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The next of kin selects a funeral home. The funeral director will be a valuable asset moving forward and will be able to address many specific questions you might have. The type of funeral (viewing/cremation) and payment for such are independent of the Chautauqua County Coroner. All questions or concerns should be discussed with the funeral director.
The Coroner will only call if trying to obtain/verify information or to return a phone call. The Coroner will not contact families to provide case status or results. It is the family’s responsibility to contact the Coroner when looking for updated information.
Autopsy reports are to be released by the Office of the County Clerk with written permission of the Coroner to the following individuals:
Please review the following documents to further determine if you qualify and to request and autopsy report:
Guidelines for Release of Autopsy Report
Request for Release of Autopsy Report
Affidavit of Kinship
Clothing - will be released in most cases to the funeral home.
Property - will be collected and held at the police agency who is investigating the death. In some cases property will be held and will fall under the jurisdiction of the Chautauqua County Treasurer’s Office.
When a case falls under the jurisdiction of the Chautauqua County Coroner, New York State law entitles the Coroner to do an autopsy - family permission/consent is not required. If the family has a concern, it should be made known to the Coroner immediately. The Coroner will note the concern and whenever possible, will work with the family. However, it is ultimately up to the Coroner to do the type of exam they feel necessary in order to determine the cause and manner of death.
A standard autopsy does not affect any type of funeral arrangements.