The Rulemaking Process
Step One: Review by the Advisory Committee
The relevant advisory committee reviews proposed changes to the rules. In addition to proposals submitted by the public or committee members, the Civil Rules Advisory Committee and the Criminal Rules Advisory Committee review annual additions or amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure.
Step Two: Review by the Superior Court Rules Committee
If an advisory committee approves a proposal (or a variation of it), the proposal is transmitted to the Superior Court Rules Committee for review. In the case of federal amendments, the Civil Rules Advisory Committee or the Criminal Rules Advisory Committee will also alert the Superior Court Rules Committee if it wishes to reject a federal amendment.
Step Three: Publication of Notice and Request for Comment
Any amendments or additions approved by the Superior Court Rules Committee are then published for public comment in the Daily Washington Law Reporter and on the DC Courts’ website. The Notice and Request for Comment is also distributed to the DC Bar and other stakeholders.
Step Four: Review of Public Comments and Recommendation to Board of Judges
The Superior Court Rules Committee reviews and considers any comments received from the public in formulating its recommendation to the Superior Court Board of Judges.
Step Five: Consideration by the Board of Judges
The Superior Court Board of Judges reviews and considers rule changes recommended by the Superior Court Rules Committee.
Step Six: Transmission to the Court of Appeals and/or Promulgation
If the Superior Court Board of Judges approves changes to the Superior Court Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure, and these changes modify the corresponding federal rules, then the changes must be submitted to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (“DCCA”) for approval. All other rules approved by the Superior Court Board of Judges can be promulgated immediately by the Chief Judge of the Superior Court. In the case of civil and criminal rules submitted to the DCCA, the Chief Judge can promulgate the amendments or new rules upon receiving the DCCA’s approval.