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Superior Court Seeks Comment on Amendments to Landlord and Tenant Branch Rules

February 27, 2023

The D.C. Superior Court is seeking comment on proposed amendments to Rules 3, 3-I, 3-II, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 13-I, 14-I, 14-II, and 16 of the Superior Court Rules of Procedure for the Landlord and Tenant Branch.

Among the major changes, subsection (b)(1)(B) of Rule 3-I was amended in response to the Eviction Record Sealing Authority and Fairness in Renting Amendment Act of 2022, which requires that service of process on the property owner occur at least 30 days before the initial hearing, not counting Sundays and holidays. Also, proof of service must be filed at least 21 days before the initial hearing.

In Rule 3-II, subsection (b)(2)(C) has been amended to require that there be at least 30 days between the issuance of the order granting joinder and the next hearing.

Under Rule 7, subsections (c)(2)(B) and (C) have been amended to allow the court greater flexibility in granting continuances with or without a hearing, to specify when the court may hold or continue the initial hearing without a party’s participation, and to permit a party to participate by video teleconferencing.

And in Rule 11, subsection (b)(2) now clarifies that parties’ rights are automatically reserved if an initial hearing is continued. New subsection (b)(3)(E) requires that, in a case scheduled for an initial hearing, the court verify that the complaint meets applicable requirements before a default is entered against the defendant.

The court’s Rules Committee will recommend approval of the amendments by the Superior Court Board of Judges unless, after consideration of comments from the bar and the public, they are modified or withdrawn.
Submit written comments by March 29, 2023, by email to [email protected] or by mail to:

Pedro E. Briones
Associate General Counsel
District of Columbia Courts
500 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 6715
Washington, DC 20001

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