District of Columbia

Information on Court-Ordered Tenant Evictions Gao ID: GGD-91-29 December 28, 1990

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on court-ordered tenant evictions in the District of Columbia, focusing on: (1) the time that elapsed between the landlord's filing of an eviction request and the actual eviction; (2) reasons for the elapsed times; and (3) whether contractors, rather than U.S. marshals, could carry out evictions legally and effectively.

GAO found that: (1) the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) performed 2,966 evictions in the District during fiscal year 1990; (2) an average of 114 calendar days elapsed between the date landlords requested evictions and the actual eviction, and an average of 62 days elapsed between the landlord's request and the court's issuance of an eviction order; (3) 277 randomly sampled FY 1990 evictions revealed that stays, trials, adverse weather conditions, and limited USMS staff were major factors affecting elapsed time; (4) no overall criteria existed on how long the court's part of the eviction process could take; and (5) USMS believed that it would need congressional, court, and Department of Justice approval to contract for evictions.

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