Cost of an Eviction in Washington D.C.

Cost of an Eviction in Washington D.C.

Last Updated: April 17, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

The cost of an eviction in Washington D.C. for all filing, court, and service fees can vary based on service fees. Eviction cases can be filed in the Civil Division, Landlord and Tenant Branch of the Superior Court, the average cost is $264.

These filing, court, and service fees do not include outside costs such as legal fees or post-eviction fees (i.e., locksmith fees, storage costs for a tenant’s abandoned property, cleaning service fees, repair costs, or advertising costs for a vacant dwelling unit).

1. Initial Court Filing Fee

In Washington D.C., if the eviction notice expires and the tenant remains on the property without correcting the issue, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit (“Forcible Entry and Detainer”) with the court the following business day. The filing fee for an initial Forcible Entry and Detainer is $15.


The Landlord and Tenant Branch does not keep paper filings and all documents given to the court clerk will become electronic files.

2. Summons Service Fee

Once a Complaint is filed in Washington D.C., the court will issue a Summons. The Summons is the tenant’s official notice of an eviction lawsuit and contains important information (i.e., when and where to appear in court). The landlord must arrange for a process server to deliver the Summons to the tenant.

The Summons service fee varies by process server. For example, a private process server fees vary by company and is approximately $20 or more.

3. Jury Trial Demand Filing Fee

In Washington D.C. if the tenant wants to demand a jury trial, there is a filing fee of $75 that must be paid to the court clerk.


This fee is only applicable if a tenant demands a jury.

4. Counterclaim Filing Fee

In addition to filing an Answer, the tenant can file a Counterclaim in Washington D.C. within 14 calendar days before the court hearing date. A Counterclaim can be filed if the grounds for eviction are for nonpayment of rent or where there is a claim for recovery of rent in arrears.

The tenant can submit a defense based on payment of rent or on expenditures claimed as credits against rent or for equitable relief in regard to the premises. [ttip number=’1′ icon=’popover-balance’]The filing fee for submitting a Counterclaim is $10.


This fee is only applicable if a tenant files a Counterclaim.

5. Writ of Restitution Issuance & Execution Fee

In Washington D.C., if the court rules in favor of the landlord, the court shall issue a Writ of Restitution. The writ is the tenant’s final notice to vacate the premises. The filing fee for a writ is $213. This fee includes the court issuance fee, the U.S. Marshals execution fee and an administration fee.

The writ will be mailed via first class mail with the scheduled date of the eviction. If the tenant does not move out, a U.S. Marshal shall return to the property to forcibly remove the tenant. Once the eviction is enforced, the property shall be legally returned to the landlord.

6. Notice of Appeal Filing Fee

If either party chooses to file an Appeal, they may do so as long as the Notice of Appeal is filed within 30 calendar days of the judgment. The filing fee for an Appeal is $100.