CA Gov't Code Section 27491.8


When the coroner seeks a confidential communication of a deceased person that is privileged under Article 6 (commencing with Section 990) or Article 7 (commencing with Section 1010) of Chapter 4 of Division 8 of the Evidence Code, by means of a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum, for the purpose of inquiry into, and determination of, the circumstances, manner, and cause of death as set forth in Section 27491, or for the sole purpose of being introduced as evidence at a coroner’s inquest proceeding, the coroner shall provide notice to the decedent’s personal representative personally or at his or her last known address, not less than 15 days prior to the date the records are to be delivered to the presiding judge of the superior court. The notice shall inform the personal representative that he or she may provide to the court a written objection to the disclosure or to any part thereof, on or before the date for delivery thereof to the court. The custodian shall deliver the records to the presiding judge of the superior court in a confidential manner. The presiding judge shall examine the records in camera. If there is good cause, the presiding judge shall direct the custodian to disclose to the coroner those portions of the records which the judge determines are relevant to the coroner’s inquiry or inquest.


A communication made available to the coroner pursuant to this section is confidential, except insofar as it is introduced into evidence at a coroner’s inquest proceeding, and shall not be distributed or made available to any other person, agency, firm, or corporation.


This communication shall not be admissible as former testimony pursuant to Article 9 (commencing with Section 1290) of Chapter 2 of Division 10 of the Evidence Code.


After the investigation or inquest has terminated, the court shall order the records thereof to be sealed as necessary to protect the confidentiality of the decedent’s medical or mental health information.


This section shall become operative on January 1, 2003.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 27491.8’s source at ca​.gov