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Autopsy Reports

You must be a legal next-of-kin in order to obtain an autopsy report. The information contained within an autopsy report is not public record, and is treated as a confidential medical record. The final report is available at no charge to the legal next-of-kin (if record is older than 5 years, a pre-payment of $125.00 is required).

1. Legal Next-of-Kin (in descending order of authority):




Legal spouse/domestic partner of the decedent, whether estranged or separated, but not divorced.

NEXT-OF-KIN in descending order:

  • Decedent’s adult children (excluding step-children)
  • Parents of Decedent
  • Sibling of Decedent (including half-siblings)
  • Sibling of Decedent’s Parents
  • Grandparents of Decedent
  • Descendants of Grandparents of Decedent
  • Great-Grandparents of Decedent
  • Descendants of Great-Grandparents of Decedent

TO REQUEST A REPORT: IF you are the legal next of kin as stated above, please do one of the following:

2. Attorneys and Insurance Companies:



TO REQUEST A REPORT: Requests MUST be submitted on company letterhead by mail and must include the following:

  • A signed release from the legal next-of-kin.
  • A check or money order made payable to the “Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office” for the autopsy report and record processing fees (see CFS Fee Schedule for current associated fees).


3. Physicians/Health Care Facilities/Law Enforcement:



Healthcare agencies include hospitals, physician groups, and nursing homes. All of the agencies MUST be affiliated with the decedent.

TO REQUEST A REPORT: Requests MUST be in writing on company letterhead and faxed to (315) 435-3319. NO VERBAL REQUESTS (voicemail or otherwise) will be accepted.

NOTE: If the case is a homicide or still under criminal, active investigation, a report cannot be released without permission from the District Attorney’s Office.


How long does it take to receive a copy of an autopsy report?
Autopsy reports are available in an average of 30-90 days from the date of the autopsy. The report may take longer if additional testing and review are required by the medical examiner. Every effort is made to complete the autopsy report in a timely manner.

Are autopsy reports releasable under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)?
NO, pursuant to New York Public Officers Law, Article 6, Sections 87.2.(a) and (b) and Section 89.2.(b)(ii), autopsy reports are not subject to FOIL requests.

Where can I get the death certificate?

The Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office does not issue copies of death certificates.The completed death certificate is filed by the funeral service provider. To receive copies of the death certificate, please contact the funeral service provider who coordinated the services for your loved one. Death certificates of persons who die in Onondaga County are filed at the Onondaga County Bureau of Vital Statistics.



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