Discovery of An Autopsy Report In California Law

In Walker v. Superior Court (1957) 155 Cal.App.2d 134, it was a criminal defendant who sought discovery of the autopsy report by contending "that the autopsy report is a public document and he therefore was entitled to a copy of it as a matter of right." (Walker, supra, at p. 138; see id. at p. 135.) Furthermore, Walker predated the CPRA, and the statutes upon which Walker relied for its "citizen" statement were repealed in the wake of the CPRA. (155 Cal.App.2d at pp. 138-139 Gov. Code, former 1227; Code Civ. Proc., former 1888, 1892.) In any event, as stated in Walker, one of these former statutes provided that "every citizen had the right to inspect and take a copy of any public writing except as otherwise provided by statute." (Id. at p. 139, italics added referring to Code Civ. Proc., former 1892.)