Office of Chief Medical Examiner311Search all NYC.gov websites

Authority and Responsibilities

The Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) is responsible for investigating all deaths of persons in New York City occurring from criminal violence, by accident, by suicide, suddenly when in apparent health, suddenly when in apparent health, when unattended by a physician, in a correctional facility, or in any unusual or suspicious manner. OCME also reviews all applications for a permit to cremate the body of any person who dies in New York City. OCME serves as the mortuary for the City, with a legal mandate to take custody of all unidentified and unclaimed remains in the five boroughs. In addition, OCME operates the oldest post-mortem toxicology laboratory in the nation; the nation’s only public molecular genetics laboratory based in a medical examiner’s office; and the City's DNA laboratory, which is responsible for testing physical evidence from criminal cases in the five boroughs.