Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter II. Real Property for District of Columbia.


§ 16–1311. Condemnation proceedings by District of Columbia.

When real property in the District of Columbia is needed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia for sites of schoolhouses, fire or police stations, rights-of-way for roads, highways, streets and alleys or parts thereof, rights-of-way for water mains or sewers, or any other authorized municipal use, and that property cannot be acquired by purchase from the owners thereof at a price satisfactory to the officers of the District authorized to negotiate for the property, a complaint may be filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in the name of the District of Columbia for the condemnation of the property or rights-of-way and the ascertainment of its value.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 572, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 558, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 145(f)(3); Mar. 10, 1983, D.C. Law 4-201, § 501, 30 DCR 148; Apr. 30, 1988, D.C. Law 7-104, § 4(g), 35 DCR 147; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 1123, 63 DCR 10775.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1311.

1973 Ed., § 16-1311.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1225.41, § 6-203, § 9-1203.06, § 10-1601.02, and § 42-3171.02.

Cross References

Railroad company, acquisition authority, see § 9-1203.06.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) authority for the Maryor to exercise eminent domain to acquire Lots 36 and 41 in Square 3942 and Parcel 0143/107 for warehousing and storage purposes, see § 2 of Warehousing and Storage Eminent Domain Authority Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-531, Dec. 10, 2018, 65 DCR 13437).

For temporary (90 days) assembling of the W Street Trash Transfer site, see § 2 of the Lots 36, 41, and 802 in Square 3942 and Parcels 0143/107 and 0143/ 110 Eminent Domain Authorization Emergency Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-584, Jan. 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1285).

For temporary (90 days) assembling of the W Street Trash Transfer site, see §§ 2 and 3 of the Lots 36, 41, and 802 in Square 3942 and Parcels 0143/107 and 0143/110 Eminent Domain Authorization Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-243, Dec. 21, 2015, 63 DCR 17).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) authority for the Maryor to exercise eminent domain to acquire Lots 36 and 41 in Square 3942 and Parcel 0143/107 for warehousing and storage purposes, see § 2 of Warehousing and Storage Eminent Domain Authority Temporary Act of 2018 (D.C. Law 22-274, Mar. 28, 2019, 66 DCR 1585).

For temporary (225 days) provisions authorizing the Mayor to assemble the W Street Trash Transfer site, Lots 36, 41, and 802 in Square 3942 and Parcels 0143/107 and 0143/110, through the use of eminent domain, see §§ 2 and 3 of the Lots 36, 41, and 802 in Square 3942 and Parcels 0143/107 and 0143/110 Eminent Domain Authorization Temporary Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 20-258, Apr. 30, 2015, 62 DCR 2267).

For temporary (225 days) provisions authorizing the Mayor to assemble the W Street Trash Transfer site, Lots 36, 41, and 802 in Square 3942 and Parcels 0143/107 and 0143/110, through the use of eminent domain, see §§ 2 and 3 of the Lots 36, 41, and 802 in Square 3942 and Parcels 0143/107 and 0143/110 Eminent Domain Authorization Temporary Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-90, Mar. 9, 2016, 63 DCR 798).

Editor's Notes

For authority for the Mayor to exercise eminent domain to acquire Lots 36, 41, and 0802 in Square 3942 and Parcels 0143/107 and 0143/110 for warehousing and storage purposes, see § 2 of D.C. Law 23-228.

For authority for the Mayor to exercise eminent domain to acquire Lots 36 and 41 in Square 3942 and Parcel 0143/107 for warehousing and storage purposes, see D.C. Law 23-18.

For Mayor's authority to exercise eminent domain for the purpose of relocating the headquartes of the District of Columbia Office of Public Records and Archives, see section 1122 of D.C. Law 21-160.

Section 4(g) of D.C. Law 7-104 purported to substitute “Mayor” for “Commissioner” apparently without regard to the amendment to this section by D.C. Law 4-201.

Mayor's Orders

Condemnation of Real Property for the New Convention Center, see Mayor’s Order 99-114, July 19, 1999 ( 46 DCR 6693).

Condemnation of an Interest in Real Property, see Mayor’s Order 2000-196, December 15, 2000 ( 47 DCR 10234).

Realignment within the Department of Housing and Community Development; Establishment of the Land Disposition and Asset Management Division, see Mayor’s Order 2000-202, December 26, 2000 ( 48 DCR 930).

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority for Acquisition of Real Property for Baseball Stadium, see Mayor’s Order 2005-130, September 20, 2005 ( 53 DCR 144).

Delegation of Authority to Chief Property Management Officer Pursuant to D.C. Official Code §§ 16-1311 through 16-1321, see Mayor’s Order 2006-124, September 28, 2006 ( 53 DCR 9316).


§ 16–1312. Juries for condemnation proceedings.

For purposes of this subchapter, a special jury list shall be prepared of not less than one hundred persons who are qualified jurors in the District of Columbia. When a jury is required for a condemnation proceeding under this subchapter, the names of such number of persons as may be necessary shall be selected from this list by lot and furnished to the Superior Court.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 572, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Mar. 27, 1968, 82 Stat. 63, Pub. L. 90-274, § 103(d); July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 558, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 145(f)(4).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1312.

1973 Ed., § 16-1312.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-1313 and § 16-1357.


§ 16–1313. Selection of jury; oath of jurors.

In each action brought pursuant to this subchapter, the court shall appoint, from among the persons whose names are drawn pursuant to section 16-1312 , a jury of five capable and disinterested persons, and shall administer to the persons so drawn an oath or affirmation that they:

(1) are not interested in any manner in the real property to be condemned;

(2) are not related to the parties interested in the property; and

(3) without favor or partiality, and to the best of their judgment, will appraise the value of the respective interests of all persons concerned in the property.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 573, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1313.

1973 Ed., § 16-1313.


§ 16–1314. Declaration of taking; contents; deposit; transfer of title; determination; interest.

(a) In an action pursuant to this subchapter, the plaintiffs may file in a cause, with the complaint or at any time before judgment, a declaration of taking, signed by the Mayor, declaring that the property is thereby taken for use of the District of Columbia. The declaration of taking shall contain or have annexed thereto a —

(1) statement of the authority under which and the public use for which the property is taken;

(2) description of the property taken sufficient for the identification thereof;

(3) statement of the estate or interest in the property taken for public use;

(4) plan showing the property taken; and

(5) statement of the sum of money estimated by the Mayor to be just compensation for the property taken.

(b) Notwithstanding section 16-1319, upon the filing of the declaration of taking and the deposit in the registry of the court, to the use of the persons entitled thereto, of the amount of the estimated compensation stated in the declaration, title to the property in fee simple absolute, or such less estate or interest therein as is specified in the declaration, shall vest in the District of Columbia, and the property shall be deemed to be condemned and taken for the use of the District, and the right to just compensation therefor shall vest in the persons entitled thereto. The compensation shall be ascertained and awarded in the proceedings and established by judgment therein, and the judgment shall include, as part of the just compensation awarded, interest at the rate of 6 per centum per annum on the amount finally awarded as the value of the property as of the date of taking, from that date to the date of payment. Interest may not be allowed on as much thereof as has been paid into the registry. A sum so paid into the registry may not be charged with commissions or poundage.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 573, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 558, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 145(f)(5); Apr. 30, 1988, D.C. Law 7-104, § 4(h), 35 DCR 147.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1314.

1973 Ed., § 16-1314.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-1315 and § 16-1316.

Mayor's Orders

Condemnation of Real Property for the New Convention Center, see Mayor’s Order 99-114, July 19, 1999 ( 46 DCR 6693).

Designation of the Department of Health, Environmental Health Administration, as the Lead State Agency for Asbestos Management Plan Approval in D.C. pursuant to the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, 15 U.S.C. 2645(b)(2), see Mayor’s Order 99-115, July 20, 1999 ( 46 DCR 6694).


§ 16–1315. Distribution of money deposited on declaration of taking; judgment for deficiency or overpayment; execution.

After the filing of the declaration of taking, and the deposit of the money in the registry of the court, as provided for by section 16-1314 , the court, upon the application of the parties in interest, may order that the money so deposited, or any part thereof, be paid forthwith for or on account of the just compensation to be awarded in the proceeding. Upon the final award of compensation, the court shall enter judgment for the amount of any deficiency or overpayment in the manner provided by subdivision (j) of rule 71A of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. A writ of execution may be issued on the judgment within the same time, and it shall have the same effect as a lien, and shall be executed and returned in the same manner, as if issued on any other judgment.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 573, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1315.

1973 Ed., § 16-1315.


§ 16–1316. Time for surrender of possession under declaration of taking; adjustment of charges.

Upon the filing of the declaration of taking provided for by section 16-1314 , the court may fix the time within which and the terms upon which the parties in possession shall be required to surrender possession to the plaintiffs. The court may make such orders in respect of incumbrances, liens, rents, taxes, assessments, insurance, and other charges, if any, as it deems just and equitable.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 574, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1316.

1973 Ed., § 16-1316.


§ 16–1317. Objections to jurors; appraisement.

The court, before accepting the jury in a condemnation proceeding pursuant to this subchapter, shall hear any objections that may be made to any member thereof, and may pass upon any objection, and may excuse any juror or cause any vacancy in the jury, when empaneled, to be filled. After the jury is organized and have viewed and examined the land and premises affected by the condemnation proceeding, they shall proceed, in the presence of the court, to hear and receive any evidence offered or submitted on behalf of the District of Columbia and by any person having an interest in the proceeding. When the hearing is concluded, the jury, or a majority of them, shall return to the court, in writing, their appraisement of the value of the interests of all persons, respectively, in the real property, where the appraisement shall be recorded. In making their decision, the jury shall take into consideration, when a part only is taken, the benefit to the remainder of the tract, and shall give their appraisement accordingly.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 574, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1317.

1973 Ed., § 16-1317.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-1318 and § 16-1319.


§ 16–1318. Objections or exceptions to appraisement; new jury.

(a) Objections or exceptions to an appraisement of the jury pursuant to section 16-1317 may be filed within twenty days after the return of the appraisement to the court. The court shall hear and determine any objections or exceptions so filed, and may vacate and set aside the appraisement, in whole or in part, when satisfied that it is unjust or unreasonable. If the appraisement is vacated and set aside, the court shall order the necessary number of new persons selected from the special jury list and, from among the persons so selected, shall appoint a new jury of five capable and disinterested persons who shall proceed as in the case of the first jury. The appraisement of the new jury shall be final when confirmed by the court.

(b) When an appraisement is vacated in part, the residue thereof as to the property condemned is not affected thereby.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 574, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 558, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 145(f)(6).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1318.

1973 Ed., § 16-1318.


§ 16–1319. Payment of award; transfer of title.

If the appraisement of the jury pursuant to section 16-1317 is not objected to by the parties interested, it shall be confirmed by the court, or, if the appraisement of the new jury is confirmed by the court, the Mayor shall pay the amount awarded by the jury out of the appropriation made therefor or deposit it in the manner as directed by section 9-1217.24 [repealed], and thereupon the title to the property condemned shall vest in the District of Columbia.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 574, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 558, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 145(f)(7); Apr. 30, 1988, D.C. Law 7-104, § 4(i), 35 DCR 147.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1319.

1973 Ed., § 16-1319.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-1314.

References in Text

Section 9-1217.24, referred to in this section, was repealed by D.C. Law 4-201,§ 19, effective March 10, 1983.


§ 16–1320. Fixing time for return of verdict.

In every case involving the condemnation of real property under this subchapter, at the close of the hearing thereof, the court shall fix a time in which the jury shall return its verdict or the report to the court the reasons why the verdict or appraisement can not be returned by the time fixed. The court has discretion to extend the time for the return of the verdict or appraisement.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 575, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1320.

1973 Ed., § 16-1320.


§ 16–1321. Abandonment of proceedings; liability.

In a condemnation proceeding pursuant to this subchapter, it is optional with the Mayor to abide by the verdict of the jury and occupy the property appraised by them, or, within a reasonable time to be fixed by the court in its order confirming the verdict, to abandon the proceeding. If the proceeding is abandoned, the court shall award to the owner or owners of the property involved therein such sum or sums as will in the opinion of the court reimburse the owner or owners for all reasonable costs and expenses, including reasonable counsel fees, incurred by him or them in the proceeding. The sum or sums so awarded constitute a judgment or judgments against the District of Columbia. An owner is not entitled to the reimbursement in any case where the proceeding is abandoned at the request, or with the consent, of the owner of the property.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 575, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 558, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 145(f)(7); Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 10(p), 45 DCR 745.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1321.

1973 Ed., § 16-1321.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1231.14.

Cross References

Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington Railroad Company, acquisition authority, see § 9-1203.06.

Eminent domain, jurisdiction, see § 16-1303.