Thursday, March 1, 2012



The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution each contain a Due Process Clause. The Supreme Court of the United States interprets the Clauses as providing four protections: procedural due process (in civil and criminal proceedings), substantive due process, a prohibition against vague laws, and as the vehicle for the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

The Fifth Amendment (Amendment V) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure.

Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects individual persons from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due-process violation, which offends against the rule of law.


San Mateo County Officials try to simply erase my son 30 year old Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff as if he never lived. They hide behind their Lawyers, lies, and manipulations of the weak laws that exist to deny us our rights to Due process in seeking Justice for what they did to Steven.

The Citizens of San Mateo County are strangely silent as their elected officials horrifically desecrated the remains of human beings such as my son Steven. These actions of their leaders in disrespecting the dignity of the dead, the soul of my son, cannot be the true feelings of the good citizens of San Mateo County. Yet where are you, why have you not spoken to your Leaders by raising your voices to be heard in telling them to cease their mutilation of the dead and take responsibility for what they did to our son?

Is there not one citizen of San Mateo County who will speak up and demand changes in the way innocent dead victims remains are abused by your County and who then take no responsibility for their despicable actions. Where are you good people of San Mateo County, now is the time to speak up or forever live with the fact that you did nothing!

No Matter what happens, Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff will always be remembered by those of us who love him and knew him as a son, brother, cousin, nephew, friend, and caring, kind , talented human being. He will never be allowed to be erased by others and will always be alive in our hearts forever. We will always remember you Steven.


Needless to say the Wolkoff family, and friends are deeply pained by the Judges ruling last week re-granting the Demurrer (motion to dismiss) to San Mateo County in their Desecration of Steven's remains, with leave for us to amend. The legal system again demonstrated that it has absolutely no regard for victims, not even for the basic rights of respect, sanctity of the innocent, voiceless human remains being mutilated in death.

San Mateo County, in spite of their having a clear conflict of interest as one of the named defendants, approved another defendant American Medical Response (AMR) to  to cut apart Steven's brain to be sliced into 21 new pieces, without our permission, by the defendants hired, non coroner related 3rd party pathologist, with no medical autopsy purpose, and she then removed these parts of Steven's brain to her own private lab, away from the protective custody of the SMC Coroner. 

This was all done under the guise of a limited subpoena, for the illegal purposes of  conducting a non coroner autopsy in trying to refute our civil suit and the official final findings SMC Coroners autopsy report. 

Even the SMC Coroner Robert Foucrault knew this was illegal, when he balked at this request by AMR, and called the SMC legal counsel for advice as to what to do. Instead of the SMC legal counsel removing himself as an involved prejudiced defendant, he approved the request.

This was done 2 years after the Coroner established the cause of  Steven's death beyond a doubt as being a failure of the Paramedics in performing an unnecessary airway management procedure, where they missed the airway and instead pumped pressurized oxygen into Steven's chest, crushing his chest, organs, and resulting in a terribly painful death that my son felt as his body literally exploded. 

The brain is where the soul of Steven exists. He has been buried without it and no-one originally informed us of this in spite of the SMC Coroners policy to do so. This is the brain where all the thoughts, hopes, feelings, memories, and the center of who Steven was and is to us. It has been treated like a piece of animal meat carved up by a restaurant with the approval of SMC.

Steven cannot enter the "beyond" or be at peace unless his body is buried in full. Who would be so cruel and heartless to let that happen? SMC sees it as perfectly OK and then has the nerve to claim it was a legal "routine" process that was done as part of "medical research". What possible medical research would be served 2 years after Steven's death and without any request from the SMC Coroner's Pathologist to aid him in any way. 

"Routine, medical research", how dare SMC claim that as reasons for what they did. At least have the sense and class to shut their mouths at this point instead of further showing us all how low on the subhuman scale they are as unfeeling scum of the earth.

Regardless of what the Judge decides, the Officials of SMC know what they did is horribly unethical, inhumane, and they will be cursed for their actions in life and when they rot in hell.

While the Judge has again somehow decided, in spite of everything in the facts that cries out for Justice, ruled against us and granted the County's request for dismissal of our Desecration case with Leave To Amend,but he has graciously allowed us to file a second amended complaint.  We have ten days to do so and we will file the 2nd amended complaint with the Court in that required time frame.

We will file our 2nd Amended complaint further detailing other arguments that our lawyers have come up with and it will be filed by us with the Court, within the next 10 days, then the county/coroner has 30 days to reply and will naturally ask again for a dismissal. The Court will schedule a hearing for a month or 2 later and issue a ruling on our new 2nd amended complaint. Needless to say we as a family and myself are deeply pained by the corrupt laws, dysfunctional legal system that has absolutely no regard for victims, even for the respect/sanctity of recognizing the value of an innocent human beings remains in death.  
In the meantime, if you want to help us, please keep the pressure on SMC officials by bombarding them every week, every day, whatever you are comfortable with, in expressing your feelings until this case is over. 

Just keep reminding them of their obligations to respect the dead, provide accountability, justice for Steven by not opposing our case and allowing it to go to a fair trial by their local SMC citizens who will determine how and if justice should be served for what was done to Steven. 

If SMC stops opposing our lawsuit by withdrawing its opposition to our 2nd amended legal complaint, the judge will not be involved in any decision, and the case can then go forward in the spirit of the true American process of due process that every citizen is entitled to and be judged on it's own merit by the people.

If you want, please continue to do the following as often as you can and let them know that they should immediately withdraw their legal opposition with the San Mateo Superior Court re-our case, in particular our 2nd amended complaint, and allow it to proceed to a fair trial by citizens of a Jury who will decide the merits of our legal case:

1) E-mail the President of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors Adrienne Tissier now at  or call her office at (650) 363-4572 

2) E-Mail - ROGER  Fielding -Deputy Coroner of San Mateo County at

3) Call the San Mateo Coroner-Robert J. Foucrault- (650) 312-5562.

4) Contact Nanette Asimov who is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer at:
5) Contact Joshua Melvin a reporter for the San Mateo Times, Bay Area News and also reports for all the various local San Mateo area media at: or contact him at 650-348-4335.

6) Contact your local media with the below press release and ask them to publish it. If you have an online Blog or know of someone who has one, or online access to the media, feel free to distribute the below press release.

7) Send this blog post and other press releases to your friends, acquaintances and others to ask them to do any of the above if they feel comfortable in helping to spread an awareness to get involved in our cause.

The media has reported our case in multiple print, online articles,TV news stories across the U.S. and across the world in response to this latest ruling. This has opened a potential forum for us to educate and inform the public as to the current outrageously poorly written laws in California and elsewhere that do not protect the dignity of human remains, and the families of those who are subject to the whims of the Coroners Office in doing what they wish with no thought to the proper respect deserved by the dead and their loved ones.

If this was a case involving your loved family member or child, you would be as outraged as I am and determined to fight back against this barbaric behavior. You would assume that your loved ones body is entirely left to your wishes as to its handling in a respectful manner. Not so according to the Judges latest ruling that the coroner can do as he wishes and completely ignore your emotional, religious, and basic moral, ethical values.

Many States have toughened their Laws in response to the public demands of respecting the dead so that what happened to Steven being mutilated could not legally happen and be a violation. 

Basically the Laws re- handling of human remains in California are so poorly written that the laws only specify 3 or 4 specific things that a Coroner/County is not allowed to do. Nothing else is specified as legal or illegal, so there is no violation of the state laws pertaining to deceased remains. That means by default according to this particular judges current interpretation, everything else that a Coroner/County does, no matter how despicable it may be, whether it's desecrating Stevens remains 2 years after his death by the defendants pathologist, without our permission for the sole purpose of our court case, having nothing to do with any legitimate reason to mutilate his remains, is legal according to him because it is not specified in the law as being either legal or illegal. 

According to the latest ruling by the Judge, even the loved ones of the victim who suffer permanent emotional damage forever and endure unspeakable grief are ignored, as the California Laws supposedly do NOT recognize that grief, emotional damage caused by Govt. officials are not worthy of being recognized. 

In fact using this current legal interpretation, the coroner can legally sell your body parts to the Circus or on E-Bay as it doesn't say they can or can't in the current laws. 
All attempts by the California State legislature to change this law and make it a stronger, comprehensive statute  have been defeated by lobbying from the State Coroners Association and the State Sheriffs/Law enforcement lobbyists who don't want their powers to be eroded in any way, including the power of owning your body.  

Perhaps he will change his mind after considering our 2nd amended complaint and let our case be judged at trial by citizens of San Mateo County who will decide whether this is legal or not.

In the reporting (see 2 typical print media stories below) of the Judges ruling there are comments made by SMC officials that are deliberate outright lies, distortions of the truth, and heinous boasting/gloating arrogant comments quoted by SMC officials as they spin the ruling to further confuse, misinform the public about the real legal/moral issues surrounding our complaint.

This is in addition to poor reporting of this misinformation that is regurgitated back unchallenged by the media in repeating the lies of SMC, instead of investigating as journalists the truth, needs for legal reforms, and the illegal, immoral behavior in desecrating Steven's body, along with many other citizens in the State of California.

The County officials through their Law Counsel who casually, rationalizes as if they are talking about a piece of merchandise, that they have done nothing wrong in how Steven's remains have been treated, completely ignoring our feelings as human beings, needs to be made clear to all the population, as we not only have a responsibility to do our very best in securing Justice for Steven, but to try to prevent this from happening to other families in the future.

California is a State with Byzantine Laws and  a dysfunctional, uncaring legal system that reflects the disregard of those in power as being full of shit in providing any resemblance of concern for it's residents as people who should be treated with respect . 

It also makes you think about how dangerous it is to assume that first responders who are there to help you, can kill you, then escape with everyone else, including the Coroner who is sworn to treat the body of a deceased person and their families with dignity.

They are legalized killers who can get away with killing a human being because they are part of the System that governs us.

It shows how the "leaders" of  many Towns, County's and Govt, in general don't respect human life or care about us because they are drunk with power which makes them feel they are better than the rest of us in being above the legal, moral laws that the rest of us abide by. They only care about covering their ass as subhumans. 

To them it is never about justice or taking accountability for their mistakes. If they had simply admitted their errors and apologized in writing to my family, we probably would have never sued them. But their arrogance and deliberate ignoring of Steven's life and death as a human being is so disgustingly real, cruel, and offensive, that we must not give up until we have done our best to expose them. 

Every time we rock their boat and punch back, they have to deal with us and think of Steven's memory, instead of simply erasing it easily with their lies and corruption. 

So much for due process that every American supposedly is entitled to, the sanctity of life and death that we assume others in power respect. It is all too real and not a nightmare what you are witnessing going on in Steven's case.

The use of the word "routine" in the article by the SMC lawyer is a lie and despicable and they all act like "parrots" in repeating the garbage fed to them by SMC instead of seeking the truth.  

We will keep on fighting, doing our very best to get some Justice for Steven.

I have pasted the latest ruling by the Judge below:




Defendants' demurrer is SUSTAINED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND.
A litigant seeking to plead the breach of a mandatory duty must specifically allege the applicable statute or regulation. (Sullivan v.City of Sacramento (1987) 190 Cal. App.3d 1070,
1080). The complaint alleges only Health and Safety Code section 7102 and Government Code section 27460 as bases for liability. Neither of those statutes sets forth any mandatory duty of the Coroner concerning handling or disposition of tissues that ware maintained after completion of an autopsy,or notification concerning the tissues. For that reason,the Complaint fails to allege the existence of a duty of care. Further, no private right of action exists because (in addition to
the failure to allege mandatory duty) the statutes do not appear to be designed to protect against emotional distress.
Plaintiff shall file an amended complaint no later than 10 days from notice  of entry of this order.  The Court has noted Defendants'Reply arguments against Plaintiffs' proposed Second Amended Complaint; the Court does not rule on whether the proposed amendment would survive demurrer. The sufficiency of the proposed Second Amended Complaint is not before this court; it is not the subject of the instant proceedings.
Prevailing party is directed to prepare a written order consistent with the Court's ruling for the Court's signature,pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1312, and to provide notice thereof to the opposing party/counsel as required by law and the California Rules of Court.  The order is to be submitted directly to Judge V. Raymond Swope,Department 23.

Suit against San Mateo County coroner dismissed

Thursday, February 23, 2012
A New York couple who accused the San Mateo County coroner of negligence for letting an ambulance company dissect their son's brain may not pursue a lawsuit, a judge tentatively ruled Wednesday.

Under the ruling, the family can amend the complaint and try again.The tentative dismissal, however, suggests that the coroner acted properly in 2008 in complying with a subpoena to release brain tissue from the couple's son, Steven Wolkoff, 30, to an ambulance company after the man died in an auto accident on Highway 1.

The American Medical Response ambulance company wanted to analyze the brain to defend itself in a separate, wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the man's parents. In that suit, now settled, Jerald and Sandy Wolkoff accused paramedics of hastening their son's death through a procedure meant to help him breathe.

In 2010, the Wolkoffs learned that Coroner Robert Foucrault had allowed American Medical Response to remove a portion of their son's brain from his office and slice it into multiple pieces.

Observant Jews, the Wolkoffs said their faith requires them to bury their son whole, and that they were unaware that the ambulance company's subpoena would involve removal and dissection of Steven Wolkoff's brain.
The Wolkoffs then sued the coroner's office and Foucrault.

David Levy, the deputy county counsel representing the coroner, said complying with subpoenas that let a third party dissect tissue is "very routine."
Nanette Asimov is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.

A San Mateo County judge has tentatively dismissed a lawsuit filed by a New York family who claims their son's remains were mishandled by the county coroner's office.

Jerald and Sandy Wolkoff filed the lawsuit against the coroner's office last year after learning that it had given parts of their 30-year-old son Steven's brain to an ambulance company to be dissected and examined.
The suit claimed that the couple experienced emotional distress because the coroner released the brain samples to American Medical Response, which was gathering forensic information to defend itself against a wrongful-death lawsuit also filed by the Wolkoffs.

In a tentative ruling issued Wednesday afternoon, the lawsuit was dismissed with the option for amendment. The court had been scheduled to hear a motion to dismiss the case on Thursday at 9 a.m.
The family's attorney, Jayme Burns, said the Wolkoffs are planning to file an amended complaint and are deciding whether to contest the tentative ruling.

In the separate wrongful-death suit, which has been settled, the couple sued the ambulance company claiming that a procedure paramedics had used on their son caused brain damage and contributed to his death, according to Burns.

Steven Wolkoff was one of two people killed in a seven-car pileup on state Highway 1 in unincorporated San Mateo County in June 2008. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The lawsuit dismissed Wednesday alleged that the coroner's office released Wolkoff's brain to a third party -- referring to AMR -- and allowed it to be cut into almost two dozen pieces, without the consent of the Wolkoff family, whose religious beliefs under Judaism required that their son's remains be buried in totality.

"It's important to them to bury the entire body," Burns said.The Wolkoffs learned of the coroner's office's actions through a deposition for the wrongful-death lawsuit against AMR.

"No one from (the coroner's office) ever informed us or sought our permission to have the defendant in the wrongful death suit dissect new slides of Steven's brain over two years after his cause of death was determined by their office," Jerald Wolkoff said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Burns said that Steven Wolkoff's cause of death had been determined in 2008 prior to the release of his brain to AMR.

San Mateo County Deputy County Counsel David Levy said American Medical Response requested a sample of the brain after the autopsy and has the right to retain such samples for research purposes under California law.

The ambulance company had registered a subpoena for the brain tissue to further investigate the son's medical condition at the time of the crash.

Levy said the Wolkoffs' lawyers received the subpoena and did not object, and that San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault was following the law when he turned over the materials requested."If the family didn't want him to do that, they should have objected through their lawyer," Levy said.

Foucrault did not return a call for comment.

The Wolkoff case is not the first time the coroner's office has been faced with a lawsuit over the alleged mishandling of remains.
In 2006, Daly City resident Isolina Picon learned after interring her son's body that the coroner had returned her son's remains without his heart.

Picon sued the coroner for keeping his heart to study the cause of death, but a state appeals court tossed out the case in 2010. The appeals court said that state law gives a coroner's office "discretion to retain tissues and parts of the body" to determine the cause of death, as well as to perform other duties.

Although the Picon's case was dismissed, it led the Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution recommending the coroner institute a policy of informing the next of kin when remains are retained.

Burns, an attorney for the Wolkoffs, said the new lawsuit aimed to rekindle a conversation on that policy.
"We'd like to -- that was kind of the purpose," she said.

 I often wonder. is there not one courageous person in all of San Mateo County who will stand up and fight for decency and respect on behalf of the dead? 

Is there not one courageous person in all of San Mateo County that has the ethics and the guts to stand up and fight to help us get Justice for Steven by making their feelings public to the inappropriate behavior of their leaders? 

We will now get to see who you really are as citizens of the United States, parents, grandparents, and decent human beings.