History of the Office

The office of the coroner is one of dignity and great responsibility. It has been traced back in time to 1194 A.D. It has been contended that the office was held by persons of high authority during the time of Blackstone in England.


From those ancient times, the coroner's duties have, of course, changed dramatically. Today, the coroner is a quasi-judicial officer charged with the investigation of virtually all deaths occurring within the boundaries of the county. Statutes concerning the duties of the coroner are found in California's government as well as in several county codes. The California Constitution and United States Code also address the coroner.

The Sheriff's Department assumed the duties of the office of the coroner in 1987. Since that time, hundreds of deaths have been investigated including:

  • Accidents
  • Homicides
  • Natural deaths
  • Suicides


View the types of deaths the coroner investigates.