On January 3, 2011, the operations of the Marin County Coroner's Office became a function on the Marin County Sheriff's Office. During this consolidation of services the Sheriff's Office Coroner Division was created. The Coroner Division is a component of the Sheriff's Office Administration and Support Services Bureau. The Coroner Division is located at 1600 Los Gamos Dr., Suite #205 in San Rafael, and consists of one Chief Deputy Coroner, three Coroner Investigators, and one Office Assistant.
It is the mission of the Coroner Division to provide competent and timely law enforcement and scientific investigations into deaths occurring within the County of Marin to provide timely and accurate answers to survivors with regard to the deaths of their loved ones. The Coroner Division conducts their investigations to determine the cause, manner, and circumstances of deaths meeting criteria as defined in 27491 of the California Government Code.
Frequently Asked Questions following a death and subsequent involvement of the Coroner are addressed in the Coroner Division's Survivor Guidelines Information Pamphlet, which can be accessed via the provided link listed below.
- Survivor Guidelines Information Booklet
Why is the Marin County Sheriff-Coroner involved with this death?
California Law requires the Coroner to inquire into and determine the circumstances, manner, and cause of sudden deaths where the attending physician is unable to determine the cause of death, or the death is the result of homicide, suicide, accidental or undetermined means. It also includes deaths where the decedent has not been seen by their physician within 20 days preceding the death. All deaths in Marin County are not reported to the Coroner Division. Generally, natural deaths occurring in a hospital or medical facility and/or under a hospice physician’s care do not require a coroner death investigation.
May I come to the Coroner Division to view the body?
Viewing is not allowed at the Coroner Division. Forensic examinations are generally completed within 24 to 48 hours and most bodies are released immediately after the examination. Relatives are advised to make viewing with a funeral home of their choosing.
How long will it take before my relative / friend is released from the Coroner Division?
Generally it should not take more than two to three days. Your Funeral Director will coordinate the release on your behalf.
What mortuary should I choose?
The Coroner’s Division does not make mortuary referrals. Relatives, religious leaders and the phone directory should be able to assist you in selecting a mortuary.
Where can I get a death certificate?
If you are in the process of making funeral arrangements, your chosen funeral home can arrange obtainment of a death certificate(s) on your behalf. Otherwise, death certificates are obtained from the Vital Statistics Division of the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services and from the Marin County Recorder’s Office.
Copies of Death Certificates for the current year and previous year can be obtained at the office of Vital Statistics at 10 North San Pedro Rd., San Rafael, CA 94903 / phone (415) 473-6876
Death Certificates for all other years are provided at the Recorder’s Office, located at 3501 Civic Center Dr., Room 232, San Rafael, CA 94903 / phone (415) 473-6092
How do I obtain an autopsy, investigation, and/or toxicology report?
You need to officially request a copy from the Coroner Division. The first copy of reports is free to the legal next-of-kin. You may submit your request via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you may call the Coroner Division at (415) 473-6043 for further details.
How do I reclaim property obtained by the Coroner Division?
The Coroner Division may be in possession of personal property belonging to a decedent. The legal next-of-kin may authorize the Coroner Division to release the property to a funeral home or mortuary, or they may obtain the property (or authorize another person to obtain the property) directly from the Coroner Division’s office. In order for a funeral home/mortuary, or family representative to obtain personal property on behalf of the next-of-kin, the legal next-of-kin must send the Coroner Division a notarized letter with consent to release the property to a particular party. The Coroner Division will release property directly to the legal next-of-kin or any person (with valid photo ID) furnishing written authorization signed by the legal next-of-kin. Property is only released during normal business hours. If the property is not released to either a funeral home/mortuary or the legal next-of-kin within 90 days from the date of death, the property may be set for disposal.
In some instances, the Coroner Division can mail small items of property to the next-of-kin; shipment and handling costs are paid for by the receiving party.
Hours for release of property are Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:00pm – (closed from 12:0pm to 1:00pm). Please call in advance to insure someone will be available in the office (415) 473-6043.
What if I cannot afford to make burial / funeral / or cremation arrangements?
If a decedent’s next-of-kin cannot afford to make arrangements for burial or cremation of their loved one, they can contact the Coroner Division of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office at (415) 473-6043 to apply for the Indigent Disposition / Cremation program. You will be required to complete an application and submit required financial documents to aid in the review process of your application.
County Indigent Disposition application (fillable PDF): Click Here for the form
Tissue, Organ, and Body Fluid Retention Notification:If it is determined that an autopsy, external examination or toxicology analysis is required to determine or confirm the cause and manner of death pursuant to California Government Code Section 27491, tissue(s)/organ(s)/body fluid(s) may be retained for analysis and/or evidentiary purposes pursuant to California Government Code Section 27491.4. Tissues/organs/body fluids retained at autopsy or as part of any coroner investigative procedure will be disposed of pursuant to California Health and Safety Code Section 7054.4
TO CONTACT THE CORONER DIVISION:
Marin County Sheriff's Office
1600 Los Gamos Dr. #205
San Rafael, CA 94901
Business Hours / Release of Property:
Monday – Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm (closed from 12:00pm to 1:00pm).