Catoosa County Government Website

Catoosa County Coroner

Catoosa County Coroner

Vanita Hullander
Post Office Box 51
Ringgold, GA 30736
Phone 706-965-6800
Fax 706-965-6741

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Responsibilities of the Coroner 

The function of the Coroner's Office is to determine cause, manner and circumstance of death through an Act called the Georgia Death Investigation.  Any death that is unexpected, unexplainable or unattended by a physician falls under a coroner's jurisdiction for investigation.  Autopsies are not mandatory to determine cause of death except in situations where death cannot be reasonably explained or the death is a child under the age of 7. 

Coroners may pronounce someone expired under certain conditions at the scene of death.  Coroners must authorize a release of bodies before they can be cremated, transported across the state line or autopsied. 

In order to take office, all coroners are required to attend a 40-hour course at the Georgia State Patrol Training Center in Forsythe, Georgia, and receive 24 hours of in service training each year on various death investigation procedures. 

The Coroner's Office serves on county child death protocol committees.  One of the little know facts about the Coroner's office is that until the late 1970's the Coroner had arresting powers as a constable. 

The Coroner's Office is in the Judicial System and has the power of subpoena. 

The Coroner's Office may hold court in the form of an inquest to help determine cause of death and the outcome may be used for criminal procedures.  The coroner's office is often called upon as a witness in criminal court.

Interesting Facts and Myths

MYTH:  The coroner cannot arrest the sheriff.  They are the only one that can serve a warrant on the sheriff at the direction of the Probate Judge.

FACT:  The coroner shall function as acting sheriff in the event the acting sheriff is unable to serve.

MYTH:  The coroner does not perform autopsies, they must be performed by a forensic pathologist.