Enforcement Bureau - Coroner's Division

The Coroner's Division falls under our Enforcement Operations Bureau.

Our Coroners Division:
The Coroner performs the services required of the elected position of Sheriff and the Sheriff as Coroner.

The Coroner Unitís responsibility is to investigate all deaths reportable to the Coroner and determine the cause, manner, and circumstances surrounding reportable deaths. The (Sheriff) Coroner is a county-elected officer acting under the authority of provisions of the California Government Code and Health and Safety Code. There are specific laws that define the Coronerís powers and  vest in that person, the right and duty to investigate certain classes of deaths.

Not all deaths are reportable to the Coroner. Reportable deaths fall into 24 categories. Government Code section 27491 and Health and Safety Code section 102850 direct the Coroner to inquire into and determine the circumstances, manner, and cause of any death, which falls into one of these categories. Monterey County, like 42 other counties in California, is a Sheriff-Coroner county that gives the investigator dual powers as a coroner and peace officer. A unit supervisor within the Coroner Unit also chairs the countyís Child Death Review Team.

In any death into which the coroner is to inquire, the coroner may take charge of any and all personal effects, valuables, and property of the deceased at the scene of the death or related to the inquiry and hold or safeguard them until lawful disposition thereof can be made. The Coronerís Unit makes family death notifications for deaths occurring in Monterey County. When requested by other jurisdictions, coroner personnel will also make death notifications to family members residing in Monterey County for people who have died in other states or other California counties. The Coronerís Unit may also assist the people of the state, as appropriate, in the implementation of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.

There is a combined responsibility of the Coroner Unit and County Public Administrator's office to ensure that indigents are buried, or by Board of Supervisors resolution in Monterey County, cremated. If estate funds are available for this task, this becomes a Public Administrator duty. If no estate funds are available, the Coroner Unit is responsible to see that this duty is carried out at county expense.