Code of the District of Columbia

Part B. Subpoenas, Administration of Oaths, and Documents Concerning Police Officers and Firefighters.


§ 1–301.21. Subpoena power.

(a)(1) The Mayor of the District of Columbia shall have the power to issue subpoenas to compel witnesses to appear and testify and/or to produce all books, records, papers, or documents in any investigation or examination of any municipal matter with respect to functions transferred to the Mayor by Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 or by the District of Columbia Home Rule Act (Chapter 2 of this title): Provided, that witnesses other than those employed by the District of Columbia subpoenaed to appear before the Mayor shall be entitled to reasonable fees as established by regulations issued by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, but said fees need not be tendered said witnesses in advance of their appearing and testifying and/or producing books, records, papers, or documents.

(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the term “municipal matter” means personnel matters concerning police officers and firefighters of the District of Columbia.

(b) Any willful false swearing on the part of any witness before the Mayor of the District of Columbia as to any material fact shall be deemed perjury and shall be punished in the manner prescribed by law for such offense.

(c) If any witness having been personally summoned shall neglect or refuse to obey the subpoena issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, then, in that event, the Mayor of the District of Columbia may report that fact to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or one of the judges thereof and said Court, or any judge thereof, is empowered to compel obedience to said subpoena to the same extent as witnesses may be compelled to obey the subpoenas of that Court.

(d) The Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized to administer oaths to witnesses summoned in any investigation or examination as set out in subsection (a) of this section.


(Sept. 26, 1980, D.C. Law 3-109, § 3, 27 DCR 3785; Apr. 30, 1988, D.C. Law 7-104, § 33, 35 DCR 147; June 3, 2011, D.C. Law 18-376, § 2, 58 DCR 944; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 3, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-338.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-703.02, § 32-508, and § 41-130.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-376, in subsec. (a), designated the existing text as par. (1) and added par. (2).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 substituted “this subsection” for “this part” in (a)(2).

Cross References

Disposition of unclaimed property, reports and records, see § 41-130.

Family and medical leave, records, investigations, see § 32-508.

Long-term care ombudsman program, records, permitted access, see § 7-703.02.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Metropolitan Police Department Subpoena Limitation Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-5, January 30, 2009, 56 DCR 1629).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 18-2 added subsec. (a-1) to read as follows:

“(a-1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, the Metropolitan Police Department or its agents shall not issue subpoenas in pursuance of criminal investigations.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 18-2 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Delegation of subpoena power, see Mayor’s Order 88-31, February 11, 1988.

Delegation of Subpoena Power to Implement the Parental Leave Act of 1994: See Mayor’s Order 97-137, August 1, 1997 ( 44 DCR 4551).

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority to the Inspector General to issue subpoenas & to administer oaths in any investigation or examination of municipal matters: See Mayor’s Order 90-146, October 31, 1990.

Delegation of Authority to the Chief, Metropolitan Police Department to Issue Subpoenas and to Administer Oaths in Any Investigation of Examination of Municipal Matters, see Mayor’s Order 2008-154, November 7, 2008 ( 55 DCR 12535).

Delegation of Authority to the Attorney General to Issue Subpoenas and to Administer Oaths in Any Criminal Investigation, see Mayor’s Order 2009-5, January 16, 2009 ( 56 DCR 2019).


§ 1–301.22. Administration of oaths.

The Mayor of the District of Columbia, the Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia, and the members of the Council of the District of Columbia may administer oaths as part of their official responsibilities. No fee shall be collected for the administration of such oaths, and the power to administer such oaths shall not be utilized for personal purposes.


(May 19, 1982, D.C. Law 4-108, § 2, 29 DCR 1413.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-338.1.

Cross References

Council’s authority, power to investigate, issue subpoenas, and administer oaths, see § 1-204.13.


§ 1–301.23. Executive Secretary authorized to execute certain documents.

It shall be lawful for the Executive Secretary of the District of Columbia, or in his absence or upon his inability to act, such person as said Mayor may designate, when so directed by said Mayor, to execute in the name of the District of Columbia or of said Mayor, by attaching thereto his signature as such Secretary and affixing when requisite the seal of said District, any deed, contract, pleading, lease, release, regulation, notice, or other paper, which prior to February 11, 1932, said Mayor was required to execute by subscribing thereto his signature: Provided, that prior to such signing, and sealing if requisite, said deed, contract, pleading, lease, release, regulation, notice, or other paper shall first have been considered and approved by said Mayor, and evidence of such consideration and approval shall be reduced to writing and recorded in the minutes of said Mayor, which minutes shall thereafter be signed by said Mayor.


(Feb. 11, 1932, 47 Stat. 48, ch. 40.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-303.

1973 Ed., § 1-214.

Cross References

Industrial home school site, instruments of transfer, see § 10-803.

Editor's Notes

Office of Secretary to Board of Commissioners abolished: The Office of the Secretary to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. Reorganization Order No. 41 of the Board of Commissioners, dated June 23, 1953, established as part of the Executive Office of the Board of Commissioners under the direction and control of the Board, an Office of the Secretary to the Board of Commissioners to perform ministerial duties for the Board. The Order described the purpose and functions of the Office of Secretary, and provided that the functions and positions of the previously existing Office of the Secretary to the Board be transferred to the new Office, and that the previously existing Office of the Secretary be abolished. This Order was issued pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Organization Order No. 2, Commissioner’s Order No. 67-23, dated December 13, 1967, as amended, established within the Executive Office of the Commissioner, a Secretariat headed by an Executive Secretary. The Order transferred to the Secretariat certain functions, including the duties, powers and authorities of all officers and employees performing such functions and assigned to the Office of the Secretary as it existed immediately prior to December 13, 1967, and revoked all other orders inconsistent therewith.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.