Chapter 7.56


7.56.010    Rules and regulations - Filing required.

7.56.020    Rules and regulations - Designated.

7.56.035    Subpoena power granted.

7.56.036    Enforcement.

7.56.040    Emergency declared.

7.56.050    Severability.

7.56.010 Rules and regulations - Filing required.

Those certain rules and regulations for use of the Snohomish county morgue, a copy of which is attached hereto and made a part hereof, as submitted by the Snohomish county coroner pursuant to RCW 68.08.010, is hereby received, approved and ordered placed on file.

(Res. adopted March 15, 1971).

7.56.020 Rules and regulations - Designated.


(1) All human remains which are under the jurisdiction of the coroner will normally be brought to the morgue by the coroner or his deputies for identification and/or autopsy when indicated.

(2) All deaths by violence or accident shall be brought to the morgue for autopsy.

(3) All remains brought to the morgue shall immediately be placed in the refrigerator until such time as an autopsy is performed, released to a funeral home or identified.

(4) All remains shall be covered by a sheet at all times, except those which are in a disaster pouch, in which case the pouch shall be kept closed.

(5) On deaths by violence or accident, clothing shall be left on the remains and no disturbance of dirt, etc., shall be made until the pathologist has made his preliminary examination.

(6) On deaths which appear to be natural and are to be autopsied, identified, or held for further investigation, or awaiting removal by a funeral home, all clothing shall be removed.

(7) All clothing shall be placed in a container when removed from remains and identified. In cases when clothing is to be held for evidence, it shall be itemized and turned over to the jurisdictional police department and a receipt received for same. All other clothing shall be given to the family.

(8) When autopsies are being performed, only authorized personnel shall be in the autopsy room. These shall include but not be limited to the pathologist, coroner or his deputies, police officers involved in the investigation, prosecutor involved in the investigation, and official photographer. Any additional people present will be on the authorization of the coroner.

(9) Sanitation and cleanliness of the morgue will be the responsibility of the coroner’s office staff.

(Res. adopted March 15, 1971).

7.56.035 Subpoena power granted.

The office of Snohomish county coroner is hereby granted the power and authority to issue subpoenas, including subpoenas duces tecum, to compel the production of medical and dental records, and such other documents as are necessary to the full investigation of any case under the jurisdiction of the office of the coroner, from any person, organization or other entity in possession of such records or documents. The power to subpoena medical and dental records shall be vested in the coroner or his/her agent and shall not be limited to cases in which an inquest will be held.

(Res. adopted March 15, 1971).

7.56.036 Enforcement.

(1) Subpoenas issued by the coroner shall be enforceable through the superior court for Snohomish county.

(2) In case of refusal to obey a subpoena the coroner may invoke the aid of the Snohomish county prosecuting attorney who shall apply to the court for an order or other appropriate action necessary to secure enforcement of the subpoena.

(3) Punishment for contempt for failure to comply with a subpoena issued by the coroner pursuant to the investigatory functions of said office shall be limited to a fine not exceeding $25.00 or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding two days.

(Added Ord. 83-104, § 2, Sept. 14, 1983).

7.56.040 Emergency declared.

The amendatory act is enacted as an emergency amendment to SCC 7.56.030. It is necessary to insure a smooth transition in the coroner function in Snohomish county and to clearly delineate the lines of authority for that function. This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety of the public.

(Ord. 80-002 § 2, adopted May 1, 1980).

7.56.050 Severability.

Should any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter be declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, that determination shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions.

(Added Ord. 83-104, § 3, Sept. 14, 1983).