Coroner protocol changes affect Mono

An agreement was finalized between Mono County officials and FitzHenry's Carson Valley Funeral Home that will allow for the transportation of human remains from Northern Mono County across the state line.

"Up until now, loved ones had to be transported to Bishop even when they would still be transported back to FitzHenry's for final funeral arrangements," Gary Jensen, Funeral Director for FitzHenry's Carson Valley Funeral Home in Gardnerville. "This was often at great extra expense to the survivors." he said.

The Mono County Sheriff's Department advised county residents of recent changes in state law that might affect the disposition of bodies.

In 2007 the California Legislature authorized transportation of human remains out of California, without a Death Certificate or Disposition Permit, to the nearest licensed funeral establishment in an adjoining state as long as certain requirements are met prior to doing so.

"This is a big step in easing the suffering of grieving in the first few hours after the loss of a loved one," Mono County Sheriff/Coroner Rick Scholl said.

One of several requirements in the legislation is that the coroner must determine that there is no forensic interest in the deceased person and that there is a reasonable certainty that the cause of death will be provided by the primary physician.

As part of the stipulations in the law, receiving funeral establishment has to be no more than 20 miles from the state line.

The closest funeral home to Mono County in Nevada is the FitzHenry's Carson Valley Funeral Home located in Gardnerville.

Scholl said FitzHenry's is the only funeral home authorized to transport a deceased person and it will only be allowed if the following requirements are met:

-- The death occurs in the northern section of Mono County (specifically in the communities of Walker, Coleville or Topaz)

-- The death is of natural causes or an expected hospice patient death.

-- The deceased's personal physician is willing to sign the death certificate or do a medical consultation with the Mono County Sheriff's Department. This must be immediately confirmed with the physician or their office staff prior to the deceased person being transported to FitzHenry's.


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