Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–2303.05. Answer.

(a)(1) In answer to a notice of infraction, a person to whom the notice was issued may:

(A) Admit, by payment of the civil fine and any related vehicle conveyance fee, the commission of the infraction;

(A-i) Admit with explanation; or

(B) Deny the commission of the infraction.

(2) A person charged with a parking violation may contest the charge through an adjudication by mail, through the Department's website, or through a personal appearance at a hearing limited to one or more of the following grounds with appropriate evidence to support:

(A) That the respondent was not the owner or lessee of the cited vehicle at the time of the infraction;

(B) That the cited vehicle or its state registration plates were stolen at the time of the violation occurred;

(C) That the relevant signs prohibiting or restricting parking were missing or obscured;

(D) That the relevant parking meter was inoperable or malfunctioned through no fault of the respondent;

(E) That the facts alleged on the parking violation notice are inconsistent or do not support a finding that the specified regulation was violated;

(F) That the vehicle was suddenly mechanically disabled; provided, that the vehicle was removed as soon as practicable; or

(G) That the operator suddenly needed immediate medical assistance.

(b) A person to whom a notice of infraction has been issued may answer by personal appearance, by mail, or through the Department's website.

(c) A person admitting the commission of an infraction shall, at the same time the person submits an answer, pay the civil fine, any related vehicle conveyance fee assessed by the District, and any additional penalties, established pursuant to § 50-2301.05, as may be due for failure to answer within the time required by subsection (d) of this section without appearing at the hearing.

(c-1) A person admitting the commission of an infraction with an explanation may include in the answer an explanation as to why the fine or penalty should be reduced. A hearing examiner may, upon consideration of the explanation, order the reduction of the fine or penalty.

(d)(1) A person to whom a notice of infraction has been issued shall answer within 30 calendar days of the date the notice was issued, or within a greater period of time as prescribed by the Director by regulation. Failure to answer the notice within this period shall result in the imposition of monetary penalties established by § 50-2301.05, in addition to the potential civil fine for the infraction and any related vehicle conveyance fee.

(2) If a person fails to answer within 60 days, or within a greater period of time as prescribed by the Director by regulation, the commission of the infraction shall be deemed admitted and all penalties, fines, and any vehicle conveyance fees shall be assessed. Not more than 50 days after the notice is issued, the Director shall send, by regular mail, to the address in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ records, if such address was supplied to the Department of Motor Vehicles, notice of the outstanding notice of infraction and of the impending deemed admission. This subsection shall not apply to any participant in the fleet adjudication program.

(e) Repealed.

(f) Except as set forth in subsection (g) of this section, a deemed admission pursuant to subsection (d)(2) of this section by a person not participating in the fleet reconciliation program may be vacated if the Department receives by mail or through the Department's website, within 60 calendar days of the date of the admission, a written application to vacate; provided, that if the individual's motor vehicle has been immobilized or impounded pursuant to §  50-2201.03(k), or the individual is unable to obtain a license or permit pursuant to §  47-2862(a)(1)(C) or (F) or (a)(6), an application may be submitted by mail, through the Department's website, or in person and shall include:

(1) A sufficient defense to the charge as set forth in subsection (a)(2) of this section; and

(2) Excusable neglect for failing to answer within the time period provided for in subsection (d) of this section.

(g) A deemed admission pursuant to subsection (d)(2) of this section by a person not participating in the fleet reconciliation program may be vacated if the Department receives by mail or through the its website within one year of the date of the admission, a written application to vacate that sets forth a sufficient defense to the charge as described in subsection (a)(2)(A) or (B) of this section; provided, that if the individual's motor vehicle has been immobilized or impounded pursuant to §  50-2201.03(k), or the individual is unable to obtain a license or permit pursuant to §  47-2862(a)(1)(C) or (F) or (a)(6), an application may be submitted by mail, through the Department's website, or in person.