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Tuesday
Dec102013

What Happens When DC Landlord & Tenant Court is Closed for Snow

The DC Court System, including Landlord & Tenant Court have closed due to the snow emergency today, December 10, 2013.

Because of the number of courts in this area that isn't always easy to determine from local news announcements. The DC Court System makes their own determination about staying open or closed, so just because DC Government or the Federal Courts are closed doesn't mean our courts are. On a side note, the DC Housing Authority is an independent agency and also makes it's own determination, although they usually follow city government. The courts do not.

The best way to determine if DC Superior Court, and therefore Landlord & Tenant Court is closed, is to look at their website, www.dccourts.gov, or call the main information line at 202 879-1010. Usually if court is closed the announcement will be that the court is "Open on Emergency Schedule-Juvenile New Referrals; Adult Arraignments; preventive detention hearings will proceed. Jurors don't report." That can seem a little confusing but what it actually means is that the only things going on are arraignments, for both adults and juveniles, and children being taken into government care due to abuse or neglect.

If court is closed, like today, and you have a landlord/tenant case scheduled, you need to figure out the new court date. The clerks office is mainly closed when court is closed so you have to wait until court reopens and then be patient. The clerks office has all their normal work to do plus rescheduling all those hearings. New dates are usually mailed out but you can also check your case docket on the DC Court's Court Cases Online system to see if a new date has been set.

Until then, sit tight, enjoy the snow. Oh but don't forget to shovel the snow on the walks around your properties unless you've arranged to have the tenants do it. You don't want a DCRA fine to add to your frustration.

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