Procedures for requesting the release of information.
Records Request Policy
All requests for records must be received by the office in written form, either by mail or via fax. A verbal request for records will not be accepted. The request must include at minimum the name of the person or firm requesting the document(s), a return address and/or fax number, the decedent name, the decedent date of death if known, and the particular document(s) requested, i.e. toxicology report. The request once fulfilled will be documented in the permanent chart.
Out of county case information is NOT released at all except with written approval from the out of county coroner. That county office will determine any charges.
Homicide cases are NOT released to family or media until the case has moved thru the court system, however prosecutors, law enforcement, governmental agencies, and physicians may request these documents. A letter will be mailed in lieu of the report to explain this.
No information will be sent out regarding a case until the case is completed. This may cause a delay of up to 12 weeks or more for the information to be ready to send out. All parties who have made requests should have their request fulfilled at the same time once all the information for the case has been gathered.
Family Member Request Procedure
Family members may request an autopsy summary by filling out a green request card or filling out the Request for Autopsy Summary form and sending in a self-addressed stamped envelope. Family members requesting the autopsy protocol will need to state so in their request and it will be left to the approval of the doctor assigned to the case as to whether the document will be sent, otherwise they will only receive the autopsy summary via mail. These documents are given at no charge.
Non-family members may also fill out the green card or filling out the Request for Autopsy Summary form but will receive only the Coroner Verdict document via the mail. This is given at no charge.
Other Office Request Procedure
The Prosecutors Office, Law enforcement, Governmental agencies, Physicians offices, Community Tissue, and Life Connection must send a written or faxed request for reports. These are given at no charge.
Physician’s offices must send in a written request and will receive the autopsy summary and the protocol at no charge.
Law firms, Insurance agencies, Media, and Private Detectives Procedure.
Law firms must submit a written request on their firm letterhead, which should include a mailing address as well as contact phone numbers and fax number. The autopsy summary, coroner verdict, autopsy protocol, toxicology report, photos, and re-cut slides are all items, which may be requested. The remaining contents of the chart may be requested IF the law firm has obtained prior permission from the doctor assigned to the case and the okay must be done in writing prior to the release of the documents (the investigators report is included with these documents and is normally not given). Upon receipt of the firms’ request an invoice will be generated for the documents requested and be faxed or a copy mailed to the firm for payment.
On a written request the wording of “autopsy report” will include the autopsy summary, coroners verdict, and autopsy protocol documents. The wording of “complete autopsy report” will include the previous documents as well as the toxicology report and any photos.
The price for the documents is as follows:
- Autopsy Summary $10.00
- Coroners Verdict $10.00
- Autopsy Protocol/Report $25.00
- Signed Toxicology Report $10.00
- Photos (either printed or on disc) $5.00 each
- Re-cut Microscopic Slides $10.00 each
- Other misc. pages from chart $1.00 per page
Original documents are NEVER sent from the office. A document can be stamped as certified if requested at no charge.
Please do not just send a check. Submit your request, and wait for an invoice. Send your check in with the invoice number in the notes of the check or with a copy of your invoice so we can match your payment with the request,
Upon receipt of payment, the necessary documents will be faxed to the law firm unless there are photos, slides, or the need for certification, these documents will be mailed. (Re-cut slides are not sent from the office to be created until payment has been received) If payment is received from a law firm and the report is not completed, the request will be maintained until the necessary documents are available to be sent. Law firms must also include with either the original request or payment a signed document from legal next of kin authorizing the release of records. These guidelines also apply to insurance entities, media, and private detectives. A $10.00 recopying charge will be accessed to law firms that claim to have lost the first copy of a report and the second copy will be prepared upon receipt of payment.