OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 1054

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DISCLOSURE OF AUTOPSY REPORTS.

SUMMARY:

This bill expands the Freedom of Information Act's exemption from disclosure for law enforcement records compiled in connection with an investigation to include records of a medical examiner's investigation and examination in the apparent homicide of a person under age 18, including autopsy reports and other scientific findings. Like other records covered under the exemption, the medical examiner's records are exempt from disclosure unless they are otherwise available to the public.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

BACKGROUND

Related Law

Unless an autopsy report concerns a person who died in state custody, current law and Commission on Medicolegal Investigations regulations limit the release of autopsy reports to:

1. a public authority, professional, medical, legal, or scientific body or university for research purposes;

2. a person with “legitimate interest” in the records, such as a family member, executor, or insurance claim agent (unless a court order bars disclosure); or

3. the defense counsel of record or a pro se litigant in a criminal case (CGS 19a-411 and Conn. Agencies Reg. 19a-401-12).

The general public can obtain copies of the medical examiner's reports when the person was in state custody at the time of death (PA 02-137).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

39

Nay

3

(04/15/2011)