Code of the District of Columbia

Part B. Judicial Dissolution.


§ 29–312.20. Grounds for judicial dissolution.

(a) The Superior Court may dissolve a corporation:

(1) In a proceeding by the Attorney General for the District of Columbia if it is established that the corporation:

(A) Obtained its articles of incorporation through fraud; or

(B) Has continued to exceed or abuse the authority conferred upon it by law;

(2) In a proceeding by a shareholder if it is established that:

(A) The directors are deadlocked in the management of the corporate affairs, the shareholders are unable to break the deadlock, and irreparable injury to the corporation is threatened or being suffered, or the activities and affairs of the corporation can no longer be conducted to the advantage of the shareholders generally, because of the deadlock;

(B) The directors or those in control of the corporation have acted, are acting, or will act in a manner that is illegal, oppressive, or fraudulent;

(C) The shareholders are deadlocked in voting power and have failed, for a period that includes at least 2 consecutive annual meeting dates, to elect successors to directors whose terms have expired; or

(D) The corporate assets are being misapplied or wasted;

(A) The creditor’s claim has been reduced to judgment, the execution on the judgment returned unsatisfied, and the corporation is insolvent; or

(B) The corporation has admitted in writing that the creditor’s claim is due and owing and the corporation is insolvent;

(3) In a proceeding by a creditor if it is established that:

(4) In a proceeding by the corporation to have its voluntary dissolution continued under court supervision; or

(5) In a proceeding by a shareholder if the corporation has abandoned its business and has failed within a reasonable time to liquidate and distribute its assets and dissolve.

(b) Subsection (a)(2) of this section shall not apply in the case of a corporation that, on the date of the filing of the proceeding, has shares which are:

(1) Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange or on any exchange owned or operated by the NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, or listed or quoted on a system owned or operated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority; or

(2) Not so listed or quoted, but are held by at least 300 shareholders and the shares outstanding have a market value of at least $20 million, exclusive of the value of the shares held by the corporation’s subsidiaries, senior executives, directors, and beneficial shareholders owning more than 10% of such shares) [sic].

(c) For the purposes of this section, the term “beneficial shareholder” has the meaning specified in § 29-311.01(2).


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720; Mar. 5, 2013, D.C. Law 19-210, § 2(c)(31), 59 DCR 13171.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 29-303.04, § 29-312.21, § 29-312.23, and § 29-312.24.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-210 substituted “activities” for “business” in (a)(2)(A).

Cross References

Regional interstate banking, violations threatening solvency or prejudicing consumers’ rights, petition for involuntary dissolution, see § 26-712.

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 19-210: Section 7 of D.C. Law 19-210 provided that the act shall apply as of January 1, 2012.


§ 29–312.21. Procedure for judicial dissolution.

(a) It shall not be necessary to make shareholders parties to a proceeding to dissolve a corporation unless relief is sought against them individually.

(b) The Superior Court in a proceeding brought to dissolve a corporation may issue injunctions, appoint a receiver or custodian pendente lite with all powers and duties the court directs, take other action required to preserve the corporate assets wherever located, and carry on the business of the corporation until a full hearing can be held.

(c) Within 10 days of the commencement of a proceeding to dissolve a corporation under § 29-312.20(a)(2), the corporation shall send to all shareholders, other than the petitioner, a notice stating that the shareholders are entitled to avoid the dissolution of the corporation by electing to purchase the petitioner’s shares under § 29-312.24 and accompanied by a copy of § 29-312.24.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720.)


§ 29–312.22. Receivership or custodianship.

(a) Unless an election to purchase has been filed under § 29-312.24, the Superior Court in a judicial proceeding brought to dissolve a corporation may appoint one or more receivers to wind up and liquidate, or one or more custodians to manage, the activities and affairs of the corporation. The court shall hold a hearing, after notifying all parties to the proceeding and any interested persons designated by the court, before appointing a receiver or custodian. The court appointing a receiver or custodian has jurisdiction over the corporation and all of its property wherever located.

(b) The Superior Court may appoint an individual or a domestic or foreign corporation, authorized to do business in the District, as a receiver or custodian. The court may require the receiver or custodian to post bond, with or without sureties, in an amount the court directs.

(c) The Superior Court shall describe the powers and duties of the receiver or custodian in its appointing order, which may be amended. Among other powers:

(1) The receiver may:

(A) Dispose of all or any part of the assets of the corporation wherever located, at a public or private sale, if authorized by the court; and

(B) Sue and defend in his or her own name as receiver of the corporation;

(2) The custodian may exercise all of the powers of the corporation, through or in place of its board of directors, to the extent necessary to manage the affairs of the corporation in the best interests of its shareholders and creditors.

(d) The Superior Court during a receivership may redesignate the receiver a custodian, and during a custodianship may redesignate the custodian a receiver, if doing so is in the best interests of the corporation, its shareholders, and its creditors.

(e) The Superior Court during the receivership or custodianship may order compensation paid and expenses paid or reimbursed to the receiver or custodian from the assets of the corporation or proceeds from the sale of the assets.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720; Mar. 5, 2013, D.C. Law 19-210, § 2(c)(32), 59 DCR 13171.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-210 substituted “activities” for “business” in (a).

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 19-210: Section 7 of D.C. Law 19-210 provided that the act shall apply as of January 1, 2012.


§ 29–312.23. Decree of dissolution.

(a) If, after a hearing, the Superior Court determines that one or more grounds for judicial dissolution described in § 29-312.20 exist, it may enter a decree dissolving the corporation and specifying the effective date of the dissolution, and the clerk of the court shall deliver a certified copy of the decree to the Mayor, who shall file it.

(b) After entering the decree of dissolution, the Superior Court shall direct the winding-up and liquidation of the corporation’s activities and affairs in accordance with § 29-312.05 and the notification of claimants in accordance with §§ 29-312.06 and 29-312.07.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720; Mar. 5, 2013, D.C. Law 19-210, § 2(c)(33), 59 DCR 13171.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-210 substituted “activities” for “business” in (b).

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 19-210: Section 7 of D.C. Law 19-210 provided that the act shall apply as of January 1, 2012.


§ 29–312.24. Election to purchase in lieu of dissolution.

(a) In a proceeding under § 29-312.20(a)(2) to dissolve a corporation, the corporation may elect or, if it fails to elect, one or more shareholders may elect to purchase all shares owned by the petitioning shareholder at the fair value of the shares. An election pursuant to this section shall be irrevocable unless the court determines that it is equitable to set aside or modify the election.

(b) An election to purchase pursuant to this section may be filed with the Superior Court at any time within 90 days after the filing of the petition under § 29-312.20(a)(2) or at such later time as the court in its discretion may allow. If the election to purchase is filed by one or more shareholders, the corporation shall, within 10 days thereafter, give written notice to all shareholders, other than the petitioner. The notice shall state the name and number of shares owned by the petitioner and the name and number of shares owned by each electing shareholder and shall advise the recipients of their right to join in the election to purchase shares in accordance with this section. Shareholders that wish to participate shall file notice of their intention to join in the purchase no later than 30 days after the effective date of the notice to them. All shareholders that have filed an election or notice of their intention to participate in the election to purchase thereby become parties to the proceeding and shall participate in the purchase in proportion to their ownership of shares as of the date the first election was filed, unless they otherwise agree or the court otherwise directs. After an election has been filed by the corporation or one or more shareholders, the proceeding under § 29-312.20(a)(2) shall not be discontinued or settled and the petitioning shareholder shall not sell or otherwise dispose of his or her shares, unless the court determines that it would be equitable to the corporation and the shareholders, other than the petitioner, to permit such discontinuance, settlement, sale, or other disposition.

(c) If, within 60 days of the filing of the first election, the parties reach agreement as to the fair value and terms of purchase of the petitioner’s shares, the Superior Court shall enter an order directing the purchase of petitioner’s shares upon the terms and conditions agreed to by the parties.

(d) If the parties are unable to reach an agreement as provided for in subsection (c) of this section, the Superior Court, upon application of any party, shall stay the § 29-312.20(a)(2) proceedings and determine the fair value of the petitioner’s shares as of the day before the date on which the petition under § 29-312.20(a)(2) was filed or as of such other date as the court deems appropriate under the circumstances.

(e) Upon determining the fair value of the shares, the Superior Court shall enter an order directing the purchase upon such terms and conditions as the court considers appropriate, which may include payment of the purchase price in installments, if necessary in the interests of equity, provision for security to assure payment of the purchase price and any additional expenses as may have been awarded, and, if the shares are to be purchased by shareholders, the allocation of shares among them. In allocating petitioner’s shares among holders of different classes of shares, the court shall attempt to preserve the existing distribution of voting rights among holders of different classes insofar as practicable and may direct that holders of a specific class or classes not participate in the purchase. Interest may be allowed at the rate and from the date determined by the court to be equitable, but if the court finds that the refusal of the petitioning shareholder to accept an offer of payment was arbitrary or otherwise not in good faith, no interest shall be allowed. If the court finds that the petitioning shareholder had probable grounds for relief under § 29-312.20(a)(2)(B) or (D), it may award expenses to the petitioning shareholder.

(f) Upon entry of an order under subsections (c) or (e) of this section, the Superior Court shall dismiss the petition to dissolve the corporation under § 29-312.20(a)(2), and the petitioning shareholder shall no longer have any rights or status as a shareholder of the corporation, except the right to receive the amounts awarded by the order of the court which is enforceable in the same manner as any other judgment.

(g) The purchase ordered pursuant to subsection (e) of this section shall be made within 10 days after the date the order becomes final unless before that time the corporation files with the Superior Court a notice of its intention to adopt articles of dissolution pursuant to §§ 29-312.02 and 29-312.03, which articles shall then be adopted and filed within 50 days thereafter. Upon filing of such articles of dissolution, the corporation is dissolved in accordance with §§ 29-312.05 through 29-312.07, and the order entered pursuant to subsection (e) of this section shall no longer be of any force or effect, except that the court may award the petitioning shareholder expenses in accordance with the last sentence of subsection (e) of this section and the petitioner may continue to pursue any claims previously asserted on behalf of the corporation.

(h) Any payment by the corporation pursuant to an order under subsections (c) or (e) of this section, other than an award of expenses pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, shall be subject to § 29-304.60.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 29-312.21 and § 29-312.22.