• Current through October 23, 2012

(a) A search warrant may be issued by any judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or by a United States Magistrate for the District of Columbia when any controlled substances are manufactured, possessed, controlled, sold, prescribed, administered, dispensed, or compounded, in violation of the provisions of the District of Columbia Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1981, and any such controlled substances and any other property designed for use in connection with such unlawful manufacturing, possession, controlling, selling, prescribing, administering, dispensing, or compounding may be seized thereunder, and shall be subject to such disposition as the Court may make thereof and such controlled substances may be taken on the warrant from any house or other place in which they are concealed.

(b) A search warrant cannot be issued but upon probable cause supported by affidavit particularly describing the property and the place to be searched.

(c) The judge or Magistrate must, before issuing the warrant, examine on oath the complainant and any witnesses he may produce, and require their affidavits or take their depositions in writing and cause them to be subscribed by the parties making them.

(d) The affidavits or depositions must set forth the facts tending to establish the grounds of the application or probable cause for believing that they exist.

(e) If the judge or Magistrate is thereupon satisfied of the existence of the grounds of the application or that there is probable cause to believe their existence, he shall issue a search warrant, signed by him, to the Chief of Police of the District of Columbia or any member of the Metropolitan Police Department, the Chief or any member of the District of Columbia Housing Authority Police Department, or the Chief or any member of the United States Park Police, stating the particular grounds or probable cause for its issue and the names of the persons whose affidavits have been taken in support thereof, and commanding the Chief of Police or member of the Metropolitan Police Department, the Chief or member of the District of Columbia Housing Authority Police Department, or the Chief or member of the United States Park Police forthwith to search the place named for the property specified and to bring it before the judge or Magistrate.

(f) A search warrant may in all cases be served by any of the officers mentioned in its direction, but by no other person, except in aid of the officer on his requiring it, he being present and acting in its execution.

(g) The officer may break open any outer or inner door or window of a house, or any part of a house, or anything therein, to execute the warrant, if, after notice of his authority and purpose, he is refused admittance.

(h) The judge or Magistrate shall insert a direction in the warrant that it may be served at any time in the day or night.

(i) A search warrant must be executed and returned to the judge or Magistrate who issued it within 10 days after its date; after the expiration of this time the warrant, unless executed, is void.

(j) When the officer or the designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department, the District of Columbia Housing Authority Police Department, or the United States Park Police takes property under the warrant, he must give a copy of the warrant together with a receipt for the property taken (specifying it in detail) to the person from whom it was taken by him, or in whose possession it was found; or in the absence of any person, he must leave it in the place where he found the property.

(k) The officer or the designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department, the District of Columbia Housing Authority Police Department, or the United States Park Police must forthwith return the warrant to the judge or Magistrate and deliver to him a written inventory of the property taken, made publicly or in the presence of the person from whose possession it was taken, and of the applicant for the warrant, if they are present, verified by the affidavit of the officer at the foot of the inventory and taken before the judge or Magistrate at the time, to the following in effect:   "I, __________, the officer by whom this warrant was executed, do swear that the above inventory contains a true and detailed account of all the property taken by me on the warrant."

(l) The judge or Magistrate must thereupon, if required, deliver a copy of the inventory to the person from whose possession the property was taken and to the applicant for the warrant.

(m) The judge or Magistrate must annex the affidavits, search warrant, return, inventory, and evidence, and at once file the same, together with a copy of the record of his proceedings, with the Clerk of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

(n) Whoever shall knowingly and willfully obstruct, resist, or oppose any such officer or person in serving or attempting to serve or execute any such search warrant, or shall assault, beat, or wound any such officer or person, knowing him to be an officer or person so authorized, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 2 years.

(June 20, 1938, 52 Stat. 792, ch. 532, § 14; Apr. 1, 1942, 56 Stat. 190, ch. 207, § 1; July 24, 1956, 70 Stat. 620, ch. 676, title III, § 301(k); July 8, 1963, 77 Stat. 77, Pub. L. 88-60, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 570, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(a); Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 604(b)(4), 28 DCR 3081; Nov. 17, 1981, D.C. Law 4-52, § 3(d), 28 DCR 4348; Aug. 2, 1983, D.C. Law 5-24, § 14, 30 DCR 3341; May 10, 1989, D.C. Law 7-231, § 42(b), 36 DCR 492; June 13, 1990, D.C. Law 8-138, § 4, 37 DCR 2638; Mar. 7, 1991, D.C. Law 8-227, § 3, 38 DCR 224; June 12, 1999, D.C. Law 12-284, § 11, 46 DCR 1328; Apr. 12, 2005, D.C. Law 15-337, § 3, 52 DCR 2278.)

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-565.

1973 Ed., § 33-414.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-337 rewrote subsec. (e); and, in subsecs. (j) and (k), substituted "Metropolitan Police Department, the District of Columbia Housing Authority Police Department, or the United States Park Police" for "Metropolitan Police Department".

Temporary Amendments of Section

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 11 of Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-282, May 28, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 5148).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of District of Columbia Housing Authority Police Department Temporary Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Law 15-249, March 17, 2005, law notification 52 DCR 4125).

Emergency Act Amendments

For temporary amendment of section, see § 11 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization and Street Solicitation for Prostitution Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-428, August 6, 1998, 45 DCR 5884), § 11 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-506, November 10, 1998, 45 DCR 8139), and § 11 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-13, February 8, 1999, 46 DCR 2333).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of District of Columbia Housing Authority Police Department Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-555, October 26, 2004, 51 DCR 10367).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of District of Columbia Housing Authority Police Department Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-35, February 17, 2005, 52 DCR 3024).

Legislative History of Laws

For legislative history of D.C. Law 4-29, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 48-901.02.

For legislative history of D.C. Law 4-52, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 48-904.01.

Law 5-24 was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 5-169, which was referred to the Committee of the Whole. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on May 10, 1983, and May 24, 1983, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on June 9, 1983, it was assigned Act No. 5-41 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review.

For legislative history of D.C. Law 7-231, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 48-905.07.

For legislative history of D.C. Law 8-138, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 48-904.03a.

Law 8-227 was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 8-480, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on December 4, 1990, and December 18, 1990, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on December 27, 1990, it was assigned Act No. 8-310 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review.

For legislative history of D.C. Law 12-284, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 48-903.02.

Law 15-337, the "District of Columbia Housing Authority Amendment Act of 2004", was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 15-1076 which was referred to the Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on December 7, 2004, and December 21, 2004, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on January 19, 2005, it was assigned Act No. 15-752 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 15- 337 became effective on April 12, 2005.

References in Text

"The District of Columbia Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1981," referred to near the middle of subsection (a), is D.C. Law 4-29.

Editor's Notes

Former § 33-514 was redesignated to be § 33-565, 1981 Ed.] upon enactment of D.C. Law 4-29.

Miscellaneous Notes

Office of Major and Superintendent of Metropolitan Police abolished: The Office of the Major and Superintendent of Metropolitan Police was abolished and all functions of that office transferred to and vested in the Chief of Police. The Assistant Superintendent, Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Police Department was designated "Deputy Chief of Police, Executive Officer"; the Assistant Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police in command of the Detective Bureau was designated "Deputy Chief of Police, Chief of Detectives"; and each other Assistant Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police was designated "Deputy Chief of Police" by Reorganization Order No. 7, dated September 16, 1952. Reorganization Order No. 7 was replaced by Organization Order No. 153, dated November 10, 1966.

Mayor to implement public information program: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 48-901.02.