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Georgia State Code
Title      45
Chapter      16  
Section Navigation     1 ... 10         11 ... 25.1  
      26 ... 34         35 ... 44    
    45 ... 64         65 ... 80      
Section<<< 26 27 27.1 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 >>>  
Title 45, Chapter 16, Section 27 (45-16-27)

(a) Coroners shall require an inquest to be conducted in their respective counties as follows:

(1) When any person dies under any circumstances specified in paragraphs (1) through (8) of subsection (a) of Code Section 45-16-24; provided, however, that an inquest is not required to be held, although the coroner is authorized to hold an inquest, under the following circumstances:

(A) When upon the completion of the medical examiner's inquiry the peace officer in charge and the medical examiner are satisfied that, even though death resulted from violence, no foul play was involved. In this event, the peace officer in charge and the medical examiner shall make a written report of their investigation and findings to the division as set forth in Code Section 45-16-32 and upon their recommendation, the coroner shall make and file a proper death certificate;

(B) When there is sufficient evidence to establish the cause and manner of death, even though the medical examiner's inquiry revealed that death resulted from foul play;

(C) When no demand for an inquest is made within 30 days after the filing of the death certificate. However, if such demand is made by the party or parties affected by the death, the coroner is authorized to hold the inquest;

(D) When upon the completion of the medical examiner's inquiry the medical examiner and peace officer in charge are sufficiently satisfied that death resulted from natural causes, and that medical examiner or coroner is willing to and does sign and file a proper death certificate, and no demand for an inquest is made within 30 days thereafter;

(D.1) In cases of deaths resulting from an accident involving any civil aircraft, it shall be the responsibility of the peace officer in charge to notify the National Transportation Safety Board or the Federal Aviation Administration of such accident, to proceed to the scene and guard the area in such manner that no bodies, wreckage, cargo, or mail shall be moved or disturbed until authorized by a representative of the National Transportation Safety Board or the Federal Aviation Administration except to the extent necessary to remove persons injured or trapped, to protect the wreckage from further damage, or to protect the public from injury. Where it is necessary to move aircraft wreckage, mail, or cargo, sketches, descriptive notes, and photographs shall be made, if possible, of the original positions and condition of the wreckage and any significant impact marks. The coroner or medical examiner shall assist investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board or the Federal Aviation Administration as authorized by federal law;

(E) When after full and complete investigation no evidence of foul play is found in cases of hidden cause of death which fall under the jurisdiction of the coroner. The coroner shall be authorized to sign the death certificate on the basis of the information given to him in the reports of the peace officer in charge and the medical examiner, provided that, in such hidden causes of death, after a complete investigation, if sufficient medical history is obtained by the coroner, the peace officer in charge, or the medical examiner to disclose the cause of death and if the attending physician will sign the death certificate, such cases shall not come under the jurisdiction of the coroner; provided, further, that, if there are sufficient competent eyewitnesses to an act in the opinion of the peace officer in charge, such cases shall not come under the jurisdiction of the coroner; or

(F) In cases of deaths of personnel in the armed forces of the United States government resulting from airplane disasters involving airplanes of the armed forces, including crashes or explosions, which deaths shall not come under the jurisdiction of the coroner. It shall be the responsibility of the peace officer in charge to notify the proper armed forces of the United States government immediately of such airplane crashes or explosions in order that they may send their trained forces to the scene for investigation. It shall be the duty of the peace officer in charge, when notified of such crashes or explosions, to proceed to the scene and guard the area in such manner that no bodies or parts of said airplanes shall be moved or disturbed until the arrival of proper investigating officers from the armed forces of the United States government;

(2) When an inmate of a state hospital or a state, county, or city penal institution dies unexpectedly without an attending physician or as a result of violence. The chief medical examiner or his or her designee, regional medical examiner, or local medical examiner shall perform all medical examiners' inquiries. The coroner, in those counties in which such office has not been replaced by a local medical examiner, shall hold an inquest after receiving the written reports as set forth in Code Section 45-16-32;

(3) When ordered by a court in connection with a medical examiner's inquiry ordered by that court pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 45-16-24; or

(4) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection, no person shall be deemed to have died unattended by a physician when the death occurred while the person was a patient of a hospice licensed under Article 9 of Chapter 7 of Title 31.

(b) On and after July 1, 1999, coroners shall be entitled to an investigation fee of $125.00 where no jury is impaneled or a fee of $250.00 where a jury is impaneled and shall be paid upon receipt of a monthly statement to the county treasury. A deputy coroner shall receive the same fee as the coroner for the performance of services in place of the coroner and shall be paid upon receipt of a monthly statement to the county treasury. Such fee shall be paid within ten days after receipt of the coroner's monthly statement by the county where the investigation or inquest is held except in counties where the coroner receives an annual salary, in which case no fee shall be imposed upon the county by such salaried coroner or deputy coroner.

(c) When a coroner or a medical examiner conducts an investigation into the death of an individual, the coroner or medical examiner shall be authorized to issue subpoenas to compel the production of any books, records, or papers relevant to the cause of death including without limitation AIDS confidential information as defined by Code Section 31-22-9.1. Any books, records, or papers received by the coroner or medical examiner pursuant to the subpoena must be regarded as confidential information and privileged and not subject to disclosure under Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50. The actual costs of copying any books, records, or papers for the purposes of responding to a subpoena under this subsection shall be paid out of county funds to the person or entity required to respond to that subpoena, and the governing authority of the county of which that coroner or county medical examiner is a public officer shall pay those costs within 30 days after a bill therefor is submitted to the county.

Saturday May 23 20:30 EDT


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