Los Angeles Dept of Coroners



CntySeal(1).gif (6184 bytes)
County of
Los Angeles
California, USA

Department of the Coroner
Anthony T.

Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran, M.D.
Chief Medical Examiner

1104 N. Mission Road, Los Angeles, CA 90033


Useful Information

~ A Pamphlet ~


Our Deepest Sympathy

We at the Los Angeles County Department of the Coroner extend our deepest sympathy to you during this diffcult time. We hope that the information contained in this pamphlet will assist you by providing answers to commonly asked questions.



of Remains

Viewing the



of Organs

Releasing the

What should
I do NOW?

for release





No Funds
For Burial


A Sealed


Board of


Coroner FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions


WB01512_.gif (115 bytes) Where will the remains be taken?

There are three L. A. Coroner's facilities:

Main Facility
1104 N. Mission Road
Los Angeles, CA 90033
(323) 343-0714

Santa Clarita Office
14445 Olive Drive
Sylmar, CA 91342

High Desert Antelope Valley
44900 N. 60th West
Lancaster, CA 93536

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  Identification of the Remains

In a majority of the cases, visual identification is not required. Should it become necessary for you to come in or bring other records or x-rays, you will be contacted.

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  Viewing of the Remains

The Coroner's facility is not designed to accommodate viewing the remains. Arrangements can be made at the funeral home for viewing.

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  The Involvement of the L. A. Coroner

State law requires the Coroner to inquire into and determine the

and Cause

of ALL deaths that are, or seem to be

Unusual, or
Deaths where the decedent has not been seen by a physician 20 days prior to death

The deceased will be taken to the Coroner's Office and examined by a physician to discover the cause of death

A death certificate is issued after the examination is completed
Occasionally, more extensive testing is required; in which case an interim death certificate is issued which will allow the family to make funeral arrangements
A final death certificate will be issued following completion of special testing

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  The Autopsy Decision

The Deputy Medical Examiner will decide if an autopsy is necessary to establish the cause and circumstances of death. We may not perform an autopsy if the cause of death can be determined to be from "natural causes" and the deceased has a physician who knows the medical history and will furnish the Coroner with an acceptable probable cause of death.

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  Tissue and Organ Donation

The legislative consent law permits corneal removal for transplantation purposes if there is no known objection. With next of kin consent, certain other type of tissues may also be donated and thereby help others. You may be

Contacted by a tissue collection representative
Interested in authorizing tissue donation
Call (323) 343-0714 as soon as possible

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  Release of the Remains

Generally it should not take more than two to three days. Your Funeral Director will coordinate the release on your behalf.

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  What should I do right NOW?

As soon as possible, select a funeral home and inform the funeral director that the death is being handled by the Coroner's office.


WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  Written Authorization

Our office does not select funeral homes nor do we make arrangements. In the event someone is making the arrangements for the family, the Coroner must be provided with written authorization to release the deceased, signed by the legal next of kin. Should he/she reside at a distant location, they may send a FAX directly to our office using the following format:

Release the Remains of:
My (Relationship):
Case Number:


Local Funeral Director (NAME)
(If a the remains are to be shipped to a mortuary outside the County, the local mortuary, as well as the distant mortuary must be identified)


Distant Funeral Director (NAME)

SIGNED: (name) (X)__________________________________________

Coroner FAX numbers

(323) 223-5786
(323) 222-7041

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  Autopsy Report Availability

You may obtain a copy by calling

Coroner's Document Desk
(323) 343-0512
Monday through Friday
8AM - 5 PM

At that time,you will be informed of the cost of this service and how this document or any Coroner records can be obtained.

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  Coroner Services

The County is required to assess certain fees for transportation and storage. You will receive written correspondence to this effect when and if they apply.

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  Death Certificate

The Death Certificate is filed with the Health Department by the Funeral Director. Should you require certified copies, they can be ordered through the funeral home or they may be purchased from

Los Angeles County Health Department
313 North Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California
(213) 240-7816
Hall of Records
12400 E. Imperial Hwy
Norwalk, California
(310) 462-2137

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  Military Information

Persons who have served in the Armed Forces, were honorably discharged, and meet other service requiremerits are entitled to a Veteran's burial. For information contact

L.A. County Veteran's Affairs Office
(323) 744-4843

For information on Military, Veterans or Social Security benefits, contact your Funeral Service Practitioner.

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  No Available Funds For Burial

If the deceased does not have sufficient funds for burial, the next of kin may apply for County disposition. In these circumstances, proof of indigence is required. The family should contact the Coroner's office at

(323) 343-0755

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  Re-Claim Personal Possessions

Any personal possessions in the custody of the Coroner, may be claimed by the legal next of kin. To avoid any inconvenience to you, call before coming into the office.

Coroner's Personal Property Section
(323) 343-0515

The Personal Property Clerk will advise you if any documents will be needed and of any other requirements. The Personal Property section is open

8 AM - 4 PM
Monday through Friday
Closed on Weekends and Holidays

Clothing is not usually considered property. Unless there is a need to hold clothing as evidence, it is released to the mortuary recovering the deceased. Clothing that presents a health hazard may be disposed of for the safety of all persons involved.

WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  Residence Is Sealed

In order to enter you need to obtain permission from the agency listed on the seal. If the seal indicates

Public Administrator involvement
Call (323) 974-0460
Coroner's Office
Call (323) 343-0755


WB01512_.gif (115 bytes)  Additional Information

We hope the advice and counseling provided by your Funeral Director and the information provided in this pamphlet will help you during this time of loss. However, should you need additional assistance, during regular business hours, please telephone our office at

(323) 343-0512


The Board of Supervisors
Chief Administrative Officer
David Janssen

Gloria Molina
First District

Yvonne B. Burke
Second District

Zev Yaroslavsky
Third District

Don Knabe
Fourth District

Michael D. Antonovich
Fifth District