Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 29. Admission to Licensed Places; Posting of Price Scale.


§ 47–2901. Discrimination because of race or color prohibited in licensed places of amusement; penalty.

It shall not be lawful for any person or persons who shall have obtained a license from this Corporation for the purpose of giving a lecture, concert, exhibition, circus performance, theatrical entertainment, or for conducting a place of public amusement of any kind, to make any distinction on account of race or color, as regards the admission of persons to any part of the hall or audience room where such lecture, concert, exhibition, or other entertainment may be given; provided, that any person applying shall pay the regular price charged for admission to such part of the house as he or she may wish to occupy, and shall conduct himself or herself in an orderly and peaceable manner, while on the premises; and any person or persons offending herein shall forfeit and pay to this Corporation for each offense a fine of not less than $10 nor more than $20 to be collected and applied as are other fines. That all acts or parts of acts inconsistent with this section be, and the same are hereby repealed.


(June 10, 1869, ch. 36, p. 22, Corp. Laws of Wash., 66th Council, §§ 1, 2; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2901.

1973 Ed., § 47-2901.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-2903 and § 47-2904.

Cross References

Discriminatory practices in public accommodations, prohibition, see § 2-1402.31.

Editor's Notes

Extension of section’s area of applicability: Order No. 56-874, dated May 3, 1956, issued by Commissioners of the District of Columbia, extended the area of applicability of this section to the District of Columbia outside the limits of the City of Washington.


§ 47–2902. Discrimination because of race or color prohibited in licensed hotels and restaurants; penalty.

(a) It shall not be lawful for the keeper, proprietor, or proprietors of any licensed hotel, tavern, restaurant, ordinary, sample room, tippling house, saloon, or eating house, to refuse to receive, admit, entertain, and supply any quiet and orderly person or persons, or to exclude any person or persons on account of race or color.

(b) If the keeper, proprietor, or proprietors of any licensed hotel, tavern, restaurant, ordinary, sample room, tippling house, saloon, or eating house, or any agent acting for him or them, shall violate or offend against the provisions of §§ 47-2902 to 47-2904, he or they shall be subject to a fine of not less than $50 for each violation thereof, to be recovered in an action of debt, in the name of the Mayor and Council of the District of Columbia, on information filed before any District of Columbia court.


(Mar. 7, 1870, ch. 42, p. 22, Corp. Laws of Wash., 67th Council, §§ 1, 2; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2902.

1973 Ed., § 47-2902.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-2903 and § 47-2904.

Cross References

Discriminatory practices in public accommodations, prohibition, see § 2-1402.31.


§ 47–2903. Increase of penalty provisions in § 47-2901.

In lieu of the penalties provided in § 47-2901 for the offense therein mentioned, the penalty mentioned in § 47-2902(b) is hereby substituted, and hereafter shall be applicable to and enforced, as herein provided, for any violation of § 47-2901.


(Mar. 7, 1870, ch. 42, p. 22, Corp. Laws of Wash., 67th Council, § 3; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2903.

1973 Ed., § 47-2903.


§ 47–2904. Recovery of fine; payment of moiety.

After the final conviction of any party for the violation of any of the provisions of §§ 47-2901 to 47-2903, and the recovery of the fine, a sum equal in amount to one-half of such fine shall be paid, and warrant drawn in the usual form out of the General Fund, to the party who may have been the informer in any such case. That all acts or parts of acts that are inconsistent with the provisions of §§ 47-2902 to 47-2904 are hereby repealed.


(Mar. 7, 1870, ch. 42, p. 22, Corp. Laws of Wash., 67th Council, §§ 4, 5; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2904.

1973 Ed., § 47-2904.


§ 47–2905. Posting of price scale. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Leg. Assem., June 20, 1872, § 1; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Apr. 29, 2004, D.C. Law 15-154, § 11(b), 50 DCR 10996.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2905.

1973 Ed., § 47-2905.


§ 47–2906. Penalty for failure to post price scale. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Leg. Assem., June 20, 1872, § 2; Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 484, 32 DCR 4450; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Apr. 29, 2004, D.C. Law 15-154, § 11(c), 50 DCR 10996.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2906.

1973 Ed., § 47-2906.


§ 47–2907. Restaurants, hotels, barber shops, bathing houses, ice cream saloons, and soda fountains required to serve well-behaved persons.

Any restaurant keeper or proprietor, any hotel keeper or proprietor, proprietors or keepers of ice cream saloons or places where soda water is kept for sale, or keepers of barber shops and bathing houses, refusing to sell or wait upon any respectable well-behaved person, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of servitude, or any restaurant, hotel, ice cream saloon or soda fountain, barber shop or bathing house keepers, or proprietors, who refuse under any pretext to serve any well-behaved, respectable person, in the same room, and at the same prices as other well-behaved and respectable persons are served, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction in a court having jurisdiction, shall be fined $100, and shall forfeit his or her license as keeper or owner of a restaurant, hotel, ice cream saloon, or soda fountain, as the case may be, and it shall not be lawful for the Assessor or any officer of the District of Columbia to issue a license to any person or persons, or to their agent or agents, who shall have forfeited their license under the provisions of §§ 47-2905 to 47-2907, until a period of 1 year shall have elapsed after such forfeiture.


(Leg. Assem., June 20, 1872, § 3; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2907.

1973 Ed., § 47-2907.

Cross References

Discriminatory practices in public accommodations, prohibition, see § 2-140

Editor's Notes

Office of Assessor abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 47-413.


§ 47–2908. Licensed restaurants, eating houses, barrooms, sample rooms, ice cream saloons, or soda fountains required to post price list.

The proprietor or proprietors, or keeper or keepers, of every licensed restaurant, eating house, barroom, sample room, ice cream saloon, or soda fountain room, or establishment in the District of Columbia, shall put up, or cause to be kept up, and to be regularly kept up, or cause to be kept up, in 2 conspicuous places in the chief room or rooms of his, her, or their restaurant, eating house, barroom, ice cream saloon, or soda fountain room, and in 1 conspicuous place in each small or private room, if any, used in connection with said restaurant, eating house, barroom, sample room, ice cream saloon, and soda fountain room, for the accommodation of guests, visitors, or customers thereat, printed cards or papers, on which shall be distinctly printed the common or usual price for which each article or thing kept in any of said places or establishments to be eaten or drank therein is or may be commonly sold, or the price or prices for which the articles or things are or may be commonly or usually furnished to persons calling for, desiring, or receiving the same or any part or parts thereof, and no greater price or prices than those mentioned or contained on said cards or printed papers shall be asked for, demanded, or received from any person or persons for any of the articles or things kept in any manner for sale in any of the places or establishments aforesaid, either by said proprietor or proprietors, keeper or keepers, or by their agents, employees, or anyone acting in any manner for them.


(3 Leg. Assem., June 26, 1873, ch. 46, § 1; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2908.

1973 Ed., § 47-2908.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-2911.


§ 47–2909. Transmission of price list to Assessor.

On or before the first day of November in each year the proprietor or proprietors, keeper or keepers, of each licensed restaurant, eating house, barroom, sample room, ice cream saloon, and soda fountain room or establishment in said District, as aforesaid, shall transmit to the Assessor of said District a printed copy of the usual or common price or prices of articles or things kept for sale by him, her, or them, as aforesaid, which shall be filed by the Assessor in his office, and unless he is notified of changes therein, the copy transmitted and filed in said office may be used in any case or proceeding under §§ 47-2909 to 47-2911 as prima facie evidence of the common or usual prices charged for the articles or things mentioned therein by the proprietor or proprietors, keeper or keepers, of any of the places or establishments aforesaid, and in a failure of any proprietor or proprietors, keeper or keepers, to transmit the copy aforesaid, the Assessor shall notify such person of such failure, and require such copy to be forthwith transmitted to him.


(3 Leg. Assem., June 26, 1873, ch. 46, § 2; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2909.

1973 Ed., § 47-2909.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-2911.

Editor's Notes

Office of Assessor abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 47-413.


§ 47–2910. Licensed restaurants, eating houses, barrooms, sample rooms, ice cream saloons, or soda fountains required to serve well-behaved persons at common prices.

The proprietor or proprietors, keeper or keepers, of any licensed restaurant, eating house, barroom, sample room, ice cream saloon, or soda fountain room shall sell at and for the usual or common prices charged by him, her, or them, as contained in said printed cards or papers, any article or thing kept for sale by him, her, or them to any well-behaved and respectable person or persons who may desire the same, or any part or parts thereof, and serve the same to such person or persons in the same room or rooms in which any other well-behaved person or persons may be served or allowed to eat or drink in said place or establishment; provided, that persons of different sexes shall not be accommodated in the same room or rooms unless they accompany each other, or call for any articles or things together, or unless said room or rooms are ordinarily used indiscriminately by persons of both sexes.


(3 Leg. Assem., June 26, 1873, ch. 46, § 3; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2910.

1973 Ed., § 47-2910.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-2911.


§ 47–2911. Failure to post or file price list; charging other or greater price; failure to serve any well-behaved person; penalty; enforcement.

If the proprietor or proprietors, keeper or keepers, of any place or establishment, as aforesaid, shall neglect or refuse to put up printed cards or papers of prices as provided for in § 47-2908, or shall refuse to send a copy or duplicate to the Assessor as provided in § 47-2909, or shall place or cause to be placed on said card or paper, or permit to be placed thereon any price or prices other or greater than that for which any article or thing is, or may be, usually and commonly sold or furnished by him, her, or them, or different from or more than is usually or commonly demanded or received therefor by him, her, or them, or by his, her, or their authority or direction, or shall demand or receive in any manner, or under any circumstances, or for any reason or pretence, in person or by any employee or agent, from any person or persons aforesaid, any sum or prices different or greater than is contained on said cards or papers, or than is usually and commonly asked or received for any article or thing kept for sale as aforesaid, or shall refuse or neglect, in person or by his, her, or their employee or agent, directly or indirectly, to accommodate any well-behaved and respectable person as aforesaid in his, her, or their restaurant, eating house, barroom, sample room, ice cream saloon, or soda fountain room, or shall refuse or neglect to sell at the common and usual prices aforesaid in and at his, her, or their restaurant, eating house, barroom, sample room, ice cream saloon, or soda fountain room, to any such person or persons therein at said prices, any article or thing kept therein and in the room or rooms in which such articles or things are ordinarily sold and served or allowed to be eaten or drank, or shall at any time or in any way or manner, or under any circumstances, or for any reason, cause, or pretext, fail, decline, object, or refuse to treat any person or persons aforesaid as any other well-behaved and respectable person or persons are treated at said restaurant, eating house, barroom, sample room, ice cream saloon, or soda fountain room, he, she, or they, on conviction of a disregard or violation of any provision, regulation, or requirement of §§ 47-2908, 47-2909, 47-2910, and 47-2911 or any part of §§ 47-2908, 47-2909, 47-2910, and 47-2911 contained, shall be fined $100, and forfeit his, her, or their license; and it shall not be lawful for any officer of the District to issue a license to any person or persons, or their agent or agents, whose license may be forfeited under the provisions of §§ 47-2908, 47-2909, 47-2910, and 47-2911 for 1 year after such forfeiture; provided, that the provisions of §§ 47-2908, 47-2909, 47-2910, and 47-2911 shall be enforced by information in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, filed on behalf thereof by its proper attorney or attorneys, subject to appeal to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in the same manner as is now or may be hereafter provided for the enforcement of the District fines and penalties under ordinances and law.


(3 Leg. Assem., June 26, 1873, ch. 46, § 4; Apr. 1, 1942, 56 Stat. 190, ch. 207, § 1; July 8, 1963, 77 Stat. 77, Pub. L. 88-60, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 570, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(a); enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2911.

1973 Ed., § 47-2911.

Editor's Notes

Office of Assessor abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 47-413.