2017 Georgia Code
Title 45 - Public Officers and Employees
Chapter 16 - Coroners
Article 4 - Office of Medical Examiner
§ 45-16-80. Abolition of office of coroner; qualifications, appointment, compensation, powers, and duties of medical examiners
- (a) In any county of this state the General Assembly by local law is authorized to abolish the office of coroner and establish in lieu thereof the office of medical examiner, which medical examiner shall have the qualifications, powers, and duties provided in this Code section, and who shall be appointed and compensated and have the expenses of office paid as provided in this Code section. The local law abolishing the office of coroner shall specify the effective date of such abolition, which date shall be the date the office of medical examiner is established for the county to which that local law is applicable.
- (b) A local law abolishing the office of coroner pursuant to this Code section shall comply with the provisions of Code Section 1-3-11, requiring approval in referendums to abolish certain offices.
- (c) To be eligible for the office of medical examiner, as established pursuant to this Code section, a person shall:
- (1) Have a doctor of medicine degree and be licensed to practice medicine under the provisions of Chapter 34 of Title 43;
- (2) Be eligible for certification by the American Board of Pathology; and
- (3) Have at least one year of medico-legal training or one year of active experience in a scientific field in which legal or judicial procedures are involved at the county, state, or federal level.
- (d) The requirements for medical examiners established pursuant to paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (c) of this Code section may be waived by the governing authority of any county in which the office of medical examiner is established pursuant to this Code section but may not be waived for any person for a longer period than one year.
- (e) The medical examiner for any county in which the office of medical examiner is established pursuant to this Code section shall be appointed by the governing authority of that county, shall serve at the pleasure of that governing authority, shall be compensated in an amount determined by that governing authority, and all expenses of the office of such medical examiner shall, subject to county budgetary limitations, be paid from the general funds of that county.
- (f) All of the functions, powers, rights, and duties of and heretofore exercised by the coroner of a county for which is established the office of medical examiner pursuant to this Code section with reference to post-mortem examinations and autopsies shall be performed and exercised by the medical examiner of that county, except that medical examiner shall have no authority to summon and impanel a jury to hold inquests.
- (g) A medical examiner whose office is established for a county pursuant to this Code section shall be authorized to perform all of the functions prescribed for a coroner under the provisions of Article 2 of this chapter, the "Georgia Death Investigation Act," except that medical examiner shall have no authority to summon and impanel a jury to hold inquests.
- (h) The provisions of Article 2 of this chapter, the "Georgia Death Investigation Act," including but not limited to the penalty provisions, shall apply in all cases regarding a medical examiner whose office is established pursuant to this Code section, except the provisions relating to the holding of inquests shall not apply.
- (i) A medical examiner whose office is established for a county pursuant to this Code section shall not be required to meet any county residency requirements established by Code Section 45-2-1.
- (j) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to affect any medical examiner whose office was established or authorized by any amendment to the Constitution continued pursuant to Article XI, Section I, Paragraph IV of the Constitution.
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