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

Major Litigation (LIT) FAQs

Closing the Case - How do I file a settlement agreement?

A settlement agreement should be accompanied by a Praecipe to Accompany Settlement Agreement, so that the Probate Division knows whether the case may be closed or whether there are issues remaining. All settlement agreements are subject to judicial review.

Getting Started - If I am proceeding without prepayment of costs in the underlying case type, do I need to pay the filing fee to open a LIT case?

No

Getting Started - What documents need to be verified to be filed in the Probate Division?

The following pleadings must be verified to be filed in the Probate Division:

1. All petitions - SCR-PD 2(b) and 3
2. Complaints filed in probate matters - SCR-PD 107(a), and 208(a)
3. Accounts - DC Code 20-721
4. Inventories - DC Code 20-711
5. Guardian reports - SCR-PD 328
6. Assignments - SCR-PD 120 and 420
7. Claims - DC Code 20-905(a)
8. Affidavits of mailing and non-mailing in standard probate - SCR-PD 403(a)(8)
9. Any affidavit - SCR-CIV 9
10. Verification and Certificate of Notice - SCR-PD 403(b)(3)
11.Certificate of Completion - SCR-PD 426

According to Superior Court, Civil Division Rule 11, no other pleadings need to be verified. Accordingly, motions, answers, responses, and oppositions do not need to be verified.

Getting Started - What kinds of cases require the filing of a complaint?

1. An action to contest the validity of a will in accordance with DC Code, sec. 20-305

2. An action for payment of a claim in accordance with DC Code, sec. 20-908

3. An action to institute a plenary proceeding in accordance with DC Code, sec. 16-3105

Any other claim for relief that is not required by statute or rule to begin with the filing a petition may begin with the filing of either a complaint or a petition pursuant to Superior Court, Probate Division Rule 407.

Other Questions - Is mediation available in Major Litigation (LIT) cases?

Yes. Mediation is included in the Initial Order and is held after the filing of the joint pretrial statement and before the pretrial conference. The court may also order mediation at any time it deems appropriate, and parties may request a referral to mediation by motion filed with the court.

Other Questions - Should discovery requests (such as interrogatories, depositions, requests for documents or admissions) be filed at Court?

No. According to Superior Court, Civil Division Rule 5(d), the requesting party must retain the original discovery material or, in the case of depositions, make arrangements for the reporter to retain original and unaltered transcripts made at the party’s request. These materials must be retained until the case is concluded, the time for noting an appeal or petitioning for a writ of certiorari has expired, and any such appeal or petition has been decided. Discovery documents may be filed as attachments to a motion or opposition to which they are relevant without permission of the Court and must be filed if the Court so orders. A Certificate regarding Discovery must accompany some filings.

Other Questions - What is the procedure for obtaining a foreign subpoena from the Probate Division?

Submit a copy of the foreign subpoena, a completed Probate Division PBM subpoena form, and a $10.00 fee for each subpoena requested to the Probate Clerk’s Office in the Probate Division on the third floor at 515 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all counsel of record and of all parties not represented by counsel must be included either in the foreign subpoena or on the second page of the PBM subpoena form. If medical records are being requested, the copy of the foreign subpoena must be certified, and the filer will be referred to Judge-in-Chambers for issuance of the subpoena.

Other Questions - When is a Certificate regarding Discovery required?

According to Superior Court, Civil Division Rule 5(d), a Certificate regarding Discovery summarizing all discovery that has occurred to date must be filed as an attachment to (1) any motion regarding discovery, (2) any opposition to a dispositive motion based on the need for discovery, and (3) any motion to extend Scheduling Order dates.