2014 Arkansas Code
Title 14 - Local Government
Subtitle 2 - County Government
Chapter 15 - Officers
Subchapter 3 - County Coroners
§ 14-15-302 - Coroner's investigation.

AR Code § 14-15-302 (2014) What's This?

(a) A coroner's investigation does not include criminal investigation responsibilities. However, the coroner shall assist any law enforcement agency or the State Crime Laboratory upon request.

(b) (1) A coroner shall be given access to all death scenes in order to perform the duties set forth in this subchapter.

(2) A coroner may issue subpoenas as necessary to secure pertinent medical or other records and testimony relevant to the determination of the cause and manner of death.

(c) (1) A coroner or his or her deputy who has received instruction and has been deemed qualified by the State Crime Laboratory to take and handle toxicological samples from dead human bodies may do so for the purpose of determining the presence of chemical agents that may have contributed to the cause of death.

(2) Toxicological samples may be taken from dead human bodies in those cases in which the coroner is required by law to conduct an investigation.

(d) (1) A person, institution, or office in this state that makes available information or material under this section is not criminally liable.

(2) A person, institution, or office in this state is not liable in tort for compliance with this section.

(e) (1) A preliminary written report of the coroner's investigation shall be completed within five (5) working days and shall include a pronouncement of death. If indicated, a subsequent report shall be completed.

(2) If the death occurred without medical attendance or was the result of a homicide, an accident, or a suicide, then the preliminary written report shall include without limitation the following information regarding the decedent:

(A) Name;

(B) Date of birth or approximate age if unknown;

(C) Sex;

(D) Social security number if available;

(E) Home address;

(F) Location where the body was discovered;

(G) Time of death or approximate time if unknown;

(H) Condition of the body, including any recent trauma, body temperature, and position;

(I) Any prescribed medications;

(J) Pertinent medical history;

(K) Cause and manner of death;

(L) Photographs or information where photographs may be accessed in cases of non-natural deaths and deaths of persons under eighteen (18) years of age;

(M) List of all other governmental entities investigating the death; and

(N) Disposition of the body.

(3) Nothing in this section shall limit or otherwise restrict the exercise of professional judgment or discretion by a coroner or prohibit access to information or testimony necessary to complete a coroner's investigation.

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