Sec. 19a-411. (Formerly Sec. 19-535). Records. (a) The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner shall keep full and complete records properly indexed, giving the name,
if known, of every person whose death is investigated, the place where the body was
found, the date, cause and manner of death and containing all other relevant information
concerning the death and a copy of the death certificate. The full report and detailed
findings of the autopsy and toxicological and other scientific investigation, if any, shall
be a part of the record in each case. The office shall promptly notify the state's attorney
having jurisdiction of such death and deliver to the state's attorney copies of all pertinent
records relating to every death in which further investigation may be advisable. Any
state's attorney, chief of police or other law enforcement official may, upon request,
secure copies of such records or other information deemed necessary by such official
for the performance of his or her official duties.
(b) The report of examinations conducted by the Chief Medical Examiner, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, an associate medical examiner or an authorized assistant medical examiner, and of the autopsy and other scientific findings may be made available to the public only through the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and in accordance with this section, section 1-210 and the regulations of the commission. Any person may obtain copies of such records upon such conditions and payment of such fees as may be prescribed by the commission, except that no person with a legitimate interest in the records shall be denied access to such records, and no person may be denied access to records concerning a person in the custody of the state at the time of death. As used in this section, a "person in the custody of the state" is a person committed to the custody of (1) the Commissioner of Correction for confinement in a correctional institution or facility or a community residence, (2) the Commissioner of Children and Families, or (3) the Commissioner of Developmental Services.
(c) Upon application by the Chief Medical Examiner or state's attorney to the superior court for the judicial district in which the death occurred, or to any judge of the superior court in such judicial district when said court is not then sitting, said court or such judge may limit such disclosure to the extent that there is a showing by the Chief Medical Examiner or state's attorney of compelling public interest against disclosure of any particular document or documents. Public authorities, professional, medical, legal or scientific bodies or universities or similar research bodies may, in the discretion of the commission, have access to all records upon such conditions and payment of such fees as may be prescribed by the commission. Where such information is made available for scientific or research purposes, such conditions shall include a requirement that the identity of the deceased persons shall remain confidential and shall not be published.
(1969, P.A. 699, S. 12; 1971, P.A. 412, S. 6; P.A. 78-280, S. 2, 127; P.A. 79-47, S. 14; P.A. 80-190, S. 10; P.A. 02-137, S. 4; P.A. 07-73, S. 2(b).)
History: 1971 act replaced office of medicolegal investigations with office of medical examiner and added provision re availability of examination and autopsy findings to public; P.A. 78-280 replaced "county" with "judicial district"; P.A. 79-47 added word "chief" to agency and deputy medical examiner titles and changed wording slightly for clarity; P.A. 80-190 deleted coroners as persons requiring notification and as persons entitled to copies of records; Sec. 19-535 transferred to Sec. 19a-411 in 1983; P.A. 02-137 divided existing section into Subsecs. (a), (b) and (c) and amended newly designated Subsec. (b) to add that records be made available in accordance with this section, provided that no person may be denied access to records concerning a person in the custody of the state at time of death and defined "a person in the custody of the state", substituted "except that" for "provided" and "in the records" for "therein" and made technical changes throughout the section for the purpose of gender neutrality; pursuant to P.A. 07-73 "Commissioner of Mental Retardation" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Commissioner of Developmental Services", effective October 1, 2007.
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