Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–102. District created body corporate for municipal purposes.

The District is created a government by the name of the “District of Columbia,” by which name it is constituted a body corporate for municipal purposes, and may contract and be contracted with, sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, have a seal, and exercise all other powers of a municipal corporation not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States and the provisions of this Code.


(R.S., D.C., § 2; June 11, 1878, 20 Stat. 102, ch. 180, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-102.

1973 Ed., § 1-102.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-207.17 and § 1-603.01.

Cross References

“District” defined, see §§ 1-603.01 and 3-3601.

Mayor, powers and duties, see § 1-204.22.

Editor's Notes

Organic Act of 1878: See Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1.

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 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.