Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 35. Statute of Frauds.


§ 28–3501. Estate created otherwise than by deed.

An estate, attempted to be created for a greater term than one year in real estate, other than by deed, is an estate by sufferance.


(Aug. 30, 1964, 78 Stat. 676, Pub. L. 88-509, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28-3501.

1973 Ed., § 28-3501.

Cross References

Estates in land, written instruments, requirements, see §§ 42-306 and 42-522.


§ 28–3502. Special promise to answer for debt or default of another.

An action may not be brought to charge an executor or administrator upon a special promise to answer damages out of his own estate, or to charge the defendant upon a special promise to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage of another person, or to charge a person upon an agreement made upon consideration of marriage, or upon a contract or sale of real estate, of any interest in or concerning it, or upon an agreement that is not to be performed within one year from the making thereof, unless the agreement upon which the action is brought, or a memorandum or note thereof, is in writing, which need not state the consideration and signed by the party to be charged therewith or a person authorized by him.


(Aug. 30, 1964, 78 Stat. 676, Pub. L. 88-509, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28-3502.

1973 Ed., § 28-3502.


§ 28–3503. Declaration, grant, and assignment of trust.

A declaration or creation of trust or confidence of real estate which is not in writing, signed by the party who is by law enabled to declare the trust or by his last will in writing, is void.

A grant or assignment of a trust or confidence which is not in writing, signed by the party granting or assigning it, or by his last will, is void.

Where a conveyance is made of real estate by which a trust or confidence is or may arise or result by the implication or construction of law, or is transferred or extinguished by an act or operation of law, the trust or confidence is of the same effect as it would have been if this section had not been enacted.


(Aug. 30, 1964, 78 Stat. 676, Pub. L. 88-509, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28-3503.

1973 Ed., § 28-3503.

Cross References

Estates, conveyances, see § 42-301 et seq.

Estates in land, see § 42-501 et seq.

Mortgages and deeds of trust, see § 42-801 et seq.


§ 28–3504. New promise or acknowledgment of contract — Action against joint contractors.

In an action upon a simple contract, an acknowledgement, or promise, by words only is not sufficient evidence of a new or continuing contract whereby to take the case out of the operation of the statute of limitations or to deprive a party of the benefit thereof unless the acknowledgement, or promise, is in writing, signed by the party chargeable thereby. This section does not alter or take away, or lessen the effect of a payment of principal or interest made by any person. In actions against two or more joint contractors, or executors, or administrators, if it appears at the trial, or otherwise, that the plaintiff, though barred by the statute of limitations as to one or more of the defendants, is nevertheless entitled to recover against any other defendant by virtue of a new acknowledgment, or promise, or otherwise, judgment may be given for the plaintiff as to that defendant. An indorsement or memorandum of a payment written or made upon a promissory note, bill of exchange, or other writing, by or on behalf of the party to whom the payment is to be made, is not sufficient proof of the payment so as to take the case out of the operation of the statute of limitations.


(Aug. 30, 1964, 78 Stat. 677, Pub. L. 88-509, § 1; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-255, § 27(i), 44 DCR 1271.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28-3504.

1973 Ed., § 28-3504.

Cross References

States of limitations, see § 12-301 et seq.


§ 28–3505. New promise or acknowledgement of debt incurred during infancy.

An action may not be maintained to charge a person upon an acknowledgment of, or promise to pay, a debt contracted during infancy, made after full age, except for necessaries, unless the acknowledgement or promise is in writing signed by the party to be charged therewith. This section does not affect ratification by conduct.


(Aug. 30, 1964, 78 Stat. 677, Pub. L. 88-509, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28-3505.

1973 Ed., § 28-3505.

Cross References

Age of majority, contracts, see § 28:1-103.