How to Appeal an Agency Decision

How to File a Case at the D.C. Court of Appeals

If you disagree with a decision from certain D.C. agencies, you have the right to ask the D.C. Court of Appeals to hear your case. (See the list of agencies you can appeal from, below) You can file your appeal in 4 steps:

Step 1: Fill out the “Petition for Review” form.

This form is quick to fill out. To get the right form, call the Court of Appeals at (202) 879-2700 or follow these steps to get the form online:

  • Go to
  • Near the top of the page (next to blue search button), click the drop down button for “Choose Your Category” and click on “Court of Appeals.”
  • Search for the form called “Petition for Review.

Step 2: File the appeal and a copy of the decision you’re appealing.

After you fill out the form, file it (with the order or decision attached) in one of these ways:

  • Email the documents to
  • Bring a copy in person to the Clerk’s Office at the Courthouse. Their address is 430 E Street NW, Washington DC 20001. The courthouse is open Monday through Friday between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM (except for legal holidays).
  • Mail a copy to the Court at the address above. This option is not recommended.

Step 3: Pay the filing fee or ask for a fee waiver.

The filing fee is $100. If you can’t afford this fee, file a form asking for a fee waiver. Get the fee waiver form at File this form at the same time and in the same way that you file your Petition for Review.

Step 4: Mail the Petition for Review to all parties.

Mail copies of your appeal (with the order or decision attached) to the other side or their lawyer. Their addresses are on the Certificate of Service attached to the order or decision that you’re appealing.

Is there a deadline to file a Petition for Review?

Yes. If you got the decision by mail, you have 35 days after the mailing date listed on the “Certificate of Service.” If you got the decision in any other way, you have 30 days to appeal. If you mail in your appeal, it is not filed until it is received by the Court. That is why we do not recommend filing by mail.

What happens next?

After you file, the Court will issue an Order that tells you the next steps in your case. Usually, it gives the agency 60 days to produce a record of what happened. If you have questions, call the Court of Appeals at (202) 879-2700.

* D.C. agencies covered by these instructions include (this is a partial list):

Office of Administrative Hearings

  • Housing Authority
  • Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
  • Compensation Review Board (Workers’ Compensation)
  • Department of For-Hire Vehicles (Taxicabs)
  • Police and Firefighters Retirement and Relief Board
  • Rental Housing Commission
  • Water and Sewer Authority
  • Zoning Commission