Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Investigation of Death -- Autopsy

Human Deaths Requiring Inquiry By Coroner -- Rulemaking

46-4-122. Human deaths requiring inquiry by coroner -- rulemaking. (1) The coroner shall inquire into and determine the cause and manner of death and all circumstances surrounding a human death:

(a) that was caused or is suspected to have been caused:

(i) in any degree by an injury, either recent or remote in origin;

(ii) by the deceased or any other person that was the result of an act or omission, including but not limited to:

(A) a criminal or suspected criminal act;

(B) a medically suspicious death, unusual death, or death of unknown circumstances, including any fetal death; or

(C) an accidental death; or

(iii) by an agent, disease, or medical condition that poses a threat to public health;

(b) whenever the death occurred:

(i) while the deceased was incarcerated in a prison or confined to a correctional or detention facility owned and operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state;

(ii) while the deceased was being pursued, apprehended, or taken into custody by, or while in the custody of, any law enforcement agency or a peace officer;

(iii) during or as a result of the deceased's employment;

(iv) less than 24 hours after the deceased was admitted to a medical facility or if the deceased was dead upon arrival at a medical facility; or

(v) in a manner that was unattended or unwitnessed and the deceased was not attended by a physician at any time in the 30-day period prior to death;

(c) if the dead human body is to be cremated or shipped into the state and lacks proper medical certification or burial or transmit permits; or

(d) that occurred under suspicious circumstances.

(2) In the case of a fetal death inquiry, the department of justice shall adopt rules governing the respectful transportation to and delivery of the fetus to the location where the autopsy will be performed. The rules must require that a fetus be transported in a crush-proof container that is labeled with the words "fragile--human remains inside".

History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 660, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 287, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 194, L. 2017; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 123, L. 2021.