Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 5. United States District Court for the District of Columbia.


Subchapter I. Jurisdiction.

§ 11–501. Civil jurisdiction.

In addition to its jurisdiction as a United States district court and any other jurisdiction conferred on it by law, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has jurisdiction of the following:

(1) Any civil action or other matter begun in the court before the effective date of the District of Columbia Court Reorganization Act of 1970 other than any matter over which the Superior Court of the District of Columbia takes jurisdiction under section 11-921(a)(4)(G) or 11-921(a)(5)(B).

(2) During the eighteen-month period beginning on such effective date, any civil action or other matter which is brought under —

(A) Chapter 3 of Title 21 (relating to gifts to minors);

(B) Chapter 5 of Title 21 (relating to hospitalization of the mentally ill);

(C) Chapter 7 of Title 21 (relating to property of the mentally ill);

(D) Chapter 11 of Title 21 (relating to commitment and maintenance of substantially retarded persons);

(E) Chapter 13 of Title 21 (relating to appointment of committees for alcoholics and addicts) [repealed]; or

(F) Chapter 15 of Title 21 (relating to appointment of conservators) [repealed].

(3) During the thirty-month period beginning on such effective date, any civil action or other matter —

(A) which is brought under Chapter 29 of Title 16 (relating to partition and assignment of dower);

(B) which would have been within the jurisdiction of the Orphans Court of Washington County, District of Columbia, before June 21, 1870;

(C) relating to the execution or validity of wills devising real property within the District of Columbia, and of wills and testaments properly presented for probate in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and the admission to probate and recording of those wills;

(D) relating to the proof of wills of either personal or real property and the revocation of probate of wills for cause;

(E) involving the granting and revocation for cause of letters testamentary, letters of administration, letters ad colligendum and letters of guardianship, and the appointment of successors to persons whose letters have been revoked;

(F) involving the hearing, examination, and issuance of decrees upon accounts, claims, and demands existing between executors or administrators and legatees or persons entitled to a distributive share of an intestate estate, or between wards and their guardians;

(G) involving the enforcement of the rendition of inventories and accounts by executors, administrators, collectors, guardians, and trustees required to account to the court;

(H) involving the enforcement of distribution of estates by executors and administrators and the payment or delivery by guardians of money or property belonging to their wards; or

(I) otherwise within the probate jurisdiction of the court on the day before such effective date.

(4) Any civil action (other than a matter over which the Superior Court of the District of Columbia has jurisdiction under paragraph (3) or (4) of section 11-921(a)) begun in the court during the thirty-month period beginning on such effective date wherein the amount in controversy exceeds $50,000.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 476, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 111.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 11-501.

1973 Ed., § 11-501.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-411, § 11-921, and § 16-601.

Cross References

Claims against the District, definition of court, see § 2-411.

References in Text

“The effective date of the District of Columbia Court Reorganization Act of 1970,” referred to in this section, means, as set forth in § 199(c) of the Act, the first day of the seventh calendar month which began after the enactment of the Act.

Chapter 7 of title 21”, referred to in paragraph 2(C), was repealed by § 3 of D.C. Law 6-204, effective February 28, 1987.

Chapter 13 of title 21”, referred to in paragraph (2)(E), was repealed by § 3 of D.C. Law 6-204, effective February 28, 1987.

Chapter 15 of title 21”, referred to in paragraph (2)(F), was repealed by § 3 of D.C. Law 6-204, effective February 28, 1987.


§ 11–502. Criminal jurisdiction.

In addition to its jurisdiction as a United States district court and any other jurisdiction conferred on it by law, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has jurisdiction of the following:

(1) Any criminal case begun in the court by the return of an indictment or the filing of an information before the effective date of the District of Columbia Court Reorganization Act of 1970.

(2) Any criminal case which is begun in the court by the return of an indictment or the filing of an information during the eighteen-month period beginning on such effective date and which —

(A) involves a violation of any one of the following sections of the Act entitled “An Act to establish a code of law for the District of Columbia”, approved March 3, 1901:

(i) section 809 (D.C. Official Code, sec. 22-101) [repealed] (relating to abortion),

(ii) section 803 (D.C. Official Code, sec. 22-401) (relating to assault with intent to kill, rob, rape, or poison),

(iii) section 823(a) (D.C. Code, sec. 22-801(a)) (relating to burglary in the first degree),

(iv) section 812 (D.C. Official Code, sec. 22-2001) (relating to kidnaping),

(v) sections 798 through 802 (D.C. Official Code, secs. 22-2101 through 22-2105) (relating to murder and manslaughter),

(vi) section 808 (D.C. Official Code, sec. 22-4801 [repealed]) (relating to rape),

(vii) section 810 (D.C. Official Code, sec. 22-2801) (relating to robbery); or

(B) involves any other offense under any law applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia which offense is joined in such information or indictment with any of the offenses listed in subparagraph (A).

(3) Any offense under any law applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia which offense is joined in the same information or indictment with any Federal offense.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 477, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 111.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 11-502.

1973 Ed., § 11-502.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 11-923 and § 23-311.

References in Text

“The effective date of the District of Columbia Court Reorganization Act of 1970,” referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this section, means, as set forth in § 199(c) of the Act, the first day of the seventh calendar month which began after the enactment of the Act.


§ 11–503. Removal of cases from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

A civil action or criminal prosecution in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia is removable to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with chapter 89 of title 28, United States Code.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 478, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 111.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 11-503.

1973 Ed., § 11-503.


Subchapter II. Auditor.

§ 11–521. Appointment of Auditor.

For so long as the business of the court may require, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia may appoint an Auditor for the court.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 478, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 111.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 11-521.

1973 Ed., § 11-521.

Cross References

Court administration, Chief Judge of District of Columbia Court of Appeals, responsibilities and authority, see § 11-1702.