Complaints

Printable Death Investigation Oversight Council (DIOC) Public Complaints Guide

Printable Death Investigation Oversight Council (DIOC) Public Complaints: Questions & Answers

The Death Investigation Oversight Council (DIOC)

The Death Investigation Oversight Council (DIOC) is an independent advisory agency established to provide oversight to Ontario’s death investigation system.  DIOC is committed to serving Ontarians by strengthening the province’s death investigation services, made up of the Office of the Chief Coroner and the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service.

The DIOC Complaints Committee

In addition to its general oversight role, DIOC administers a public complaints review process through its Complaints Committee.

The Committee reviews complaints regarding death investigations and, if required, provides recommendations to either the Chief Coroner or Chief Forensic Pathologist with a goal of improving Ontario’s death investigation system.

Who can file a complaint

The Complaints Committee has the authority to consider your complaint if you were directly affected by the actions or power of a coroner or pathologist during the course of a death investigation.


How to file a complaint

Complaints can be filed in writing or by telephone. All necessary documents must be submitted by mail or email.

Email address:
dioc@ontario.ca
Telephone:
416-212-8443
1-855-240-3414 (toll free)

Please list all individuals who are subject to your complaint and send copies of all necessary documents to help the Committee review your complaint.

These documents may include, but are not limited to:

  • autopsy reports
  • correspondence
  • police reports
  • coroner’s investigation narratives
  • death certificates
  • hospital records

If you need help obtaining these documents, contact the Office of the Chief Coroner:

25 Morton Shulman Avenue, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON
M3M 0B1
416-314-4000 / Toll-free 1-877-991-9959
Email: occo.inquiries@ontario.ca

Once your complaint package is ready, please send it to:

Death Investigation Oversight Council
25 Grosvenor St. 1st floor
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1Y6

Your complaint package can also be emailed to dioc@ontario.ca

How complaints are processed

If your complaint specifically concerns the Chief Coroner or Chief Forensic Pathologist, DIOC Complaints Committee will consider it directly.

The Committee must first refer complaints about a coroner to the Chief Coroner or pathologist to the Chief Forensic Pathologist for an initial review, and they are required to share the results of that initial review with you. If you are unsatisfied with the results of that review, you should notify DIOC Complaints Committee in writing, and the Committee will consider your complaint at that time.

In addition to reviewing your complaint, the Complaints Committee may decide to refer it to another appropriate body (such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario), depending on the nature of the complaint.

Complaints beyond the Committee’s authority

Please note that DIOC's Complaints Committee has no authority to review the following types of complaints:

1.Complaints about a coroner’s decision regarding:

  • whether to hold an inquest,
  • the scheduling of an inquest,
  • the conduct of an inquest, or
  • any decisions made during an inquest.
    These matters are under the legislative authority of a coroner under the Coroners Act and the Chief Coroner has the sole authority under the legislation to make a final determination on such matters.

2.Complaints that do not relate to a power or duty of a coroner or pathologist.

3.Complaints that are trivial, vexatious or not made in good faith.

What to expect

As an advisory body, the purpose of the Complaints Committee is to consider complaints with a goal of improving Ontario’s death investigation system.

The Committee is not an investigative body. In reviewing a complaint, the Committee will consider the policies followed and the procedures undertaken during the course of a death investigation. To do this, the Committee will review all relevant documents and submissions, and may contact you for further information or clarification if necessary. Please note that the Complaints Committee does not conduct hearings.

Once the Committee finishes its review, a letter will be sent to you outlining the results of the review and any recommendations to the Chief Coroner and/or Chief Forensic Pathologist.

Learn more

For more information about the complaints process, please read the Death Investigation Oversight Council (DIOC) Public Complaints Questions and Answers.

If you have any questions, please email dioc@ontario.ca, call 416-212-8443 or toll free 1-855-240-3414 or write to:
Death Investigation Oversight Council
25 Grosvenor Street, 1st floor
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1Y6


Death Investigation Oversight Council (DIOC) Public Complaints:
Questions & Answers

When was the Death Investigation Oversight Council (DIOC) Complaints Committee established?

DIOC was formed in December 2010, and the Complaints Committee began reviewing complaints in July 2011.

What is the role of the DIOC Complaints Committee?

The purpose of the Complaints Committee is to consider complaints with a goal of helping improve Ontario’s death investigation system. In reviewing a complaint, the Committee considers the policies followed and the procedures undertaken during the course of a death investigation and, if necessary, makes recommendations to improve the death investigation system. 

Who are the members of the DIOC Complaints Committee?

The Committee is made up of five members of DIOC.

What types of complaints does the Complaints Committee review?

The Complaints Committee is responsible for reviewing complaints regarding a coroner, pathologist or certain other persons referred to under the Coroners Act who have powers or duties for post-mortem examinations. In addition, the Committee reviews complaints directly about the Chief Coroner or Chief Forensic Pathologist.

Can the Complaints Committee refuse to review a complaint?

There are some types of complaints which the Committee does not have the authority to review. These include:

  • complaints regarding inquests, since these matters are under the legislative authority of a coroner under the Coroners Act and the Chief Coroner has the sole authority under the legislation to make a final determination on such matters
  • complaints deemed to be trivial, vexatious or not made in good faith
  • complaints in which the complainant was not directly affected by the actions or power of a coroner or pathologist during the course of a death investigation, and
  • complaints that do not relate to a power or duty of the Chief Coroner or the Chief Forensic Pathologist (or a coroner or a pathologist).

What will happen to my complaint once it is received?
 
If your complaint specifically concerns the Chief Coroner or Chief Forensic Pathologist, DIOC's Complaints Committee will consider it directly.

The Committee must first refer complaints about a coroner to the Chief Coroner or a pathologist to the Chief Forensic Pathologist for an initial review, and they are required to share the results of that initial review with you. If you are unsatisfied with the results of that review, you should notify DIOC's Complaints Committee in writing, and the Committee will consider your complaint at that time.

In addition to reviewing your complaint, the Complaints Committee may decide to refer it to another appropriate body (such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario), depending on the nature of the complaint.

How does the Committee review a complaint?

In reviewing a complaint, the Committee considers the written complaint and all relevant documentation and submissions. The Committee does not conduct hearings, but may contact you to request further information or documents that may be relevant to the review.

At any point in the review process, the Committee will accept additional documents, information or submissions, which will be added to the complaint file. 

What happens after a complaint is reviewed?

Once the Committee finishes its review, a reporting letter will be sent to you outlining the results of the review and any recommendations for the Chief Coroner or Chief Forensic Pathologist.

A copy of that letter will also be sent to the Chief Coroner or Chief Forensic Pathologist and any other interested party as set out in the Coroners Act, such as the person who is the subject of the complaint, all members of DIOC and/or the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

How long does the review process take?

The amount of time required to review a complaint varies from case to case. During the review process you will receive written notification regarding the status of your complaint.

How do I submit my complaint?

Complaints can be filed in writing or by telephone. All necessary documents must be submitted by mail or email.

Complaints and supporting documents can be submitted in writing to:

Death Investigation Oversight Council
25 Grosvenor Street, 1st floor
Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1Y6

Complaints and supporting documents can also be emailed to:
dioc@ontario.ca

Complaints can be made via telephone at:
1-416-212-8443
1-855-240-3414

 

What documents should be included with my complaint package?

Relevant documents may include, but are not limited to:

  • autopsy reports
  • correspondence
  • police reports
  • coroner’s investigation narratives
  • death certificates
  • hospital records

If you need help obtaining these documents, contact the Office of the Chief Coroner:

25 Morton Shulman Avenue, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON
M3M 0B1
416-314-4000 / Toll-free 1-877-991-9959
Email: occo.inquiries@ontario.ca