Section 11-5-31

Alabama Coroner's Training Commission.

(a) There is created the Alabama Coroner's Training Commission to be appointed as herein provided. Appointments to the commission shall be made as follows:

(1) The President of the Alabama Coroner's Association shall appoint one county coroner to serve an initial term of two years.

(2) The Attorney General shall appoint one district attorney to serve for an initial term of one year.

(3) The Governor shall appoint one county coroner to serve for an initial term of three years.

(4) The Director of the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences shall appoint one person who is either a state medical examiner or a forensic scientist to serve for an initial term of two years.

(5) The Board of Directors of the Alabama Coroner's Association shall appoint three county coroners to serve for initial terms of two years each.

(b) The membership of the commission shall be inclusive and reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban\rural, and economic diversity of the state. The commission shall annually report to the Legislature by the second legislative day of each regular session to what extent the commission has complied with the diversity provisions provided for in this article. The initial appointees shall be appointed within 60 days of April 25, 2006, and shall serve until their successors are appointed. Subsequent appointees to the commission shall serve terms of four years. In the event of death, resignation, disqualification through loss of position of any member of the commission, or other vacancy, a successor shall be appointed by the original appointing authority and the successor so appointed to the vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. The commission shall elect from its membership a chair and a vice chair at an organizational meeting held no later than 30 days after at least four appointments to the commission have been made. Thereafter, the commission shall meet at the call of the chair, vice chair, or upon request of four or more members, with notice and procedure as prescribed by rules of the commission. The commission may adopt any administrative rules for transacting business that are consistent with this article. The rules shall be promulgated pursuant to the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act.

(c) A majority of the members of the commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business for the performance of any duties.

(d) The commission shall develop and periodically revise a list of approved training school programs for meeting the minimum standard training for coroners and their designated assistants as further defined in this article. The commission shall also establish minimum levels of pre-service and in-service training required of coroners. Notwithstanding the foregoing, effective March 1, 2007, any coroner or deputy coroner shall complete at least 12 hours of approved training within six months of assuming office, unless he or she has at least 24 months of previous service as a county coroner or deputy coroner in the state. No costs of training, including travel expenses, shall be paid by the county commission, unless approved by vote of the majority of the membership. No other previous service shall qualify for the exemption provided in this subsection.

(e) Effective March 1, 2007, any coroner, deputy coroner, or any person authorized to officially represent the county coroner shall complete 12 hours of training, approved by the commission, during each calendar year he or she serves as coroner. No costs of training, including travel expenses, shall be paid by the county commission, unless approved by vote of the majority of the membership. The commission may waive all or any portion of the required training, as it deems appropriate.

(f) The commission may grant a waiver of the requirements of the annual inservice training upon presentation of evidence by a coroner or deputy coroner that he or she was unable to complete the training due to an emergency or extenuating circumstances.

(g) A coroner or his or her designated assistant who fails to complete the minimum annual inservice training required by this article may be suspended from office, without pay, by the Governor for not more than 90 days. At the end of the suspension period, the Governor may continue the suspension of the coroner and his or her designated assistants until he or she completes the annual minimum inservice training.

(h) When a coroner vacates the office for any reason, the succeeding coroner shall take immediate custody of the office records of his or her predecessor.

(i) From time to time, the commission may establish more stringent standards which are reasonable and prudent to improve the quality of investigation and the certification of unattended deaths in this state.

(j) The commission shall authorize, oversee, and administer the required training.

(Act 2006-581, p. 1527, §2.)