Laguna Woods, CA asked in Gov & Administrative Law for California

Q: How many days do they have to do the actual autopsy after death? Shouldn’t it be done at least 48 hours after death?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Depends. The body might not even be in the coroner's custody withing 48 hours of death.

For an infant, autopsies are supposed to be completed in 24 hours. Government Code § 27491.41.

For all deaths, if the coroner is informed that a a certificate of religious belief was signed by the decedent, the autopsy shall be delayed for 48 hours to allow production of the certificate. Government Code § 27491.43

I am unaware of any other time requirements of the Government Code that mandate completion of an autopsy. Government Code § 27490, et seq. There may be interoffice standards by which autopsies should be completed, but those would not have the force of law. Inquire with the Coroner's Office for more detailed information on this topic.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.