When a death is reported to the Coroner

It is the law to report certain types of deaths to the Coroner. Some cases may result in an investigation, with or without an Inquest.

When a death is reported to the office, the Coroner will consider the information and do one of three things:

1.  Give a doctor permission to issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and then take no further action.

2.  Order a post mortem examination. Depending on the results, the Coroner will (a) find the death natural and close the case; (b) open an investigation, where we obtain further information from doctors or others involved; or (c) open an inquest, which is a fact-finding court hearing about the circumstances of the death.                             

3.  Open an inquest without a post mortem examination

Each of these options are explained in the pages below.

We understand that families can be concerned about the process and especially whether it will delay their funeral.  Every effort is made to complete the Coroner’s inquiries as quickly as possible.  Please feel free to talk to a Coroner’s Officer if you have any questions, see our contact us section.