Code of the District of Columbia

§ 46–224. Enforcement of orders by means other than income withholding.

(a) A lien is created by operation of law against the real and personal property of an obligor subject to a support order who resides or owns property in the District for amounts of overdue support, as defined by section 466(e) of the Social Security Act, approved August 16, 1984 (98 Stat. 1310; 42 U.S.C. § 666(e)), that are owed by the obligor. In addition to withholding of earnings or other income, this lien shall be separate from and in addition to any other lien created by or provided for under law. The IV-D agency or the custodian to whom support is payable shall have the priority of a secured creditor.

(b) The lien shall be enforceable from the date the lien is filed and recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds of the District of Columbia. A lien may be enforced by the IV-D agency or the custodian to whom support is payable. This remedy does not affect the availability of other remedies provided by law.

(c) If a lien has been filed in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, and a person having notice of the lien possesses nonexempt personal property of the obligor that may be subject to the lien, the property may not be paid over, released, sold, transferred, encumbered, or conveyed unless:

(1) A release of lien is signed by the party who filed the lien; or

(2) A court, after notice to the claimant and hearing, has ordered the release of the lien because arrearages do not exist.

(d) The District shall accord full faith and credit to liens described in subsection (b) of this section that arise in another state, if the other state’s IV-D agency, a party to a support action, or other entity seeking to enforce such a lien complies with the procedural rules relating to recording or serving liens that arise in the District, except that judicial notice or hearing prior to enforcement of the lien shall not be required.


(Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-166, § 25, 33 DCR 6710; Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-269, § 108(u), 48 DCR 1270; May 12, 2006, D.C. Law 16-100, § 3(x), 53 DCR 1886.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 30-524.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 26-532 and § 46-226.03.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-269 rewrote the section which had read:

“(a) A lien may be asserted by the Mayor or the custodian to whom support is payable upon the real and personal property of the responsible relative. In addition to withholding of earnings or other income, this lien shall be separate from and in addition to any other lien created by or provided for under law. The District or the custodian to whom support is payable shall have the priority of a secured creditor.

“(b) An action to collect subrogated or assigned support by lien and foreclosure, distraint, seizure and sale, or an order to withhold and deliver shall be lawful on the date the order is issued.”

D.C. Law 16-100, in par. (c), substituted “subsection (b)” for “subsection (a)”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 7(t) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-309, March 20, 1998, 45 DCR 1923), § 7(t) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110), § 7(t) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, October 27, 1998, 45 DCR 8495), and § 7(t) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-600, January 20, 1999, 46 DCR 1239).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-103, see § 13 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 7(k) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 107(u) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 107(u) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-177, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9678).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 107(u) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-241, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 581).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 107(u) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 108(u) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-5, February 13, 2001, 48 DCR 2440).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(y) of Income Withholding Transfer and Revision Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-167, July 26, 2005, 52 DCR 7648).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(y) of Income Withholding Transfer and Revision Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-200, November 17, 2005, 52 DCR 10490).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 7(t) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-210, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3832).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 107(u) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-57, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1979).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 107(u) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).

Section 3(y) of D.C. Law 16-42, in subsec. (c), substituted “subsection (b)” for “subsection (a)”.

Section 5(b) of D.C. Law 16-42 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority pursuant to Law 6-166, see Mayor’s Order 87-273, December 10, 1987.