The Medical Examiner-Coroner Public Services Division’s mission is to provide responsive, efficient, and fiscally conscientious technical decedent processing services in a professional and caring manner to the affected family members, involved law enforcement, mortuaries, medical personnel, other county departments, and executive staff. Public Services, operating out of the famous front-facing historic building on Mission Road, handles sensitive functions related to the initial, midpoint, and close-out of Coroner cases.
The Public Services Division provides a number of services to families and the public divided into different sections to help facilitate your visit to our office. These services include Coroner case records management and release, safekeeping and release of decedent personal property, decedent billing, responding to law enforcement agency inquiries, managing civil and criminal subpoena requirements, and issuing death certificates to the mortuaries. Internal departmental support services include expeditious transcription of all dictated or handwritten autopsy reports, neuropathology reports, microscopic reports and offering clerical support to Deputy Medical Examiners.
Finally, as an ongoing responsibility and overall role, Public Services staff promote the functional role of the Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner as a forensic science branch within the realm of public safety agencies that provides a crucial and necessary service to the Los Angeles County population. One of the ways the general public can learn more about the Department and have an opportunity to walk into the historical building, is by visiting the Medical Examiner-Coroner's quaint gift shop, “Skeletons in the Closet.” To read more about the specific sections of Public Services, click on each section below.
Since the Medical Examiner-Coroner is a public safety agency, law enforcement agencies rely on the Department for several medical, investigative, and administrative documents to solve cases, use records in court, or store records with their agency. The Law Enforcement Support desk provides proof of death letters, Coroner case status, autopsy reports and photos to law enforcement agencies who request them.
The Marketing section includes overseeing the financial and operational management of the Department’s gift shop, “Skeletons in the Closet.” It also has the important function of increasing public awareness of the Department's participation in a number of worthwhile programs, such as organ and tissue donation, as well as serving as a top forensic science resource.
The Medical Support staff of the Public Services Division provide administrative assistance to the Medical Examiner-Coroner Forensic Medicine Division, including document processing and finalization of autopsy reports. The Medical Transcribing desk provides transcription services of all dictated or handwritten autopsy, neuropathology, and microscopic reports.
The receiving and handling of decedent personal property is one of the highest priorities of the Public Services Division. The division collects, inventories, safeguards and releases decedent personal property to the legal next of kin. Oftentimes, receiving the personal property of a decedent brings closure to the family and allows them to care for the decedent's valuables. Personal Property staff provide a high level of customer service to ensure families have as little stress as possible when visiting our facility.
The Medical Examiner-Coroner Records Section addresses requests from all over the world by agencies and families for Coroner case reports. Los Angeles County maintains records of several high profile celebrity deaths that may be referenced, even a decade after the fact. Older records are maintained on microfilm or microfiche and must be transferred on to paper in order to be released. Some of our older records date back to the 19th century and are handwritten in original medical books. Records are released in accordance with the California Public Records Act in a timely manner.
Because the Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner assists with law enforcement and court processes, staff throughout the Department rely on subpoena processing staff for central subpoena receiving and processing, collection of witness fees, and appointment scheduling support for Deputy Medical Examiners (DMEs).
State of California Government Code Section 27471, 27472 and Los Angeles County Ordinance 2011-0009 provide authority for the Medical Examiner-Coroner to establish a fee for the transportation and storage of decedents. The Public Services billing section processes and manages all decedent billing generated from transportation and storage services. Our billing staff understand the stress that families are under, and are readily available to answer questions and provide assistance. Our billing section staff can be reached Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.at 323.343.0572 or 323.343.0613.