DC Landlord Tenant Continuance

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This is an example of a DC Landlord & Tenant Continuance from an initial return date. Pro se landlords usually allow tenant's attorneys or the Landlord/Tenant Resource Center to write simple continuances. This is a mistake. Tenant's attorneys will usually ask for a date for "further initial return." That doesn't move the case forward for the landlord and potentially allows the tenant to get a second continuance for ascertainment of counsel. Landlords can instead use this form and make the first continuance for ascertainment of counsel and filing of responsive pleading. I also included language for a protective order. Many tenant's attorneys will not agree to a protective order at the initial continuance, but it is worth requesting. Landlords can substitute setting a date for a Bell hearing, which is hearing where the court sets a protective order, but the landlord should be sure there are prepared for that hearing, as it is like mini-trial. Just making sure you ask that the case be set for ascertainment of counsel and filing of responsive pleadings, meaning the tenant must try to find a lawyer and file an answer by the next court date, will start the clock running for the tenant and keep the landlord from losing two weeks for nothing. Good Luck!

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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