Superior Court Amends Landlord and Tenant Branch Rules
May 23, 2023
On May 15 the Superior Court of the District of Columbia issued Promulgation Order 23-02 amending 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, effective immediately.
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.