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Office Hours:
Office hours are Monday thru Friday 8AM to 5PM. Closed from12 PM to 1 PM. The GCME office is closed on all Texas State observed Holidays.
What to do when a person dies and is taken to the GCME office:
When a person dies and is taken to the GCME office the legal next of kin should contact a funeral home of their choice and advise the funeral director of the death and that the body was taken to the Medical Examiner's office. The legal next of kin must sign a release form at the funeral home, authorizing the GCME to release the body to the funeral home they have chosen. All personal property to be released will be released to the funeral home and returned to the family by them. The exception to this is property taken by the Police in a criminal investigation.
(Priority Order of Next of Kin) (Texas Health and Safety Code 711.002)
1. The person designated in a written instrument signed by the decedent.
2. The decedent's surviving spouse.
3. Any one of the decedent's surviving adult children.
4. Either one of the decedent's surviving parents.
5. Any one of the decedent's surviving adult siblings.
6. Any adult person in the next degree of kinship in the order named by law to inherit the estate of the decedent.
Can we come to the GCME office and view the body?
The Medical Examiner's Office does not have a viewing facility. This must be done at a funeral home.
Will there be an autopsy?
Not all persons brought to the medical examiner's office are autopsied. There are different factors taken into consideration when deciding if an autopsy will be done. Ultimately it is up to the Medical Examiner assigned to the case whether an autopsy is to be conducted.
How do I get a copy of the autopsy report?
Autopsy reports will not be sent out until they are completed and signed by the Medical Examiner. There is no charge to immediate family members (mother, father, sister, brother) for a copy of the autopsy report. Otherwise there is a $25.00 dollar fee payable by check or money order. Request for autopsy reports may be made by fax or in writing. All reports will be sent out by mail. Include the following information in the request:
The Medical Examiners case number (ML or PA) if known.
The name of the decedent
The date of death
The county where the person died
Name of requester and relationship to decedent
Mailing address
Daytime phone number
How do I get a death certificate?
The death certificate consists of two parts. The medical portion is filled out by the GCME and the demographic portion is filled out by the Funeral Home. Once the death certificate is completed and signed the funeral home is responsible for filing it with the Department of Vital Statistcs. The GCME only signs death certificates of persons who die in Galveston County.