The article will provide clients of the Superior Court with an overview of the jurisdiction and powers of the Court and how they differ from other Federal Court jurisdictions. This will allow them to understand their legal rights and obligations better and broaden their knowledge of what could be required if they find themselves in a DC Superior Court setting.
What is D.C. Superior Court
The Superior Court of the District of Columbia is one of two separate but coequal United States courts in Washington, D.C. It has jurisdiction over all criminal and civil cases involving District of Columbia or federal government matters. The Court is the United States district court for the capital district and its territories.
The Supreme Court of the District of Columbia has exclusive original jurisdiction for all cases involving a question of law as to which there is no appeal from a decision by any other court having appellate jurisdiction over the claim and a right to appeal conferred by statute or rule upon any party to a lawsuit in another federal court. It has appellate jurisdiction over all other civil cases in which it decides the question itself, appeals from orders of trial judges following trials without a jury, appeals from decisions of administrative agencies in which it participates, and appeals from decisions made under its seal.
Who Needs D.C. Superior Court
The Superior Court of the District of Columbia is the trial court for all civil and criminal cases in Washington, D.C. The Court has jurisdiction over all civil claims and lawsuits brought before the Court, including:
Children Facing Abuse and Neglect
If your child has been abused or neglected by another person (such as their caregiver), then the D.C. Superior Court may be able to help you get justice for your child’s injuries or death. You’ll need to file a complaint with the Court and provide evidence of abuse or neglect when filing your case. Then you’ll have to attend hearings before a judge until your case goes to trial.
Human Trafficking Victims
The Court has established a specialized docket to address the needs of human trafficking victims. The docket will provide a forum for these victims to hear their cases promptly and to ensure that they receive information about their rights and resources as they navigate the court system.
Runaway, Homeless, and Throwaway Youth
The Court has created a specialized docket to address the needs of runaway, homeless or throwaway youth who have been charged with an offense. The docket will provide a forum for these youth to hear their cases promptly and to ensure that they receive information about their rights and resources as they navigate the court system.
Parents Fighting for Child Support Payments
When one parent fails to pay child support, it can be difficult for the custodial parent to make ends meet. If you are owed child support and need help collecting it, you can file a motion in D.C. Superior Court seeking enforcement of the order.
Individuals Petitioning for Gun Violence Protection Orders
If someone threatens you or your family with physical harm, a gun violence protection order may be an option to keep yourself safe. With this type of order, your abuser may not have access to weapons or ammunition and must stay away from you and your home or place of employment for up to one year.
Through the D.C. Superior Court website, you can learn a lot about the Court and how it functions. You can also find updates on recent events, news stories, and information of interest to the public. A timeline of key dates in the history of the Court is another valuable feature of the site. It may be possible to request additional information from other websites, but that would be outside the scope of this article. If you want to know more about D.C. Superior Court, your best bet is their official website.