Code of the District of Columbia

§ 25–446. Settlement agreements; approval process; penalties for violations.

(a) The applicant and any protestant may, at any time, negotiate a settlement and enter into a written settlement agreement setting forth the terms of the settlement.

(b)(1) The signatories to the agreement shall submit the agreement to the Board for approval.

(2) Except as provided in § 25-446.02, all provisions of a settlement agreement approved by the Board shall be enforceable by ABRA or the Board.

(3) A settlement agreement not approved by the Board shall not be enforced by ABRA or the Board.

(c) If it determines that the settlement agreement complies with all applicable laws and regulations and the applicant otherwise qualifies for licensure, the Board shall approve the license application, conditioned upon the licensee’s compliance with the terms of the settlement agreement. The Board shall incorporate the text of the settlement agreement in its order and the settlement agreement shall be enforceable by the Board.

(d)(1) Unless a shorter term is agreed upon by the parties, a settlement agreement shall run for the term of a license, including renewal periods, unless it is terminated or amended in writing by the parties and the termination or amendment is approved by the Board.

(2) The Board may accept an application to amend or terminate a settlement agreement by fewer than all parties in the following circumstances:

(A) During the license’s renewal period; and

(B) After 4 years from the date of the Board’s decision initially approving the settlement agreement.

(3) Notice of an application to amend or terminate a settlement agreement shall be given both to the parties of the agreement and to the public at the time of the applicant’s renewal application according to the renewal procedures required under §§ 25-421 through 25-423.

(4) The Board may approve a request by fewer than all parties to amend or terminate a settlement agreement for good cause shown if it makes each of the following findings based upon sworn evidence:

(A)(i) The applicant seeking the amendment has made a diligent effort to locate all other parties to the settlement agreement; or

(ii) If non-applicant parties are located, the applicant has made a good-faith attempt to negotiate a mutually acceptable amendment to the settlement agreement;

(B) The need for an amendment is either caused by circumstances beyond the control of the applicant or is due to a change in the neighborhood where the applicant’s establishment is located; and

(C) The amendment or termination will not have an adverse impact on the neighborhood where the establishment is located as determined under § 25-313 or § 25-314, if applicable.

(5) To fulfill the good faith attempt criteria of paragraph (4)(A)(ii) of this subsection, a sworn affidavit from the applicant shall be filed with the Board at the time that an application to amend a settlement agreement by fewer than all parties is filed stating that either:

(A) A meeting occurred between the parties which did not result in agreement; or

(B) The non-applicant parties refused to meet with the applicant.

(6) For the purposes of this subsection, the term “license’s renewal period” means the 60-day period before the expiration date of a license.

(e) Upon a determination that a licensee has violated a settlement agreement, the Board shall penalize the licensee according to the provisions set forth for violations of a license in Chapter 8 of this title.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-187, § 101(t), 51 DCR 6525; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-310, § 2(r), 60 DCR 3410; May 2, 2015, D.C. Law 20-270, § 2(c)(3), 62 DCR 1866.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-432 and § 25-722.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-187 rewrote subsec. (d) which had read as follows: “(d) A voluntary agreement shall run for the term of a license, including renewal periods, unless it is terminated or amended in writing by the parties and the termination or amendment is approved by the Board.”

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-310 rewrote the section heading, which read: “Voluntary agreements; approval process, show cause hearing for violation”; substituted “settlement agreement” for “voluntary agreement” throughout the section; redesignated (b) as (b)(1) and added (b)(2) and (b)(3); and rewrote (e), which read: “The Board shall initiate a show cause hearing upon evidence that a licensee has violated a voluntary agreement. Upon a determination that the licensee has violated the voluntary agreement, the Board shall penalize the licensee according to the provisions set forth for violations of a license in Chapter 8.”

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-270 added (d)(6).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(r) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-597, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1001).

For temporary addition of a section designated as § 25-446.01, concerning enforceable provisions in settlement agreements, see § 2(s) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-597, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1001).

For temporary addition of a section designated as § 25-446.02, concerning unenforceable provisions in settlement agreements, see § 2(s) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-597, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1001).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(r) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-52, April 22, 2013, 60 DCR 6372, 20 DCSTAT 1388).