University of the District of Columbia Law Review


Courtney Cross


The statute governing civil protection orders in the District of Columbia is the Intrafamily Offenses Act,1 which has been in effect since 1970.2 This statute has been amended frequently over the past 45 years. While some of these changes have been clerical3 or procedural,4 there have also been substantive amendments which, inter alia,significantly expand both who may file for a protection order and what remedies that petitioner may request and receive. Yet this expansion has coincided with an intense scaling back by the judiciary of who can prosecute alleged violations of protection orders. While the statute continues to enable more individuals to seek civil protection orders with increasingly expansive remedies, the courts are proscribing those victims' abilities to have their orders enforced.

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