Requesting Over $10,000
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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.
Click here for information on the Housing Conditions Calendar, allowing tenants to sue landlords for DC Housing Code violations on an expedited basis
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.
- 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.