Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter II. Procedures.


§ 2–1802.01. Notice of infraction.

(a) In order to initiate a proceeding under subchapter I of this chapter and this subchapter, the Mayor shall serve a notice of infraction upon a respondent. The Mayor shall retain a copy of the notice of infraction, which shall bear a certification attesting to the matters set forth in the notice.

(b) The Mayor shall prepare the notice of infraction, which shall contain:

(1) The name and address of the respondent;

(2) A citation of the law or regulation alleged to have been violated;

(3) The nature, time, and place of the infraction;

(4) Where appropriate, the date by which the respondent must comply to avoid incurring a fine or penalty;

(5) The amount of the fine applicable to the infraction;

(6) The manner, place, and time in which the fine and penalties, if any, may be paid;

(7) Notice that failure to pay monetary sanctions may result in suspension of respondent’s permit or license;

(8) Notice that failure to answer the notice of infraction within 15 days after the date of service, or other period which the Mayor may establish by rule, shall result in a penalty equal to twice the amount of the civil fine for the infraction set forth in the notice; and

(9) Notice of the respondent’s right to request a hearing with respect to the infraction, and the procedure for requesting a hearing.

(c) If an administrative law judge or attorney examiner determines that a notice of infraction is defective on its face, the administrative law judge or attorney examiner shall enter an order dismissing the notice of infraction and shall promptly notify the respondent.


(Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 201, 32 DCR 4450; Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-237, § 2(e), (f), 38 DCR 314; Sept. 24, 2010, D.C. Law 18-223, § 2072(b), 57 DCR 6242.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2711.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-223 rewrote par. (b)(8), which had read as follows: (8) Notice that failure to answer the notice of infraction within 15 calendar days from the date of service, or other period which the Mayor may establish by rule or regulation, may result in penalties, and the amount of those penalties; and“.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2072(b) of Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-463, July 2, 2010, 57 DCR 6542).


§ 2–1802.02. Answer.

(a) In answer to a notice of infraction a respondent may:

(1) Admit the infraction;

(2) Admit the infraction with an explanation which the hearing examiner may take into account in the imposition of a sanction for the infraction; or

(3) Deny commission of the infraction.

(b) A respondent who responds to a notice of infraction but fails to indicate whether the respondent admits, admits with explanation, or denies the infraction shall be considered to have admitted the infraction if the respondent pays the appropriate fine and penalties, and shall otherwise be considered to have denied the infraction.

(c) A respondent may answer the notice of infraction by mail or in person.

(d) A respondent admitting an infraction shall, at the time the respondent submits an answer, pay the applicable civil fine established pursuant to § 2-1801.04(a)(1), and any applicable penalties pursuant to § 2-1801.04(a)(2).

(e) A respondent shall answer a notice of infraction within 15 calendar days of the date the notice of infraction was served, or within any other time period the Mayor may establish by rule or regulation.

(f) If a respondent has been served a notice of infraction and fails, without good cause, to answer within the time period established in subsection (e) of this section, the respondent shall be liable for the penalty established pursuant to § 2-1801.04(a)(2).

(g) No notice of infraction issued pursuant to subchapter I of this chapter and this subchapter shall abridge or abrogate any time periods established by the laws and regulations amended by title IV [of D.C. Law 6-42] regarding cure of an infraction.


(Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 202, 32 DCR 4450; Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-237, § 2(h), 38 DCR 314; Sept. 24, 2010, D.C. Law 18-223, § 2072(c), 57 DCR 6242.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2712.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1801.04.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-223 rewrote subsec. (f), which had read as follows: “(f) If a respondent has been served a notice of infraction and fails, without good cause, to answer within the time period established in subsection (e) of this section, the respondent shall be liable for the penalty established pursuant to § 2-1801.04(a)(2)(A). The Mayor shall then serve a second notice of infraction upon the respondent. If the respondent fails to answer the second notice of infraction within 15 calendar days of service, or within any other time period the Mayor may establish by rule or regulation, the respondent shall be liable for the penalty established pursuant to § 2-1801.04(a)(2)(B).”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2072(c) of Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-463, July 2, 2010, 57 DCR 6542).

References in Text

“Title IV,” referred to in (g), is title IV of D.C. Law 6-42.


§ 2–1802.03. Hearing.

(a) The administrative law judge or attorney examiner shall conduct a hearing on a notice of infraction in accordance with Chapter 5 of this title, except as otherwise provided by this chapter. The Mayor shall bear the burden of establishing an infraction by a preponderance of the evidence.

(b) If a respondent fails, without good cause, to appear at a hearing of which the respondent has been served a notice, the administrative law judge or attorney examiner may proceed with the hearing and enter a final order in the case.

(c) After due consideration of the evidence and arguments, the administrative law judge or attorney examiner shall determine whether the Mayor has established the infraction. Where the Mayor has not established the infraction, the administrative law judge or attorney examiner shall enter an order dismissing the notice of infraction. Where the Mayor has established the infraction, the administrative law judge or attorney examiner shall enter an appropriate written order, which shall set forth findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a sanction.

(d) An order entered pursuant to this section is civil in nature.

(e) Upon a finding that the respondent has committed the infraction, the administrative law judge or attorney examiner may order the respondent to pay a civil fine and, where appropriate, penalties pursuant to § 2-1801.04(a)(2) and costs pursuant to § 2-1801.04(b).

(f) The administrative law judge or attorney examiner may suspend any permit or license which authorizes the respondent to engage in the activity to which the infraction relates if the respondent fails to pay any fines, penalties, and costs, with interest thereon, in accordance with the administrative law judge’s or attorney examiner’s order. Suspension of the permit or license shall continue until the respondent complies with the administrative law judge’s or attorney examiner’s order.

(g) Upon request of the respondent, the administrative law judge or attorney examiner may stay the imposition of any sanction imposed pending administrative review.

(h) The Mayor may cause to be entered any final order requiring a respondent to pay fines, penalties, or costs as a judgment against the respondent in the Civil Actions Branch of the Civil Division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Mayor may enforce the judgment in the same manner as any other civil judgment may be enforced under District law.

(i)(1) The amount to be paid under a final order shall be a continuing and perpetual lien in favor of the District upon all property, whether real or personal, belonging to the respondent and shall have the same force and effect as a lien created by judgment. Interest shall accrue thereon at the rate of one and 1/2% per month, or part thereof, from the date of the order or default final order.

(2) The lien shall attach to all property belonging to the respondent at any time during the period of the lien, including any property acquired by the respondent after the lien arises.

(3) The lien shall have priority over all other liens, except liens for District taxes and District water charges. The lien shall be satisfied by payment of the amount of the lien to the agency that issued the final order; provided, that the lien shall not be valid as against a bona fide purchaser, holder of a security interest, mechanic’s lienor, or judgment lien creditor until notice by filing in the Recorder of Deeds.

(4) For reasonable cause shown, the Mayor may abate the amount of the final order.

(5) The Mayor may contract with any person to collect the amount of the lien and remunerate the person by fee, by a percentage of the amount collected, or both.

(6) Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the lien has been converted to a real property tax lien under § 47-1340, the real property tax lien shall be enforced under Chapter 13A of Title 47.

(j) The Mayor may enforce payment of the fines, penalties, costs, and interest imposed against the real property of the respondent as follows:

(1) The agency that issued the notice of infraction shall record a real property tax lien, captioned “Notice of Converted Real Property Tax Lien”, with the Recorder of Deeds stating the name of the respondent, describing the real property against which the real property tax lien attaches by square and lot number, and specifying the amount of the real property tax lien. The real property tax lien shall be deemed a delinquent real property tax from the date of the conversion, shall accrue interest at the rate of interest charged for delinquent real property tax, and shall be perpetual. Subject to § 47-1340(f), payment thereof shall be credited to the General Fund of the District of Columbia. The real property may be sold at the next tax sale, regardless of the date of the conversion, in the same manner, under the same conditions, and subject to the same impositions of interest, costs, expenses, fees, and other charges, as real property sold for delinquent real property tax.

(2) The aggregate amount of the fines, penalties, costs, and interest secured by the lien imposed under subsection (i) of this section may appear on a real property tax bill, and such aggregate amount shall (A) be deemed an additional real property tax to be collected in the same manner and under the same conditions as real property tax is collected, including the sale of the real property for delinquent tax; (B) be credited to the General Fund of the District of Columbia; and (C) be subject to the same penalty and interest provisions as delinquent real property tax is subject as of the date of such real property tax bill. The lien under subsection (i) of this section, with penalty and interest as provided under this section, shall be converted to real property tax as of the due date for payment of the real property tax bill if payment is not made.


(Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 203, 32 DCR 4450; Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-237, § 2(i), 38 DCR 314; Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 105(b), 48 DCR 1888; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 9(b), 52 DCR 2638.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2713.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3131.14.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-281, in subsec. (f), substituted “any fines, penalties, and costs, with interest thereon,” for “any fines, penalties, or costs”; amended subsec. (i); and added subsec. (j).

D.C. Law 15-354, in par. (1) of subsec. (j), substituted “notice of infraction” for “final order”.


§ 2–1802.04. Final decision.

(a) Except as provided in Chapter 18A of this title, the order of the administrative law judge or attorney examiner shall become final 15 calendar days after service of the order upon the respondent, unless within that time the party files an administrative appeal pursuant to subchapter III of this chapter.

(b) The Mayor may prepare a list of delinquent respondents who have not paid or appealed, within 15 days of service, fines, penalties, costs, and interests resulting from final orders, and may periodically publish the list in one or more general circulation newspapers published in the District of Columbia.


(Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 204, 32 DCR 4450; Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-237, § 2(j), 38 DCR 314; Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 105(c), 48 DCR 1888; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 9(c), 52 DCR 2638.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2714.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-281 rewrote subsec. (b) which had read:

“(b) The Mayor may prepare a listing of delinquent respondents who have not paid or appealed within 15 days of service, fines, penalties, or costs resulting from final decisions issued by attorney examiners and may periodically publish such a list in one or more general circulation newspapers published in the District of Columbia.”

D.C. Law 15-354, in subsec. (a), substituted “Except as provided in § 2-1831.03(f)), the” for “The”.


§ 2–1802.05. Service.

(a) Any notice or order served upon a respondent or other person pursuant to this chapter may be personally served, electronically served, delivered to the respondent’s or other person’s last known home or business address and left with a person of suitable age and discretion residing or employed therein, or mailed to the respondent or other person by first class mail to the respondent’s last known home or business address. When service is by mail, 5 additional days shall be added to the time period within which the respondent or other person may, or is required to, take any action specified in the notice or order.

(b) Where property unlawfully occupies public space, including a public right-of-way, in violation of part B of subchapter II of Chapter 3 of Title 1 [§ 1-303.21 et seq.], subchapter I of Chapter 11 of Title 10 [§ 10-1101.01 et seq.], subchapter II of Chapter 11 of Title 10 [§ 10-1121.01 et seq.], subchapter III of Chapter 11 of Title 10 [§ 10-1141.01 et seq.], Chapter 11A of Title 10 [§ 10-1181.01 et seq.], or Chapter 9A of Title 50 [§ 50-921.01 et seq.], or another law regulating the occupancy or use of public space, including the public right-of-way, and the identity or location of the property owner is unknown, service may also be made by:

(1) Conspicuously posting the notice or order on the property alleged to be in violation; and

(2) Posting the information regarding the notice or order on the website of the agency issuing the notice or order.


(Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 205, 32 DCR 4450; Sept. 24, 2010, D.C. Law 18-223, § 2052, 57 DCR 6242; Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-207, § 10, 61 DCR 12690.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2715.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-223 substituted “personally served, electronically served,” for “personally served,”.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-207 designated the existing text as (a); and added (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2052 of Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-463, July 2, 2010, 57 DCR 6542).

Short Title

Short title: Section 2051 of D.C. Law 18-223 provided that subtitle E of title II of the act may be cited as the “Electronic Service of Notice Amendment Act of 2010”.

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.