County Coroner

County Coroner

North Dakota County Coroners are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners for a term of five years. Eligibility for coroners are listed under NDCC 11-19.1-04. Coroners perform independent investigations but may consult with or arrange for autopsy with a forensic examiner.


Reportable deaths include:

  • Obvious or suspected homicidal, suicidal, or accidental injury
  • Firearm injury
  • Severe, unexplained injury
  • Occupant or pedestrian motor vehicle injury
  • An injury to a minor
  • Fire, chemical, electrical, or radiation
  • Starvation
  • Unidentified or skeletonized human remains
  • Drowning
  • Suffocation, smothering, or strangulation
  • Poisoning or illegal drug use
  • Prior child abuse or neglect assessment concerns
  • Open child protection service case on the victim
  • Victim is in the custody of the department of human services, county social services, the department of corrections and rehabilitation or other correctional facility, or law enforcement
  • Unexplained death or death in an undetermined manner
  • Suspected sexual assault
  • Any other suspicious factor.


  • Determine cause and manner of death
  • Positively identify decedents
  • Conduct on-scene investigations
  • Order removal of the body
  • Assist law enforcement with death notifications
  • Request and review medical records
  • Create reports that relate to deaths investigated by the coroner’s office
  • Determine if an autopsy by consulting with a forensic medical examiner, if needed
  • Collect toxicology samples
  • Authorize disposition of remains
  • Approve cremation forms
  • Act as the central depository for county death records including the coroner's report, autopsy report, police investigative reports, medical records, photos and any other investigative agencies' reports
  • Provide coroner reports to law enforcement agencies and next-of-kin
  • Complete death certificates


NDCC 11-19.1 – Medical County Coroner
NDCC 33-05 – Care and Custody of Dead