This Office is committed to providing quality service to all licensed funeral homes, crematories and direct disposers (funeral agencies) so that you can best serve bereaved families. Your cooperation with policies and procedures of this Office will help to ensure that the final disposition of the decedent is not unnecessarily delayed.
This Office is open for release of decedents to funeral agencies (or their representative livery service) from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM every day of the week (excluding holidays). It is highly suggested that transport personnel be at the office no later than 4:00 PM to allow time for completion of paperwork and correction of unforeseeable issues. Please call 954-357-5200 to inquire about the availability of a person's remains to be released from the custody of this Office prior to dispatching transport personnel. Most decedents are available to be released from this Office approximately 24 hours after death; however, circumstances may dictate that a decedent remain in the custody of this Office for a number of days.
This Office complies with the Electronic Death Registration System of the Florida Department of Health (Florida EDRS). Our protocol dictates that all deaths will be registered with the Florida EDRS system. If your funeral agency is not compliant with the Florida EDRS system, please contact this Office in advance and request that a "paper death certificate" be issued. Please contact your local Health Department as soon as possible if your funeral agency does not currently have access to the Florida EDRS system.
This Office requires a release authorization signed by the "legally authorized person" to make funeral arrangements (aka, "next-of-kin" or "closest living relative") as defined by Florida State Statutes (Fla. Stat. § 497.005-39). A keyboard enterable PDF version of the Release Authorization is provided below.
If a decedent's family wishes that no autopsy be performed on the decedent's body, please contact this Office as soon as possible and advise Staff Members of the Investigations Department that the family wishes no autopsy to be performed. There are a number of factors that determine scheduling and when an autopsy may commence, but it is best to make the family's wishes known as soon as possible. Final decisions regarding performance of autopsies on a decedent's remains will be made by the Medical Examiner (Forensic Pathologist) assigned to the case. For homicides and some other types of cases, an autopsy is mandated by Florida Statute.
If a decedent's family wishes to obtain a copy of the Autopsy Report and/or other associated reports, please complete and return the Autopsy Report Request form. Allow up to 12 weeks for the completed reports to be mailed out to the decedent's family. Most requests are fulfilled well before 12 weeks but circumstances may dictate that the investigative process be longer. No reports requests will be fulfilled on cases with a "Pending" status or when the Manner of Death has been ruled "Homicide". There is no charge for this service for the first copy.