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§ 949. Records--Evidence--Sudden Unexpected Death in Infants and Children

Oklahoma Statutes AnnotatedTitle 63. Public Health and Safety

Oklahoma Statutes Annotated
Title 63. Public Health and Safety (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 37. Medicolegal Investigations
63 Okl.St.Ann. § 949
§ 949. Records--Evidence--Sudden Unexpected Death in Infants and Children
A. 1. a. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner shall keep full and complete records, properly indexed, giving the name, if known, of every person whose death is investigated, the place where the body was found, the date, cause, and manner of death and all other relevant information concerning the death. The full report and detailed findings of the autopsy, if any, shall be a part of the record in each case.
b. The Chief Medical Examiner shall track and forward, within seventy-two (72) hours after the examination, demographic information on sudden, unexpected and nontraumatic infant deaths including, but not limited to, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), to the Oklahoma SIDS Coordinator at the State Department of Health and the SIDS Foundation of Oklahoma. As used in this subparagraph, “Sudden Unexpected Death in Infants and Children” (SUDIC) means the sudden, unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant less than one (1) year of age which remains unexplained following a complete medicolegal analysis and death scene investigation. The Chief Medical Examiner shall follow up with further notification upon final determination of a cause of death. Such notification shall be for statistical reporting purposes only.
2. The office shall promptly deliver to each district attorney having jurisdiction of the case, copies of all cases relating to a death for which further investigation may be advisable. Any district attorney or other law enforcement official may, upon request, obtain copies of such records or other information deemed necessary to the performance of such district attorney's or other law enforcement official's official duties.
B. No report, findings, testimony, or other information of a medical examiner shall be admitted in evidence in any civil action in any court in this state, except under the following circumstances:
1. Certified copies of reports pertaining to the factual determinations of views and examination of or autopsies upon the bodies of deceased persons by the Chief Medical Examiner or anyone under his or her supervision or control may be admitted in evidence in any civil case in a court of competent jurisdiction in this state by stipulation of all parties in the case;
2. If a party refuses to stipulate to admission, the reports may be requested by any party seeking to admit the records as evidence. The request shall be made to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, who shall furnish same;
3. The party seeking admission of the reports shall then serve interrogatories concerning the facts to be answered under oath by the person preparing the records. The interrogatories and answers thereto shall be subject to the rules of evidence and may be admissible in evidence in any civil case in a court of competent jurisdiction. Objections to the interrogatories shall be made by any party in accordance with law just as if the interrogatories had been served on the objecting party. Cross interrogatories shall be submitted and shall be answered and admitted in evidence in the same manner as interrogatories;
4. The taking of depositions shall then be allowed pursuant to the provisions of Section 3230 of Title 12 of the Oklahoma Statutes; provided, however, depositions shall take place at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner or anyone under his or her supervision or control whose testimony is sought, unless all parties, including the medical examiner, agree the deposition can be taken elsewhere;
5. No other testimony of the Chief Medical Examiner or anyone under his or her supervision and control shall be admitted in evidence in any civil action in any court of this state, unless timely application is made to the court by an interested party or litigant and timely notice of the application is given to the medical examiner. After a hearing, the court, for good cause shown, may order the appearance of the Chief Medical Examiner or anyone under his or her supervision and control for the purpose of testifying and may order that a subpoena be issued for that appearance; provided, however, that such order by the court shall be the exception and not the rule; and
6. The cost of the records or certified copies thereof shall be paid by the party requesting same. The reasonable fee charged by the Chief Medical Examiner or anyone under his or her supervision and control for answering interrogatories or cross interrogatories, submitting to depositions, or providing testimony shall be paid by the party submitting same. This fee shall be in place of any other witness fee allowed by law.
C. Certified copies of reports and findings, exclusive of hearsay evidence, may be admitted in evidence in preliminary hearings and criminal trials by stipulation.
D. Certified copies of reports of investigations by a medical examiner, laboratory reports and/or autopsy reports may be furnished to the next of kin or others having need for them upon written statement and payment of a reasonable fee set by the Board of Medicolegal Investigations.

Credits

Laws 1961, p. 607, § 19, eff. Jan. 2, 1962; Laws 1972, c. 246, § 18, emerg. eff. April 7, 1972; Laws 1974, c. 275, § 1, emerg. eff. May 29, 1974; Laws 1976, c. 63, § 1; Laws 1999, c. 55, § 2, emerg. eff. April 5, 1999; Laws 2004, c. 190, § 1, eff. July 1, 2004; Laws 2014, c. 293, § 19, eff. Nov. 1, 2014.
63 Okl. St. Ann. § 949, OK ST T. 63 § 949
Current with legislation of the Second Regular Session of the 59th Legislature (2024). Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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