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

Requesting Over $10,000

Filing a case for more than $10,000

Public Terminals – Make an Appointment Online
You now can reserve a public computer terminal to review your case and case images in the case management system.

The Civil Actions Branch is responsible for processing requests that exceed $10,000 and matters seeking equitable relief. When seeking equitable relief, a litigant is requesting an order from a judge to have someone perform a certain act or not.

The Civil Division also has a courtroom called Judge in Chambers (JIC) that handles a wide variety of emergency hearings, short-term cases, and other administrative matters such as name changes or other changes to vital records. Click here for information about the most common matters handled in JIC, as well as applications and forms you can print or complete online. In some instances, applicants/parties may be required to attend a hearing before a judge in JIC. These hearings will rarely be on the same day that an applicant/party first comes to the court and are held remotely.

Click here for information about the Housing Conditions Court, which allows tenants to sue landlords for D.C. Housing Code violations on a fast-tracked basis.

Filing a civil action
  • A complaint form and summons must be filed with the clerk. The person filing a suit is called the “plaintiff.” The person who is being sued is known as the “defendant.” A complaint can involve more than one plaintiff and/or defendant. Each party listed on the complaint must have the following, if known to the plaintiff at the time of filing: first name, last name and address. If the name and/or address of a party is unknown, please indicate “UNKNOWN.” Note that the plaintiff or plaintiff’s attorney must sign the complaint and include their first and last name, bar number, address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if applicable) at the time of filing.

  • One copy of the original complaint for each defendant listed on the complaint should be provided to the clerk.

  • A summons must be completed for each named defendant on the complaint. There is no additional fee to issue more than one (initial) summons per defendant at the time of filing the complaint. A $10 fee is required to issue an alias (second) summons on a defendant after an initial summons has been issued by the clerk. There is no fee to have an initial summons issued for service against the District of Columbia or the Mayor. Personal checks are accepted in person with a photograph ID.

  • Litigants seeking to waive the fee for filing a complaint must submit an application to waive court costs along with the complaint.
Important Information
  • The complaint and subsequent papers must be on white 8-1/2 x 11 paper single sided and fastened at the top.
  • "DC Superior Court" must be indicated across the top of the first page on each filing.
  • Pro se parties must sign the complaint and include their address and telephone number (A handwritten signature must be provided, a name affixed by a rubber stamp is not acceptable as a signature).
  • Discovery pleadings are not filed with the court unless the court so orders.
Civil Division

Presiding Judge: Hon. Todd Edelman
Deputy Presiding Judge: Hon. Alfred Irving Jr.
Director: Lynn Magee
Deputy Director: Thomasine Marshall

Moultrie Courthouse
500 Indiana Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001

Get Directions
Hours of Operation

8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m. to 12 noon

6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (only Small Claims and Landlord & Tenant)

Filings can be made in the after-hours filing box in the lobby of the Moultrie Courthouse.

Branch Telephone Numbers

Civil Actions Branch:
(202) 879-1133

Landlord and Tenant Branch:
(202) 879-4879

Small Claims Branch:
(202) 879-1120

Courtroom Support Branch:
(202) 879-1750