Code of the District of Columbia

§ 5–1402. Establishment of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; appointments, qualifications, and compensation.

(a) There is established as a subordinate agency in the executive branch of the government of the District of Columbia, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (“OCME”).

(b) The Mayor shall nominate, with the advice and consent of the Council, a person to serve as the Chief Medical Examiner (“CME”) within the OCME pursuant to § 1-523.01(a). The CME shall be responsible for the management and operation of the OCME. The CME shall appoint a Deputy CME and any other medical examiners the CME finds necessary to carry out the duties of the OCME.

(c)(1) The CME, the Deputy CME, and any medical examiners appointed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be physicians licensed to practice medicine in the District of Columbia.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, the CME, the Deputy CME, and any medical examiners appointed after October 19, 2000, shall be certified in forensic pathology by the American Board of Pathology or be eligible for such certification.

(3) The certification requirement of paragraph (2) of this subsection may be waived by the Mayor for the CME appointed to fill the term beginning on May 1, 2007, and ending on April 30, 2013.

(d) The Mayor shall fix the compensation of the CME pursuant to subchapter X-A of Chapter 6 of Title 1 [§ 1-610.51 et seq.]. The Mayor shall fix the compensation of all medical examiners appointed by the CME pursuant to this section.

(e) The CME shall be appointed for a 6-year term.

(f) If a vacancy in the position of Chief Medical Examiner occurs as a consequence of resignation, disability, death, or a reason other than the expiration of the term of the Chief Medical Examiner, the Mayor shall appoint a replacement to fill the unexpired term in the same manner provided in § 1-523.01(a). A person appointed to fill the unexpired term shall serve only for the remainder of the term.


(Oct. 19, 2000, D.C. Law 13-172, § 2903, 47 DCR 6308; Apr. 12, 2005, D.C. Law 15-339, § 2, 52 DCR 2283; Mar. 20, 2008, D.C. Law 17-115, § 2, 55 DCR 1278; Dec. 10, 2009, D.C. Law 18-88, § 203, 56 DCR 7413; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 3042, 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 3023, 63 DCR 10775.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 11-2301.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-1416.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-339 rewrote subsec. (c); and added subsec. (f). Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) read as follows: “(c) The CME, the Deputy CME, and any medical examiners appointed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be physicians licensed to practice medicine in the District of Columbia. The CME, the Deputy CME, and any medical examiners appointed after the effective date of this chapter shall be certified in forensic pathology by the American Board of Pathology or be eligible for such certification.”

D.C. Law 17-115 rewrote subsec. (c) which had read as follows: “(c) The CME, the Deputy CME, and any medical examiners appointed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be physicians licensed to practice medicine in the District of Columbia. The CME, the Deputy CME, and any medical examiners appointed after October 19, 2000, shall be certified in forensic pathology by the American Board of Pathology or be eligible for such certification, except that the Mayor may waive the certification requirement for any individual appointed as CME to fill the unexpired term ending on April 30, 2007.”

D.C. Law 18-88 rewrote subsec. (c)(3), which had read as follows: “(3) The certification requirement of paragraph (2) of this subsection may be waived by the Mayor until October 1, 2008 for the CME. Any individual appointed as the CME to fill the term beginning on May 1, 2007, and ending on April 30, 2013, pursuant to this waiver shall not be eligible to serve as CME after October 1, 2008, and shall not be eligible to serve in a holdover status after October 1, 2008, unless he or she meets the certification requirement.”

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 added “to be paid at an annual rate of $ 206,000” in (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 2903 of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-438, October 20, 2000, 47 DCR 8740).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Appointment of the Chief Medical Examiner Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-643, December 20, 2004, 51 DCR 11833).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Appointment of the Chief Medical Examiner Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-136, October 17, 2007, 54 DCR 10725).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Appointment of the Chief Medical Examiner Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-253, January 23, 2008, 55 DCR 1266).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Appointment of the Chief Medical Examiner Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-600, December 12, 2008, 56 DCR 7).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Appointment of the Chief Medical Examiner Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-4, January 23, 2009, 56 DCR 1627).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 203 of Omnibus Public Safety and Justice Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-181, August 6, 2009, 56 DCR 6903).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 203 of Omnibus Public Safety and Justice Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-227, October 21, 2009, 56 DCR 8668).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3042 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3042 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3042 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Appointment of the Chief Medical Examiner Temporary Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Law 17-70, January 23, 2008, law notification 55 DCR 1450).

Section 2 of D.C. Law 17-335 amended subsec. (c)(3) to read as follows: “(3) The certification requirement of paragraph (2) of this subsection may be waived by the Mayor for the CME appointed to fill the term beginning on May 1, 2007 and ending on April 30, 2013.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 17-335 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.