Chapter 313: CORONER

313.01 Elected - term.

A coroner shall be elected quadrennially in each county, who shall hold his office for a term of four years, beginning on the first Monday of January next after his election.

As used in the Revised Code, unless the context otherwise requires, "coroner" means the coroner of the county in which death occurs or the dead human body is found.

Cite as R.C. § 313.01

Effective Date: 11-04-1965

313.02 Qualifications for coroner - continuing education.

(A) No person shall be eligible to the office of coroner except a physician who has been licensed to practice as a physician in this state for a period of at least two years immediately preceding election or appointment as a coroner, and who is in good standing in the person's profession, or is a person who was serving as coroner on October 12, 1945.

(B)

(1) Beginning in calendar year 2000 and in each fourth year thereafter, each newly elected coroner, after the general election but prior to commencing the term of office to which elected, shall attend and successfully complete sixteen hours of continuing education at programs sponsored by the Ohio state coroners association. Within ninety days after appointment to the office of coroner under section 305.02 of the Revised Code, the newly appointed coroner shall attend and successfully complete sixteen hours of continuing education at programs sponsored by the association. Hours of continuing education completed under the requirement described in division (B)(1) of this section shall not be counted toward fulfilling the continuing education requirement described in division (B)(2) of this section.

As used in division (B) (1) of this section, "newly elected coroner" means a person who did not hold the office of coroner on the date the person was elected coroner.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(2) of this section, beginning in calendar year 2001, each coroner, during the coroner's four-year term, shall attend and successfully complete thirty-two hours of continuing education at programs sponsored by the Ohio state coroners association. Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(2) of this section, each coroner shall attend and successfully complete twenty-four of these thirty-two hours at statewide meetings, and eight of these thirty-two hours at regional meetings, sponsored by the association. The association may approve attendance at continuing education programs it does not sponsor but, if attendance is approved, successful completion of hours at these programs shall be counted toward fulfilling only the twenty-four-hour requirement described in division (B)(2) of this section.

(3) Upon successful completion of a continuing education program required by division (B)(1) or (2) of this section, the person who successfully completes the program shall receive from the association or the sponsoring organization a certificate indicating that the person successfully completed the program.

Cite as R.C. § 313.02

Effective Date: 02-13-2001

313.03 Bond.

The coroner shall give a bond, signed by a bonding or surety company authorized to do business in this state and to be approved by the board of county commissioners, or, at the option of such coroner, signed by two or more freeholders having real estate in the value of double the amount of the bond, over and above all encumbrances to the state, in a sum not less than five thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars, fixed by the board, and such bond shall be conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of his office. The expense or premium for such bond shall be paid by the board and charged to the general fund of the county. Such bonds, with the approval of the board and the oath of office required by sections 3.22 and 3.23 of the Revised Code, indorsed thereon, shall be filed with the county auditor and kept in his office.

The board may require the coroner, at any time during his term of office, to give additional sureties on his bond, or to give a new bond.

No judge or clerk or any court or attorney at law shall be received as surety on such bond.

If the coroner fails to give a bond within the time required, or fails to give additional sureties on such bond or a new bond within ten days after he has received written notice that the board so requires, the board shall declare the office of such coroner vacant.

Cite as R.C. § 313.03

Effective Date: 10-12-1961

313.04 Absence, service, or disability.

When the coroner is absent temporarily from the county, or when on duty with the armed services of the United States, the state militia, or the American red cross, or when unable to discharge the duties of his office, such coroner may appoint a person with the necessary qualifications to act as coroner during such absence, service, or disability.

Cite as R.C. § 313.04

Effective Date: 10-12-1961

313.05 Appointment of deputy coroners and other personnel.

(A)

(1) The coroner may appoint, in writing, deputy coroners, who shall be licensed physicians of good standing in their profession, one of whom may be designated as the chief deputy coroner. The coroner also may appoint pathologists as deputy coroners, who may perform autopsies, make pathological and chemical examinations, and perform other duties as directed by the coroner or recommended by the prosecuting attorney. The coroner may appoint any necessary technicians.

The coroner may contract for the services of deputy coroners to aid the coroner in the execution of the coroner's powers and duties. Contracts for the services of deputy coroners are exempt from any competitive bidding requirements of the Revised Code.

(2) The coroner may appoint, in writing, one or more secretaries and an official stenographer, who shall record the testimony of witnesses in attendance upon the coroner's inquest, preserve and file properly indexed records of all official reports, acts, and communications of the office, and perform other services as required by the coroner.

(3) The coroner may appoint clerks, stenographers, custodians, and investigators and shall define their duties.

(4) For the performance of their duties, deputy coroners, pathologists serving as deputy coroners, and technicians, stenographers, secretaries, clerks, custodians, and investigators shall receive salaries fixed by the coroner and payable from the county treasury upon the warrant of the county auditor. The compensation shall not exceed, in the aggregate, the amount fixed by the board of county commissioners for the coroner's office.

(B) A coroner may appoint, as a deputy coroner, as a pathologist serving as a deputy coroner, or as a technician, stenographer, secretary, clerk, custodian, investigator, or other employee a person who is an associate of, or who is employed by, the coroner or a deputy coroner in the private practice of medicine in a partnership, professional association, or other medical business arrangement. A coroner may appoint, as an investigator, a deputy sheriff within the county or a law enforcement officer of a political subdivision located within the county.

Cite as R.C. § 313.05

Effective Date: 05-08-1996; 08-17-2006; 2008 HB471 04-07-2009

313.06 Duties of coroner and deputies.

The coroner, his deputy, and assistants shall be available at all times for the performance of their duties as set forth in sections 313.01 to 313.22 , inclusive, of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 313.06

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

313.07 Coroner's office, laboratory, and county morgue.

(A) There may be established in the county seat of justice, or at another location as provided in division (B) of this section, suitable quarters, laboratories, and equipment necessary for the proper performance of the duties of the coroner. Such quarters shall be known as the coroner's office, laboratory, and county morgue.

(B) With the consent of the coroner, the board of county commissioners may provide by resolution for establishment of the primary quarters, laboratory, and equipment of the coroner at a location outside the county seat of justice. The adoption of the resolution and the location of the coroner's primary quarters, laboratory, and equipment shall be entered on the journal of the board. The board shall give reasonable public notice of its action taken pursuant to this division in accordance with division (F) of section 121.22 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 313.07

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.53, HB 393, §1, eff. 6/18/2010.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

313.08 Coroner custodian of morgue - duties where decedent not identified.

(A) In counties in which a county morgue is maintained, the coroner shall be the official custodian of the morgue.

In all cases of the finding of the body or remains of a deceased person within a county in which a county morgue is maintained, when the identity of the deceased person is unknown, or the deceased person's relatives or other persons entitled to the custody of the body or remains of the deceased person are unknown or not present, the body or remains shall be removed to the county morgue, where it shall be held for identification and disposal.

(B) The coroner shall make a reasonable attempt to promptly identify the body or remains of a deceased person. The coroner may use any means available in attempting to identify the body or remains.

(C) If the coroner is unable to identify the body or remains of a deceased person within thirty days after the body or remains of the deceased person are delivered to the coroner, the coroner shall notify the bureau of criminal identification and investigation that the body or remains are located in the county morgue or are in the custody of the coroner and forward a DNA specimen from the body or remains of the deceased person to the bureau.

(D) If a body or remains are discovered and delivered to the coroner and the coroner is unable to determine whether or not the body or remains that are discovered are the body or remains of a deceased person, the coroner shall notify the bureau of criminal identification and investigation of the existence of a possible body or remains of a deceased person and forward a DNA specimen from the body or remains to the bureau.

(E) If the body or remains of a deceased person are not identified, in addition to providing the notice required under division (C) of this section, a coroner shall do all of the following prior to disposing of the body or remains:

(1) Take the fingerprints of the body or remains of the deceased person, or cause the same to be taken, according to the fingerprint system of identification on the forms furnished by the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation;

(2) Take or cause to be taken one or more photographs of the body or remains of the deceased person;

(3) Collect in a medically approved manner a DNA specimen from the body or remains of the deceased person;

(4) Promptly cause the fingerprints, the photographs, and the DNA specimen to be forwarded to the bureau of criminal identification and investigation for inclusion in the unidentified person database in accordance with procedures established by the superintendent of the bureau under division (H) of section 109.573 of the Revised Code.

(F) The bureau of criminal identification and investigation shall cause the fingerprints, the photographs, and the DNA specimen forwarded by the coroner to the bureau pursuant to division (E)(4) of this section to be forwarded to the national crime information center and the national DNA index system within ten days after the bureau completes the DNA analysis of the forwarded DNA specimen.

(G) The bureau shall provide the fingerprint forms, specimen vials, mailing tubes, labels, postage, and instruction needed for the collection and forwarding to the bureau pursuant to division (E)(4) of this section of the fingerprints and the DNA specimen and for the forwarding pursuant to division (E)(4) of this section to the bureau of the photographs.

(H) Upon the request of a coroner who has the duty to take, or cause the taking of, fingerprints and photographs under divisions (E)(1) and (2) of this section, the bureau of criminal identification and investigation shall take, or assist in the taking of, the required fingerprints and photographs.

(I) As used in this section, "DNA analysis," "DNA specimen," and "unidentified person database" have the same meanings as in section 109.573 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 313.08

Effective Date: 05-21-1998; 05-18-2005; 08-17-2006; 04-05-2007

313.09 Records.

The coroner shall keep a complete record of and shall fill in the cause of death on the death certificate, in all cases coming under his jurisdiction. All records shall be kept in the office of the coroner, but, if no such office is maintained, then such records shall be kept in the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas. Such records shall be properly indexed, and shall state the name, if known, of every deceased person as described in section 313.12 of the Revised Code, the place where the body was found, date of death, cause of death, and all other available information. The report of the coroner and the detailed findings of the autopsy shall be attached to the report of each case. The coroner shall promptly deliver, to the prosecuting attorney of the county in which such death occurred, copies of all necessary records relating to every death in which, in the judgment of the coroner or prosecuting attorney, further investigation is advisable. The sheriff of the county, the police of the city, the constable of the township, or marshal of the village in which the death occurred may be requested to furnish more information or make further investigation when requested by the coroner or his deputy. The prosecuting attorney may obtain copies of records and such other information as is necessary from the office of the coroner. All records of the coroner are the property of the county.

Cite as R.C. § 313.09

Effective Date: 08-26-1975

313.091 Request for decedent's medical and psychiatric records.

In connection with the performance of duties under this chapter, a coroner, deputy coroner, or representative of a coroner or deputy coroner may request, in writing, to inspect and receive a copy of the deceased person's medical and psychiatric records. The person to whom the request is delivered shall make such records in the person's custody available during normal business hours to the coroner, deputy coroner, or representative for purposes of inspection and copying. A person who provides copies of medical or psychiatric records pursuant to a request made under this section may request, in writing, reimbursement in a specified amount for the necessary and reasonable costs of copying the records, in which case the coroner, deputy coroner, or representative shall remit that amount to the person upon receipt of the copies.

Any medical or psychiatric record provided to a coroner, deputy coroner, or representative of a coroner or deputy coroner under this section is not a public record subject to section 149.43 of the Revised Code. The release of a deceased person's medical or psychiatric records to a coroner, deputy coroner, or representative of a coroner or deputy coroner in accordance with this section does not violate division (B)(4) of section 4731.22 or section 5122.31 of the Revised Code.

As used in this section and section 313.10 of the Revised Code, "medical record" has the same meaning as in division (A)(3) of section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 313.091

Effective Date: 09-05-2001

313.10 Records to be public - certified copies as evidence.

(A)

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the records of the coroner who has jurisdiction over the case, including, but not limited to, the detailed descriptions of the observations written during the progress of an autopsy and the conclusions drawn from those observations filed in the office of the coroner under division (A) of section 313.13 of the Revised Code, made personally by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's direction or supervision, are public records. Those records, or transcripts or photostatic copies of them, certified by the coroner shall be received as evidence in any criminal or civil action or proceeding in a court in this state, as to the facts contained in those records. The coroner of the county where the death was pronounced shall be responsible for the release of all public records relating to that death.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in division (D) or (E) of this section, the following records in a coroner's office are not public records:

(a) Preliminary autopsy and investigative notes and findings made by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's direction or supervision;

(b) Photographs of a decedent made by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's direction or supervision;

(c) Suicide notes;

(d) Medical and psychiatric records provided to the coroner, a deputy coroner, or a representative of the coroner or a deputy coroner under section 313.091 of the Revised Code;

(e) Records of a deceased individual that are confidential law enforcement investigatory records as defined in section 149.43 of the Revised Code;

(f) Laboratory reports generated from the analysis of physical evidence by the coroner's laboratory that is discoverable under Criminal Rule 16.

(3) In the coroner's discretion, photographs of a decedent may be used for medical, legal, or educational purposes.

(B) All records in the coroner's office that are public records are open to inspection by the public, and any person may receive a copy of any such record or part of it upon demand in writing, accompanied by payment of a record retrieval and copying fee, at the rate of twenty-five cents per page or a minimum fee of one dollar.

(C)

(1) The coroner shall provide a copy of the full and complete records of the coroner with respect to a decedent to a person who makes a written request as the next of kin of the decedent. The following persons may make a request pursuant to this division as the next of kin of a decedent:

(a) The surviving spouse of the decedent;

(b) If there is no surviving spouse, or if the surviving spouse has died without having made a request pursuant to this division, any child of the decedent over eighteen years of age, with each child over eighteen years of age having an independent right to make a request pursuant to this division;

(c) If there is no surviving spouse or child over eighteen years of age, or if the surviving spouse and all children over eighteen years of age have died without having made a request pursuant to this division, the parents of the decedent, with each parent having an independent right to make a request pursuant to this division;

(d) If there is no surviving spouse, child over eighteen years of age, or parents of the decedent, or if all have died without having made a request pursuant to this division, the brothers and sisters of the decedent, whether of the whole or the half blood, with each having an independent right to make a request pursuant to this division.

(2) If there is no surviving person who may make a written request as next of kin for a copy of the full and complete records of the coroner pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section, or if all next of kin of the decedent have died without having made a request pursuant to that division, the coroner shall provide a copy of the full and complete records of the coroner with respect to a decedent to the representative of the estate of the decedent who is the subject of the records upon written request made by the representative.

(D) A journalist may submit to the coroner a written request to view preliminary autopsy and investigative notes and findings, suicide notes, or photographs of the decedent made by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's discretion or supervision. The request shall include the journalist's name and title and the name and address of the journalist's employer and state that the granting of the request would be in the best interest of the public. If a journalist submits a written request to the coroner to view the records described in this division, the coroner shall grant the journalist's request. The journalist shall not copy the preliminary autopsy and investigative notes and findings, suicide notes, or photographs of the decedent.

(E)

(1) An insurer may submit to the coroner a written request to obtain a copy of the full and complete records of the coroner with respect to a deceased person. The request shall include the name of the deceased person, the type of policy to which the written request relates, and the name and address of the insurer.

(2) If an insurer submits a written request to the coroner to obtain a copy of records pursuant to division (E)(1) of this section, the coroner shall grant that request.

(3) Upon the granting of a written request to obtain a copy of records by the coroner, the insurer may utilize the records for the following purposes:

(a) To investigate any first party claim or third party claim asserted under a policy of insurance issued by the insurer that arises from the death of the deceased person;

(b) To determine coverage for any first party claim or third party claim asserted under a policy of insurance issued by the insurer that arises from the death of the deceased person;

(c) To determine the insurer's liability for any first party claim or third party claim asserted under a policy of insurance issued by the insurer that arises from the death of the deceased person.

(4) Prior to the delivery of records that are the subject of a request made pursuant to division (E)(1) of this section, the coroner may require the insurer who submitted the written request for the records to provide a payment to the coroner of a record retrieval and copying fee at the rate of twenty-five cents per page or a minimum fee of one dollar.

(5) Any records produced by the coroner in response to a written request under division (E)(1) of this section shall remain in the care, custody, and control of the insurer and its employees or representatives at all times. The insurer may not release or disclose the records to any other person unless any of the following apply:

(a) The release of the records is reasonably necessary to further a purpose described in division (E)(3) of this section.

(b) A court of competent jurisdiction orders the insurer to produce the records.

(c) The insurer is required to produce the records in response to a civil or criminal subpoena.

(d) The insurer is responding to a request for the records from a law enforcement agency, the department of insurance or a department of insurance from another state, or another governmental authority.

(F) The coroner may contact the decedent's next of kin to inform the next of kin that a journalist or an insurer has submitted a written request pursuant to division (D) or (E) of this section and whether the coroner has granted the journalist's or the insurer's request.

(G) As used in this section:

(1) "Full and complete records of the coroner" includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) The detailed descriptions of the observations written by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's direction or supervision during the progress of an autopsy and the conclusions drawn from those observations that are filed in the office of the coroner under division (A) of section 313.13 of the Revised Code;

(b) Preliminary autopsy and investigative notes and findings made by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's direction or supervision;

(c) Photographs of a decedent made by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's direction or supervision;

(d) Suicide notes;

(e) Medical and psychiatric records provided to the coroner, a deputy coroner, or a representative of the coroner or a deputy coroner under section 313.091 of the Revised Code;

(f) Records of a deceased individual that are confidential law enforcement investigatory records as defined in section 149.43 of the Revised Code;

(g) Laboratory reports generated from the analysis of physical evidence by the coroner's laboratory that is discoverable under Criminal Rule 16.

(2) "Insurer" has the same meaning as in section 3901.07 of the Revised Code.

(3) "Journalist" has the same meaning as in section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 313.10

Effective Date: 02-13-2001; 08-17-2006; 2008 HB471 04-07-2009

313.11 Unlawfully disturbing a body.

(A) No person, without an order from the coroner, any deputy coroner, or an investigator or other person designated by the coroner as having authority to issue an order under this section, shall purposely remove or disturb the body of any person who has died in the manner described in section 313.12 of the Revised Code, or purposely and without such an order disturb the clothing or any article upon or near such a body or any of the possessions that the coroner has a duty to store under section 313.14 of the Revised Code.

(B) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under this section that the offender attempted in good faith to rescue or administer life-preserving assistance to the deceased person, even though it is established he was dead at the time of the attempted rescue or assistance.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of unlawfully disturbing a body, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

Cite as R.C. § 313.11

Effective Date: 09-26-1990

313.12 Notice to coroner of violent, suspicious, unusual or sudden death.

(A) When any person dies as a result of criminal or other violent means, by casualty, by suicide, or in any suspicious or unusual manner, when any person, including a child under two years of age, dies suddenly when in apparent good health, or when any mentally retarded person or developmentally disabled person dies regardless of the circumstances, the physician called in attendance, or any member of an ambulance service, emergency squad, or law enforcement agency who obtains knowledge thereof arising from the person's duties, shall immediately notify the office of the coroner of the known facts concerning the time, place, manner, and circumstances of the death, and any other information that is required pursuant to sections 313.01 to 313.22 of the Revised Code. In such cases, if a request is made for cremation, the funeral director called in attendance shall immediately notify the coroner.

(B) As used in this section, "mentally retarded person" and "developmentally disabled person" have the same meanings as in section 5123.01 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 313.12

Effective Date: 01-30-2004

313.121 [Effective Until 9/17/2014] Autopsy of child in apparent good health who dies suddenly.

(A) As used in this section, "parent" means either parent, except that if one parent has been designated the residential parent and legal custodian of the child, "parent" means the designated residential parent and legal custodian, and if a person other than a parent is the child's legal guardian, "parent" means the legal guardian.

(B) If a child under two years of age dies suddenly when in apparent good health, the death shall be reported immediately to the coroner of the county in which the death occurred, as required by section 313.12 of the Revised Code. Except as provided in division (C) of this section, the coroner or deputy coroner shall perform an autopsy on the child. The autopsy shall be performed in accordance with rules adopted by the director of health under section 313.122 of the Revised Code. The coroner or deputy coroner may perform research procedures and tests when performing the autopsy.

If the child was one year of age or younger at the time of death, the general assembly encourages the coroner, deputy coroner, or any other individual who has been designated to investigate the child's death to complete a sudden unexplained infant death investigation reporting form (SUIDI reporting form) developed by the United States centers for disease control and prevention. If completed, a copy of the form shall be sent to the director of health and used for the purpose of collecting data to prevent future unexplained infant deaths.

(C) A coroner or deputy coroner is not required to perform an autopsy if the coroner of the county in which the death occurred or a court with jurisdiction over the deceased body determines under section 313.131 of the Revised Code that an autopsy is contrary to the religious beliefs of the child. If the coroner or the court makes such a determination, the coroner shall notify the health district or department of health with jurisdiction in the area in which the child's parent resides. For purposes of this division, the religious beliefs of the parents of a child shall be considered to be the religious beliefs of the child.

(D) If the child's parent makes a written or verbal request for the preliminary results of the autopsy after the results are available, the coroner, or a person designated by the coroner, shall give the parent an oral statement of the preliminary results.

The coroner, within a reasonable time after the final results of the autopsy are reported, shall send written notice of the results to the state department of health, the health district or department with jurisdiction in the area in which the child's parent resides, and, upon the request of a parent of the child, to the child's attending physician. Upon the written request of a parent of the child and the payment of the transcript fee required by section 313.10 of the Revised Code, the coroner shall send written notice of the final results to that parent. The notice sent to the state department of health shall include all of the information specified in rules adopted under section 313.122 of the Revised Code.

(E) On the occurrence of any of the following, the health district or department with jurisdiction in the area in which the child's parent resides shall offer the parent any counseling or other supportive services it has available:

(1) When it learns through any source that an autopsy is being performed on a child under two years of age who died suddenly when in apparent good health;

(2) When it receives notice that the final result of an autopsy performed pursuant to this section concluded that the child died of sudden infant death syndrome;

(3) When it is notified by the coroner that, pursuant to division (C) of this section, an autopsy was not performed.

(F) When a health district or department receives notice that the final result of an autopsy performed pursuant to this section concluded that the child died of sudden infant death syndrome or that, pursuant to division (C) of this section, an autopsy was not performed but sudden infant death syndrome may have been the cause of death, it shall offer the child's parent information about sudden infant death syndrome. The state department of health shall ensure that current information on sudden infant death syndrome is available for distribution by health districts and departments.

Cite as R.C. § 313.121

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 63, SB 198, §1, eff. 2/18/2014.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Effective Date: 11-01-1992

313.121 [Effective 9/17/2014] Autopsy of child in apparent good health who dies suddenly.

(A) As used in this section, "parent" means either parent, except that if one parent has been designated the residential parent and legal custodian of the child, "parent" means the designated residential parent and legal custodian, and if a person other than a parent is the child's legal guardian, "parent" means the legal guardian.

(B) If a child under two years of age dies suddenly when in apparent good health, the death shall be reported immediately to the coroner of the county in which the death occurred, as required by section 313.12 of the Revised Code. Except as provided in division (C) of this section, the coroner or deputy coroner shall perform an autopsy on the child. The autopsy shall be performed in accordance with rules adopted by the director of health under section 313.122 of the Revised Code. The coroner or deputy coroner may perform research procedures and tests when performing the autopsy.

If the child was one year of age or younger at the time of death and the death occurred suddenly and unexpectedly, the cause of which is not immediately obvious prior to investigation, the coroner, deputy coroner, or other individual who has been designated to investigate the child's death shall complete a sudden unexplained infant death investigation reporting form (SUIDI reporting form) developed by the United States centers for disease control and prevention or an alternative reporting form. The director of health may develop an alternative reporting form in consultation with the Ohio state coroners association. The individual who completes the reporting form shall retain the form and send a copy of it to the appropriate child fatality review board or regional child fatality review board established under section 307.621 of the Revised Code. If a coroner or deputy coroner completes the reporting form, a copy of the coroner's report described in section 313.09 of the Revised Code shall also be sent to the board.

A completed reporting form and copies of completed reporting forms are not public records under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

(C) A coroner or deputy coroner is not required to perform an autopsy if the coroner of the county in which the death occurred or a court with jurisdiction over the deceased body determines under section 313.131 of the Revised Code that an autopsy is contrary to the religious beliefs of the child. If the coroner or the court makes such a determination, the coroner shall notify the health district or department of health with jurisdiction in the area in which the child's parent resides. For purposes of this division, the religious beliefs of the parents of a child shall be considered to be the religious beliefs of the child.

(D) If the child's parent makes a written or verbal request for the preliminary results of the autopsy after the results are available, the coroner, or a person designated by the coroner, shall give the parent an oral statement of the preliminary results.

The coroner, within a reasonable time after the final results of the autopsy are reported, shall send written notice of the results to the state department of health, the health district or department with jurisdiction in the area in which the child's parent resides, and, upon the request of a parent of the child, to the child's attending physician. Upon the written request of a parent of the child and the payment of the transcript fee required by section 313.10 of the Revised Code, the coroner shall send written notice of the final results to that parent. The notice sent to the state department of health shall include all of the information specified in rules adopted under section 313.122 of the Revised Code.

(E) On the occurrence of any of the following, the health district or department with jurisdiction in the area in which the child's parent resides shall offer the parent any counseling or other supportive services it has available:

(1) When it learns through any source that an autopsy is being performed on a child under two years of age who died suddenly when in apparent good health;

(2) When it receives notice that the final result of an autopsy performed pursuant to this section concluded that the child died of sudden infant death syndrome;

(3) When it is notified by the coroner that, pursuant to division (C) of this section, an autopsy was not performed.

(F) When a health district or department receives notice that the final result of an autopsy performed pursuant to this section concluded that the child died of sudden infant death syndrome or that, pursuant to division (C) of this section, an autopsy was not performed but sudden infant death syndrome may have been the cause of death, it shall offer the child's parent information about sudden infant death syndrome. The state department of health shall ensure that current information on sudden infant death syndrome is available for distribution by health districts and departments.

Cite as R.C. § 313.121

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 278, §1, eff. 9/17/2014.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 63, SB 198, §1, eff. 2/18/2014.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Effective Date: 11-01-1992

313.122 Rules for protocol governing the performance of autopsies for sudden infant death.

The director of health , after reviewing and considering any recommendations made by the Ohio state coroners association, shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code establishing a protocol governing the performance of autopsies under section 313.121 of the Revised Code. The rules shall specify the information derived from an autopsy that a coroner is required to report to the state department of health. The director shall not amend the rules adopted under this section unless it notifies the Ohio state coroners association of the proposed changes and consults with the association.

Cite as R.C. § 313.122

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Effective Date: 11-01-1992

313.123 Removal and disposal of autopsy specimens - good faith immunity of coroner.

(A)

(1) As used in this chapter, "autopsy" means the external and internal examination of the body of a deceased person, including, but not limited to, gross visual inspection and dissection of the body and its internal organs, photographic or narrative documentation of findings, microscopic, radiological, toxicological, chemical, or other laboratory analyses performed in the discretion of the examining individual upon tissues, organs, blood, other bodily fluids, gases, or any other specimens and the retention for diagnostic and documentary purposes of tissues, organs, blood, other bodily fluids, gases, or any other specimens as the examining individual considers necessary to establish and defend against challenges to the cause and manner of death of the deceased person.

(2) As used in this section, "DNA specimen" has the same meaning as in section 109.573 of the Revised Code.

(B)

(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(2) of this section, retained tissues, organs, blood, other bodily fluids, gases, or any other specimens from an autopsy are medical waste and shall be disposed of in accordance with applicable federal and state laws, including any protocol rules adopted under section 313.122 of the Revised Code.

(2) If an autopsy is performed on a deceased person and pursuant to section 313.131 of the Revised Code the coroner has reason to believe that the autopsy is contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs, the coroner shall not remove any specimens, including, but not limited to, tissues, organs, blood, or other bodily fluids, from the body of the deceased person unless removing those specimens from the body of the deceased person is a compelling public necessity. Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(3) of this section, if the coroner removes any specimens from the body of the deceased person, the coroner shall return the specimens, as soon as is practicable, to the person who has the right to the disposition of the body.

(3) The coroner may retain a DNA specimen for diagnostic, evidentiary, or confirmatory purposes.

(C) A cause of action shall not lie against any employee of a coroner's office for requesting, ordering, or performing an autopsy in good faith under the authority of this chapter.

Cite as R.C. § 313.123

Effective Date: 08-17-2006

313.13 Autopsy - blood test of operator of motor vehicle killed in accident.

(A) The coroner, any deputy coroner, an investigator appointed pursuant to section 313.05 of the Revised Code, or any other person the coroner designates as having the authority to act under this section may go to the dead body and take charge of it. Whether and when an autopsy is performed shall be determined under sections 313.121 and 313.131 of the Revised Code. If an autopsy is performed by the coroner, deputy coroner, or pathologists, a detailed description of the observations written during the progress of such autopsy, or as soon after such autopsy as reasonably possible, and the conclusions drawn from the observations shall be filed in the office of the coroner.

(B) If the office of the coroner is notified that a person who was the operator of a motor vehicle that was involved in an accident or crash was killed in the accident or crash or died as a result of injuries suffered in it, the coroner, deputy coroner, or pathologist shall go to the dead body and take charge of it and administer a chemical test to the blood of the deceased person to determine the alcohol, drug, or alcohol and drug content of the blood. This division does not authorize the coroner, deputy coroner, or pathologist to perform an autopsy, and does not affect and shall not be construed as affecting the provisions of section 313.131 of the Revised Code that govern the determination of whether and when an autopsy is to be performed.

Cite as R.C. § 313.13

Effective Date: 11-01-1992; 2008 HB529 04-07-2009

313.131 Autopsy contrary to deceased person's religious beliefs.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Friend" means any person who maintained regular contact with the deceased person, and who was familiar with the deceased person's activities, health, and religious beliefs at the time of the deceased person's death, any person who assumes custody of the body for burial, and any person authorized by written instrument, executed by the deceased person to make burial arrangements.

(2) "Relative" means any of the following persons: the deceased person's surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings.

(B) The coroner, deputy coroner, or pathologist shall perform an autopsy if, in the opinion of the coroner, or, in his absence, in the opinion of the deputy coroner, an autopsy is necessary, except for certain circumstances provided for in this section where a relative or friend of the deceased person informs the coroner that an autopsy is contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs, or the coroner otherwise has reason to believe that an autopsy is contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs. The coroner has such reason to believe an autopsy is contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs if a document signed by the deceased and stating an objection to an autopsy is found on the deceased's person or in his effects. For the purposes of this division, a person is a relative or friend of the deceased person if the person presents an affidavit stating that he is a relative or friend as defined in division (A) of this section.

(C)

(1) Except as provided in division (F) of this section, if a relative or friend of the deceased person informs the coroner that an autopsy is contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs, or the coroner otherwise has reason to believe that an autopsy is contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs, and the coroner concludes the autopsy is a compelling public necessity, no autopsy shall be performed for forty-eight hours after the coroner takes charge of the deceased person. An autopsy is a compelling public necessity if it is necessary to the conduct of an investigation by law enforcement officials of a homicide or suspected homicide, or any other criminal investigation, or is necessary to establish the cause of the deceased person's death for the purpose of protecting against an immediate and substantial threat to the public health. During the forty-eight hour period, the objecting relative or friend may file suit to enjoin the autopsy, and shall give notice of any such filing to the coroner. The coroner may seek an order waiving the forty-eight hour waiting period. If the coroner seeks such an order, the court shall give notice of the coroner's motion, by telephone if necessary, to the objecting relative or friend, or, if none objected, to all of the deceased person's relatives whose addresses or telephone numbers can be obtained through the exercise of reasonable diligence. The court may grant the coroner's motion if the court determines that no friend or relative of the deceased person objects to the autopsy or if the court is satisfied that any objections of a friend or relative have been heard, and if it also determines that the delay may prejudice the accuracy of the autopsy, or if law enforcement officials are investigating the deceased person's death as a homicide and suspect the objecting party committed the homicide or aided or abetted in the homicide. If no friend or relative files suit within the forty-eight hour period, the coroner may proceed with the autopsy.

(2) The court shall hear a petition to enjoin an autopsy within forty-eight hours after the filing of the petition. The Rules of Civil Procedure shall govern all aspects of the proceedings, except as otherwise provided in division (C)(2) of this section. The court is not bound by the Rules of Evidence in the conduct of the hearing. The court shall order the autopsy if the court finds that under the circumstances the coroner has demonstrated a need for the autopsy. If the court enjoins the autopsy, the coroner shall immediately proceed under section 313.14 of the Revised Code.

(D)

(1) If a relative or friend of the decedent informs the coroner that an autopsy is contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs, or the coroner otherwise has reason to believe that an autopsy is contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs, and the coroner concludes the autopsy is necessary, but not a compelling public necessity, the coroner may file a petition in a court of common pleas seeking a declaratory judgment authorizing the autopsy. Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall schedule a hearing on the petition, and shall issue a summons to the objecting relative or friend, or, if none objected, to all of the deceased person's relatives whose addresses can be obtained through the exercise of reasonable diligence. The court shall hold the hearing no later than forty-eight hours after the filing of the petition. The court shall conduct the hearing in the manner provided in division (C)(2) of this section.

(2) Each person claiming to be a relative or friend of the deceased person shall immediately upon receipt of the summons file an affidavit with the court stating the facts upon which the claim is based. If the court finds that any person is falsely representing himself as a relative or friend of the deceased person, the court shall dismiss the person from the action. If after dismissal no objecting party remains, and the coroner does not have reason to believe that an autopsy is contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs, the court shall dismiss the action and the coroner may proceed with the autopsy. The court shall order the autopsy after hearing the petition if the court finds that under the circumstances the coroner has demonstrated a need for the autopsy. The court shall waive the payment of all court costs in the action. If the petition is denied, the coroner shall immediately proceed under section 313.14 of the Revised Code.

Any autopsy performed pursuant to a court order granting an autopsy shall be performed using the least intrusive procedure.

(E) For purposes of divisions (B), (C)(1), and (D)(1) of this section, any time the friends or relatives of a deceased person disagree about whether an autopsy is contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs, the coroner shall consider only the information provided to him by the person of highest priority, as determined by which is listed first among the following:

(1) The deceased person's surviving spouse;

(2) An adult son or daughter of the deceased person;

(3) Either parent of the deceased person;

(4) An adult brother or sister of the deceased person;

(5) The guardian of the person of the deceased person at the time of death;

(6) A person other than those listed in divisions (E)(1) to (5) of this section who is a friend as defined in division (A)[(1)] of this section.

If two or more persons of equal priority disagree about whether an autopsy is contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs, and those persons are also of the highest priority among those who provide the coroner with information the coroner has reason to believe that an autopsy is contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs.

(F)

(1) Divisions (C)(1) and (2) of this section do not apply in any case involving aggravated murder, suspected aggravated murder, murder, suspected murder, manslaughter offenses, or suspected manslaughter offenses.

(2) This section does not prohibit the coroner, deputy coroner, or pathologist from administering a chemical test to the blood of a deceased person to determine the alcohol, drug, or alcohol and drug content of the blood, when required by division (B) of section 313.13 of the Revised Code, and does not limit the coroner, deputy coroner, or pathologist in the performance of his duties in administering a chemical test under that division.

Cite as R.C. § 313.131

Effective Date: 07-25-1990

313.14 Notice to relatives - disposition of property.

The coroner shall notify any known relatives of a deceased person who meets death in the manner described by section 313.12 of the Revised Code by letter or otherwise. The next of kin, other relatives, or friends of the deceased person, in the order named, shall have prior right as to disposition of the body of such deceased person. If relatives of the deceased are unknown, the coroner shall make a diligent effort to ascertain the next of kin, other relatives, or friends of the deceased person. The coroner shall take charge and possession of all moneys, clothing, and other valuable personal effects of such deceased person, found in connection with or pertaining to such body, and shall store such possessions in the county coroner's office or such other suitable place as is provided for such storage by the board of county commissioners. If the coroner considers it advisable, he may, after taking adequate precautions for the security of such possessions, store the possessions where he finds them until other storage space becomes available. After using such of the clothing as is necessary in the burial of the body, in case the cost of the burial is paid by the county, the coroner shall set at public auction the valuable personal effects of such deceased persons, found in connection with or pertaining to the unclaimed body, except firearms, which shall be disposed of as provided by section 313.141 of the Revised Code, and he shall make a verified inventory of such effects. Such effects shall be sold within eighteen months after the burial, or after delivery of such body in accordance with section 1713.34 of the Revised Code. All moneys derived from such sale shall be deposited in the county treasury. A notice of such sale shall be given in one newspaper of general circulation in the county, for five days in succession, and the sale shall be held immediately thereafter. The cost of such advertisement and notices shall be paid by the board upon submission of a verified statement therefore, certified to the coroner.

This section does not invalidate section 1713.34 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 313.14

Effective Date: 08-19-1982

313.141 Disposition of firearms in personal effects of deceased person.

If firearms are included in the valuable personal effects of a deceased person who met death in the manner described by section 313.12 of the Revised Code, the coroner shall deliver the firearms to the chief of police of the municipal corporation within which the body is found, or to the sheriff of the county if the body is not found within a municipal corporation. The firearms shall be used for law enforcement purposes only or they shall be destroyed. Upon delivery of the firearms to the chief of police or the sheriff, the law enforcement officer to whom the delivery is made shall give the coroner a receipt for the firearms that states the date of delivery and an accurate description of the firearms.

Cite as R.C. § 313.141

Effective Date: 08-01-1976

313.15 Determination of responsibility for death.

All dead bodies in the custody of the coroner shall be held until such time as the coroner, after consultation with the prosecuting attorney, or with the police department of a municipal corporation, if the death occurred in a municipal corporation, or with the sheriff, has decided that it is no longer necessary to hold such body to enable him to decide on a diagnosis giving a reasonable and true cause of death, or to decide that such body is no longer necessary to assist any of such officials in his duties.

Cite as R.C. § 313.15

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

313.16 Laboratory examinations by coroner of another county.

In counties where no coroner's laboratory has been established or where the coroner's laboratory does not have the equipment or personnel to follow the protocol established in rules adopted by the director of health under section 313.122 of the Revised Code, the coroner may request a coroner of a county in which such a laboratory is established or that has a laboratory able to follow the director's protocol to perform necessary laboratory examinations, the cost of which shall be no greater than the actual value of the services of technicians and the materials used in performing such examination. Money derived from the fees paid for these examinations shall be kept in a special fund, for the use of the coroner's laboratory, from which fund replacements can be made. Such funds shall be used to purchase necessary supplies and equipment for the laboratory and to pay any associated costs incurred in the administration of this section at the coroner's discretion.

Cite as R.C. § 313.16

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Effective Date: 11-01-1992; 2008 HB471 04-07-2009

313.161 Cost of autopsy when death occurred in another county.

Whenever an autopsy is performed, and the injury causing death occurred within the boundaries of a county other than the one in which the autopsy was performed, such other county shall pay the costs of the autopsy. The cost of such autopsy shall be no greater than the actual value of the services of the technicians and materials used. Money derived from the fees paid for such autopsies shall be credited to the coroner's laboratory fund created in section 313.16 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 313.161

Effective Date: 11-06-1969

313.17 Subpoenas - oath and testimony of witnesses.

The coroner or deputy coroner may issue subpoenas for such witnesses as are necessary, administer to such witnesses the usual oath, and proceed to inquire how the deceased came to his death, whether by violence to self or from any other persons, by whom, whether as principals or accessories before or after the fact, and all circumstances relating thereto. The testimony of such witnesses shall be reduced to writing and subscribed to by them, and with the findings and recognizances mentioned in this section, shall be kept on file in the coroner's office, unless the county fails to provide such an office, in which event all such records, findings and recognizances shall be kept on file in the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas. The coroner may cause such witnesses to enter into recognizance, in such sum as is proper, for their appearance to give testimony concerning the matter. He may require any such witnesses to give security for their attendance, and, if any of them fails to comply with his requirements he shall commit such person to the county jail until discharged by due course of law. In case of the failure of any person to comply with such subpoena, or on the refusal of a witness to testify to any matter regarding which he may lawfully be interrogated, the probate judge, or a judge of the court of common pleas, on application of the coroner, shall compel obedience to such subpoena by attachment proceedings as for contempt. A report shall be made from the personal observation by the coroner or his deputy of the corpse, from the statements of relatives or other persons having any knowledge of the facts, and from such other sources of information as are available, or from the autopsy.

Cite as R.C. § 313.17

Effective Date: 08-06-1976

313.18 Disinterment of body.

The prosecuting attorney or coroner may order the disinterment of any dead body, under the direction and supervision of the coroner, and may authorize the removal of such body by the coroner to the quarters established for the use of such coroner, for the purpose of examination and autopsy.

Cite as R.C. § 313.18

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

313.19 Coroner's verdict the legally accepted cause of death.

The cause of death and the manner and mode in which the death occurred, as delivered by the coroner and incorporated in the coroner's verdict and in the death certificate filed with the division of vital statistics, shall be the legally accepted manner and mode in which such death occurred, and the legally accepted cause of death, unless the court of common pleas of the county in which the death occurred, after a hearing, directs the coroner to change his decision as to such cause and manner and mode of death.

Cite as R.C. § 313.19

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

313.20 Coroner's writs.

The coroner may issue any writ required by sections 313.01 to 313.22 , of the Revised Code, to any constable of the county in which a body is found as described in section 313.12 of the Revised Code, or if the emergency so requires, to any discreet person of the county, and such person is entitled to receive for the services rendered the same fees as elected constables. Every constable, or other person so appointed, who fails to execute any warrant directed to him, shall forfeit and pay twenty-five dollars, which amount shall be recovered upon the complaint of the coroner, before any court having jurisdiction thereof. All such forfeitures shall be for the use of the county.

Cite as R.C. § 313.20

Effective Date: 08-26-1975

313.21 Tests for emergency involving suspected toxic substances or for law enforcement-related testing.

(A) The coroner may use or may allow the use of the coroner's laboratory and facilities for tests in an emergency involving suspected toxic substances or for law enforcement-related testing, and may direct his assistants and other personnel to perform such testing in addition to testing performed in execution of their duties as set forth in sections 313.01 to 313.22 of the Revised Code. Nothing in this division shall permit such testing except in compliance with state and federal quality assurance requirements for medical laboratories.

(B) The coroner shall keep a complete record of all chemical tests and other tests performed each fiscal year pursuant to division (A) of this section, the public agency, hospital, or person for whom the test was performed, and the cost incurred for each test. This record shall be kept in the office of the coroner.

Cite as R.C. § 313.21

Effective Date: 11-15-1991

313.211 Powers of coroner regarding dangerous drugs.

The coroner may secure, catalog, record, and, with the approval of the prosecuting attorney, destroy any dangerous drugs found at the scene of an investigation the coroner conducts, if the dangerous drugs are no longer needed for investigative or scientific purposes.

Cite as R.C. § 313.211

Effective Date: 2008 HB471 04-07-2009

313.212 Notice of death by overdose.

If the coroner determines that a drug overdose is the cause of death of a person, the coroner may provide a notice of the death to the state medical board. The coroner may include in the notice any information relating to the drug that resulted in the overdose, including the individual authorized under Chapter 4731. of the Revised Code to practice medicine or surgery, osteopathic medicine or surgery, or podiatric medicine or surgery who prescribed the drug to the decedent.

Cite as R.C. § 313.212

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.19, HB 93, §1, eff. 5/20/2011.

313.22 Rights of administrator or executor.

Sections 311.01 to 311.21 , inclusive, of the Revised Code do not interfere with the rights of any appointed and qualified administrator or executor, but moneys and effects taken by the coroner shall be delivered to such administrator or executor, whether before or after return thereof to the probate court.

Cite as R.C. § 313.22

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

313.23 View of autopsy by interested person.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Interested person" means an employee of the coroner's office, a physician, dentist, nurse, professor at a medical school, medical student, medical resident, nursing student, an employee of a procurement organization, a member of a law enforcement agency, or any other person the coroner, in the coroner's discretion, determines is appropriate.

(2) " Procurement organization" has the same meaning as in section 2108.01 of the Revised Code.

(B) The coroner may allow an interested person to view an autopsy of a decedent without the interested person receiving permission to view the decedent's autopsy from the decedent's next of kin.

(C) No person who is under eighteen years of age and who is not an interested person may view an autopsy.

Cite as R.C. § 313.23

Effective Date: 08-17-2006; 2008 HB529 04-07-2009

313.30 Coroner to designate eye or tissue bank - immunity.

A coroner acting in good faith is not liable in damages for injury resulting from acting or attempting to act in accordance with sections 2108.01 to 2108.29 of the Revised Code regarding an anatomical gift.

Cite as R.C. § 313.30

Effective Date: 12-13-2000; 2008 HB529 04-07-2009

313.99 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 313.99

Effective Date: 01-01-1974