a law or regulation or cease conduct that violates a law or regulation.

(2) If the notice of infraction requires the respondent to take action to correct a violation of a law or regulation or cease conduct that violates a law or regulation, the notice of infraction shall include the following information, in addition to the information required by § 2-1802.01:

(A) A description of the violation;

(B) A statement that the respondent’s conduct violating the applicable law or regulation must cease, or a statement the respondent must take action to correct the violation;

(C) The date and time by which the respondent must cease the violating conduct or take the corrective action; and

(D) A statement that if the respondent fails to comply with the notice or request a hearing within the stated time, the Director may:

(i) Remove and dispose of property unlawfully occupying public space and repair any damage to the public space caused by the violation;

(ii) Take action to protect the public from the effects and potential effects of the violation; and

(iii) Recover 3 times the cost and expense of removing and disposing of property unlawfully occupying public space, repairing any damage to the public space caused by the violation, and taking action to protect the public from the effects and potential effects of the violation.

(3) If a respondent does not comply with the notice or request a hearing pursuant to § 2-1802.01 by the date and time stated on the notice of infraction, the notice shall be deemed final. If a respondent does not comply with a notice that has been deemed final, the Director may:

(A) Remove private property unlawfully occupying public space;

(B) Repair any damage to the public space caused by the respondent’s violation;

(C) Take action to protect the public from the effects and potential effects of the violation;

(D) Recover the costs of the removal and repairs pursuant to subsection (f) of this section and § 2-1802.03;

(E) Through the Office of the Attorney General, petition the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to issue an order compelling compliance; or

(F) Take any other action authorized by law or regulation.

(4)(A) Whenever the Director takes action under paragraph (3)(A), (B), or (C) of this subsection, the Director shall serve a notice on the respondent describing the action that was taken. If property was removed from the public space, the notice shall describe the method by which the respondent may recover the property and the deadline by which the respondent must recover the property. The notice shall also state the amount, if any, to be assessed against the respondent pursuant to § 2-1802.03.

(B) A respondent may contest the amount assessed pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph by requesting a hearing pursuant to § 2-1802.01.

(d)(1) Where a violation of this subchapter or a rule promulgated under the authority of this subchapter presents an actual or potential hazard to the public, the Director may summarily remove private property unlawfully occupying public space, repair damage to the public space caused by the violation, and take action to protect the public from the effects and potential effects of the violation. If such action is taken by the Director, the Director shall issue a notice of infraction pursuant to the Civil Infractions Act

(2) In addition to the information required under § 2-1802.01(b), the notice of infraction shall include the following information:

(A) A description of the action taken by the Director;

(B) The amount the respondent must pay pursuant to subsection (f) of this section; provided, that the Director may recover the costs and expenses authorized by subsection (f) of this section, or any portion of those costs and expenses, through a separate notice of infraction;

(C) A statement that the respondent has a right to request an expedited hearing by making this request in writing within 5 days after service of the notice;

(D) The method by which the respondent may recover property removed from the public space, if any; and

(E) The deadline by which the respondent must recover the property.

(3) If a respondent has requested an expedited hearing, the Office of Administrative Hearings shall conduct the hearing within 72 hours after receipt of the request.

(e)(1) The Director shall store private property removed from the public space pursuant to subsection (c) or (d) of this section for at least 15 days after the service of the notice.

(2) If the respondent does not recover the property by the date set forth in the notice, the Director may, in accordance with reasonable business practices, sell or otherwise dispose of the property.

(3)(A) A respondent who fails to reclaim the property within the time prescribed shall nevertheless be entitled to recover the fair market value of any property disposed of pursuant to this subsection if:

(i) The respondent timely requests a hearing;

(ii) The administrative law judge dismisses the notice or order or finds no violation; and

(iii) The respondent establishes the property’s fair market value by a preponderance of the evidence.

(B) For the purposes of this subparagraph, if the District has sold the property, the price paid by a good faith purchaser, other than the respondent, shall establish a rebuttable presumption of the fair market value of the property. In no event, however, shall the respondent be entitled to recover an amount greater than the price paid by the purchaser.

(f) The Director may recover 3 times the cost and expense of removing and disposing of property unlawfully occupying public space, repairing any damage to the public space caused by the violation, and taking action to protect the public from the effects and potential effects of the violation pursuant to subsections (c) and (d) of this section.


(May 21, 2002, D.C. Law 14-137, § 9k; as added Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-207, § 2(c), 61 DCR 12690.)

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-207: Section 12(a) of D.C. Law 20-207 provided that §§ 2(a), 2(b)(1), 2(b)(2)(A), 2(b)(2)(B), 2(b)(2)(C), 2(c), 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 shall apply as of March 11, 2015.