District of Columbia Case Law
The District of Columbia court system consists of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Court of Appeals contains nine judges, who usually review cases in three-judge panels. All nine judges will review a case if a majority of the judges in regular active service vote to grant a request for this type of review. The Court of Appeals reviews appeals of decisions by the Superior Court, and it responds to questions of law that are certified for its review by state and federal appellate courts. It also reviews appeals of decisions by D.C. administrative agencies. Decisions by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals are final unless the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to review an appeal of a decision.
The Superior Court of the District of Columbia is the trial court for the District of Columbia. It consists of a chief judge, over 60 associate judges, and over 20 magistrate judges. The U.S. President appoints judges to serve 15-year terms on this court, and the U.S. Senate must confirm their appointments. The Superior Court reviews all types of cases that arise in the District, including civil, criminal, family, probate, tax, landlord-tenant, traffic, and small claims cases.