Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter IV. Real Property for United States.


§ 16–1351. Definition.

As used in this subchapter, “acquiring authority” means the head of an executive department or agency of the United States, or other officer of the United States, or board or commission of the United States, authorized by law to acquire real property in the District of Columbia for the construction of public buildings or works, or for parks, parkways, public playgrounds, or other public purpose.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 577, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Apr. 30, 1988, D.C. Law 7-104, § 4(m), 35 DCR 147.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1351.

1973 Ed., § 16-1351.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 9-1107.01 and § 16-1352.

Cross References

Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, eminent domain powers, see § 9-1107.01.


§ 16–1352. Condemnation proceedings by Attorney General.

When, for the purposes specified by section 16-1351 , it is deemed necessary or advantageous to do so, the acquiring authority may acquire real property in the District of Columbia in the name of the United States by condemnation under judicial process. The Attorney General of the United States, upon the request of the acquiring authority, shall institute a proceeding for the condemnation of the property in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 577, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1352.

1973 Ed., § 16-1352.

Cross References

Streets and alleys, condemnation, § 9-203.02 et seq.


§ 16–1353. Declaration of taking; contents; deposit; transfer of title; determination; interest.

(a) In an action pursuant to this subchapter, the plaintiff may file in the cause, with the complaint or at any time before judgment, a declaration of taking signed by the acquiring authority empowered by law to acquire the property described in the complaint, declaring that the property is thereby taken for the use of the United States. 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 lands are taken;

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

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

(4) plan showing the lands taken; and

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

(b) Upon the filing of the declaration of taking and of 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, vests in the United States of America, and the property shall be deemed to be condemned and taken for the use of the United States, and the right to just compensation therefor vests 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. 577, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1353.

1973 Ed., § 16-1353.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-1354, § 16-1355, and § 16-1360.


§ 16–1354. Distribution of money deposited on declaration of taking; judgment for deficiency.

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 16-1353 , 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 in the manner provided by rule 71A (j) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 578, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 10(r), 45 DCR 745.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1354.

1973 Ed., § 16-1354.


§ 16–1355. Time for surrender of possession under declaration of taking; adjustment of charges.

Upon the filing of a declaration of taking provided for by section 16-1353 , 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 plaintiff. The court may make such orders in respect of encumbrances, liens, rents, taxes, assessments, insurance, and other charges, if any, as it deems just and equitable.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 578, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1355.

1973 Ed., § 16-1355.


§ 16–1356. Setting date for trial.

In a proceeding pursuant to this subchapter, after all defendants have been served with notice, and there has been return of service, as provided by rule 71A(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure , and after defendants have appeared or answered in the manner provided by rule 71A(e) thereof, either personally or by their guardians ad litem or other legal representatives, or are in default, the case shall be regarded as ready for trial, and, upon the application of any party to the proceeding, the court shall forthwith set an early date to be fixed by it, not less than ten nor more than twenty days from the date of the application, for the trial of the issues of law and fact raised in the case, and the ascertainment of the compensation or damages to be awarded for the taking of the property to be condemned.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 578, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1356.

1973 Ed., § 16-1356.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-1357.


§ 16–1357. Drawing of jurors, and selection of jury; qualifications.

When the date for trial has been set, as provided by section 16-1356 , the court shall order the names of a number of persons, not less than twenty, selected from the special jury list provided by section 16-1312 , and the names of the persons selected shall be certified to the clerk of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia as a panel of prospective jurors. The persons so certified shall be thereupon summoned by the United States marshal for the District of Columbia to appear in the court on the day specially fixed for the trial of the cause. Before selecting or impaneling the jury, the court may cause a second, third, or other further list of prospective jurors to be drawn, certified and summoned in like manner. From the persons so certified and summoned, the court, after examination on oath and in open court as to their qualifications, shall select and impanel a jury of five capable and disinterested persons who have the qualifications of jurors as prescribed by law for the courts of the District of Columbia, and in addition thereto are not in the service or employment of the United States or of the District of Columbia.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 578, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Mar. 27, 1968, 82 Stat. 63, Pub. L. 90-274, § 103(e); July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 558, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 145(f)(12).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1357.

1973 Ed., § 16-1357.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-1358, § 16-1359, and § 16-1362.


§ 16–1358. Oath of jurors.

The jurors selected and impaneled, as provided by section 16-1357 , shall take an oath or affirmation, administered by the court, that they:

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

(2) are not, to their knowledge, related to any person interested in the property; and

(3) will, impartially and to the best of their judgment, ascertain, appraise, and award just compensation for the property to be condemned and taken in the proceeding.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 579, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1358.

1973 Ed., § 16-1358.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-1359.


§ 16–1359. Inspection of property by jury; presence of parties.

After being selected, impaneled, and sworn, as provided by sections 16-1357 and 16-1358 , and before hearing the evidence, the jury, in order to inspect the property to be acquired, shall be taken upon the property by the United States marshal at a time fixed by the court. All parties in interest, their attorneys, and representatives have the right to be present at the inspection.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 579, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1359.

1973 Ed., § 16-1359.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-1360.


§ 16–1360. Trial; evidence; measure of compensation.

After the inspection provided for by section 16-1359 , and the jury has returned to the court, the trial of the cause shall be proceeded with before the court and jury. Any person who has appeared in the cause claiming any right, title, interest, or estate in the land to be taken, or compensation on account of its taking, has the right to submit evidence concerning the value of the property, parcel by parcel, the nature and extent of his right, interest, or estate therein, and the compensation justly due for the taking of the property. A new structure or substantial alteration of a permanent nature, the purpose or natural effect of which is to enhance the value of the property to be taken, erected, or made thereon after the institution of the condemnation proceedings may not be taken into consideration in assessing and awarding compensation for the property. When the property to be valued has been taken by virtue of a declaration of taking, as provided by section 16-1353 , it shall be valued for the purposes of compensation as of the date of the taking. When, by act of the owner or other party claiming to be entitled to compensation, the value of the property for the use for which it is to be taken has been diminished, as by cutting trees, excavating, grading, or otherwise altering its physical condition, allowance, if the plaintiff so elects, shall be made in assessing compensation for the diminution in value.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 579, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 10(s), 45 DCR 745.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1360.

1973 Ed., § 16-1360.


§ 16–1361. Verdict.

At the close of the evidence in a proceeding pursuant to this subchapter, the court shall charge the jury and furnish them with a written form to be used in returning their verdict. The members of the jury may separate when not engaged in the consideration of their verdict. When the jury, or a majority thereof, have agreed upon their verdict they shall, through their foreman, so notify the court, which shall thereupon pass an order setting a day for the return of the verdict in open court. The verdict shall be in writing subscribed by the jurors concurring therein, and shall set forth, parcel by parcel, the compensation to be paid for the taking of the lands to be condemned.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 579, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1361.

1973 Ed., § 16-1361.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-1362 and § 16-1363.


§ 16–1362. Fixing date for new trial; new jurors.

If a verdict rendered pursuant to section 16-1361 , or any award contained therein, is set aside or vacated, the court shall —

(1) grant a new trial with respect to the property as to which the verdict or award is set aside or vacated;

(2) fix a date for the new trial; and

(3) order a new panel of prospective jurors to be drawn, certified, or summoned as provided by section 16-1357.

The court shall then proceed with the cause as if a verdict or award had not been rendered.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 580, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1362.

1973 Ed., § 16-1362.


§ 16–1363. Judgment.

Judgment upon a verdict returned pursuant to section 16-1361 or any award contained therein shall be entered against the United States in favor of the parties entitled for the sums awarded as just compensation, respectively, for the property condemned for the use of the United States.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 580, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1363.

1973 Ed., § 16-1363.


§ 16–1364. Force and effect of judgment; payment.

A final judgment rendered against the United States pursuant to this subchapter has like force and effect as a money judgment rendered against the United States by the Court of Claims in a suit in respect of which the United States has expressly consented to be sued. The amount of the final judgment shall be paid out of any specific appropriation applicable to the case. If a specific appropriation does not exist, the judgment shall be paid in the same manner (except with respect to interest) as judgments rendered by the Court of Claims in cases under its general jurisdiction.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 580, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1364.

1973 Ed., § 16-1364.


§ 16–1365. Appeal; deficiency judgment.

A party aggrieved by a final judgment in a proceeding pursuant to this subchapter may appeal therefrom to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The appeal, or any bond or undertaking given therein, does not operate to prevent or delay the vesting of title to the property in the United States, but upon the filing of a declaration of taking, or, if a declaration of taking is not filed, upon payment to the party entitled, or deposit in the registry of the court, of the amount awarded by the judgment, title vests in the United States, saving to all parties their right to just compensation. If the compensation finally awarded and adjudged for the property exceeds the amount awarded and adjudged by the judgment appealed from, the court shall enter judgment for the deficiency with interest as provided by this subchapter.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 580, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1365.

1973 Ed., § 16-1365.


§ 16–1366. Payment of compensation into court; vesting of title.

Payment into the registry of the court for the use of the parties entitled of the sum adjudged to be just compensation for the property to be condemned and taken, or for any parcel thereof, or any interest therein, pursuant to this subchapter, constitutes payment of the compensation. Upon the payment, the plaintiff is entitled to an order declaring that the title to the property in respect of which the compensation is so paid is vested in the United States of America. The money so paid into the registry of the court shall be deemed to be vested in the persons owning or interested in the property, according to their respective estates and interest, and the money shall take the place and stand in lieu of the property condemned. The court, upon the application of the plaintiff or of any party in interest, may determine and direct who is entitled to receive payment of the money so paid into the registry, and, in its discretion, order a reference to the auditor of the court or a special master to ascertain the facts on which the determination and direction are to be made.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 580, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1366.

1973 Ed., § 16-1366.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 9-1107.01.

Cross References

Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, eminent domain powers, see § 9-1107.01.


§ 16–1367. Delivery of possession.

Where possession has not been awarded pursuant to a declaration of taking, and the adjudged compensation has been paid into the registry as directed by the judgment of the court and a certified copy of the judgment, with a certificate of the clerk of the court showing the payment, has been served upon the person in possession of the property, he shall, upon demand, deliver possession thereof to the plaintiff. If possession is not delivered when so demanded, the plaintiff may apply to the court without notice, unless the court requires notice to be given, for a writ of assistance, and the court, upon proof of the service of the copy of the final order or judgment and certificate of the clerk showing payment as referred to in this section, shall thereupon cause the writ to be issued, which shall be executed in the same manner as when issued in other cases for the delivery of possession of real property.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 581, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1367.

1973 Ed., § 16-1367.


§ 16–1368. Additional powers of court.

Where the mode or manner of conducting a proceeding pursuant to this subchapter is not expressly provided for by law or rules of court in force under authority of law, the court may make all necessary orders and give all necessary directions to carry into effect the object and intent of this subchapter or any other laws conferring authority to acquire real property for the use of the United States.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 581, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1368.

1973 Ed., § 16-1368.

Cross References

Eminent domain, jurisdiction, District Court, see § 16-1301.