Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–1001. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Attorney General” means the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

(2) “Court” means the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

(3) “Custodian” shall have the meaning as provided in § 16-2301(12).

(4) “Domestic partnership” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(4).

(5) “Domestic Violence Unit” means any subdivision of the court designated by court rule, or by order of the Chief Judge of the court, to hear proceedings under this subchapter.

(6) “Interpersonal violence” means an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person:

(A) With whom the offender shares or has shared a mutual residence; or

(B) Who is or was married to, in a domestic partnership with, divorced or separated from, or in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship with another person who is or was married to, in a domestic partnership with, divorced or separated from, or in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship with the offender.

(7) “Intimate partner violence” means an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person:

(A) To whom the offender is or was married;

(B) With whom the offender is or was in a domestic partnership; or

(C) With whom the offender is or was in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship.

(8) “Intrafamily offense” means interpersonal, intimate partner, or intrafamily violence.

(9) “Intrafamily violence” means an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person to whom the offender is related by blood, adoption, legal custody, marriage, or domestic partnership, or with whom the offender has a child in common.

(10) “Judicial officer” means the Chief Judge, an Associate Judge, or a Magistrate Judge of the court.

(11) “Minor” means a person under 18 years of age.

(12) “Petitioner” means any person who alleges, or for whom is alleged, that he or she is the victim of interpersonal, intimate partner, or intrafamily violence, stalking, sexual assault, or sexual abuse.

(13) “Respondent” means any person 12 years of age or older against whom a petition for civil protection is filed under this subchapter.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 546, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 131(a); Sept. 14, 1982, D.C. Law 4-144, § 2, 29 DCR 3131; Apr. 30, 1991, D.C. Law 8-261,§ 2(c)(1), 37 DCR 5001; Mar. 21, 1995, D.C. Law 10-237, § 2(a), 42 DCR 36; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 10(i), 45 DCR 745; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 206(a), 53 DCR 8610; Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 107(a), 55 DCR 9186; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-368, § 3(b)(2), 56 DCR 1338.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1001.

1973 Ed., § 16-1001.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1401.02, § 2-1402.21, § 4-1305.06, § 4-1345.01, § 7-2501.01, § 14-306, § 14-310, § 14-311, § 16-801, § 16-831.01, § 16-914, § 22-3020.53, § 22-4503, § 31-2231.11, § 32-131.01, § 42-3505.01, § 42-3505.07, § 42-3505.08, and § 51-131.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-306 rewrote par. (5).

D.C. Law 17-281 redesignated existing pars. (1) to (6) as pars. (2) to (7); and added par. (1).

D.C. Law 17-368 rewrote the section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 206(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 206(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 206(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 206(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).