Code of the District of Columbia

§ 13–336. Service by publication on nonresidents, absent defendants, and unknown heirs or devisees.

(a) In actions specified by subsection (b) of this section, publication may be substituted for personal service of process:

(1) Upon a defendant who cannot be found and who is shown by affidavit to be a nonresident or to have been absent from the District for at least 6 months;

(2) Upon a defendant who cannot be found after diligent efforts or who by concealment seeks to avoid service of process; or

(3) Against the unknown heirs or devisees of deceased persons.

(b) This section applies only to:

(1) actions for partition;

(2) actions for divorce or annulment;

(3) actions for child custody under D.C. Official Code, Title 16, Chapter 45 [repealed];

(4) actions by attachment;

(5) actions for foreclosure of mortgages and deeds of trust;

(6) actions for the establishment of title to real estate by possession;

(7) actions for the enforcement of mechanics’ liens, and other liens against real or personal property within the District; and

(8) actions that have for their immediate object the enforcement or establishment of any lawful right, claim, or demand to or against any real or personal property within the jurisdiction of the court.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 514, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Mar. 10, 1983, D.C. Law 4-200, § 3, 30 DCR 125; Apr. 4, 2017, D.C. Law 21-238, § 501(a), 63 DCR 15312.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 13-336.

1973 Ed., § 13-336.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 13-335, § 13-337, and § 16-4808.