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A52, R90, S391
Sponsors: Senators Knotts, Elliott, Grooms, Drummond, Ford, Anderson, McGill and Mescher
Document Path: l:\council\bills\gjk\20103sd07.doc
Companion/Similar bill(s): 3740
Introduced in the Senate on February 1, 2007
Introduced in the House on April 18, 2007
Last Amended on May 22, 2007
Passed by the General Assembly on May 24, 2007
Governor's Action: June 6, 2007, Signed
Summary: Coroner office
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2/1/2007 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-2 2/1/2007 Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary SJ-2 2/12/2007 Senate Referred to Subcommittee: Hutto (ch), Jackson, Knotts, Bryant 4/12/2007 Senate Committee report: Favorable with amendment Judiciary SJ-18 4/13/2007 Scrivener's error corrected 4/17/2007 Senate Amended SJ-12 4/17/2007 Senate Read second time SJ-12 4/18/2007 Senate Read third time and sent to House SJ-13 4/18/2007 House Introduced and read first time HJ-124 4/18/2007 House Referred to Committee on Judiciary HJ-124 5/16/2007 House Committee report: Favorable with amendment Judiciary HJ-74 5/22/2007 House Amended HJ-40 5/22/2007 House Read second time HJ-41 5/23/2007 House Read third time and returned to Senate with amendments HJ-24 5/24/2007 Senate Concurred in House amendment and enrolled SJ-109 5/31/2007 Ratified R 90 6/6/2007 Signed By Governor 6/13/2007 Copies available 6/13/2007 Effective date 06/06/07 6/15/2007 Act No. 52
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VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
(A52, R90, S391)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 17-5-50, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO VACANCIES IN THE OFFICE OF CORONER, SO AS TO REVISE THE MANNER IN WHICH A VACANCY IS FILLED AND TO PROVIDE THE CHIEF MAGISTRATE OF THE COUNTY, OR HIS DESIGNEE, SHALL SERVE AS CORONER UNTIL THE REPLACEMENT TAKES OFFICE; TO AMEND SECTION 17-5-70, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTIES BY THE COUNTY CORONER, SO AS TO PERMIT THE COUNTY CORONER TO ALSO APPOINT INVESTIGATORS AS WELL AS DEPUTIES AND TO MAKE THESE APPOINTMENTS MANDATORY RATHER THAN DISCRETIONARY; TO AMEND SECTION 17-5-520, RELATING TO THE AUTHORITY OF A CORONER OR MEDICAL EXAMINER TO DETERMINE THAT AN AUTOPSY BE MADE, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE CORONER OR MEDICAL EXAMINER TO REQUEST AN AUTOPSY IF A CHILD'S DEATH OCCURS AS A RESULT OF VIOLENCE OR IS UNEXPLAINED INCLUDING POSSIBLE SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE MANNER IN WHICH THE AUTOPSY SHALL BE CONDUCTED; TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-5915, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE PURPOSES AND DUTIES OF THE STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION IN REGARD TO INVESTIGATING CHILD DEATHS, SO AS TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR THE MANNER IN WHICH AND CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH AUTOPSIES ARE PERFORMED IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES AND WHEN A CORONER SHALL BE REQUESTED TO REOPEN A CASE; TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-5920, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE DUTIES OF THE STATE CHILD FATALITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE IN REGARD TO THE INVESTIGATION OF A DEATH, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE CORONER OR MEDICAL EXAMINER MUST BE NOTIFIED ABOUT A REVIEW MEETING AND REQUESTED TO ATTEND; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 17-5-80 RELATING TO A MAGISTRATE ACTING AS A CORONER IN CERTAIN CASES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 17-5-50 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 17-5-50. In the event of a vacancy in the office of coroner, the Governor shall fill the office by appointment as provided in Section 4-11-20. The chief magistrate of the county or his designee shall serve as coroner until such time as the Governor appoints a qualified replacement, and he takes office."
Investigators and deputies
SECTION 2. Section 17-5-70 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 73 of 2001, is further amended to read:
"Section 17-5-70. A county coroner shall appoint one or more deputies or investigators to be approved by the judge of the circuit or by any circuit judge presiding therein, who must take and subscribe the oath prescribed by the constitution before entering upon the duties of appointment as a deputy coroner. The oath may be administered by any officer authorized to administer oaths in the county. The appointment must be evidenced by a certificate thereof, signed by the coroner, and continue at the coroner's pleasure. The coroner may take a bond and surety from his deputy as he considers necessary to secure the faithful discharge of the duties of the appointment, but the coroner must always be answerable for the neglect of duty or misconduct in office of his deputy coroner. When duly qualified, as herein required, the deputy coroner may do and perform any or all of the duties appertaining to the office of the coroner."
Request for an autopsy
SECTION 3. Section 17-5-520 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 17-5-520. (A) In addition to the powers vested in other law enforcement officials to order an autopsy, the coroner or medical examiner is authorized to determine that an autopsy be made.
(B) The coroner or medical examiner immediately shall request an autopsy if a child's death occurs as defined in Section 17-5-540. The autopsy must be performed as soon as possible by a pathologist with forensic training."
Performance of an autopsy; reopening of a case
SECTION 4. Section 20-7-5915(B)(1) and (3) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 73 of 2001, is further amended to read:
"(1) upon receipt of a report of a child death from the county coroner or medical examiner, as required by Section 17-5-540, investigate and gather all information on the child fatality. The coroner or medical examiner immediately shall request an autopsy if SLED determines that an autopsy is necessary. The autopsy must be performed by a pathologist with forensic training as soon as possible. The pathologist shall inform the department of the findings within forty-eight hours of completion of the autopsy. If the autopsy reveals the cause of death to be pathological or an unavoidable accident, the case must be closed by the department. If the autopsy reveals physical or sexual trauma, suspicious markings, or other findings that are questionable or yields no conclusion to the cause of death, the department immediately must begin an investigation;
(3) upon receipt of additional investigative information, reopen a SLED case, and request in writing as soon as possible for the coroner to reopen a case for another coroner's inquest;"
Notification of review meeting
SECTION 5. Section 20-7-5920(B)(1) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 73 of 2001, is further amended to read:
"(1) meet with the department no later than one month after the department receives notification by the county coroner or medical examiner pursuant to Section 17-5-540 to review the investigation of the death. The Child Fatality Advisory Committee shall notify the county coroner or medical examiner about the review meeting and request that the county coroner or medical examiner attend the review meeting;"
SECTION 6. Section 17-5-80 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
SECTION 7. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Ratified the 31st day of May, 2007.
Approved the 6th day of June, 2007.
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