Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter VII. Barbed-Wire Fences.


§ 9–1213.01. Construction or maintenance within fire limits.

No fence, barrier, or obstruction consisting or made, in whole or in part, of what is commonly called barbed wire shall be erected, constructed, or maintained along the line of or in or upon any street, avenue, alley, road, or other public walk, driveway, or public or private parking within the fire limits of the District of Columbia.


(July 8, 1898, 30 Stat. 724, ch. 640, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-801.

1973 Ed., § 7-1101.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 9-1213.03.


§ 9–1213.02. Construction or maintenance outside fire limits.

No fence, barrier, or obstruction made, in whole or in part of what is commonly called barbed wire shall be erected, constructed, or maintained within the said District of Columbia, outside of the fire limits, along the line of or in or upon any street, avenue, alley, road, or other public walk, driveway, or public or private parking without a permit therefor from the Mayor of the District of Columbia.


(July 8, 1898, 30 Stat. 724, ch. 640, § 2.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-802.

1973 Ed., § 7-1102.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 9-1213.03.

Cross References

Highway plans, jurisdiction of mayor over roads and bridges, see § 9-101.02.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 9–1213.03. Notice to remove; service.

Whenever, under the provisions of §§ 9-1213.01 and 9-1213.02 any barbed wire in use in whole or in part on July 8, 1898, for a fence, barrier, or obstruction, along the line of or in or upon any street, avenue, alley, road, or other public walk, driveway, or public or private parking within the District of Columbia is required to be removed, said wire shall be removed by the owner of the building or other property upon which such fence, barrier, or obstruction exists, or his or her agent, within 30 days from the service by the Inspector of Buildings of said District of a notice, served in like manner as notices in regard to assessment and permit work are required by law to be served, directing the owner, agent, or other person or persons owning or controlling the land, structure, or other property upon which such fence or barrier exists to remove the same.


(July 8, 1898, 30 Stat. 724, ch. 640, § 3.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-803.

1973 Ed., § 7-1103.


§ 9–1213.04. Penalties.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia be fined not more than $10 for each day such violation shall continue. Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of the provisions of this chapter, or any rules and regulations issued under the authority of this chapter, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2. Adjudication of any infraction of this chapter shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.


(July 8, 1898, 30 Stat. 725, ch. 640, § 4; Apr. 1, 1942, 56 Stat. 190, ch. 207,§ 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. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 473, 32 DCR 4450.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-804.

1973 Ed., § 7-1104.


§ 9–1213.05. Failure to remove.

In case the owner, agent, or other person or persons in control of the property along which such fence, barrier, or obstruction unlawfully exists cannot be found within 5 days after the issue of such notice, the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall publish such notice twice a week for 2 successive weeks in 1 daily newspaper of general circulation published in the District of Columbia. If within 5 days after the last publication of said notice the fence, barrier, or obstruction therein described be not removed, the Inspector of Buildings of said District shall immediately cause such fence, barrier, or obstruction to be removed, and the expense of such removal shall be paid out of the Assessment and Permit Fund; and the cost of such removal, together with the cost of said advertising, shall be assessed against said property and collected as general taxes in said District are assessed and collected; and the funds from which said payments are made shall be reimbursed from such collections.


(July 8, 1898, 30 Stat. 725, ch. 640, § 5.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-805.

1973 Ed., § 7-1105.

Editor's Notes

Department of Inspections abolished: The Department of Inspections was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. Reorganization Order No. 55 of the Board of Commissioners, dated June 30, 1953, and amended August 13, 1953, and December 17, 1953, established under the direction and control of a Commissioner, a Department of Licenses and Inspections headed by a Director. The Order set out the purpose, organization, and functions of the new Department. The Order provided that all of the functions and positions of the following named organizations were transferred to the new Department of Licenses and Inspections: The Department of Inspections including the Engineering Section, the Building Inspection Section, the Electrical Section, the Elevator Inspection Section, the Fire Safety Inspection Section, the Plumbing Inspection Section, the Smoke and Boiler Inspection Section, and the Administrative Section, and similarly the Department of Weights, Measures and Markets, the License Bureau, the License Board, the License Committee, the Board of Special Appeals, the Board for the Condemnation of Dangerous and Unsafe Buildings, and the Central Permit Bureau. The Order provided that in accordance with the provisions of Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952 the named organizations were abolished. Functions vested in the Department of Licenses and Inspection by Reorganization Order No. 55 were transferred to the Director of the Department of Economic Development by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. The Department of Economic Development was replaced by the Department of Licenses, Investigation and Inspections by Mayor’s Order No. 78-42, dated February 17, 1978.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.