Code of the District of Columbia

§ 46–226.03. Authority of IV-D agency to expedite paternity and support processes.

(a) The IV-D agency may take the following actions relating to paternity establishment or the establishment, modification, or enforcement of support orders without obtaining an order from any judicial or other administrative tribunal:

(1) Order genetic testing relating to the establishment of paternity;

(2) Issue an administrative subpoena to an individual or public or private entity (including a financial institution) for financial or other information needed to establish, modify, or enforce a support order, which may include information from a public utility or cable television company, that provides the name and address of a customer or a customer’s employer as well as information in paragraph (3) of this subsection;

(3) Require a public or private entity in the District to provide promptly, in response to a request from the District’s IV-D agency or any other state’s IV-D agency, information on the employment status, number of hours worked, title, employment start date, employment termination date (if applicable), whether the employee ever quit voluntarily, location of work site, compensation, and benefits (including access to health insurance) of any employee of the entity, or of one of its contractors;

(4) Obtain prompt access, including automated access, to information in the following records maintained or possessed by the District government, subject to any applicable privacy provisions under District or federal law:

(A) Vital records maintained by the Registrar and the court;

(B) Tax and revenue records;

(C) Records of real and titled personal property;

(D) Records of occupational, professional, recreational, and sporting licenses issued under any District law or regulation;

(E) Records concerning the ownership and control of corporations, partnerships, and other business entities;

(F) Employment security records, subject to such restrictions as the Mayor may, by regulation, prescribe pursuant to Chapter 1 of Title 51;

(G) Records concerning public assistance, as defined in § 4-201.01(6), subject to confidentiality restrictions set forth in the Chapter 2 of Title 4 or prescribed by the Mayor;

(H) Records maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles;

(I) Records maintained by the Department of Corrections; and

(J) Social security numbers on file, if submitted in an application;

(5) Direct an obligor or other payor to substitute for the payee of a support order the appropriate governmental entity, upon notice to the obligor (or other payor) and obligee, sent by first-class mail, to their last known address, if the support is subject to:

(A) An assignment to pay the District government under Chapter 2 of Title 4, title IV, part E of the Social Security Act, approved June 17, 1980 (94 Stat. 501; 42 U.S.C. § 670et seq.), or section 1912 of the Social Security Act, approved October 25, 1977 (91 Stat. 1196; 42 U.S.C. § 1396k); or

et seq.

(B) A requirement to pay support through the Collection and Disbursement Unit;

(6) Order income withholding, including the amount of periodic support payments and any additional amount for health insurance coverage, medical support, overdue support payments, and other costs or fees required under a support order;

(7) When there is a support arrearage, secure assets to satisfy any current support obligation and the support arrearage by:

(A) Intercepting or seizing periodic or lump-sum payments from:

(i) Any District agency, including payments for unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation, and other non-means-tested public benefits; and

(ii) Judgments, settlements, and lotteries (interception or seizure of lottery prize winnings shall be made pursuant to § 46-224.01);

(B) Attaching and seizing assets owned by the support obligor and held in financial institutions, or held in a financial institution by another on behalf of the support obligor;

(C) Attaching public and private retirement funds, to the extent permitted by federal law; and

(D) Imposing liens pursuant to § 46-224 and, when appropriate, forcing the sale of property and distributing the proceeds;

(8) Increase the amount of periodic support payments to include amounts for arrearages, subject to section 303 of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, approved May 29, 1968 (82 Stat. 163; 15 USC § 1673), to secure overdue support; and

(9) Enter agreements with financial institutions pursuant to Chapter 5A of Title 26.

(b) The IV-D agency shall provide notice of any action taken under subsection (a) of this section to any person or entity, other than another agency of the District government, that is subject to the action, except that the IV-D agency shall provide notice of withholding to the obligor only as required pursuant to § 46-209.

(c) Any person or entity subject to any IV-D action under subsection (a) of this section, other than another agency of the District government, is entitled to an administrative proceeding before the Office of Administrative Hearings to contest the action and to judicial review based upon the administrative record. The procedures set forth in §§ 2-509 and 2-510 shall apply to the administrative proceeding and the judicial review, respectively. This subsection shall not apply to IV-D agency actions related to the withholding of earnings or other income under this subchapter.

(d) The Superior Court may issue an ex parte order to enforce any power asserted by the IV-D agency pursuant to subsection (a) of this section upon petition by the IV-D agency.

(e) A person or entity shall honor an administrative subpoena issued pursuant to subsection (a)(2) of this section to the same extent as a judicial subpoena issued by the Court. The subpoena issued pursuant to subsection (a)(2) of this section may be served by first-class mail. If any person or entity neglects or otherwise fails to comply with an administrative subpoena issued pursuant to subsection (a)(2) of this section, the IV-D agency may report the noncompliance to the Court, and the Court is empowered to compel obedience to the subpoena to the same extent that it may compel obedience to subpoenas issued by the Court.

(f) As an alternative to judicial enforcement pursuant to subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the IV-D agency may impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per incident for failure to comply with an administrative subpoena issued pursuant to subsection (a)(2) of this section, or a request for information made pursuant to subsection (a)(3) of this section. The IV-D agency may double the penalty if the failure to comply persists for more than 30 days after the date the subpoena or request required compliance. The Court is authorized to enter a penalty assessed by the IV-D agency pursuant to this subsection as a judgment in the Court, upon application by the IV-D agency, and that judgment shall be enforceable by the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

(g) A District government agency shall promptly provide information in response to a request by the IV-D agency made pursuant to subsection (a)(4) of this section. If a District government agency fails to provide information requested by the IV-D agency pursuant to subsection (a)(4) of this section, the Mayor shall promptly direct the agency to comply within a period specified by the Mayor.

(h) No public or private entity providing the IV-D agency with information or access to information pursuant to this section shall be liable under any District law to any person for providing the information or access.

(i) The IV-D agency shall promulgate rules pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 to implement this section.