General Offices

The Administrative Office Staff of the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office includes:
  • Case Managers
  • Medical Secretaries
  • Statistics/Document Scanning
  • Records Management
  • Public Records

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
To better serve you, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions that families often have when their loved one is at our office. View the list of frequently asked questions.

Case Managers

woman working at a deskCase Managers evaluate each of approximately 300 cases per month that are assigned to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

They request and combine necessary information from other organizations for the Medical Examiner, or his designee, to establish the cause and manner of death.

Such information might include:
  • Reports from law enforcement agencies
  • EMS/fire rescue departments
  • Medical records from nursing or care facilities, and hospitals.
  • Information from family members
  • Fall injuries
  • Industrial accident reports

Once all of the information is obtained, and the cause and manner of death is established, the Case Manager completes the electronic Death Certificate. It is sent to the funeral home to be filed with the local Vital Statistic department. All other cities, except the ones listed below, file death certificates with the city of Cleveland (refer to list below or FAQ’s). Next, the Case Manager produces the Medical Examiner’s Verdict, which is a document that briefly summarizes the facts of the case. This department is also responsible for issuing burial and cremation permits.

City Vital Statistics Telephone Number
Cleveland(216) 664-2315
Lakewood(216) 521-7580
Parma(440) 885-8000

Request for Information

The Case Managers review all cases and releases copies of the records for all paid requests. For instance, family members, insurance companies, attorneys, and the general public can request in writing the following documents:

Medical Examiner’s Verdict$.25 per page
Autopsy Protocol$.25 per page
Toxicology Laboratory Report$.25 per page

Please Note:
  • All requests must be paid prior to processing the order.
  • Exact payment is required.
  • We accept payment in the form of check or money order.
  • If paying by cash, the exact amount is required.
  • All orders are received either in-person or through U.S. postal mail.
  • The reports we generate are certified, therefore; we are unable to fax or send orders by means of the Internet.


The Medical Examiner’s Verdict is a report that states the circumstances surrounding the death of the decedent, the history where the person was found, transported, and pronounced dead.

The Autopsy Protocol is a report documented by the Forensic Pathologist assigned to each case. It describes the external and internal findings of wounds, injuries, and diseases. It designates which findings are related to the cause and manner of death. It includes gross and microscopic findings.

The Toxicology Laboratory Report is a summary of the qualitative and quantitative findings of drugs and poisons that may be found in the blood, urine, vitreous humor, gastric contents, or bile of the decedent.

Medical Secretaries:

Medical Secretaries work with our Pathologists in completing the Autopsy Protocol for both Cuyahoga County and a number of surrounding counties.

Medical Secretaries transcribe:
  • Autopsy dictation
  • X-ray reports
  • Specimen reports
  • Cassette-taped suicide notes (when applicable)

woman working at a deskThey also report deaths to the Ohio SIDS Network (deaths of children under 2 years of age), and to Children and Family Services or KIDS Network (children 18 years of age and under).

The Medical Secretaries also maintains schedules for the Pathologists, visiting medical students, and resident doctor’s rotation schedules. This department answers telephones and takes messages for the Pathologists, does file management, and maintains departmental records and logs.

Statistics/Document Scanning:

Statistics/Document Scanning Department collects, catalogues, analyzes, and summarizes all documents and data associated with Medical Examiner’s cases.

Statistical data is kept on all Medical Examiner cases, for example, violence-related deaths, drug-related deaths, and accidental deaths.

The statistics department processes requests received from private, public, local, county, and federal agencies, in addition to media outlets, and other interested parties, seeking to compile data regarding patterns and/or types of deaths throughout Cuyahoga County.

Records Management:

Records Management Department maintains the completed original case files and the Archive Storage Area. This department retrieves and tracks original case files removed from the office file area and archive storage area.

The Records Management Department provides copies of the Medical Examiner’s “official report” to Public Records Requests and is also responsible for the production of the annual Medical Examiner’s Statistical Report.

Contact Information

Case Managers

Karen Lahiff
Supervisor, General Office