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Nevada

Coroner/Medical Examiner Laws

Medicolegal Death Investigation System

Is medical death investigation system centralized, county-based, or district-based?
County-based. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 259.010.

If centralized, in which department or agency is the system housed?
Not applicable.

Does the state system have a coroner, medical examiner, or coroners and medical examiners?   
Coroner. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 259.010.

“In practice” notes
None.

Is there a state medical examiner?
No.

If so, what is the state medical examiner’s role?
Not applicable.

In what department or agency is the state medical examiner’s office located?
Not applicable.

Are there deputies?
All coroners may appoint deputies . . . Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 259.040.

If so, what are the deputies’ roles?
[A]uthorized to transact such official business pertaining to the office as their principals direct. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 259.040.

What are the qualifications for deputies?
Unspecified.

Qualifications, Term of Office, and Training

Is the coroner or medical examiner position elected?
Elected or appointed

[A]ll sheriffs in this state are ex officio coroners . . . Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 259.020.

Sheriffs must be chosen by the electors of their respective counties at the general election in 1922, and at the general election every 4 years thereafter, and shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices on the first Monday of January subsequent to their election. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 248.010.

The boards of county commissioners in their respective counties may create by ordinance the office of the county coroner, prescribe the qualifications and duties of the county coroner and make appointments to the office. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. 
§ 244.163.

If so, how many years is the term of office?
Four. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 248.010; Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 248.020.

What are the qualifications specified by law?
[A]ll sheriffs in this state are ex officio coroners, unless such an arrangement is altered pursuant to the mechanism set forth in NRS 244.1507 [which permits consolidation of offices between counties with populations below 45,000]. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. 
§ 259.020.

The boards of county commissioners in their respective counties may  . . . prescribe the qualifications and duties of the county coroner . . . Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 244.163.

Investigations/Autopsies

What types of deaths are required to be investigated?
1. When a coroner or the coroner’s deputy is informed that a person has been killed, has committed suicide or has suddenly died under such circumstances as to afford reasonable ground to suspect that the death has been occasioned by unnatural means, the coroner shall make an appropriate investigation.

2. In all cases where it is apparent or can be reasonably inferred that the death may have been caused by a criminal act, the coroner or the coroner’s deputy shall notify the district attorney of the county where the inquiry is made, and the district attorney shall make an investigation with the assistance of the coroner. If the sheriff is not ex officio the coroner, the coroner shall also notify the sheriff, and the district attorney and sheriff shall make the investigation with the assistance of the coroner.

Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 259.050.

What types of deaths are required to be autopsied?
Unspecified.

Does the state require that pathologists perform the autopsies?
No.

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