Legal Definition and Related Resources of Coroner

Meaning of Coroner

A local judicial officer empowered to act within his own municipal jurisdiction . A Coroner’s court is a Court of record and the coroner is a judge of that court. His duties include the inquiry into the circumstances and manner of the death of any person who is slain or who dies in suspicious circumstances. The inquiry is called an inquest and is held before a jury. The primary duty of a Coroner’s Court is to conduct an investigation in order to ascertain whether a crime has been committed and its proceedings are similar to those of the grand jury . The inquiry is not directed against anyone in particular and until a verdict has been reached there is no accused person. The coroner’s jurisdiction is limited within his own municipality .

Coroner Alternative Definition

An officer whose principal duty it is to hold an inquisition, with the assistance of a jury, over the body of any person who may have come to a violent death, or who has died in prison. It is his duty also, in case of the death of the sheriff, or his incapacity, or when a vacancy occurs in that ofiice, to serve all the writs and processes which the sheriff is usually bound to serve. 20 Ga. 336; 11 Tex. 284; 14 Ala. (N. S.) 326; 10 Humph. (Tenn.) 346; 1 Sharswood, Bl. Comm. 349. The chief justice of the king’s bench is the sovereign or chief coroner of all England, -though it is not to be understood that he performs the active duties of that office in any one county. 4 Coke, 57b; Bac. Abr.; 3 Comyn, Dig. 242; 5 Comyn, Dig. 212. It is also his duty to inquire concerning shipwreck, and to find who has possession of the goods; concerning treasure trove, who are the finders, and where the property is. 1 Sharswood, ~B1. Comm. 349. The office has lost much of the honor which formerly appertained to it, but the duties are of great consequence to society, both for bringing murderers to punishment, and protecting innocent persons from accusation. It may often happen that the imperfections of the early examination enable one who is undoubtedly a criminal to escape. It is proper, in most cases of homicide, to procure the examination to be made by a physician, and in many cases it is his duty. 4 Car. & P. 571.

Related Entries of Coroner in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Coroner in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Coroner in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Coroner in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Coroner in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

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Translate Coroner from English to Spanish

Translation of Coroner, with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Médico forense and other legal terms is available here.

Translate Coroner’s Inquest from English to Spanish

Translation of Coroner’s Inquest, with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Indagatoria de pesquisidor and other legal terms is available here.

Translate Coroner’s Jury from English to Spanish

Translation of Coroner’s Jury, with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Jurado de pesquisidor and other legal terms is available here.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Coroner in the Dictionary Coroner in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Coroner
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Related topics Coroner in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Coroner is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Coroner (more about URIs)

Meaning of Coroner in Spanish

Description/ translation of coroner into Spanish: médico forense[1]

Note: for more information on related terms and on the area of law where coroner belongs (criminal procedure law), in Spanish, see here.

Notes and References

  1. Translation of Coroner published by Antonio Peñaranda


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • Autopsy; Jury; Presumption.

    Autopsy; Careers in forensic science; Death, cause of; Medical examiner.

  • Coroner in Law Enforcement

    Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of coroner.


    See Also

    • Law Enforcement Officer
    • Policeman
    • Law Enforcement Agency

    Further Reading

    English Legal System: Coroner

    In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Coroner :

    An officer of the Crown whose principal function is to investigate deaths suspected of being violent or unnatural. He will do this either by ordering an *autopsy or conducting an *inquest. The coroner also holds inquests on *treasure trove. Coroners are appointed by the Crown from among barristers, solicitors, and qualified medical practitioners of not less than five years’ standing.



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