130th Ohio General Assembly
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(123rd General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 499)



AN ACT
To amend sections 313.02 and 313.10 and to enact section 313.091 of the Revised Code to authorize coroners, deputy coroners, or their representatives to request medical and psychiatric records in connection with an autopsy, to protect those records from disclosure as public records, and to require coroners to complete continuing education requirements.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1 .  That sections 313.02 and 313.10 be amended and section 313.091 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 313.02.  (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 his election or appointment as a coroner, and who is in good standing in his 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.

Sec. 313.091.  In connection with the performance of duties performed in accordance with 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 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.

Sec. 313.10.  The records of the coroner, made personally by himself the coroner or by anyone acting under his the coroner's direction or supervision, are public records, and such those records, or transcripts, or photostatic copies thereof of them, certified by the coroner, shall be received as evidence in any criminal or civil court in this state, as to the facts contained in such those records.

All Except for 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, all records in the coroner's office shall be open to inspection by the public, and any person may receive a copy of any such record or part thereof of it upon demand in writing, accompanied by payment of the transcript fee, at the rate of fifteen cents per hundred words, or a minimum fee of one dollar.

SECTION 2 .  That existing sections 313.02 and 313.10 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

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