Death Records - Imperial County Sheriff’s Office
|Submitted||Feb. 21, 2023|
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From: Andrew Free
To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the California Public Records Act, I hereby request the following records:
1. Unidentified Remains Policy Guidance
Any policy, procedure, manual, guidance document, or post order maintained by the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office regarding identification, documentation, return, or disposal of human remains located within the County limits as described in the Imperial SD Policy Manual (v. 2023/2/01) at page 257 under section 334.2.4 - UNIDENTIFIED DEAD BODIES (available at https://icso.imperialcounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/RELEASE_20230201_T161156_Imperial_County_SD_Policy_Manual.pdf). We are seeking any further clarification on ISCO’s process for creating “John Doe” or “Jane Doe” numbers for the Coroner’s case report, as required by Section 334.2.4. Please provide any records of guidance in effect between January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2021.
2. ICSO John Doe Death Report Records
Any ICSO document listing by date and/or case number all reports for unidentified dead bodies (“John Doe” or “Jane Doe” reports) created by ICSO in concert with the Coroner’s Office pursuant ICSO Policy 334.2.4 between January 1, 2005 - January 1, 2021. If these records could be produced in the form of a single spreadsheet, we would accept that in lieu of any more labor-intensive search.
3. Public Administrator’s Office Remains Disposal Records
All records of disposal of remains of decedents by the ICSO Public Administrator’s Office as referenced at page 258 of the ICSO Policy Manual under section 334.2.8(c) (‘If the decedent appears to be indigenes and the Public Administrators Office is assuming the responsibility for the burial of the decedent, all of the decedent’s property being retained by the Coroner’s Office shall be released to the Public Administrators Office.”). Please include all records of property transfers as well as records of burials for indigent John or Jane Doe remains. This request seeks records from January 1, 2005, through January 1, 2021.
4. Death Notification Records Pursuant to 334.2.3
Records of notifications by ICSO or the Coroner’s Office or a designee, pursuant to ICSO Policy 334.2.3 to any foreign consulate regarding a death handled by the ICSO or Coroner of any person: (a) believed to be a migrant and non-resident of Imperial County, California or another U.S. County; or (b) whose identified cannot be verified but who was identified as missing by a consular official. Please provide records for January 1, 2019 - January 1, 2021.
5. Coroner Request Records Pursuant to 334.2.1
Any ICSO record showing the total number of Coroner Requests made by year which fall within subsections (a) (“unattended deaths”); (f) (“criminal or suspected criminal action”); (i) (“accident or injury”); (j); and/or (p) of Section 334.2.1 of ICSO’s Policy Manual for the years 2005-2021.
I make this request on behalf of Marni LaFleur, Associate Professor of Anthropology at University of San Diego. These records will be used for academic, non-commercial purposes. Bio here: https://www.sandiego.edu/directory/biography.php?profile_id=7039
Fee waiver request:
Because these records are being sought for educational and academic purposes, we respectfully request a fee waiver. In the event fees are required, we agree to pay up to $25 without notification. If the total search and reproduction fees exceed $25, please notify us at MarniLaFleur@sandiego.edu and Andrew@detentionkills.org.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within the statutorily required period.
If you have any questions regarding request, require additional information to fulfill, or would like to proposal an alternative production protocol, please contact us at MarniLaFleur@sandiego.edu and Andrew@detentionkills.org.
From: Muckrock Staff
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following California Public Records Act request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 22, 2023. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
From: Imperial County Sheriff's Office
Please accept the following responses to the California Public Records Act request of the Imperial County Sheriff's Office:
1. Please find attached the ICSO policy regarding Death Investigations. This is the only policy procedure or guidance document responsive to your request.
2. There are no documents responsive to this request. ICSO does not keep documents listing by date or case no. reports for unidentified dead bodies.
3. A request has been made by County Counsel of the Public Administrator's Office for the Remains Disposal records which thus far has not been responded to, so the Public Administrator seeks an additional fourteen days to file a response, assuming such records exist.
4. ICSO doesn't document records of notifications to any foreign consulate regarding a death handled by ICSO; these requested documents do not exist.
5. ICSO does not generate reports nor keep separate records of the total number of Coroner Requests made by year which fall within the categories of unattended deaths or criminal or suspected action or accident or injury.
Deputy County Counsel Danuta Tuszynska