Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–1307. Crowding, obstructing, or incommoding.

(a) It is unlawful for a person, alone or in concert with others:

(1) To crowd, obstruct, or incommode:

(A) The use of any street, avenue, alley, road, highway, or sidewalk;

(B) The entrance of any public or private building or enclosure;

(C) The use of or passage through any public building or public conveyance; or

(D) The passage through or within any park or reservation; and

(2) To continue or resume the crowding, obstructing, or incommoding after being instructed by a law enforcement officer to cease the crowding, obstructing, or incommoding.

(b)(1) It is unlawful for a person, alone or in concert with others, to engage in a demonstration in an area where it is otherwise unlawful to demonstrate and to continue or resume engaging in a demonstration after being instructed by a law enforcement officer to cease engaging in a demonstration.

(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term “demonstration” means marching, congregating, standing, sitting, lying down, parading, demonstrating, or patrolling by one or more persons, with or without signs, for the purpose of persuading one or more individuals, or the public, or to protest some action, attitude, or belief.

(c) A person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both.


(July 29, 1892, 27 Stat. 323, ch. 320, § 6; July 8, 1898, 30 Stat. 723, ch. 638; June 29, 1953, 67 Stat. 97, ch. 159, § 210; May 26, 2011, D.C. Law 18-375, § 2(a), 58 DCR 731; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 214(a), 60 DCR 2064; June 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-320, § 102, 60 DCR 3390.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-1107.

1973 Ed., § 22-1107.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 23-101.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-375 rewrote the section, which formerly read:

“It shall not be lawful for any person or persons within the District of Columbia to congregate and assemble in any street, avenue, alley, road, or highway, or in or around any public building or inclosure, or any park or reservation, or at the entrance of any private building or inclosure, and engage in loud and boisterous talking or other disorderly conduct, or to insult or make rude or obscene gestures or comments or observations on persons passing by, or in their hearing, or to crowd, obstruct, or incommode, the free use of any such street, avenue, alley, road, highway, or any of the foot pavements thereof, or the free entrance into any public or private building or inclosure; it shall not be lawful for any person or persons to curse, swear, or make use of any profane language or indecent or obscene words, or engage in any disorderly conduct in any street, avenue, alley, road, highway, public park or inclosure, public building, church, or assembly room, or in any other public place, or in any place wherefrom the same may be heard in any street, avenue, alley, road, highway, public park or inclosure, or other building, or in any premises other than those where the offense was committed, under a penalty of not more than $250 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both for each and every such offense.”

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $500”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-320 rewrote this section and the section heading.

Cross References

Burning of cross or other religious symbol, see § 22-3312.02.

Conduct of prosecutions under this section, see § 22-1809.

Defacement of public or private building or property, see § 22-3312.01.

Disorderly conduct in public buildings and grounds, see § 22-3311.

Wearing of masks for specified purposes, see § 22-3312.03.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 302(a) of Public Safety Legislation Sixty-Day Layover Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-693, January 18, 2011, 58 DCR 640).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 302(a) of Public Safety Legislation Sixty-Day Layover Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-45, April 20, 2011, 58 DCR 3701).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 102 of the Omnibus Criminal Code Amendments Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-599, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1017).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 102 of the Omnibus Criminal Code Amendment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-44, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5381, 20 DCSTAT 1281).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 214(a) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.