Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter IV. Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection; Uniform Law.


§ 16–1041. Definitions.

For purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “District” means the District of Columbia.

(2) “Foreign protection order” means a protection order issued by a tribunal of another State.

(3) “Issuing State” means the State whose tribunal issues a protection order.

(4) “Mutual foreign protection order” means a foreign protection order that includes provisions in favor of both the protected individual seeking enforcement of the order and the respondent.

(5) “Protected individual” means an individual protected by a protection order.

(6) “Protection order” means an injunction or other order, whether temporary or final, issued by a tribunal for the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts or harassment against, contact or communication with, or physical proximity to, another individual.

(7) “Respondent” means the individual against whom enforcement of a protection order is sought.

(8) “State” means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term “State” includes an Indian tribe or band that has jurisdiction to issue protection orders.

(9) “Tribunal” means a court, agency, or other entity authorized by law to issue or modify a protection order.


(Apr. 11, 2003, D.C. Law 14-296, § 2(c), 50 DCR 320.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-2502.03.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 2 of the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.


§ 16–1042. Judicial enforcement of order.

(a) A person authorized by the law of the District to seek enforcement of a protection order may seek enforcement of a valid foreign protection order in a tribunal of the District. The tribunal shall enforce the terms of the order, including terms that provide relief that a tribunal of the District would lack power to provide but for this section. The tribunal shall enforce the order, whether the order was obtained by independent action or in another proceeding, if it is an order issued in response to a complaint, petition, or motion filed by or on behalf of or for the benefit of an individual seeking protection. In a proceeding to enforce a foreign protection order, the tribunal shall follow the procedures of the District for the enforcement of protection orders.

(b) Except for cases brought under § 16-1005(f) or (g), a tribunal of the District may not enforce a foreign protection order issued by a tribunal of a State that does not recognize the standing of a protected individual to seek enforcement of the order.

(c) A tribunal of the District shall enforce the provisions of a valid foreign protection order that governs custody and visitation, if the order was issued in accordance with the jurisdictional requirements governing the issuance of custody and visitation orders in the issuing State.

(d) A foreign protection order is valid if it:

(1) Identifies the protected individual and the respondent;

(2) Is currently in effect or was in effect at the time of the violation;

(3) Was issued by a tribunal that had jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter under the law of the issuing State; and

(4) Was issued after the respondent was given reasonable notice and had an opportunity to be heard before the tribunal issued the order or, in the case of an ex parte order, the respondent was given notice and has had or will have an opportunity to be heard within a reasonable time after the order was issued, in a manner consistent with the rights of the respondent to due process.

(e) A foreign protection order valid on its face is prima facie evidence of its validity.

(f) Absence of any of the criteria for validity of a foreign protection order is an affirmative defense in an action seeking enforcement of the order.

(g) A tribunal of the District may enforce provisions of a mutual foreign protection order which favor a respondent only if:

(1) The respondent filed a written pleading seeking a protection order from the tribunal of the issuing State; and

(2) The tribunal of the issuing State made specific findings in favor of the respondent.


(Apr. 11, 2003, D.C. Law 14-296, § 2(c), 50 DCR 320.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 3 of the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.


§ 16–1043. Nonjudicial enforcement of order.

(a) A law enforcement officer, upon determining that there is probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protection order exists and that the order has been violated, shall enforce the order as if it were the order of a tribunal of the District. Presentation of a protection order that identifies both the protected individual and the respondent and, on its face, is currently in effect constitutes probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protection order exists. For the purposes of this section, the protection order may be inscribed on a tangible medium or may have been stored in an electronic or other medium if it is retrievable in perceivable form. Presentation of a certified copy of a protection order is not required for enforcement.

(b) If a foreign protection order is not presented, a law enforcement officer may consider other information in determining whether there is probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protection order exists.

(c) Registration or filing of an order in the District is not required for the enforcement of a valid foreign protection order pursuant to this subchapter.


(Apr. 11, 2003, D.C. Law 14-296, § 2(c), 50 DCR 320.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 4 of the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.


§ 16–1044. Registration of order.

(a) The Superior Court of the District of Columbia is authorized, subject to appropriations, to create a registry in the District of Columbia for foreign protection orders and protection orders issued in the District of Columbia.

(b) Any individual may register a foreign protection order in the District. To register a foreign protection order, an individual shall:

(1) Present a certified copy of the order to the Superior Court; and

(2) File an affidavit by the protected individual stating that, to the best of the protected individual’s knowledge, the order is currently in effect.

(c) When a registry is created pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, upon receipt of a foreign protection order, the Superior Court shall register the order in accordance with this section. After the order is registered, the Superior Court shall furnish to the individual registering the order a certified copy of the registered order. The Superior Court shall not notify or require notification of the respondent that the protection order has been registered in the District unless requested to do so by the party protected by the order.

(d) The Superior Court shall register an order upon presentation of a copy of a protection order that has been certified by the issuing State. A registered foreign protection order that is inaccurate or is not currently in effect shall be corrected or removed from the registry in accordance with the law of the District.

(e) A foreign protection order registered under this subchapter may be entered in any existing state or federal registry of protection orders, in accordance with applicable law.

(f) A fee may not be charged for the registration of a foreign protection order, nor may a fee be charged for service of a foreign order in the District of Columbia.


(Apr. 11, 2003, D.C. Law 14-296, § 2(c), 50 DCR 320.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 5 of the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.


§ 16–1045. Immunity.

The District and its officers and employees, a law enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney, clerk of court, or any state or local governmental official acting in an official capacity, is immune from civil and criminal liability for conduct arising out of the registration or enforcement of a foreign protection order or the detention or arrest of an alleged violator of a foreign protection order if the conduct was done in good faith in an effort to comply with this subchapter.


(Apr. 11, 2003, D.C. Law 14-296, § 2(c), 50 DCR 320.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 6 of the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.


§ 16–1046. Other remedies.

A protected individual who pursues remedies under this subchapter is not precluded from pursuing other legal or equitable remedies against the respondent.


(Apr. 11, 2003, D.C. Law 14-296, § 2(c), 50 DCR 320.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 7 of the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.


§ 16–1047. Uniformity of application and construction.

In applying and construing this Uniform Act, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among States that enact it.


(Apr. 11, 2003, D.C. Law 14-296, § 2(c), 50 DCR 320.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 8 of the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.


§ 16–1048. Transitional provision.

This subchapter applies to protection orders issued before the effective date of this subchapter and to continuing actions for enforcement of foreign protection orders commenced before the effective date of this subchapter. A request for enforcement of a foreign protection order made on or after the effective date of this subchapter for violations of a foreign protection order occurring before the effective date of this subchapter is governed by this subchapter.


(Apr. 11, 2003, D.C. Law 14-296, § 2(c), 50 DCR 320.)

References in Text

The “effective date of this subchapter”, referred to in text, is April 11, 2003, which is the effective date of D.C. Law 14-296.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 11 of the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.