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

Welcome to the District of Columbia Courts

Welcome to the District of Columbia Courts. The Courts are here to serve you, and we hope that this information will make it easier for you to complete your business with us. If you have any suggestions about how we might better assist you, please leave a note in any of the suggestion boxes located throughout the Courts, or contact the Executive Office, Room 6680, 500 Indiana Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20001. (202) 879-1700.

The DC Courts are comprised of the DC Court of Appeals, the Superior Court of DC, and the Court System, which provides administrative support to both courts.

The DC Courts are the third branch of the District of Columbia government. The Mayor presides over the executive branch and the Council of the District of Columbia is the legislative branch. The Courts hear and decide cases based on the evidence and the applicable law.

There are about 120 judges in the two courts as well as 24 magistrate judges and a professional staff of approximately 1,500.

To accomplish the DC Courts’ mission the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration has established the following standard.
The Code of Judicial Conduct of the District of Columbia was adopted by the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration of the District of Columbia Courts on November 15, 2011, with an effective date of January 1, 2012.
Organizational performance comprises the actual output or results of an organization as measured against its intended outputs (or goals and objectives).
The District of Columbia Courts envisions a court system that is open to all, is trusted by all, and provides justice for all. To support that vision of openness and accessibility, this web page provides news and information about the Courts.

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities

Access to the DC Courts

It is the intent of the DC Courts to provide access to services, programs, and activities that are offered by the DC Courts to any qualified participant, applicant, or member of the public with a disability, upon reasonable notice (when necessary) and without requiring action which would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a service, program, or activity or in undue financial or administrative burden. You can contact the ADA Coordinator at ADACoordinator [at] dcsc.gov..

Website Accessibility

The DC Courts' website was developed for persons who are interested in the District of Columbia Courts. We strive to make it as accessible as possible and keep that goal in mind when developing web pages and adding content. Also, our Information Technology Division periodically tests the website, using on-line accessibility tools, to help ensure that it continues to meet accessibility standards. If you encounter any difficulties or have any comments or feedback, please send an email to us at webmaster [at] dcsc.gov We will consider all suggestions for improvement and make whatever changes are reasonably possible. We appreciate your input.

Safety & Security

The United States Marshals Service, with the assistance of Court Security Officers (CSO), is responsible for keeping the District of Columbia Courts a safe and secure environment for all. Every person entering the DC Courts is subject to search. Handheld possessions are subject to search and inspection. Dangerous items will be confiscated. Weapons are prohibited and will be confiscated.

All persons entering the courthouse are asked to:

  • Empty their pockets and place the contents in a container for X-ray scanning.
  • Place overcoats on the belt of the X-ray scanning machine. Possessions should be left in the coat pockets.
  • Place purses, briefcases, backpacks, and parcels on the X-ray machine.
  • Walk through the metal detector.

If the x-ray or metal detector sets off an alert or alarm, a CSO may perform another scan, using a hand-held wand. The CSO also may conduct a physical search of personal articles to determine the cause of the alert or alarm.

There are a variety of potentially hazardous and dangerous items that are not permitted inside court facilities. In general, items that could be used to injure or harm another person are not permitted. If in doubt about an item, do not bring it to court. Swiss Army Knives and other pocket knives are among the prohibited items. The DC Courts’ Weapons policy can be found here.

Before leaving the security screening area, persons entering the courthouse should be sure to retrieve all personal possessions.

Arranging Child Care

The Child Care Center is open free of charge to members of the public visiting the DC Courts.