Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter IV. Hearing and Review Procedures.


§ 7–1304.01. Commencement of commitment proceedings; filing of written petition.

Proceedings for the commitment of a person found incompetent in a criminal case shall be commenced by the filing of a written petition by the District with the Court in a manner and form prescribed by the Court. A copy of the petition shall be served on the person, the person's counsel, and the person's guardian, if any.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 401, 25 DCR 5094; Oct. 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-199, § 2(i), 49 DCR 7647; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 26(j), 53 DCR 6198; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 17(r), 59 DCR 5567; May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-93, § 201(c)(17), 65 DCR 2823.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1941.

1973 Ed., § 6-1668.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1304.03 and § 24-531.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-199 added the last sentence.

D.C. Law 16-305 substituted “have mental retardation” for “be mentally retarded”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “an intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” in the second and fourth sentences; and substituted “individual’s advocate for a person with an intellectual disability” for “individual’s mental retardation advocate” in the last sentence.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(i) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-383, June 12, 2002, 49 DCR 5701).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(i) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-454, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8096).

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.


§ 7–1304.02. Representation by counsel.

Persons who have been committed, or whose commitment is sought pursuant to § 7-1303.04(b-1), have the right to be represented by counsel, retained or appointed by the Court, in any proceeding held before the Court in accordance with this chapter, and they shall be informed by the Court of this right. The Court shall appoint counsel to represent the person. Whenever possible, counsel shall be appointed who has had experience in the intellectual disability area. Counsel appointed to represent persons who are unable to pay for such counsel shall be awarded compensation by the Court for his or her services in an amount determined by the Court to be fair and reasonable.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 402, 25 DCR 5094; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 17(s), 59 DCR 5567; May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-93, § 201(c)(18), 65 DCR 2823.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1942.

1973 Ed., § 6-1669.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1304.01.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” in the fourth sentence.

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.


§ 7–1304.03. Comprehensive evaluation report and individual habilitation plan required; contents; copies.

(a) If a petition filed in accordance with § 7-1304.01 is not accompanied by a comprehensive evaluation report based on an evaluation which has been performed within 6 months prior to the hearing and an individual habilitation plan which has been prepared within 30 days of the filing of the petition, the Court shall immediately order that a comprehensive evaluation be conducted and an individual habilitation plan be written.

(b) A written report setting forth the results of the comprehensive evaluation and a copy of the habilitation plan shall be submitted to the Court. The report shall indicate:

(1) Whether or to what degree the person has an intellectual disability;

(2) What habilitation is needed; and

(3) The record of habilitation and care, if any.

(c) The individual habilitation plan shall contain the following:

(1) A statement of the nature of the specific strengths, limitations and specific needs of the person who is the subject of the plan;

(2) A description of intermediate and long-range habilitation goals with a projected timetable for their attainment;

(3) A statement of, and an explanation for, the plan of habilitation designed to achieve these intermediate and long-range goals;

(4) A statement of the objective criteria, and an evaluation procedure and schedule for determining whether the goals are being achieved;

(5) A statement of the least restrictive setting for habilitation necessary to achieve the habilitation goals; and

(6) Criteria for release to less restrictive settings for habilitation and living.

(d) A copy of the report and the plan shall be provided to the person and his or her counsel, at least 10 days prior to the hearing. If the petition was accompanied by a comprehensive evaluation and plan, copies of the report and plan shall be provided to the person and his or her counsel within 3 days of the filing of the petition.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 403, 25 DCR 5094; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 26(k), 53 DCR 6198; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 17(t), 59 DCR 5567; May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-93, § 201(c)(19), 65 DCR 2823.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1943.

1973 Ed., § 6-1670.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1303.04, § 7-1303.06, § 7-1304.06a, § 7-1305.04, and § 21-2041.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305 substituted “has mental retardation” for “is mentally retarded”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “an intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” in (b)(1).

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.


§ 7–1304.04. Payment for independent comprehensive evaluation and habilitation plan. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 404, 25 DCR 5094; Sept. 26, 1995, D.C. Law 11-52, § 506(j), 42 DCR 3684; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 17(u), 59 DCR 5567; May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-93, § 201(c)(20), 65 DCR 2823.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1944.

1973 Ed., § 6-1671.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “an intellectual disability” for “mental retardation.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 4(b) of the Human Services Spending Reduction Emergency Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-35, April 11, 1995, 42 DCR 1834) and § 4(b) of the Human Services Spending Reduction Congressional Recess Emergency Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-104, July 21, 1995, 42 DCR 4014).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 506(j) of the Omnibus Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-124, July 27, 1995, 42 DCR 4160).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 4(b) of Human Services Spending Reduction Temporary Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Law 11-29, July 25, 1995, law notification 42 DCR 4002).

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.


§ 7–1304.05. Hearing conducted promptly.

(a) Repealed.

(b) A status hearing shall be held promptly after filing of the petition pursuant to § 7-1303.04(b-1).


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 405, 25 DCR 5094; Oct. 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-199, § 2(m), 49 DCR 7647; May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-93, § 201(c)(21), 65 DCR 2823.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1945.

1973 Ed., § 6-1672.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1304.06a.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-199 designated subsec. (a), and in that subsection, substituted “petition pursuant to § 7-1303.04(a)” for “petition”; and added subsec. (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(j) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-383, June 12, 2002, 49 DCR 5701).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(j) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-454, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8096).


§ 7–1304.06. Hearings conducted in informal manner; procedural rights at hearing.

Except as provided in § 7-1304.06a, hearings shall be conducted in as informal a manner as may be consistent with orderly procedure. Persons who have been committed, or whose commitment is sought pursuant to § 7-1303.04(b-1), have the right to be present during hearings and to testify, but shall not be compelled to testify, and shall be so advised by the Court. They shall have the right to call witnesses and present evidence, and to cross-examine opposing witnesses. The presence of the person may be waived only if the Court finds that the person has knowingly and voluntarily waived his or her right to be present, or if the Court determines that the person is unable to be present by virtue of his or her physical disability.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 406, 25 DCR 5094; Oct. 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-199, § 2(k), 49 DCR 7647; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 17(v), 59 DCR 5567; May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-93, § 201(c)(22), 65 DCR 2823.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1946.

1973 Ed., § 6-1673.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-199 substituted “Except as provided in § 7-1304.06a, hearings” for “Hearings”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “physical disability” for “physically handicapping condition” at the end of the last sentence.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(k) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-383, June 12, 2002, 49 DCR 5701).

For temporary (90 day) addition of § 7-1304.06a, see § 2(l) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-383, June 12, 2002, 49 DCR 5701).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(k) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-454, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8096).

For temporary (90 day) addition of § 7-1304.06a, see § 2(l) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-454, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8096).

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.


§ 7–1304.06a. Hearing and determination by Court or jury.

(a) For a commitment hearing on a petition filed pursuant to § 7-1303.04(b-1), a person found incompetent in a criminal case may demand a jury trial, and shall be so informed of this right. The demand shall be made at the status hearing held pursuant to § 7-1304.05(b). If a timely demand for jury trial is not made, the Court shall serve as the factfinder at the hearing. A hearing by the Court or jury shall be accorded with all reasonable speed.

(b) The comprehensive evaluation report and individual habilitation plan required by § 7-1304.03 shall be completed prior to the hearing.

(c) The person found incompetent in a criminal case shall have the right to be present during the trial or hearings and to testify, but shall not be compelled to testify, and shall be so advised by the Court. The person shall have the right to be represented by counsel, retained or appointed by the Court, in any hearing or trial, and shall be so informed by the Court of this right. The person shall have the right to call witnesses and present evidence, and to cross-examine opposing witnesses.

(d) If the Court or jury finds that the person does not have an intellectual disability or that the person is not likely to cause injury to others as a result of the person’s intellectual disability if allowed to remain at liberty, the Court shall dismiss the petition. If the Court or jury finds that the person has an intellectual disability and is likely to cause injury to others as a result of the person’s intellectual disability if allowed to remain at liberty, the Court shall order commitment to DDS for placement in a facility that would be the least restrictive means of providing the habilitation indicated by the [individual] habilitation plan required under § 7-1304.03 and of preventing the person from causing injury to others as a result of the person’s intellectual disability.


(Mar 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 406a; as added Oct. 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-199, § 2(l), 49 DCR 7647; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-264, § 301(i), 54 DCR 818; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 27, 53 DCR 6198; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 17(w), 59 DCR 5567; May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-93, § 201(c)(23), 65 DCR 2823.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-761.02, § 7-1301.03, § 7-1303.01, § 7-1303.09, § 7-1303.10, § 7-1303.12a, § 7-1304.06, § 7-1304.11, § 7-1305.01, and § 7-1305.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-264, in subsec. (d), substituted “DDS” for “MRDDA”.

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (d), substituted “does not have mental retardation” for “is not mentally retarded” and “has mental retardation” for “is mentally retarded”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” wherever it appears in (d).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 301(i) of Developmental Disabilities Services Management Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-672, December 28, 2006, 54 DCR 1155).

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.


§ 7–1304.07. Standard of proof.

(a) Repealed.

(b) If the petition was filed pursuant to § 7-1303.04(b-1), the District shall present clear and convincing evidence that shows that the person whose commitment is sought is likely to cause injury to others as a result of an intellectual disability if allowed to remain at liberty.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 407, 25 DCR 5094; Oct. 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-199, § 2(m), 49 DCR 7647; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 17(x), 59 DCR 5567; May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-93, § 201(c)(24), 65 DCR 2823.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1947.

1973 Ed., § 6-1674.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-199 designated subsec. (a), and in that subsection, substituted “§ 7-1303.04(a)” for “§ 7-1303.04”; and added subsec. (b).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “an intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” in (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(m) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-383, June 12, 2002, 49 DCR 5701).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(m) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-454, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8096).

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.


§ 7–1304.08. Hearings closed to public; request for open hearing.

Hearings shall be closed to the public unless the person with an intellectual disability, or his or her counsel, requests that a hearing be open to the public.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 408, 25 DCR 5094; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 26(l), 53 DCR 6198; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 17(y), 59 DCR 5567.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1948.

1973 Ed., § 6-1675.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305 substituted “the person with mental retardation” for “the mentally retarded person”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “an intellectual disability” for “mental retardation.”

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.


§ 7–1304.09. Disposition orders by Court. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 409, 25 DCR 5094; Sept. 26, 1995, D.C. Law 11-52, § 506(k), 42 DCR 3684; Oct. 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-199, § 2(n), 49 DCR 7647; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 26(m), 53 DCR 6198; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 17(z), 59 DCR 5567; May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-93, § 201(c)(25), 65 DCR 2823.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1949.

1973 Ed., § 6-1676.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1304.11.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-199, in subsec. (a), substituted “hearing on a petition filed pursuant to § 7-1303.04(a)” for “hearing”; in subsec. (b), substituted “§ 7-1303.04(b)” for “§ 7-1303.04”; and in subsec. (c), substituted “determines, pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this subsection,” for “determines”.

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (b), substituted “the person with mental retardation” for “the mentally retarded person”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 rewrote (a)(1), which formerly read: “The respondent is not at least moderately mentally retarded”; and substituted “an intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” in (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 505(k) of the Multiyear Budget Spending Reduction and Support Emergency Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-389, December 29, 1994, 42 DCR 197).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 4(c) of the Human Services Spending Reduction Emergency Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-35, April 11, 1995, 42 DCR 1834) and § 4(c) of the Human Services Spending Reduction Congressional Recess Emergency Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-104, July 21, 1995, 42 DCR 4014).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 506(k) of the Omnibus Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-124, July 27, 1995, 42 DCR 4160).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(n) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-383, June 12, 2002, 49 DCR 5701).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(n) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-454, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8096).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 505(k) of Multiyear Budget Spending Reduction and Support Temporary Act of 1995 (D.C. Law 10-253, March 23, 1995, law notification 42 DCR 1652).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 4(c) of Human Services Spending Reduction Temporary Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Law 11-29, July 25, 1995, law notification 42 DCR 4002).

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.


§ 7–1304.10. Appeal of commitment order.

Any commitment order of the Court may be appealed in a like manner as other civil actions.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 410, 25 DCR 5094.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1950.

1973 Ed., § 6-1677.


§ 7–1304.11. Periodic review of commitment order.

(a)(1) Any decision of the Court ordering commitment of a person with an intellectual disability, other than a decision of the Court ordering commitment of a person found incompetent in a criminal case to DDS pursuant to § 7-1304.06a, that was issued before May 5, 2018, shall be reviewed in a Court hearing annually. The commitment shall be terminated unless there is a finding of the following:

(A) The Court determines that the person with an intellectual disability has benefited from the habilitation;

(B) DDS demonstrates that continued residential rehabilitation is necessary for the habilitation program;

(C) The person with an intellectual disability is a resident of the District;

(D) The Court determines beyond a reasonable doubt that:

(i) Based on a comprehensive evaluation of the person performed within one year before the hearing, the person has at least a moderate intellectual disability and requires habilitation; and

(ii) DDS is capable of providing the required habilitation; and

(E) The person with an intellectual disability, or an individual authorized pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection, provides informed consent to continue the person's commitment.

(2) If a person with an intellectual disability does not have capacity to give informed consent to continue the person's commitment, the following individuals, in the order of priority set forth below, shall be authorized to consent on behalf of the person with an intellectual disability to the continued commitment of the person with an intellectual disability pursuant to paragraph (1)(E) of this subsection:

(A) A court-appointed general guardian or limited guardian of the person with an intellectual disability whose scope of appointment includes the authority to consent to the continued commitment of the person;

(B) A court-appointed conservator whose scope of appointment incudes the authority to consent to the continued commitment of the person;

(C) The spouse or domestic partner of the person;

(D) An adult child of the person;

(E) A parent of the person;

(F) An adult sibling of the person;

(G) A religious superior of the person, if the person is a member of a religious order, or a diocesan priest;

(H) A close friend of the person;

(I) The nearest-living, adult relative of the person; or

(J) A guardian ad litem appointed by the Mental Health and Habilitation Branch of the Court for the sole purpose of consenting to the continued commitment of the person.

(3) A decision by an individual authorized pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection to consent to the continued commitment of a person pursuant to paragraph (1)(E) of this subsection shall be based on the expressed wishes of the person or, if the wishes of the person are unknown and cannot be ascertained, on a good faith belief as to the best interests of the person.

(4) If no individual in a prior category of individuals listed in paragraph (2) of this subsection is reasonably available, mentally capable, and willing to act, authority to consent to the continued commitment of a person shall rest with the next reasonably available, mentally capable, and willing individual on the priority list.

(5) Any individual listed in paragraph (2) of this subsection shall have legal standing to challenge in the Court any decision made by an individual of higher priority listed in paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(6) The order of priority established in paragraph (2) of this subsection creates a presumption that may be rebutted if an individual of lower priority is found to have better knowledge of the wishes of the person, or, if the wishes of the patient are unknown and cannot be ascertained, is better able to demonstrate a good-faith belief as to the interests of the person.

(7) Nothing in this section shall be construed to change DDS's responsibility to provide services and supports pursuant to § 7-761.05(1).

(8) For the purposes of this subsection, a prior court decision to commit a person shall not be determinative of whether the person has capacity to give informed consent to continue the person's commitment pursuant to paragraph (1)(E) of this subsection.

(a-1) Any decision of the Court ordering commitment of a person found incompetent in a criminal case to DDS pursuant to § 7-1304.06a shall be reviewed in a court hearing annually. The person shall not be discharged if the Court finds that the person is likely to cause injury to others as a result of his or her intellectual disability if allowed to regain his or her liberty.

(b) If a person with an intellectual disability is discharged in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) or subsection (a-1) of this section but continues to evidence the need for habilitation and care, it shall be the responsibility of the Department on Disability Services to arrange for suitable services for the person.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 411, 25 DCR 5094; Sept. 26, 1995, D.C. Law 11-52, § 506(l), 42 DCR 3684; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-255, § 14(b), 44 DCR 1271; Oct. 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-199, § 2(o), 49 DCR 7647; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-264, § 301(j), 54 DCR 818; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 26(n), 53 DCR 6198; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 17(aa), 59 DCR 5567; May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-93, § 201(c)(26), 65 DCR 2823.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1951.

1973 Ed., § 6-1678.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-199, in subsec. (a), substituted “facility pursuant to § 7-1304.09” for “facility”; added subsec. (a-1); and in subsec. (b), substituted “subsection (a) or subsection (a-1) of this section” for “subsection (a)(1) of this section”.

D.C. Law 16-264, in subsecs. (a) and (b), substituted “Department on Disability Services” for “Department of Human Services”; and, in subsec. (a-1), substituted “DDS” for “MRDDA”.

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (a), substituted “person with mental retardation” for “mentally retarded person”; and throughout the rest of the section, substituted “individual with mental retardation” for “mentally retarded individual”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “with an intellectual disability” for “with mental retardation” wherever it appears in the section; and substituted “intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” in the second sentence of (a-1).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 505(l) of the Multiyear Budget Spending Reduction and Support Emergency Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-389, December 29, 1994, 42 DCR 197).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 4(d) of the Human Services Spending Reduction Emergency Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-35, April 11, 1995, 42 DCR 1834) and § 4(d) of the Human Services Spending Reduction Congressional Recess Emergency Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-104, July 21, 1995, 42 DCR 4014).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 402(b) of the Omnibus Budget Support Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-44, April 28, 1995, 42 DCR 2217) and § 506(l) of the Omnibus Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-124, July 27, 1995, 42 DCR 4160).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(o) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-383, June 12, 2002, 49 DCR 5701).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(o) of Civil Commitment of Citizens with Mental Retardation Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-454, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8096).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 301(j) of Developmental Disabilities Services Management Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-672, December 28, 2006, 54 DCR 1155).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 505(l) of Multiyear Budget Spending Reduction and Support Temporary Act of 1995 (D.C. Law 10-253, March 23, 1995, law notification 42 DCR 1652).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 4(d) of Human Services Spending Reduction Temporary Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Law 11-29, July 25, 1995, law notification 42 DCR 4002).

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.


§ 7–1304.12. Payment of costs and expenses.

Costs and expenses of all proceedings held under this chapter shall be paid as follows:

(1) To expert witnesses designated by the Court, an amount determined by the Court;

(2) To attorneys appointed under this chapter, fees as authorized under the Criminal Justice Act (§ 11-2601 et seq.);

(3) To other witnesses, the same fees and mileage as for attendance at Court to be paid upon the approval of the Court.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 412, 25 DCR 5094.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1952.

1973 Ed., § 6-1679.


§ 7–1304.13. Advocate for a person with an intellectual disability.

(a) Persons with an intellectual disability who have been committed, and persons whose commitment is sought under § 7-1303.04(b-1), shall have the assistance of an advocate for a person with an intellectual disability in every proceeding and at each stage in such proceedings under this chapter.

(b) The Court shall appoint a qualified advocate for a person with an intellectual disability selected from a list of such advocates it maintains.

(c) Advocates for persons with an intellectual disability shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) To inform persons subject to the procedures set forth in this chapter of their rights;

(2) To consult with the person, his or her family and others concerned with his or her habilitation and well being;

(3) To ensure by all means, including case referral to legal services, agencies and other practicing lawyers, that the person is afforded all rights under the law; and

(4) To guide and assist the person in such a manner as to encourage self-reliance and enable the person to participate to the greatest extent possible in decisions concerning his or her habilitation plan, and the services to be provided under this plan.

(d) The advocate for a person with an intellectual disability shall receive notice and shall have the right to participate in all meetings, conferences or other proceedings relating to any matter affecting provision of services to the person including, but not limited to, comprehensive evaluation, habilitation plan, petition and hearings for commitment and for periodic review of the commitment.

(e) The advocate for a person with an intellectual disability shall have access to all records, reports and documents affecting his or her client.

(f) The advocate for a person with an intellectual disability shall have access to all personnel and facilities responsible for providing care or services to his or her client and shall be permitted to visit and communicate with his or her client in private, and at any reasonable time without prior notice; provided, that he or she shows reasonable cause for visiting at times other than visiting hours.

(g) The advocate for a person with an intellectual disability shall be a person with training and experience in the field of intellectual disability.

(h) Advocates shall be provided directly by the Court or by a contract with individuals or organizations including local associations for persons with intellectual disabilities; however, the Court shall ensure that contracts and other arrangements for selection and provision of advocates provide that each advocate for a person with an intellectual disability shall be independent of any public or private agency which provides services to persons subject to this chapter.

(i) In the selection, training and development of the advocacy provision of this section, the Court shall explore and seek out potential sources of funding at the federal and District levels.

(j) Advocates shall be provided with facilities, supplies, and secretarial and other support services sufficient to enable them to carry out their duties under this chapter.

(k) All communication between advocates and their clients shall remain confidential and privileged as if between attorney and client.

(l) The Court shall promulgate such rules amplifying and clarifying this section as it deems necessary.

(m) Persons with an intellectual disability subject to this chapter may knowingly reject the services of an advocate for a person with an intellectual disability and shall be so advised by the Court. Advocates whose services have been rejected by the person with an intellectual disability shall not have the rights set forth in subsections (c), (d), (e), (f) and (j) of this section.

(n) If so authorized by the Court, the advocate for a person with an intellectual disability shall be permitted to grant, refuse, or withdraw consent on behalf of his or her client with respect to the provision of any health-care service, treatment, or procedure, consistent with the provisions of Chapter 22 of Title 21.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 413, 25 DCR 5094; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 26(o), 53 DCR 6198; Oct. 22, 2008, D.C. Law 17-249, § 5(b), 55 DCR 9206; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 17(bb), 59 DCR 5567; May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-93, § 201(c)(27), 65 DCR 2823.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1953.

1973 Ed., § 6-1680.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1301.03 and § 21-2210.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsecs. (a) and (m), substituted “persons with mental retardation” for “mentally retarded persons”.

D.C. Law 17-249 added subsec. (n).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 rewrote the section heading, which formerly read: “Mental retardation advocate”; substituted “persons with intellectual disabilities” for “persons with mental retardation” wherever it appears in (a) and (m); substituted “an advocate for a person with an intellectual disability” for “a mental retardation advocate” in (a) and (m); substituted “the advocate for a person with an intellectual disability” for “the mental retardation advocate” in (d) through (g); substituted “person with an intellectual disability” for “person with mental retardation” in (m); substituted “advocate for a person with an intellectual disability” for “mental retardation advocate” in (b) and (h); substituted “Advocates for a person with an intellectual disability” for “Mental retardation advocates” in (c); substituted “intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” at the end of (g); and substituted “individuals with intellectual disabilities” for “consumers of mental retardation services” in (h).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 4(b) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-190, October 28, 2005, 52 DCR 10021).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 4(b) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-262, January 26, 2006, 53 DCR 795).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 4(b) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-480, September 25, 2006, 53 DCR 7940).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 4(b) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-566, December 19, 2006, 53 DCR 10272).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 4(b) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-161, October 18, 2007, 54 DCR 10932).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 4(b) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-245, January 23, 2008, 55 DCR 1230).

For temporary (90 day) amendment, see § 5(b) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Emergency Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-492, August 4, 2008, 55 DCR 9167).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 4(b) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Temporary Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Law 16-46, February 9, 2006, law notification 53 DCR 1454).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 4(b) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Temporary Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Law 16-194, March 2, 2007, law notification 54 DCR 2492).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 4(b) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Temporary Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Law 17-100, February 2, 2008, law notification 55 DCR 3407).

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.