Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 5. Manufacture, Renovation, and Sale of Mattresses.


§ 8–501. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) The term “mattress” includes any quilt, comfort, pad, pillow, cushion, or bag stuffed with hair, down, feathers, wool, cotton, excelsior, jute, or any other soft material and designed for use for sleeping or reclining purposes.

(2) The term “person” means individual, partnership, corporation, or association.

(3) The term “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia.


(July 3, 1926, 44 Stat. 838, ch. 768, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-801.

1973 Ed., § 6-601.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 8–502. Unlawful acts.

No person in the District of Columbia:

(1) Who is a manufacturer or renovator of, or dealer in, mattresses shall sell, exchange, give away, or offer or have in his possession for sale, exchange, or gift, any mattress which bears any false or misleading label, statement, design, or device, in respect of its material or processes of manufacture or renovation, or which is not labeled as provided in § 8-503;

(2) Who is a renovator of mattresses shall use in whole or in part, in the renovation of any mattress, material which has formed part of any mattress theretofore used in or about any sanitarium or hospital, or used by any individual having an infectious or contagious disease;

(3) Who is a manufacturer of mattresses shall use in whole or in part any secondhand material in the manufacture of mattresses sold, exchanged, or given away, or to be offered for sale, exchange, or gift, as new mattresses;

(4) Shall knowingly sell, exchange, give away, or offer or have in his possession for sale, exchange, or gift:

(A) Any mattress which has been used, or is composed in whole or in part from material which has formed part of any mattress theretofore used in any sanitarium or hospital or by any individual having an infectious or contagious disease; or

(B) Any mattress which is composed in whole or in part of secondhand material which has not been thoroughly sterilized and disinfected by a process approved by the Director of the Department of Human Services of the District of Columbia;

(5) Who is a manufacturer or renovator of, or a dealer in, mattresses, shall remove, conceal, or deface, or cause or permit to be removed, concealed, or defaced, any label placed, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, upon any mattress.


(July 3, 1926, 44 Stat. 838, ch. 768, § 2; Aug. 1, 1950, 64 Stat. 393, ch. 513, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-802.

1973 Ed., § 6-602.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-503 and § 8-505.


§ 8–503. Label requirements.

The label required by § 8-502 shall consist of a tag which shall be sewed or otherwise securely attached to the mattress. In case the mattress has not been renovated the label shall contain in plain, legible print in the English language a statement showing: (1) the name and address of the manufacturer; (2) a description of the materials used in the manufacture of such mattress; and (3) whether such materials are in whole or in part secondhand. In case the mattress has been renovated the label shall contain in such print the word “Renovated” and a statement of: (1) the name and address of the renovator; and (2) a description of the materials used in the renovated mattress. For the purposes of this chapter the materials so used shall be described in such manner as the Council of the District of Columbia shall by regulation prescribe.


(July 3, 1926, 44 Stat. 839, ch. 768, § 3.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-803.

1973 Ed., § 6-603.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-502.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(142) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 8–504. Guaranty of manufacturer as defense; prosecution of manufacturer outside District.

No dealer shall be prosecuted under the provisions of this chapter when he can establish a guaranty signed by the manufacturer residing in the United States from whom he purchases mattresses to the effect that the statements contained on the labels attached to such mattresses are true. Such guaranty, to afford protection, shall contain the name and address of the manufacturer making the sale of such mattresses to the dealer, and in such case the manufacturer shall be amenable to the prosecutions, fines, and other penalties which would attach, in due course, to the dealer under the provisions of this chapter. In case the manufacturer resides outside the District of Columbia it shall be the duty of each United States Attorney to whom the Director of the Department of Human Services of the District of Columbia shall report the violation to cause appropriate proceedings to be commenced and prosecuted against the manufacturer without delay in the proper courts of the United States.


(July 3, 1926, 44 Stat. 839, ch. 768, § 4; June 25, 1948, 62 Stat. 909, ch. 646, § 1; Aug. 1, 1950, 64 Stat. 393, ch. 513, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-804.

1973 Ed., § 6-604.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-505.


§ 8–505. Violations of § 8-502, § 8-504, or § 8-507.

Any person violating any provision of § 8-502 or § 8-507 shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than $500, or by imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both. All prosecutions under this chapter, except as provided in § 8-504, shall be in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia upon information by the Corporation Counsel or 1 of his assistants. Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of § 8-502 or § 8-507, or any rules or regulations issued under the authority of these sections, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2. Adjudication of any infraction of these sections shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.


(July 3, 1926, 44 Stat. 839, ch. 768, § 5; 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); Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 459, 32 DCR 4450.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-805.

1973 Ed., § 6-605.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-506.


§ 8–506. Administration of chapter.

Except as provided in § 8-505, the administration of this chapter shall be in charge of the Director of the Department of Human Services of the District of Columbia under the supervision of the Mayor. The Mayor is authorized to make such regulations as may be necessary for the efficient administration of this chapter.


(July 3, 1926, 44 Stat. 839, ch. 768, § 6; Aug. 1, 1950, 64 Stat. 393, ch. 513, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-806.

1973 Ed., § 6-606.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 8–507. Investigations.

It shall be the duty of the Director of the Department of Human Services of the District of Columbia, whenever he has reason to believe that any provision of this chapter is being or has been violated, to cause an investigation to be made. For the purpose of such investigation the Director of the Department of Human Services, or any of his assistants designated by him in writing, shall have authority at all times during the ordinary business hours to enter any building or other place in the District of Columbia where mattresses are manufactured, renovated, or held for sale, exchange, or gift, or delivery in pursuance thereof. No person shall refuse or obstruct such inspection. Evidence obtained by the Director of the Department of Human Services or his assistants of any violations of this chapter shall be furnished the Corporation Counsel.


(July 3, 1926, 44 Stat. 839, ch. 768, § 7; Aug. 1, 1950, 64 Stat. 393, ch. 513, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-807.

1973 Ed., § 6-607.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-505.


§ 8–508. Seizure and destruction of mattresses.

If on inspection the Director of the Department of Human Services or his assistants find in the District of Columbia any mattress held for sale, exchange, or gift, or delivery in pursuance thereof, which has been used or is composed in whole or in part of materials which have formed part of any mattress used in or about any sanitarium or hospital or by any individual having an infectious or contagious disease, or is composed in whole or in part of secondhand material which has not been thoroughly sterilized and disinfected by a process approved by the Director of the Department of Human Services, or if the Director of the Department of Human Services or his assistants find in the District of Columbia any such materials held for use in the manufacture or renovation of any mattress, the Director of the Department of Human Services shall, after first making and filing in the public records of his office a written order stating the reason therefor, thereupon without further notice cause such mattress or material intended to be used in the manufacture of any mattress to be seized, removed, and destroyed by summary action.


(July 3, 1926, 44 Stat. 839, ch. 768, § 8; Aug. 1, 1950, 64 Stat. 393, ch. 513, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-808.

1973 Ed., § 6-608.