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Operations Division > Coroners Bureau

Coroners Bureau

The Sheriff of Amador County also has the responsibilities of being the Coroner. As such all Deputy Sheriffs are also designated as Deputy Coroners. The Coroner duties are managed by the Chief Deputy Coroner. The Chief Deputy Coroner is a Sergeant assigned to the Investigations Division at the Sheriff's Office. The Coroner's Office investigates deaths falling under the guidelines of the California State Government Code §27491.

It is the mission of the Amador County Coroner's Office to serve and protect the interests of the community by determining the cause, circumstances and manner of sudden or unexplained deaths that occur within our jurisdiction. We identify the deceased and notify their next-of-kin, regardless of where in the world they may live, while insuring that the deceased and their property are treated with the utmost respect and dignity. We accomplish our mission through the use of pathologists, consultants, and other methods of inquiry. We serve as an independent finder of fact in a manner as prescribed by law. 

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Coroner's Office do?
The Amador County Coroner's Office is the agency responsible for investigating reportable deaths in Amador County. The office performs medico-legal investigations for legal and public health purposes under the authority of state law. By far, the largest percentages of deaths in the county are natural deaths. Just because the Coroner investigates a death does not mean there is a belief that a crime has been committed. It is the Coroner's legal responsibility identify the deceased, to notify the next-of-kin or legal representative, and to protect the estate of the deceased until it can be turned over to the legal heirs.

Why is the Coroner in a Sheriff's Office uniform?
In Amador County, as in most counties in the state, the sheriff is also the coroner, therefore, responsible for investigating both criminal and coroner matters. All Amador County Sheriff's Deputies are also designated as Deputy Coroners.

Why has the body been taken away?
There are many reasons why a loved one may be taken by the Coroner's Office, including but not limited to: a private physician cannot sign the death certificate; the deceased did not have a physician or it has been too long since the last visit; the death was possibly due to accident, suicide, homicide or an unknown cause, or the person died alone.

Where will my relative/friend be taken?
He/she will be taken to the Coroner's contract mortuary which is currently Daneri's Mortuary.

What about personal property?
The Deputy Coroner may need to take personal property until it can be released to the legal next-of-kin or representative. Medication and other evidence may be taken that will be examined during the investigation. Probate laws are clear as to who has a right to a person's estate. Absent a will or durable power of attorney, the line of succession is spouse, child, parent, and then sibling. Evidence other than medication will be returned at the conclusion of the investigation. Personal property may be picked up from the Coroner's Office during normal business hours with an appointment. To schedule an appointment please contact the Sheriff's Evidence Technician at (209) 223-6505.

Is viewing allowed?
No. The Coroner's Office does not have the capability to allow for viewing of the body. Family should make arrangements with a funeral home or mortuary for viewing at their facility after the Coroner has been notified.

Will an autopsy be performed?
It is the legal duty of the Coroner to determine the cause of death. Autopsies are not always necessary. The Coroner's Pathologist generally makes the determination after a review of all supporting records whether an autopsy is needed to establish the cause of death. It is generally not something that can be determined by the Deputy Coroner at the scene.

How long will my relative/friend be at the Coroner's Office?
Typically, a decedent is ready for release to a funeral home within 48 hours. The funeral home or mortuary of your choice will coordinate the release on your behalf.

Is there a fee for Coroner Services?
The Amador County Coroner's Office does not charge a fee to the family for removal of their family member. There are no additional costs charged by the Coroner.

How do I get a Death Certificate?
Some investigations can be completed in a matter of a few days. Others may take several weeks to complete, because of detailed laboratory testing which cannot be rushed if an accurate cause of death is to be determined. In those instances, a "pending" death certificate is issued so as not to interfere with funeral arrangements, then amended when a cause of death is known. The funeral home or mortuary of your choice can assist you with getting certified copies of death certificates.

How can I get a copy of the Coroner Report?
A complete Coroner Report includes the scene investigation prepared by the deputy, the autopsy report prepared by the pathologist, and the toxicology report prepared by the laboratory. Once the case is completed, it is ready to be released, typically about 4-6 weeks after death. Coroner Reports are public information. One free copy is provided to the immediate next-of-kin.


Indigent Cremation

California State law requires blood relatives to provide for a proper disposition for the remains of the deceased (Health and Safety Code Sections 7100 & 7103). Failure to act in a timely manner is a criminal misdemeanor and could also result in the next of kin being required to pay civil penalties equal to three times the cost of disposition.

Residents of Amador County may be eligible for assistance with final arrangements of a loved one. For those who qualify, the County provides only a direct cremation. There are no provisions for services, viewing or burial.

If you feel you might qualify for this service, call the Amador County Department of Social Services for more information. You will be asked to come to the office, answer some basic financial questions, provide documentation, and sign authorization papers.

Scene Clean Up

After a death, there may be a need to either clean or dispose of contaminated clothing, furniture, carpeting, or other personal belongings. The Coroner's Office does not provide these services. Due to the specialized training required for such cleaning, California Health & Safety Code Section 117778 requires businesses to register with the California State Department of Health Services. We suggest you call this agency at (916) 327-6904 for a complete listing of licensed businesses in your area.

You may get a list of businesses here>>>

Suggestions For Making Funeral Arrangements

If there is no pre-need agreement with a funeral home, final arrangements must be made. You may make these arrangements with any funeral home or mortuary. You may find it helpful to decide on the type of service and disposition the family would prefer prior to calling as it makes it easier to gather and compare information.

As a service, we have provided a listing of the funeral homes and mortuaries in Amador County, but you need not choose from this list. The Coroner's Office does not endorse or recommend any of the businesses on this list, and suggests you compare before making a final decision. If you choose to use one of these companies, you do so at your own risk.

Funeral Home/Mortuary Listings For Amador County

•Daneri Mortuary (209) 223-0793


 

Important Reference Numbers

•Death Certificate Recorder's Office (209) 223-6468
•Fetal Infant Mortality Information Public Health (209) 223-6407
•SIDS Information Public Health (209) 223-6407
•Victim Assistance District Attorney (209) 223-6474
•Crisis Help Line Mental Health (209) 223-6412
•Public Guardian/Conservator/District Attorney (209) 223-6450
•Public Administrator (209) 223-6450

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