Art. 49.07: Notification of Investigating Official

(a) A physician or other person who has possession of a body or body part of a person whose death requires an inquest under Article 49.04 of this code shall immediately notify the justice of the peace who serves the precinct in which the body or body part was found.

(b) A peace officer who has been notified of the death of a person whose death requires an inquest under Article 49.04 of this code shall immediately notify the justice of the peace who serves the precinct in which the body or body part was found.

(c) (1) If the justice of the peace who serves the precinct in which the body or body part was found is not available to conduct an inquest, a person required to give notice under this article shall notify the nearest available justice of the peace serving the county in which the body or body part was found, and that justice of the peace shall conduct the inquest.

(2) If no justice of the peace serving the county in which the body or body part was found is available to conduct an inquest, a person required to give notice under this article shall notify the county judge, and the county judge shall initiate the inquest. The county judge may exercise any power and perform any duty otherwise granted to or imposed under this subchapter on the justice of the peace serving the county in which the body or body part was found, except that not later than the fifth day after the day on which the inquest is initiated, the county judge shall transfer all information obtained by the judge to the justice of the peace in whose precinct the body or body part was found for final disposition of the matter.

(3) If a justice of the peace or the county judge serving the county in which the body or body part was found is not available to conduct an inquest, a person required to give notice under this article may ask the justice of the peace of the precinct in which the body or body part was found or the county judge to request a justice of the peace of another county to which this subchapter applies to conduct the inquest. The justice of the peace that conducts the inquest shall, not later than the fifth day after the date the inquest is initiated, transfer all information related to the inquest to the justice of the peace of the precinct in which the body or body part was found for final disposition of the matter. All expenses related to the inquest must be paid as provided by this chapter.

(d) A person commits an offense if the person is required by this article to give notice and intentionally or knowingly fails to give the notice. An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 529, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Subsec. (d) amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 656, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Subsec. (c) amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 229, Sec. 1, eff. May 22, 2001; Subsecs. (a) to (c) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 826, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1295, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 84 (H.B. 799), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2017.