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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I appeal a judge’s decision?

"Yes, a judge’s decision may be appealed by filing a “Notice of Appeal.” A Notice of Appeal can be filed in person at DC Superior Court, Criminal Information, Room 4001 or by mail: DC Superior Court, 500 Indiana Ave, NW, Criminal Division, Room 4001, Washington, DC 20001. The filing fee is one hundred dollars ($100).

Do Warrants expire?

According to law, bench warrants do not expire and are outstanding until either executed or quashed by the Judge. A warrant is executed when a law enforcement official has picked up the defendant and brought him before the court. A bench warrant is quashed when a judge issues an order.

Do you have interpreter services available?

The Office of Court Interpreting Services provides interpreters for persons who do not speak or understand English or who are hearing impaired. For more information regarding the Office of Court Interpreting services please visit the Request an Interpreter section. 

How can I get assistance with filing a motion?

Assistance to file a motion can be obtained through a private attorney, legal aid, or a law school. For sample motions and instructions, you may also visit: the Public Defender Service, 633 3rd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, or the DC Employment Justice Center Worker’s Rights Clinics held every Wednesday from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Bread for the City, 1525 7th Street, NW (between P & Q Streets).

How can I request a Haircut or Shave for an inmate at the D.C. Jail?

An attorney can request that an inmate receive a haircut/shave before a court appearance by submitting a request via fax, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The request must include the inmate’s name and DCDC number, and must allow adequate time to comply with the request. •For inmates at the JAIL, the fax number is (202) 699-4877 •For inmates at CTF, the fax number is (202) 698-3301

How do I change my citation court date?

When requesting a change in citation date you must present the citation notice and a Motion to Change the Citation Date. You can obtain a Motion to Change Citation Date form from the Criminal Division’s Information Office located in Room 4001 of the Moultrie Courthouse Building, 500 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20001. Citations are heard each week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, therefore, the new date must be scheduled for one of those days. If your court date is within two weeks or less of your request the date cannot be changed.

How do I expunge/seal my record?

In order to inquire about having your record expunged or sealed you must contact the Public Defenders Service for the District of Columbia at (800) 341-2582, in person at the following address: The Public Defenders Service, 633 3rd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, or visit:

How do I find out who my lawyer is?

Call the Criminal Information Center at (202) 879-1373.

I lost my court paperwork; what should I do?

Call the Criminal Information Center at (202) 879-1373 or visit Court Cases Online.

If I need an extension to pay my fine, restitution or Victims of Violent Crime Fee what can I do?

You need to file a motion with the judge asking for an extension. The motion can be filed in the Criminal Information Office, room 4001 of the Moultrie Courthouse.

Is there a charge for a criminal history search?

"To obtain a criminal history search you should go to the Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters located at the Municipal Building, 300 Indiana Avenue NW, Room 3055, Washington, DC, 20001, or call (202) 727-4357. All Court records, except expunged or sealed cases, are public records. If you are a third party requesting criminal case information search there is a $10.00 fee that must be submitted along with a written request. Government and Non-profit organizations are not required to pay a fee for criminal case history searches. "

What are the hours of operation for Arraignment Court (C-10)?
Day of Week Time
Monday thru Friday 1:00 p.m. - lockups
Tuesdays, Thursdays 11:00 a.m. - citations
Saturdays and holidays 11:00 a.m.
What does a “hold” mean?

You will sometimes hear the USAO request a 3 or 5 day hold which means that the defendant will not be released that day, but will have a hearing within 3 or 5 days time to determine whether the defendant can be released from jail.

What does “no paper” mean?

If an arrest charge(s) is “no papered,” it means that the USAO or OAG has decided not to prosecute and the defendant is released if that defendant has no other pending matters. In C-10, each defendant whose arrest charge(s) has been “no papered” will receive an information sheet that explains “no papering” more fully.

What is a Bench Warrant?

A bench warrant is a judicial order commanding law enforcement to arrest a person and bring them before the Court.

What is my case number?

To find out your case number, call the Criminal Information Office at (202) 879-1373 or go to Court Cases Online (link to public access) and search on your name.

What is my next court date?

When a defendant is presented or arraigned in C-10, the next court appearance date will be announced at the conclusion of the hearing. Information on next Court dates is also available in Room 4001 or by phone at (202) 879-1373.

What is the DC Jail release process?

Before releasing an inmate, the DC Jail Records Office staff must first run checks for outstanding warrants, detainers, and any other impediment that would prevent release. If you believe that an inmate should have been released, you should first contact the DC Jail’s Record Office at (202) 673-8257. For additional questions, you may call the Attorney Advisor for the Criminal Division at (202) 879-1416.

What is the time frame needed to process a "writ"?

Writs are used to bring a prisoner here to the District of Columbia from another jurisdiction/state in order to prosecute him/her or to have him/her testify in a case as a witness. It is the US Marshal Service (USMS) that executes writs (picks up the prisoner and brings them to DC). Because of the paperwork and bureaucratic red tape involved, the USMS needs at least 30 days to process writs, 40 days if the prisoner is incarcerated in the state of Virginia. The clock does not start running until the USMS gets the paperwork.

What is the Victim of Violent Crime Compensation Act (VVCA)?

The Victim of Violent Crime Compensation Act created a compensation program for victims of violent crime in the District of Columbia. The program is funded primarily through Court ordered fees on persons convicted of crimes in the District of Columbia. The court costs cannot be waived and the Act includes provisions for collection of court costs from defendants who are sentenced to terms of incarceration while they are serving their sentences and after being released on parole.

What is the wait time for Halfway House Placement?

To ensure the health and safety of all Halfway House residents, all Defendants must be "medically cleared" before being placed in a Halfway House. The medical clearance process generally takes 2-4 days, and no placements are done on the weekends. If there is a defendant for whom you would like to obtain his/her placement status, please call the Attorney Adviser for the Criminal Division at (202) 879-1416.

What recourse do I have if I believe a Judge has acted unfairly?

If you believe that a judge has acted unfairly you may contact the District of Columbia Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure, 515 5th Street, NW, Room 246 ,Washington, DC 20001.

What recourse do I have if I believe an attorney has acted unfairly?

If you believe that an attorney has acted unfairly, you may contact the Office of Bar Counsel, Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Board of Professional Responsibility: 515 5th Street, NW, Building A, Suite 117, Washington, DC 20001; or call: (202) 638-1501.

What should I do and where do I go if I have an outstanding warrant?

It is important to know that if you have an outstanding warrant, you may be subject to arrest at any time. To avoid being arrested, you should surrender yourself. The type of warrant you have pending, (i.e. bench or arrest), will determine where you are to surrender. For example, if you have a Warrant you must go the Special Proceedings Branch, Warrant Office, Room 4201, of the Moultrie Courthouse. If you have a Traffic Case you should go to Courtroom 115 or 120 and notify the clerk that you have an outstanding warrant.

What time do I have to be at court?

You should be at the designated courtroom at 9:00 am on the day of your court date unless otherwise noted on your Notice to Return, Judicial Summons or Citation to Appear.

What type of information can I obtain from the Criminal Information Office about criminal cases?

Case number for a specific person The defense attorney’s name and contact number Charges filed in a case Next court date Payment information Defendant’s release or detention status Case status Case disposition.

When do I get my bond refunded?

You cannot get your bond refund until your case is closed, a Judge orders a refund, or the bond amount is reduced.

When will a defendant be arraigned?

Cases are called when all the paperwork and interviews are completed. A defendant is processed and interviewed by the Pretrial Services Agency (PSA), and defense counsel, and the court case is prepared once the USAO/OAG has determined whether or not to prosecute. United States Marshals are responsible for transporting arrestees within the Courthouse. If a defendant has multiple cases in different courtrooms, this can significantly affect the time for the defendant’s appearance in C-10.

Where do I go for a criminal history check?

"For a criminal history check, you must go to the Metropolitan Police Department Records Division located at 300 Indiana Avenue NW 3rd Floor, Washington, DC There is a $7.00 fee for a Criminal History report. If the report is for someone other than yourself, you must have that person’s written consent. "

Where do I pay a Court ordered fine, restitution, or Victims of Violent Crime Compensation Act (VVCCA)?

You can either make a payment in person at Room 4003 of the Moultrie Building Courthouse, located at 500 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001, or mailing the payment to the following address: DC Superior Court, 500 Indiana Avenue, NW, Criminal Finance – Room 4003, Washington, DC 20001. Make the check or money order payable to Clerk, DC Courts, and include the case number to which the payment should be applied. If you do not provide the case number, we may return the payment to the sender.

Where do I post a bond?

You can post a bond by coming to room 4203 of the Moultrie Building Courthouse, located at 500 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Bonds must be paid in cash.

Where will a defendant be arraigned?

Traffic Case Arraignments Courtroom 115 Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Cases Courtroom 119 Misdemeanor 6th and 7th District Cases Courtroom 221 All felonies (including 6th & 7th District Cases) Courtroom C-10 Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Cases Courtroom 119 Misdemeanor 6th and 7th District Cases Courtroom 221 All felonies (including 6th & 7th District Cases) Courtroom C-10.

Who do I contact if I have a question about probation ordered in a case?

"Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) 633 Indiana Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20002-2902 (202) 220-5300 "