Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 18. Access to Justice -- Civil Legal Counsel Projects Program.


§ 4–1801. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) "Bar Foundation" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 4-1701.01(6).

(2) "Covered proceeding" means an actual or reasonably anticipated administrative or judicial proceeding in the District of Columbia to evict an eligible individual or group.

(3) "Designated legal services provider" means a nonprofit organization or clinical program headquartered in the District of Columbia that provides legal services under this chapter.

(4) "Eligible individual or group" means a tenant or occupant, or group of tenants or occupants, residing in a rental unit in a housing accommodation in the District of Columbia, whose gross household income falls at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, or an individual, family, or group of individuals seeking, receiving, or eligible for service from a program covered by § 4-754.01.

(5) "Housing accommodation" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 42-3401.03(11).

(6) "Legal services" means representation of an eligible individual or group through the provision of advice or brief services, or representation in a covered proceeding, including limited scope representation.

(7) "Licensed legal professional" means:

(A) A member of the District of Columbia Bar authorized to practice law;

(B) A law student participating in an authorized, attorney-supervised clinical program through an accredited law school in the District of Columbia; or

(C) A member of the bar of another jurisdiction who is legally permitted to appear and represent a specific client in a particular proceeding in the court or other forum in which the matter is pending.

(8) "Rental unit" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 42-3401.03(16).


(Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 3052, 64 DCR 7652.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) creation of this section, see § 3052 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017, effective October 24, 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167; 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90-day) creation of this section, see § 3052 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017, effective July 20, 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104; 64 DCR 7032).


§ 4–1802. Civil legal counsel projects for eligible individuals or groups in covered proceedings.

(a) There is established the Civil Legal Counsel Projects Program ("Program") for the purpose of providing legal services to eligible individuals or groups in eviction proceedings.

(b)(1) The Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants shall award a grant each fiscal year to the Bar Foundation for the purposes of the Bar Foundation administering the Program. Payment of the award shall be submitted by October 15th of each fiscal year in the amount specified in an act of the Council.

(2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not be used to supplant funds made available pursuant to § 4-1703.01(a), or § 4-1704.01.

(3) The grant shall be nonlapsing and interest earned by the Bar Foundation on grant funds shall remain available for use by the Bar Foundation for the purposes of the Program, without fiscal year limitation.

(c) The Bar Foundation shall:

(1) Serve as the grant-managing entity for the Program; and

(2) Adopt policies, procedures, guidelines, and requirements for the Program, including policies designed to permit designated legal service providers to limit representation to eligible individuals or groups in covered proceedings.


(Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 3053, 64 DCR 7652; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 3082, 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3082 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3082 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90-day) creation of this section, see § 3053 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017, effective October 24, 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167; 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90-day) creation of this section, see § 3053 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017, effective July 20, 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104; 64 DCR 7032).


§ 4–1803. Requirements for designated legal service providers.

(a) The Bar Foundation shall only award subgrants to legal services providers that:

(1) Are headquartered in the District of Columbia and maintain a practice of furnishing free legal services to individuals who cannot afford the services of a licensed legal professional;

(2) Possess expertise in housing law, landlord-tenant law, or related experience in representing eligible individuals or groups in covered proceedings;

(3) Demonstrate expertise in recognizing and responding to the multiple legal issues facing low-income residents of the District of Columbia; and

(4) Possess adequate infrastructure and expertise to provide consistent, high-quality oversight, training, evaluation, and strategic responses to emerging or changing needs in the client communities served.

(b) Nothing in this section requires designated legal services providers to serve eligible individuals or groups in covered proceedings beyond the provider's contractual agreement to the Bar Foundation under this chapter.


(Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 3054, 64 DCR 7652.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) creation of this section, see § 3054 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017, effective October 24, 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167; 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90-day) creation of this section, see § 3054 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017, effective July 20, 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104; 64 DCR 7032).


§ 4–1804. Financial audit and reporting requirements.

(a) The Bar Foundation shall provide the Council with:

(1) An annual financial audit of its activities prepared by a certified public accountant licensed in the District of Columbia and carried out in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards; provided, that the audit may be conducted as part of the Bar Foundation's annual audit;

(2) Biannual reporting that includes the following information:

(A) The gender, race, ethnicity, and age of eligible individuals served;

(B) The election ward of residence of eligible individuals served;

(C) The incomes of eligible individuals served;

(D) Legal services provided to eligible individuals; and

(E) A list of designated legal services providers and the amount of grant funding provided to each, including how the grant funding is used by each designated legal services provider; and

(3) Annual programmatic reporting that includes:

(A) An evaluation of the performance of each designated legal services provider;

(B) The legal outcomes for each eligible individual or group served;

(C) An evaluation of implementation challenges and recommendations for future improvements; and

(D) An assessment of unmet legal needs in the provision of legal services for covered proceedings.


(Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 3055, 64 DCR 7652.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) creation of this section, see § 3055 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017, effective October 24, 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167; 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90-day) creation of this section, see § 3055 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017, effective July 20, 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104; 64 DCR 7032).


§ 4–1805. Other criminal and civil proceedings.

This chapter shall not be construed to negate, alter, or limit any right to counsel in any civil or criminal action or proceeding otherwise provided by District or federal law or regulation.


(Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 3056, 64 DCR 7652.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) creation of this section, see § 3056 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017, effective October 24, 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167; 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90-day) creation of this section, see § 3056 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017, effective July 20, 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104; 64 DCR 7032).