Due to fire damage, our administrative office has temporarily been re-located to 517 North Rampart St. on the 5th Floor. If you need to visit us, please call first as we anticipate moving back to our facility at 2612 Martin Luther King Blvd at some time in the future.
Under Napoleonic Code of Law in Louisiana, the Coroner is responsible for the following services to
- Classification of deaths
- Evaluation of individuals with mental illness and/or substance abuse who are dangerous to self, dangerous to others, or gravely disabled for Orders of Protective Custody or involuntary psychiatric commitment
- Examination of all sex crime victims [performed by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE)]. Until fifteen years ago, these were performed by M.D.s at the Coroner’s Office but they are now done by SANE
- Consultant for healthcare of the Orleans Parish Prison population
The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office is the official agency charged with death investigation in Orleans Parish. It operates on a 24-hour, 365-day, round-the-clock basis performing the necessary functions, including autopsy examinations and toxicology studies to determine the cause and manner of death.
Coroner’s cases include all deaths that are suspicious, sudden, unexpected, or unattended by a physician. These include, but are not limited to accident fatalities, deaths involved in criminal activities, deaths that occur without a medical doctor present, hospice or nursing home deaths, as well as the death of anyone with a communicable disease. Death investigation and autopsies are performed as indicated by law and/or individual circumstances.
The psychiatric services division responds to
reported mental health problems, as per the duties of the Coroner under
Louisiana law. This division is primarily engaged in the involuntary
commitment of individuals suffering from mental illness and/or
substance abuse who are dangerous to self, dangerous to others, or
gravely disabled. Coroner’s Commitments are for fourteen days or up
to twenty-eight days if drugs or alcohol are involved.
In certain cases, the New Orleans Forensic Center can facilitate psychiatric evaluations in an emergency. Psychiatrists are available to process requests for Orders for Protective Custody for persons who meet all of the following criteria:
- The person is suffering from mental illness or substance abuse;
- The person is in need of immediate treatment to protect the person or others from physical harm;
- The person is unwilling to be evaluated on a voluntary basis;
- The person is in Orleans Parish.
Interested parties can seek these orders by coming to the New Orleans Forensic Center by calling 658.9660 at any time. These requests are issued only in-person and require a signed affidavit and must be executed by the requestor via the 911 system. Criminal penalties are possible for persons who obtain these orders fraudulently.