Senate Bill No. 267
               Senate Bill No. 267

               PUBLIC ACT NO. 98-14


AN ACT CONCERNING SUICIDE NOTES.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  19a-407  of  the  general statutes is
repealed and the following is substituted in  lieu
thereof:
    (a)  All  law  enforcement  officers,  state's
attorneys, prosecuting attorneys, other officials,
physicians, funeral directors, embalmers and other
persons shall promptly notify the  Office  of  the
Chief  Medical  Examiner  of  any  death coming to
their attention which is subject to  investigation
by  the Chief Medical Examiner under this chapter,
shall assist in making  dead  bodies  and  related
evidence    available    to    that   office   for
investigations   and   postmortem    examinations,
including  autopsies,  and  shall  cooperate fully
with said office in making the investigations  and
examinations  herein  provided  for. In conducting
such investigations  or  examinations,  the  Chief
Medical Examiner may issue subpoenas requiring the
production of medical reports,  records  or  other
documents concerning the death under investigation
and compelling the attendance and testimony of any
person having pertinent knowledge of such death.
    (b)  In cases of apparent homicide or suicide,
or of accidental death,  the  cause  of  which  is
obscure,  the  scene  of  the  event  shall not be
disturbed until authorized by  the  Chief  Medical
Examiner  or  his  authorized representative. Upon
receipt of notification of  a  death  as  provided
herein,   the   Chief   Medical  Examiner  or  his
authorized  representative  shall  view  and  take
charge of the body without delay.
    (c)  In  conducting his investigation, [except
as  may  be  otherwise  directed  by  the  state's
attorney  or  an  assistant state's attorney,] the
Chief   Medical   Examiner   or   his   authorized
representative  shall  [take  possession  of] HAVE
ACCESS TO any objects, writings or other  articles
of  property IN THE CUSTODY OF ANY LAW ENFORCEMENT
OFFICIAL  which  in  [his]   THE   CHIEF   MEDICAL
EXAMINER'S  opinion  may be useful in establishing
the cause or manner of death. [and  hold,  analyze
or deliver them to the appropriate law enforcement
officials.]  UPON  THE  CHIEF  MEDICAL  EXAMINER'S
REQUEST, A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL HAVING CUSTODY
OF SUCH ARTICLES SHALL DELIVER THEM TO  THE  CHIEF
MEDICAL EXAMINER, ALONG WITH COPIES OF ANY REPORTS
OF THE ANALYSIS  OF  SUCH  ARTICLES  BY  SUCH  LAW
ENFORCEMENT  OFFICIAL.  THE CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER
SHALL ANALYZE SUCH ARTICLES AND RETURN THEM TO THE
OFFICIAL  FROM  WHOM THEY WERE OBTAINED. When such
articles are no longer required to be kept for the
purposes of justice, [they shall be delivered] THE
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL WHO HAS CUSTODY  OF  THEM
SHALL  DELIVER  THEM  to  the  person  or  persons
entitled to their custody. [or, if they]  IF  SUCH
ARTICLES are not claimed by such person or persons
entitled thereto within one year after the date of
death, such articles may be disposed of by the law
enforcement official as provided in section 54-36.
    (d)  Any  person  who wilfully fails to comply
with any provision of this section shall be  fined
not  more  than five hundred dollars or imprisoned
not more than one year, or both.

Approved April 24, 1998