Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–2309. Taking into custody.

(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).


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 589, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 529, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 121(a); Sept. 23, 1977, D.C. Law 2-22, title I, § 110(c), 24 DCR 3341; Aug. 13, 1986, D.C. Law 6-140, § 2(a), 33 DCR 3827; June 8, 1990, D.C. Law 8-134, § 2(b), 37 DCR 2613; Feb. 5, 1994, D.C. Law 10-68, § 20(c), 40 DCR 6311; Aug. 25, 1994, D.C. Law 10-159,§ 2, 41 DCR 4884; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-255, § 18(f), 44 DCR 1271; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 10(aa), 45 DCR 745; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-258, § 2(a), 46 DCR 1314; Apr. 4, 2001, D.C. Law 13-277, § 3(a)(4), 48 DCR 2043; Mar. 17, 2005, D.C. Law 15-261, § 502(a), 52 DCR 1188; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-353, § 402, 52 DCR 2331; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 39, 53 DCR 6794; May 7, 2015, D.C. Law 20-276, § 9(a), 62 DCR 479.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-2309.

1973 Ed., § 16-2309.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 4-1301.05, § 4-1301.07, § 4-1303.04, § 16-2306, and § 16-2311.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-277 substituted “Director of the Agency” for “Chief of the Child Protective Services Division of the Department of Human Services” throughout the section; in subsec. (a)(3), substituted “any employee of the Agency authorized to do so, or a law enforcement officer,” for “a law enforcement officer”; and, in subsec. (a)(4), substituted “any employee of the Agency authorized to do so, or a law enforcement officer” for “a law enforcement officer” and “§ 4-1301.07(b), when the employee or” for “§ 4-1301.07(b) when”.

D.C. Law 15-261, in subsec. (a), made nonsubstantive changes at the end of par. (7) and (8), and added par. (9).

D.C. Law 15-353, in subsec. (a), made nonsubstantive changes in pars. (8) and (9), and added par. (10).

D.C. Law 16-191, in subsecs. (a)(8), (9), and (10), validated previously made technical corrections.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-276 added “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” in (a)(3).

Cross References

Child abuse and neglect, removal of child from home, alternative placements, see § 4-1301.07.

Child abuse and neglect, temporary custodial placement, removal of child from home, see § 4-1303.04.

Police investigation of alleged child abuse and neglect, see § 4-1301.05.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-310, March 26, 2002, 49 DCR 3420).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-3, January 22, 2003, 50 DCR 1426).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-71, April 16, 2003, 50 DCR 3593).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Second Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-279, December 18, 2003, 51 DCR 60).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-407, March 18, 2004, 51 DCR 3659).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of the Juvenile Justice Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-497, July 19, 2004, 51 DCR 7844).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Juvenile Justice Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-547, October 12, 2004, 51 DCR 9844).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-630, November 30, 2004, 52 DCR 1143).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Juvenile Justice Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-727, January 19, 2005, 52 DCR 1952).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-30, February 17, 2005, 52 DCR 2993).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of the Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Temporary Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-164, June 25, 2002, law notification 49 DCR 6500).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of the Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Temporary Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 15-2, May 3, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 3782).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of the Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Temporary Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Law 15-117, March 30, 2004, law notification 51 DCR 3804).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of the Juvenile Justice Temporary Act of 2004 (D.C. Law 15-223, March 16, 2005, law notification 52 DCR 3549).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of the Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Second Temporary Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Law 15-319, on April 8, 2005, law notification 52 DCR 4708).