Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–137. Persons believed to be carriers of communicable diseases — Arrest.

(a) In aid of the powers vested in the Mayor to cause the removal to and detention in a place or institution of a person who is affected or is believed, upon probable cause, to be affected with any communicable disease or is or is believed, upon probable cause, to be a carrier of communicable disease as provided in this subchapter, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, or any judge thereof, is authorized to issue a warrant for the arrest of such person and his removal to a place or institution as defined in § 7-133, which warrant shall be directed to the Chief of Police. When such person has been removed to such place or institution under authority of a warrant issued pursuant to this section, such person shall not be discharged from such place or institution except in the manner provided in § 7-135.

(b) No such warrant of arrest and removal shall be issued except upon probable cause supported by affidavit or affidavits particularly describing the person to be taken, which said affidavit or affidavits shall set forth the facts tending to establish the grounds of the application or probable cause for believing that they exist.

(c) A warrant may in all cases be served by the Chief of Police or by any officer or member of the Metropolitan Police, but by no other person, except in aid of the officer on his requiring it, he being present and acting in its execution.

(d) The officer may break open any outer or inner door or window of a house, or any part of a house, or anything therein, to execute the warrant, if, after notice of his authority and purpose, he is refused admittance.

(e) A warrant must be returned to the Court within 10 days after its date; after the expiration of this time the warrant, unless executed, is void.

(f) It shall be the duty of the said Court to maintain and keep records of all warrants issued and the returns thereon.


(Aug. 11, 1939, ch. 601, § 7; Aug. 8, 1946, 60 Stat. 921, ch. 871, § 2; Aug. 1, 1950, 64 Stat. 393, ch. 513, § 1; July 8, 1963, 77 Stat. 77, Pub. L. 88-60, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 570, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(a); Oct. 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-194, § 902(f), 49 DCR 5306; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 44(b), 51 DCR 881.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-123.

1973 Ed., § 6-119e.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-194, in subsec. (a), substituted “Mayor” for “Director of the Department of Human Services”.

D.C. Law 15-105, in subsec. (a), validated a previously made technical correction.

Editor's Notes

Office of Major and Superintendent of Metropolitan Police abolished: The Office of the Major and Superintendent of Metropolitan Police was abolished and all functions of that office transferred to and vested in the Chief of Police. The Assistant Superintendent, Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Police Department was designated “Deputy Chief of Police, Executive Officer”; the Assistant Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police in command of the Detective Bureau was designated “Deputy Chief of Police, Chief of Detectives”; and each other Assistant Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police was designated “Deputy Chief of Police” by Reorganization Order No. 7, dated September 16, 1952. Reorganization Order No. 7 was replaced by Organization Order No. 153, dated November 10, 1966.

Office of Director of Public Health abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 7-101.