Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 4. Civil Jurisdiction and Service Outside the District of Columbia.


Subchapter I. General Provisions.

§ 13–401. Relation to other provisions of law.

Except in cases of irreconcilable conflict, this chapter shall be construed to augment, and not to repeal, any other law of the District of Columbia authorizing another basis of jurisdiction or permitting another procedure for service in civil proceedings in the District of Columbia courts.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 548, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 132(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 13-401.

1973 Ed., § 13-401.


§ 13–402. Uniformity of interpretation.

When the statutory language so permits, this chapter shall be so interpreted and construed as to make it uniform with the laws of those jurisdictions which enact in comparable form the first two articles of the Uniform Interstate and International Procedure Act.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 548, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 132(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 13-402.

1973 Ed., § 13-402.


Subchapter II. Bases of Personal Jurisdiction over Persons Outside the District of Columbia.

§ 13–421. Definition of person.

As used in this subchapter, the term “person” includes an individual, his executor, administrator, or other personal representative, or a corporation, partnership, association, or any other legal or commercial entity, whether or not a citizen or domiciliary of the District of Columbia and whether or not organized under the laws of the District of Columbia.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 549, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 132(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 13-421.

1973 Ed., § 13-421.


§ 13–422. Personal jurisdiction based upon enduring relationship.

A District of Columbia court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a person domiciled in, organized under the laws of, or maintaining his or its principal place of business in, the District of Columbia as to any claim for relief.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 549, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 132(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 13-422.

1973 Ed., § 13-422.


§ 13–423. Personal jurisdiction based upon conduct.

(a) A District of Columbia court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a person, who acts directly or by an agent, as to a claim for relief arising from the person’s —

(1) transacting any business in the District of Columbia;

(2) contracting to supply services in the District of Columbia;

(3) causing tortious injury in the District of Columbia by an act or omission in the District of Columbia;

(4) causing tortious injury in the District of Columbia by an act or omission outside the District of Columbia if he regularly does or solicits business, engages in any other persistent course of conduct, or derives substantial revenue from goods used or consumed, or services rendered, in the District of Columbia;

(5) having an interest in, using, or possessing real property in the District of Columbia;

(6) contracting to insure or act as surety for or on any person, property, or risk, contract, obligation, or agreement located, executed, or to be performed within the District of Columbia at the time of contracting, unless the parties otherwise provide in writing; or

(7) marital or parent and child relationship in the District of Columbia if:

(A) the plaintiff resides in the District of Columbia at the time the suit is filed;

(B) such person is personally served with process; and

(C) in the case of a claim arising from a marital relationship:

(i) the District of Columbia was the matrimonial domicile of the parties immediately prior to their separation, or

(ii) the cause of action to pay spousal support arose under the laws of the District of Columbia or under an agreement executed by the parties in the District of Columbia; or

(D) in the case of a claim affecting the parent and child relationship:

(i) the child was conceived in the District of Columbia and such person is the parent or alleged parent of the child;

(ii) the child resides in the District of Columbia as a result of the acts, directives, or approval of such person; or

(iii) such person has resided with the child in the District of Columbia.

(E) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraphs (A) through (D), the court may exercise personal jurisdiction if there is any basis consistent with the United States Constitution for the exercise of personal jurisdiction.

(b) When jurisdiction over a person is based solely upon this section, only a claim for relief arising from acts enumerated in this section may be asserted against him.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 549, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 132(a); Mar. 10, 1983, D.C. Law 4-200, § 4, 30 DCR 125.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 13-423.

1973 Ed., § 13-423.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 48-804.02.

Cross References

Tortious injury in the District of Columbia, unfair trade practices, damages, see § 48-804.02.


§ 13–424. Service outside the District of Columbia.

When the exercise of personal jurisdiction is authorized by this subchapter, service may be made outside the District of Columbia.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 549, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 132(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 13-424.

1973 Ed., § 13-424.


§ 13–425. Inconvenient forum.

When any District of Columbia court finds that in the interest of substantial justice the action should be heard in another forum, the court may stay or dismiss such civil action in whole or in part on any conditions that may be just.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 549, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 132(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 13-425.

1973 Ed., § 13-425.


Subchapter III. Service Outside the District of Columbia.

§ 13–431. Manner and proof of service.

(a) When the law of the District of Columbia authorizes service outside the District of Columbia, the service, when reasonably calculated to give actual notice, may be made —

(1) by personal delivery in the manner prescribed for service within the District of Columbia;

(2) in the manner prescribed by the law of the place in which the service is made for service in that place in an action in any of its courts of general jurisdiction;

(3) by any form of mail addressed to the person to be served and requiring a signed receipt; or

(4) as directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory.

(b) Proof of service outside the District of Columbia may be made by affidavit of the individual who made the service or in the manner prescribed by the law of the District of Columbia, the order pursuant to which the service is made, or the law of the place in which the service is made for proof of service in an action in any of its courts of general jurisdiction. When service is made by mail, proof of service shall include a receipt signed by the addressee or other evidence of personal delivery to the addressee satisfactory to the court.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 549, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 132(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 13-431.

1973 Ed., § 13-431.


§ 13–432. Individuals eligible to make service.

Service outside the District of Columbia may be made by an individual who is permitted to make service of process under the law of the District of Columbia or under the law of the place in which the service is made or who is designated by a District of Columbia court.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 550, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 132(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 13-432.

1973 Ed., § 13-432.


§ 13–433. Individuals to be served; special cases.

When the law of the District of Columbia requires that in order to effect service one or more designated individuals be served, service outside the District of Columbia under this article must be made upon such designated individual or individuals.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 550, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 132(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 13-433.

1973 Ed., § 13-433.


§ 13–434. Assistance to tribunals and litigants outside the District of Columbia.

(a) A District of Columbia court may order service upon any person who is domiciled or can be found within the District of Columbia of any document issued in connection with a proceeding in a tribunal outside the District of Columbia. The order may be made upon application of any interested person or in response to a letter rogatory issued by a tribunal outside the District of Columbia and shall direct the manner of service.

(b) Service in connection with a proceeding in a tribunal outside the District of Columbia may be made within the District of Columbia without an order of court.

(c) Service under this section does not, of itself, require the recognition or enforcement of an order, judgment, or decree rendered outside the District of Columbia.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 550, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 132(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 13-434.

1973 Ed., § 13-434.