Coroner

Portrait

Jim Sheppard
Coroner

Address99 Courthouse Hill
Suite B
Dahlonega GA 30533
Phone706-973-7677
Fax706-864-0315
Emailjim.sheppard@lumpkincounty.gov

Mission Statement

Lumpkin County will provide an environment that is safe and promotes a higher quality of life for those who live, work and visit our community. We will innovatively manage our resources while preserving our heritage and planning for the future.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where will my relative or friend by taken?

They will be taken to the morgue.

Is it necessary for me to identify the body?

No.  Visual identification is not required.  Should it become necessary for you to come in or supply us with other records or x-rays, you will be contacted.

Is viewing allowed?

No.  The Coroner’s office does not allow viewing.  Arrangement can be made at the funeral home of your choice for viewing.

What about organ donation?

Depending upon the circumstances of the death, the approval of the Coroner and the consent of the next-of-kin, tissue or organ donation may be possible to help others.  You may be contacted by an organ donation representative.

Why is the coroner involved?

State law required the Coroner to be notified.  The Coroner then inquires into and determines the circumstances, manner and cause of all sudden, violent or unusual deaths and those deaths where a doctor is not in attendance, or is present but unwilling to sign the death certificate according to state law.

What should I do now?

Within 48 hours you need to select a funeral home of your choice and make arrangements to meet with them.  Inform the funeral director that the death is being handled by the Lumpkin County Coroner’s Office and ask them to notify us.

How long will it take before my relative or friend is released from your office?

Generally the investigation and autopsy, if needed, should be done within 72 hours.  Your funeral director will coordinate the release on your behalf or you may contact the office during normal business hours to obtain information of the status of your case.

Will an autopsy be performed?

When there is an additional need to establish the cause and manner of death the Coroner can order an autopsy.  Each case is evaluated on an individual basis.

Will the coroner make the funeral arrangements?

No.  Our office does not select funeral homes, make recommendations, or arrangements.  We do not provide a list of funeral homes.  There is a link on our website to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office where you can search for a list of active funeral directors/homes in Georgia.

What information does the coroner need to release the body of my relative or friend?

When the funeral director is meeting with you they will request the legal next-of-kin to sign a written release form providing authorization for the coroner to release the body to that funeral home.  The signed authorization should be sent directly to the coroner’s office.  When the body is ready for release, the coroner’s office will notify the funeral home.

Where can I obtain a death certificate?

You can get a death certificate from your funeral home or from Probate Court.  They are usually ready within 14 days once certified by the coroner’s office.  When an autopsy is performed, there can be a delay in the issuance of a death certificate.  That process can take up to four months.

Will I be charged for coroner services?

Normally no.  However, there are exceptions.  If these conditions exist you will be notified by this office.

Are blood toxicology reports, coroner, and/or Autopsy reports available?

Once completed and released by the GBI, reports from the Coroner’s Office can be released by filing an Open Records Request with Lumpkin County.

My relative or friend was in the military. Who can I contact for information?

Persons who have served in the Armed Forces, were honorably discharged, and met other service requirements may be entitled to some Veteran’s benefits.  Your funeral director will have this information.

If there are no funds for burial, what can I do?

If the decedent does not have sufficient funds for burial, the next-of-kind may seek assistance from government and non-government sources.  Your funeral director can give you that information.

What if I discover remains?

You should report the discovery to the local authorities so an investigation can be conducted.

How and when can personal possessions be claimed?

Any personal possessions that are brought into the coroner’s office are documented and stored for safe keeping.  When a funeral home takes the remains into their care, all possessions and clothing will also be released to the funeral home.  Please contact the funeral home chosen to make arrangements for personal property.

I need to enter my relative's or friend's residence, but it is sealed?

In order to enter you need to obtain permission from the Law Enforcement agency involved.

Department Staff

NameTitlePhone/ExtEmail
Jim SheppardCoroner706-973-7677jim.sheppard@lumpkincounty.gov
Frank GossChief Deputy Coroner706-973-7329frank.goss@lumpkincounty.gov

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Links

Georgia Secretary of State Professional Licensing

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office is responsible for the licensing of Funeral Service Establishments.  If you are searching for a funeral home, please visit their site.