Seals of the Court of Appeals and Superior Court
District of Columbia Courts

Appeals Matters

General Information

As the highest court for the District of Columbia, the Court of Appeals is authorized to review all final orders, judgments and specified interlocutory orders of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Court also has jurisdiction to review decisions of administrative agencies, boards, and commissions of the District of Columbia government, as well as to answer questions of law certified by federal and state appellate courts. As authorized by Congress, the Court reviews proposed rules of the Superior Court and promulgates its own rules.

Appeal a DC Superior Court judge’s ruling

A notice of appeal from a final order or judgment of a Superior Court judge must be filed within 30 days after the order or judgment is entered. If you wish to extend the time to file a notice of appeal, you must file a motion with the Superior Court judge to request an extension of time (not to exceed an additional 30 days). See D.C. App. R. 4. If you are filing a motion to proceed in forma pauperis you should attach your notice of appeal to the motion.

If the order or judgment was entered by a magistrate judge, please see the tab "Request a Review."

Civil Division

Civil Actions Branch Case: A Notice of Appeal from a final order or judgment must be filed in the Civil Actions Branch in Room 5000 of the Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Avenue, NW.

Landlord and Tenant Branch Case: A Notice of Appeal from a final order or judgment must be filed in the Landlord and Tenant Branch in Court Building B, Room 110, 510 4th Street, NW.

Small Claims Case: An Application for Allowance of Appeal from the Small Claims and Conciliation Branch (rather than a notice of appeal) must be filed within 3 days in the Court of Appeals Clerk’s Office, 430 E Street, NW.

Family Court

A Notice of Appeal from a final order or judgment of the Family Court must be filed in the Family Court’s Central Intake Center on the JM level of the Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Ave., NW.

Criminal Division

A Notice of Appeal from a final order or judgment of the Criminal Division must be filed in Room 4001 of the Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Ave., NW.

If the penalty imposed is a fine of less than $50, you must file an Application for Allowance of Appeal within 3 days in the Court of Appeals Clerk’s Office, 430 E Street, NW.

Domestic Violence Unit

A Notice of Appeal from a final order or judgment of the Domestic Violence Unit must be filed in the Domestic Violence Unit Clerk’s Office in Room 4510 of the Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Ave., NW.

Probate Division

A Notice of Appeal from a final order or judgment of the Probate Division must be filed in the Legal Branch of the Register of Wills’ Office, Court Building A, Room 312, 515 5th Street, NW.

Tax Division

A Notice of Appeal from a final order or judgment of the Tax Division must be filed in Room 3131 of the Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Ave., NW.

If the order you seek to appeal was decided by a DC Superior Court magistrate judge it must first be reviewed by an associate judge before you can appeal.

Civil Division

To seek review of a magistrate judge’s order or judgment, you must file a written Motion for Review requesting that an associate judge review all or part of the magistrate judge's order, or judgment. The motion must specify the grounds for review (that is, state why you think the decision should be reversed). The Motion for Review must be filed within 14 days after the order or judgment that you are appealing is entered (you can confirm that date in our eAccess database). The Motion for Review should be filed in the branch where the case was heard: Civil Actions Branch, Room 5000 of the Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Avenue, NW; Landlord and Tenant Branch, Court Building B, Room 110, 510 4th Street, NW; Small Claims and Conciliation Branch, Court Building B, Room 119, 510 4th Street, NW.

For small claims cases heard by a magistrate judge, once an associate judge decides the motion for judicial review a party has 3 days to file an application for allowance of an appeal in the Court of Appeals Clerk's Office. For other civil cases, once an associate judge decides the motion for judicial review a party generally has 30 days to note an appeal to the Court of Appeals. Please see the tab, "Appeal a DC Superior Court judge’s ruling" for more information.

Criminal Division

Your attorney may file a Motion for Review of a Magistrate Judge Order within 10 days after a final order or judgment has been entered on the record or served on the party. The motion must specify the order or judgment for which review is being sought and include a written summary of the evidence that was originally presented. The motion must be filed in the Criminal Division, Room 4001 of the Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Ave., NW. The DC Public Defender Service may be able to advise you on the process of filing such a motion.

Domestic Violence Unit

Civil Protection Orders (CPOs)Case: - You must file a Motion for Review requesting that an associate judge review all or part of the magistrate judge’s order or judgment within 10 days after the order or judgment has been entered. The motion must be filed in the Domestic Violence Unit Clerk’s Office in Room 4510 of the Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Ave., NW.

Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Case - Your attorney may file a Motion for Review of a Magistrate Judge Order within 10 days after a final order or judgment has been entered on the record or served on the party. The motion must specify the order or judgment for which review is being sought and include a written summary of the evidence that was originally presented. The motion must be filed in the Domestic Violence Unit Clerk’s Office in Room 4510 of the Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Ave., NW.

Family Court

To seek review of a Family Court magistrate judge's order or judgment, you must file a Motion for Review requesting that an associate judge review all or part of the magistrate judge's order or judgment. The motion must be filed in the Central Intake Center which is located in the Moultrie Courthouse, Room JM-540, 500 Indiana Ave., NW. The motion must be filed within 10 days after the order or judgment is entered in all family cases other than those involving parentage support. For those seeking review of a magistrate judge’s order or judgment issued in a case involving parentage or support cases, a Motion for Review must be filed within 30 days after the order or judgment is issued. Motion forms are available in the Family Court's Central Intake Center for you to complete and file.

Appeal a DC agency ruling

How do I seek review of an Agency’s order or decision?

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals hears appeals in contested cases (within the meaning of DC Code §§ 2-502 (8) & 2-509) from final orders and decisions of the Mayor, the District of Columbia Council, any agency of the District of Columbia (including the Board of Zoning Adjustment of the District of Columbia and the Zoning Commission of the District of Columbia), and the District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency (DC Code §§ 2-510, 11-722). It also hears appeals from orders and decisions of the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (DC Code § 11-722), the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights (DC Code § 2-1403.14), and the Director of the Department of Employment Services granting or denying claims for disability compensation by DC government employees (DC Code § 1-623.28(b)). Many agency appeals are first taken to the Office of Administrative Hearings and then the decision of the Office of Administrative Hearings, in most instances, is appealed to the Court of Appeals. There may be other times that an appeal must go first to another body before it can be appealed to the Court of Appeals. Therefore, it is important to read any notice of appeal rights provided with the decision or order you wish to appeal and comply with any deadlines stated in that notice.

For appeals coming to the Court of Appeals, DC App. R. 15 states that "[u]nless an applicable statute provides a different time frame, the petition for review [of an agency order or decision] must be filed within 30 days after notice is given, in conformance with the rules or regulations of the agency, of the order or decision sought to be reviewed." If the order or decision was made out of the presence of the parties and the notice was sent by mail, you will have an additional 5 days to file the petition for review, counted from the date the notice was mailed.

In general, whether an appeal of a DC agency decision goes to the DC Court of Appeals or the Superior Court depends on whether or not you had a right to a contested case hearing before the DC agency.

NOTE: If you had a hearing before a DC agency, in most cases you appeal that decision or order to the DC Court of Appeals. If you did not have a right to a contested case hearing, you appeal the agency’s decision or order to the DC Superior Court’s Civil Division. To appeal a decision of the DC Office of Tax and Revenue or the DC Real Property Tax Appeals Commission, file your appeal with the DC Superior Court’s Tax Division. Generally, the agency order or decision will direct you how and where to file an appeal. The order or decision might also include information regarding how to seek reconsideration by the agency prior to filing an appeal. Absent extraordinary circumstances, the DC Court of Appeals will not consider any facts that were not first presented to the agency.

If Representing Yourself

If you are considering the possibility of representing yourself in an appeal or need assistance, there are a number of resources available.

Please visit the representing yourself space, and also see here for a series of guides and resources designed for assistance in an appeals process.

E-filing
The public information viewed on the Court Cases Online system reflects the docket entries in civil, criminal, criminal domestic violence and tax cases, probate cases for large estates and small estates, disclaimers of interest, major litigation, wills and foreign estate proceedings.
Search Cases Online
The public information viewed on the Court Cases Online system reflects the docket entries in civil, criminal, criminal domestic violence and tax cases, probate cases for large estates and small estates, disclaimers of interest, major litigation, wills and foreign estate proceedings.
Contact
Judge-in Chambers Office

Moultrie Courthouse
500 Indiana Avenue, NW
Room 4220
Fourth floor

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Hours of Operation

Mondays-Fridays:
8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

 

Exceptions
All government holidays

Office Number

(202) 879 - 1450