Powers & Duties

The powers and duties of the coroner’s offices throughout the State of Georgia are found in Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. The death investigation act found here below details the cases that we must investigate when the death occurs in our county or from an event or injury that occurs here even if the death may occur in another county.

The Georgia Death Investigation Act

The Georgia Death Investigation Act (O.C.G.A. 45-16-20) requires that the coroner or county medical examiner of the county where the body is found or the death occurs be notified and that a medical examiner's inquiry be made in all deaths that occur in this state that meets the following criteria:

  • After birth but before seven years of age if the death is unexpected or unexplained
  • After having been admitted to a hospital in an unconscious state and without regaining consciousness within 24 hours of admission
  • As a result of an execution carried out pursuant to the imposition of the death penalty under Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 17
  • As a result of violence
  • By suicide or casualty
  • In any suspicious or unusual manner, with particular attention to those persons 16 years of age and under
  • Suddenly when in apparent good health
  • When an inmate of a state hospital or a state, county, or city penal institution
  • When unattended by a physician; no person shall be deemed to have died unattended when the death occurred while the person was a patient of a hospice licensed under Article 9 of Chapter 7 of Title 31 of the Georgia Code.