Code of the District of Columbia

§ 44–509. Penalties; enforcement.

(a) Any person who intentionally impedes a District of Columbia official or employee in the performance of his or her authorized duties under this subchapter, or any rule issued pursuant to this subchapter, shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 per day of violation, imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both. Prosecution shall be in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by information signed by the Attorney General for the District of Columbia or one of his or her assistants.

(b) Notwithstanding the availability of any other remedy, the Attorney General for the District of Columbia or one of his or her assistants may maintain, in the name of the District of Columbia, an action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to enjoin any person, agency, corporation, or other entity from operating a facility or agency in violation of the terms of its license, provisions of this subchapter, or any rule issued pursuant to this subchapter.

(c) Notwithstanding the availability of any other remedy, an individual who is aggrieved by a violation of any provision of this subchapter or rule issued pursuant to this subchapter may maintain an action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to enjoin the continuation of that violation or the commission of any future violation.

(d)(1) Any person who knowingly gives an owner, licensee, administrator, or employee of a facility or agency, whether directly or indirectly, advance notice of an officially unannounced inspection or investigation to be conducted by the Mayor, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman designated pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3027(a)(12), or their designees, shall be:

(A) Guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, subject to a fine not exceeding $5,000, imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both; and

(B) If a District government employee, subject to disciplinary and other remedial action in accordance with District law.

(2) Prosecution under paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection shall be in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by information signed by the Attorney General for the District of Columbia or one of his or her assistants.

(e)(1) Civil fines, penalties, and related costs may be imposed against a facility or agency, whether public or private, for the violation of any provision of this subchapter, rule issued pursuant to this subchapter (including residents’ rights established pursuant to § 44-504(a)(4)), or other District of Columbia or locally enforceable federal law. Except as provided in paragraphs (2) through (5) of this subsection and subsection (f)(1) of this section, procedures for adjudication and enforcement and applicable fines, penalties, and costs shall be those established by or pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2. Governmental immunity shall not be a defense to any civil fine, penalty, or cost imposed.

(2) Whenever the respondent in proceedings for a civil fine or penalty is the licensee or administrator of a nursing home or community residence facility, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman shall have the right to intervene as a party in any hearing, administrative appeal, or court review that is a part of those proceedings. As a party to the proceedings, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman shall be served with a copy of the notice of infraction, all hearing notices, all orders of the Administrative Law Judge, any notices of appeal, and any orders of a court.

(3) Civil fines, penalties, and related costs imposed against a nursing home or community residence facility shall not come out of the funds needed to provide quality care and services to residents. To monitor compliance with this paragraph, the Mayor shall conduct an audit at least annually of every nursing home and community residence facility against which civil fines, penalties, or costs have been imposed. Civil fines, penalties, and costs imposed against any nursing home or community residence facility owned by the District of Columbia shall be paid into either the special fund or account if established pursuant to § 44-1002.09, or a special account to be used for the personal needs of residents.

(4) Notwithstanding the availability of other means of enforcement, the Mayor may directly deduct the amount of civil fines, penalties, and related costs imposed against any facility or agency from amounts otherwise payable by the District of Columbia to the licensee or administrator of that facility or agency.

(5) Any person who violates any provision of this subchapter, or any rules or regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter, for which a civil fine has not been established pursuant to § 2-1801.04, shall be subject to a civil fine in an amount not to exceed that established for the closest existing analogous violation.

(f)(1) Any person who commits a violation of any provision of this subchapter, or any rules or regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter, that results in demonstrable harm to a patient, resident, or client of a facility or agency, shall be subject to a fine for each offense not to exceed $10,000. For each violation, each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense, and the penalties prescribed shall apply to each separate offense. The total fine for a series of related offenses shall not exceed $100,000. Procedures for adjudication of violations under this subsection shall be those established pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.

(2) Except as provided in subsections (a) and (d) of this section, any person who knowingly violates this subchapter, or any rules or regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $25,000, or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both. For each violation, each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense, and the penalties prescribed shall apply to each separate offense. Prosecutions for violation of this subchapter pursuant to this subsection shall be brought in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.


(Feb. 24, 1984, D.C. Law 5-48, § 10, 30 DCR 5778; Apr. 18, 1986, D.C. Law 6-108, § 502, 33 DCR 1510; Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-215, § 2(d), 34 DCR 893; June 25, 2002, D.C. Law 14-155, § 2, 49 DCR 4269; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 65, 52 DCR 2638; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 68(b), 53 DCR 6794.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 32-1309.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 44-104.01, § 44-104.02, and § 44-104.03.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-155 rewrote subsec. (a); in subsec. (e)(1), substituted “Except as provided in paragraphs (2) through (5) of this subsection and subsection (f)(1) of this section,” for “Except as provided in paragraphs (2) through (4) of this subsection,”; and added subsecs. (e)(5) and (f). Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows:

D.C. Law 15-354 substituted “Attorney General for the District of Columbia” for “Corporation Counsel”; and, in subsec. (e)(2), substituted “Administrative Law Judge” for “hearing examiner” and “any orders” for “any orders of the District of Columbia Board of Appeals and Review or”.

D.C. Law 16-191, in subsec. (f)(2), validated a previously made technical correction.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 2 of the Health Care and Community Residence Facility Hospice and Home Care Licensure Penalties Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-546, January 11, 2001, 48 DCR 770).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Health Care and Community Residence Facility, Hospice and Home Care Licensure Penalties Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-175, November 19, 2001, 48 DCR 11053).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Health Care and Community Residence Facility, Hospice and Home Care Licensure Penalties Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-294, February 25, 2002, 49 DCR 2532).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Health Care and Community Residence Facility, Hospice and Home Care Licensure Penalties Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-271, April 4, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3605).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Health Care and Community Residence Facility, Hospice and Home Care Licensure Penalties Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-85, March 19, 2002, law notification 49 DCR 2990).

Editor's Notes

Because of the enactment of subchapter II of this chapter by D.C. Law 12-238 and the designation of the preexisting text as subchapter I, “subchapter” has been substituted for “act” twice in the first sentence of (a), twice in (e)(5), and five times in (f) and for “chapter” twice near the end of (b), in (c) and twice in (e)(1).