Enforcement Bureau - Coroner's Division
The Coroner's Division falls under our
Enforcement Operations Bureau.
Our Coroners Division:
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
Not all deaths are reportable to the Coroner. Reportable deaths fall into 24
categories. Government Code section 27491 and Health and Safety Code section
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
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.