Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–2309. Taking into custody.

*NOTE: This section has been amended by emergency legislation with identical permanent legislation that will become effective in December, 2021.*

(a) A child may be taken into custody —

(1) pursuant to order of the Division under section 16-2306 or 16-2311;

(2) by a law enforcement officer when he has reasonable grounds to believe that the child has committed a delinquent act;

(3) by any employee of the Agency authorized to do so, or a law enforcement officer, when he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that the child is in immediate danger from his or her surroundings and that the removal of the child from his or her surroundings is necessary, including when he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that the child is engaging in or offering to engage in a sexual act, as defined in [§ 22-3001(8)], or sexual contact, as defined in [§ 22-3001(9)], in return for receiving anything of value;

(4) by any employee of the Agency authorized to do so, or a law enforcement officer, after he or she has consulted with the Director of the Agency, or his or her designee, pursuant to § 4-1301.07(b) when the employee or the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the child is suffering from illness or injury or otherwise is endangered and that the child’s removal from his or her surroundings is necessary;

(5) by a law enforcement officer when he has reasonable grounds to believe that the child has run away from his parent, guardian, or other custodian;

(6) by the Director of the Agency or his or her designee, upon written notification by the chief executive officer of a hospital located in the District of Columbia, that the child has resided in the hospital for at least 10 calendar days following the birth of the child, despite a medical determination that the child is ready for discharge from the hospital, and the parent, guardian or custodian of the child, as established by the hospital admission records, has not taken any action or made any effort to maintain a parental, guardianship, or custodial relationship or contact with the child;

(7) by a law enforcement officer when the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the child, who is not in school on a day when school is in session, is of compulsory school age as required by [§ 38-202];

(8) by the Director of Social Services, pursuant to section 16-2337;

(9) by a law enforcement officer when the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the child has violated a court order; or

(10) by the Director of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services when a child committed to the legal custody of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services absconds from a community-based placement or violates any of the terms of his or her aftercare placement. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “aftercare placement” means the placing of a child who has been committed to the legal custody of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services in the community under the supervision of a trained social worker.

(b) A child under the age of 13 who is taken into custody by a law enforcement officer, other than an officer in the U.S. Marshals Service, shall remain in the immediate physical presence of a law enforcement officer pending release or delivery pursuant to section 16-2311(a).

(c) Notwithstanding any other law, a law enforcement officer shall not seize, serve a custody order on, or take into custody a DCPS or public charter school student at a DCPS or public charter school or on its grounds for a:

(1) School-based offense unless:

(A) The school-based offense is alleged to be a crime of violence, as that term is defined in § 23-1331(4); or

(B) Exigent circumstances exist; or

(2) Non-school-based offense unless exigent circumstances exist.