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The Coroner is responsible for inquiry into all sudden, violent, unusual, and unattended deaths that fall within its jurisdiction (Government Code 27491). Coroners are also responsible for determining positive identification of decedents and notifying next-of kin. In situations where no next-of-kin is immediately located and/or notified, Deputy Sheriff/Coroners safeguard valuable personal and Real property until next-of-kin is determined and notified.

The primary duty of the Coroner is to determine the cause and manner of death. Deputy Sheriff/Coroners conduct on-scene investigation which includes collecting and examining evidence and conducting interviews; a report of this investigation may be completed.

The Chief Deputy Coroner obtains and reviews medical records and arranges for toxicological analysis, forensic pathology examinations, and autopsies when further examination is necessary. The Chief Deputy Coroner also submits pertinent information to the death record system for issuance of the Death Certificate.

Frequently Asked Questions of the Coroner...

Why is the Coroner involved?

The Coroner is required by state law (Government Code 27491) to investigate any sudden, violent, unusual deaths, or other deaths that fall within the jurisdiction of the Coroner. This also includes any natural death where there is no physician to sign a death certificate or the physician is legally prohibited from doing so. Other certain circumstances are also mandated to be investigated by the Coroner.

It is the responsibility of the Coroner’s Office to establish the positive identity of the deceased, determine the date, time, circumstances, cause of death (COD), and manner of death. The Coroner’s investigation is not only limited to the examination of the deceased but may include collecting evidence and/or property for safekeeping, and conducting interviews with family members and other witnesses. 

What should I do right now?

Select a funeral home and inform the funeral director that the death is being handled by the Coroner’s Office. Next-of-Kin may start making arrangements for burial with the funeral home of choice. 

Where will my relative/friend be taken?

Yuba County does not have a morgue facility and contracts with local mortuaries on an “on-call” basis for removal, transportation, and storage of decedents until released by the Coroner Division to Next-of-Kin for final arrangements. Next-of-Kin will be notified which mortuary the decedent is located at the time of death notification.

Will an autopsy be performed?

The Chief Deputy Coroner and Forensic Pathologists will determine if an autopsy is necessary and there are many factors to consider. If the death is a “natural death” and the decedent has a physician who knows the medical cause of death and will sign the Death Certificate with these causes, the Coroner will normally not arrange an autopsy.

Can I request an autopsy be performed?

If the Coroner does not need an autopsy to be performed to determine cause of death, Next-of-Kin may arrange for a private autopsy with a company of their choice at the family’s expense after the decedent has been released by the Coroner.

How do I obtain a copy of the Coroner Report, Toxicology Report and Autopsy Report?

Requests for copies of the Coroner Report can be submitted and may be subject to collection of an established fee.

The complete report may include a Toxicology Report and Autopsy Report, if applicable, and will be available when final cause of death is determined. The average length of time for completion of an Autopsy Report is 10-14 weeks due to delays in forensic testing. All requests for records that are complete and approved for release are processed within 7-10 business days.

To request a copy of a Coroner Report please fill out an Application for Release of Coroner’s Case form on the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department website, in the “forms” section, under the “records” drop-down menu. Submit the completed form and a copy of your photo ID to our Records Department by e-mail at [email protected], by mail or drop-off at the Records window located in the lobby at 720 Yuba Street, Marysville, CA 95901.

Requests made by a business, Government or Medical Agency: please fill out an Application for Release of Coroner’s Case form on the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department website, in the “forms” section, under the “records” drop-down menu. Submit the completed form to our Records Department by Government or Business e-mail at [email protected] or by fax to (530)749-6445 with Government or Business letterhead attached.

A $10 fee may be required in the form of exact cash or check upon receipt.

Where can I obtain a Death Certificate?

A death certificate is issued after the postmortem examination is completed or a physician signs the Death Certificate. In the event that more extensive testing is required, an interim death certificate is issued which will allow the family to make funeral arrangements. Contact your funeral home to arrange for copies of the death certificate. After the initial order for the desired number of Death Certificate copies is made with the funeral home, subsequent copies can be requested for a fee through the Yuba County Clerk-Recorder’s Office.

How do I retrieve personal property of a decedent that was seized for safekeeping?

Personal property in custody of the Coroner for safekeeping may be claimed by Next-of-Kin by making an appointment with the Property and Evidence Department at (530)749-7787. Sometimes personal possessions are taken into custody by other law enforcement agencies; you will need to contact those agencies to retrieve property in their custody.

I need to enter my relative/friend’s residence, but it is sealed. What can I do?

It is a misdemeanor to remove and/or tamper with the Coroner Seal or enter without authorization from the Coroner’s Office.

If there are no funds for burial, what can I do?

If the deceased or legal next-of-kin do not have sufficient funds for burial, the alternative may be indigent cremation. The next-of-kin should contact the Public Assistance office with Yuba County Health and Human Services at (530)749-6311 for County Burial Assistance.