Overview of Inquests
A Coroner will undertake an inquest if the cause of death is unknown or if the person:
- Possibly died a violent or unnatural death.
- Died in custody or otherwise in state detention.
It is a coroner's duty at an inquest to establish who the deceased was and how, when and where the deceased came by his or her death. It is a fact finding process. An inquest is not permitted to determine or appear to determine a criminal liability by a named person or civil liability. It is about what happened, and how it happened, not who was responsible for what happened; this is the responsibility of the civil and criminal courts.
After an inquest the coroner will send the necessary details to the register of births and deaths for the death to be registered when it occurred in England and Wales.
Please note: That if the coroner has decided to investigate a death, registration of the death must wait for the coroner to finish his or her inquiries. These inquiries may take time, so it is always best to contact the coroner's office before any funeral arrangements are made.
Latest Inquest Dates
We regularly update the list of latest inquest dates. However dates and times can be subject to change at short notice.
PUBLIC NOTICE: CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
HM The Queen has said:
is a time when our normal routines and regular patterns of life have to change
for the greater good of the communities we live in and protecting the most
vulnerable. We have to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts and
focus on a common goal.”
Hearing of Inquests
In order to reduce the risk of
transmission of infection during the current Pandemic, as from the 23rd
March 2020 the hearing of all listed Inquests
will be adjourned to be relisted and heard at a future date when circumstances
permit, but it is not anticipated at this time that they will be heard before 1st
All next-of-kin, Interested Persons
and witnesses have now been notified of this change by my Coroner’s Officers.
It is hoped that the necessary
restrictions announced by me will be changed and the normal listing and hearing
of Inquests will resume as soon as possible. The position will be kept under
constant review and at such time that it is safe to resume these hearings, a
further announcement will be made.
The circumstances in which
deaths still need to be reported to the Coroner remain the same but all
decisions and actions required by law, where possible, will be expedited.
I wish to thank the bereaved
and all members of the public for their understanding, assistance and
cooperation at this most difficult time for us all.
with my Office
Please do not visit the
Coroner’s Office in person unless you are specifically advised to do so by one
of my Coroners Officers. Please note that none of my Officers are currently
working from the Seaclose Offices – they are all working from home, and it is
hoped that all matters can be resolved by telephone or email. I will be
continuing with my statutory duties, albeit working remotely, and am in
constant contact with all of my Officers.
SENIOR CORONER FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT