District of Columbia, Superior Court
Service of Writs of Restitution (Evictions)
The United States Marshal for the Superior Court District of Columbia is responsible for serving process for the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. This process includes Writs of Restitution that are issued for the recovery by eviction of tenants and property for judgment and/or restitution. In all cases the following laws, regulations and procedures will be followed.
Writs are filed in Landlord and Tenants Court (L&T). The L&T office then forwards the writ to the U.S. Marshals' office for scheduling of the actual eviction. Issued Writs have a life of 75 calendar days.
Scheduling of the Eviction by the USMS
Upon receipt of the Writ by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), it is filed with others having addresses in that quadrant of the city and by the date received. Each weekday (Monday-Friday) a Schedule of Evictions is posted reflecting addresses which are scheduled for execution. Lists are posted in L&T Court Clerk's office. There are no evictions scheduled on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or on Judicial Training days.
District of Columbia Law and Superior Court Rules prohibit the execution of evictions when a 50% or greater chance of precipitation is forecasted for the next 24 hours. Additionally, if the weather forecast calls for temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 24 hours, evictions other than those designated as Commercial Property will be canceled.
Official weather determinations are made daily at 8:00am., and are based on the National Weather Service Forecast for the Ronald Reagan National Airport, formerly National Airport, the official weather location for the District of Columbia.
When evictions are canceled due to weather and the Writ expires due to no fault of the U.S. Marshals Service, the Landlord will be required to re-file for an Alias Writ and a new filing fee will be required. All Writs identified as Alias Writs and those that are about to expire, will be considered for priority scheduling.
Evictions that are canceled due to weather or actions of the United States Marshals Service and where the property owner is in no way at fault, will be rescheduled for the next available scheduled eviction date, providing the Writ does not expire.
Scheduled times of evictions are subject to be changed at the discretion of the United States Marshals Service
Evictions that are started will continue until all tenants and their property have been removed and the premised retuned to the property owner. The exceptions to this rule are evictions that are canceled by the Court, Property Management, or locations where the tenant's property is so extensive that hours of darkness result before the eviction is completed. A continuation of the eviction under hours of darkness could result in damage to property and/or injuries to the eviction crew. That eviction would be suspended and would resume at 9:00am. the following day.
When scheduling a known Walk-Thru eviction, the Landlord is not required to have an eviction crew present. However, if any of the tenant's property remains inside the premises and insufficient crew or persons are present to remove it, the eviction will be canceled and the Landlord will be required to re-file the Writ at their own expense.
Deputy U.S. Marshals (DUSMs) are law enforcement officers. Their official duties at times may result in delayed arrival to scheduled evictions.
The daily Schedule of Evictions will be delivered to the L&T office in the afternoon on the last business day prior to the date of execution.
The Landlord or their designated representative will be notified at least one business day in advance of the scheduling of their Writ. If the Landlord is unwilling to agree to the first scheduled date, only two additional opportunities for scheduling their eviction will occur.
Deputy U.S. Marshals will notify U.S Marshals Service Communications of their arrival to all evictions. If property management and the eviction crew are not present, the Deputies will notify Communications of this and wait the allotted time (10 minutes) before canceling the eviction and proceeding to the next scheduled eviction. The Landlord of the canceled Writ will be required to re-file for a new Writ at their own expense in these instances.
Property owners are responsible for having the necessary means for accomplishing evictions. For example, tow trucks for removal of tenant's vehicles, a locksmith to gain entry into the premises, hand trucks for removal of heavy property, etc.
Residential Evictions - Landlords or their representatives are responsible for:
- Ensuring entry can be made in a reasonable time.
- Hiring their own eviction crew in sufficient numbers. See below for minimum manpower requirements:
House 25 person 1 bedroom apartment 10 person 2 bedroom apartment 15 person 3 bedroom apartment 20 person
(The minimum numbers apply to those on the site and available to work. Persons present in only supervisory capacities will not count toward the required total).
- Being present during eviction.
- Ensuring the address being evicted reflects the exact address on the Writ to include the apartment number or exact location. (This must be done before the arrival of the DUSMs. There can be no ambiguity about the premises to be evicted.
- Providing an accurate contact number m the Writ.
- Ensuring that there are sufficient quantities of plastic bags or boxes available to secure small items of tenant property.
Commercial Property Evictions - All commercial evictions are required to be surveyed by the USMS prior to being executed. The USMS will contact property management to arrange for a DUSM to survey the property and inform them or their representative of the following:
- The number of movers that are required.
- The estimated hours required to complete the eviction.
- Any other special equipment, personnel required or payment of any additional fees.
If the property manager or representative is unable to meet the conditions required to safely execute the eviction, the Writ will be canceled. Property management will have to re-file for a new Writ and pay all applicable fees.
If special circumstances exist, such as a known pet, hazardous conditions, controlled items, or unstable personalities, please advise the U.S. Marshals Service representative whey contacted to schedule the Writ.
Food items, chemicals (to include perfumes, household cleansers, etc.), dirty dishes, items posing a danger to the immediate public, and items deemed as trash will not be removed from the property. Property owners will make arrangements after the eviction is completed for the disposal of items left in the premises. Food can be removed by the tenant provided they are present to take custody and their possessions violates no known law or statute.
In addition to the filing fee charged by the Court, the U.S. Marshals Service charges a fee for executing the Writ. A Writ of Restitution will be executed by deputies in one hour or less and results in a charge of $165.00 per hour or any fraction thereof.
Landlord & Tenants Court
510 4th Street NW, Room 110
Phone: (202) 616-8633
United States Marshals Service
555 4th Street, NW., 11th Floor
Phone: (202) 616-8631/8633
United States Marshal
Superior Court, District of Columbia
500 Indiana Avenue, NW., Room C-250
Washington, DC 20001