Stricken language would be deleted from and underlined language would be added to present law.
1 State of Arkansas
2 93rd General Assembly A Bill
3 Regular Session, 2021 SENATE BILL 567
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5 By: Senators Bledsoe, K. Hammer
6 By: Representatives McCollum, Carr, Tosh
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8 For An Act To Be Entitled
9 AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW GOVERNING THE CONFIDENTIALITY
10 OF CORONERS' REPORTS AND OTHER RECORDS; AND FOR OTHER
11 PURPOSES.
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14 Subtitle
15 TO AMEND THE LAW GOVERNING THE
16 CONFIDENTIALITY OF CORONERS' REPORTS AND
17 OTHER RECORDS.
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20 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS:
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22 SECTION 1. Arkansas Code 14-15-304 is amended to read as follows:
23 14-15-304. Confidentiality.
24 (a) Records Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, all
25 records gathered and or created during the course of a coroners
26 investigation shall be are confidential and deemed exempt from the Freedom of
27 Information Act of 1967, 25-19-101 et seq., but only until such time that
28 the coroner issues his or her final report.
29 (b) Confidential medical information gathered during the course of the
30 investigation shall remain exempt from public inspection and copying except
31 as quoted in the coroner's final report. At the conclusion of the
32 investigation by the coroner or by a law enforcement agency or prosecuting
33 attorney, the records gathered or created during the course of a county
34 coroner's investigation are subject to release under the Freedom of
35 Information Act of 1967, 25-19-101 et seq. as follows:
36 (1) The following information is subject to release to the
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1 extent reflected in the coroner's final report:
2 (A) The decedent's:
3 (i) Name;
4 (ii) Approximate age;
5 (iii) Sex;
6 (iv) City of residence; and
7 (v) Date of death;
8 (B) The location where the decedent's body was discovered;
9 (C) The cause and manner of the decedent's death, and any
10 other medical information that is:
11 (i) Related to the cause of death; and
12 (ii) Quoted in the coroners final report; and
13 (D) A list of all other governmental entities, if any,
14 investigating the death; and
15 (2) Any other record may be disclosed to the extent its
16 disclosure complies with subdivision (b)(1) of this section and the county
17 coroner redacts all information as necessary to protect the privacy of the
18 decedent or the decedent's family, including without limitation:
19 (A) The decedents:
20 (i) Social security number;
21 (ii) Address;
22 (iii) Phone number; and
23 (iv) Date of birth;
24 (B) Information that identifies the decedents next of
25 kin, family members, or other individuals included in such records;
26 (C) Preliminary autopsy notes or findings, including
27 without limitation photographs;
28 (D) Investigative notes and findings made by the coroner
29 or by anyone acting under the coroners direction or supervision;
30 (E) Suicide notes;
31 (F) Medical or psychiatric records provided to the
32 coroner; and
33 (G) Laboratory reports created by the coroner's laboratory
34 based on analysis of physical evidence if either the physical evidence or the
35 report is discoverable under the Arkansas Rules of Criminal Procedure.
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SB567
1 (c) This section does not:
2 (1) Affect the release of records, files, or information under
3 12-12-312; or
4 (2) Limit the ability of a coroner, state medical examiner,
5 medical professional, medical school, organ procurement organization, eye and
6 tissue bank, or a state or federal agency to access and use medical
7 information and databases.
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