Coroners Act

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Coroners Act
CHAPTER 2.05
CORONERS ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION
1. Short title
Preliminary
2. Interpretation
Appointment and Liability
3. Appointment of Coroner
4. Liability of Coroner
Duties of Coroners and Others
5. Notice of death to be given
6. Report of unnatural death by manager, etc.
7. View of body by district medical officer
8. Report by district medical officer
9. Inquest after report
10. Inquest on prisoner
11. Inquest without report
12. Power to hold inquest without a jury in certain cases
13. Inquest into the death of two or more persons
14. Inquest where body destroyed or irrecoverable
15. Post-mortem examination without inquest
16. Provision for post-mortem and special examination
17. Removal of body for post-mortem examination
Jury
18. Jury, how summoned
19. Refusal or neglect of jurors to perform duty
20. Oaths to be taken by Jurors
21. View of body and burial order
Procedure upon Inquests
22. Inquest to be judicial inquiry
23. Court not an open one
24. Counsel and solicitors
25. Proceedings at inquest: Evidence and Inquisition

26. Notice to Labour Commissioner of inquest in case of death by accident, etc.
27. Transmission of finding
Witnesses
28. Duty of persons to attend inquest
29. Coroner may summon witnesses
30. Penalty in the case of witnesses
31. Refusal to enter into recognizance
Murder, Manslaughter or Infanticide
32. Inquest in cases of murder, manslaughter or infanticide
33. Warrant for apprehension
34. Bail for manslaughter
35. Order for production of person committed to or detained in prison
36. Copies of depositions
37. Recognizances
Burials and Exhumations
38. Burial without warrant prohibited
39. Medical practitioner not to issue certificate of death in certain cases
40. Power to exhume
Fire and Treasure Trove
41. Inquest as to fire
42. Inquest on treasure-trove
Supplementary
43. Director of Public Prosecutions may require inquest to be held
44. Director of Public Prosecutions may order further investigation
45. Ordering Coroner to hold inquest
46. Records of proceedings to be sent to Director of Public Prosecutions
47. Deposit of inquisitions, etc.
48. Fees for post-mortem examinations, etc.
Miscellaneous
49. Contempt of Court
50. Appeals
51. Obstruction
52. How fines to be levied
53. Power to makes rules
54. Forms
SCHEDULE: FORMS

CHAPTER 2.05
CORONERS ACT
(Acts 11 of 1949, 7 of 1951, S.R.O. 15/1956,
Acts 26 of 1980, 5 of 1984, 3 of 1997, 4 of 2003 and 9 of 2011)
Commencement
[31 January 1950]
Short title
1. This Act may be cited as the Coroners Act.

Preliminary
Interpretation
2. In this Act—
“Coroner” includes a Deputy Coroner;
“murder” includes the offence of being an accessory before the fact to a murder;
“unnatural death” includes every case of death of any person—
(a) which occurs in a sudden, violent, or unnatural manner; or
(b) where a dead body is found; or
(c) as to which any reasonable suspicion exists that the same has not arisen from natural causes; or
(d) as to which any reasonable suspicion exists that any person is criminally responsible for such death;
“view” includes the making of any necessary external examination.
Appointment and Liability
Appointment of Coroner
3. (1) The Magistrate shall be Coroner for Montserrat.
Provided that, the Governor may, when he shall think fit, appoint a Deputy Coroner for Montserrat; which Deputy Coroner shall possess and exercise all the powers and shall perform all the duties of, and be subject to the same penalties for non-performance as, the Coroner.

(2) The Governor acting on the advice of Cabinet may prescribe fees for the performance of the functions of the Coroner when they are performed outside normal office hours and for the performance of the functions of the Coroner by a person appointed as a Deputy Coroner who is not a public officer.
(Amended by Acts 26 of 1980 and 9 of 2011)
Liability of Coroner
4. A Coroner who is guilty of extortion or of corruption, or of wilful neglect of his duty, or of misbehaviour in the discharge of his duty, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of $10,000.
(Amended by Act 4 of 2003)
Duties of Coroners and Others
Notice of death to be given
5. (1) Every person who becomes aware of an unnatural death shall forthwith give notice thereof to the Coroner, or to the nearest police station, or to the medical officer of the district in which such death occurs.
(2) Where any unnatural death is reported to, or comes to the knowledge of, any police officer, he shall forthwith cause information thereof to be made to the Coroner.
(3) A body in respect of which such notice is given shall not be moved or have its position altered, except so far as is necessary for the safe custody thereof:
Provided that, any medical practitioner who has been called in any case of unnatural death may, in cases where there are no circumstances of suspicion and where he is unable to view the body within a reasonable time, order the removal of such body to such place as may be named by him.
(4) On the death of any person confined in any prison, asylum for persons of unsound mind or other place of lawful detention, the Keeper, or person in charge shall at once report such death to the Coroner.
(5) Every person becoming aware of any unnatural death who neglects to notify the same as required by this section or contravenes the provisions of subsection (3), shall be liable, on summary conviction to a fine of $1,000. (Amended by Act 4 of 2003)
Report of unnatural death by manager, etc.
6. The manager of any estate, the keeper, or person in charge of any public institution, and the owner or occupier of any house or premises on or in which any unnatural death shall take place, shall notify the same to the Coroner or to the nearest police station or to the medical officer of the district in which such death occurs.

View of body by district medical officer
7. The district medical officer shall view, and, if he deems it necessary for the purposes of this Act, make a post-mortem examination of the unburied body of any deceased person within his district—
(a) as to whom such district medical officer has ground for believing that he died an unnatural death; or
(b) who died while confined as a prisoner in any prison; or
(c) whose body the Coroner, within whose district the body is, directs such district medical officer to view.
Report by district medical officer
8. Where the district medical officer has viewed the body of any deceased person, he shall make a report as to the cause of death to the Coroner, and in such report he shall state whether in his opinion any further enquiry ought to be made as to the circumstances under which the deceased came by his death.
Inquest after report
9. The Coroner having received the report of the district medical officer as to the cause of death of any deceased person, may issue his warrant for the burial of the deceased or, shall hold an inquest as to the cause and circumstances of such death in either of the following cases, that is to say—
(a) if the district medical officer reports that further inquiry ought to be made; or
(b) if the circumstances of the case appear to the Coroner to render it proper to hold an inquest, although the district medical officer does not report that further inquiry ought to be made.
Inquest on prisoner
10. The Coroner, where there is in Montserrat the body of any person who died in any prison or as to whose death an inquest is prescribed, shall hold an inquest as to the cause and circumstances of such death, whether the district medical officer does or does not make a report thereon.
Inquest without report
11. Where a Coroner has reasonable ground to believe or suspect that any deceased person died an unnatural death, if he thinks the circumstances of the case so require, he may, at any time and without waiting for the report of the district medical officer, hold an inquest as to the cause and circumstances of the death of such deceased person.

Power to hold inquest without a jury in certain cases
12. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Coroner, where the dead body of a person is found lying at any place within Montserrat may, in lieu of issuing his warrant for the summoning of a jury in the manner required by section 18, for the purpose of inquiring into the death of that person, hold an inquest on the body without a jury.
(2) If it appears to the Coroner either before he proceeds to hold an inquest or in the course of an inquest begun without a jury, that there is reason to suspect—
(a) that the deceased came by his death by murder, manslaughter or infanticide; or
(b) that the death occurred in prison or in such place or in such circumstances as to require an inquest with a jury under any other Act; or
(c) that the death was caused by an accident, poisoning or disease notice of which is required to be given to a government department or to any inspector or other officer of a government department, under or in pursuance of any Act; or
(d) that the death was caused by an accident arising out of the use of a vehicle in a street or public highway; or
(e) that the death occurred in circumstances the continuance or possible recurrence of which is prejudicial to the health or safety of the public or any section of the public,
he shall proceed to cause a jury to be summoned in the manner required by section 18, and in any other case, if it appears to him, either before he proceeds to hold an inquest or in the course of an inquest begun without a jury, that there is any reason for summoning a jury, he may proceed to cause a jury to be summoned in the manner aforesaid.
(3) The provisions of this Act relating to the procedure in connection with an inquest shall, as respects an inquest or any part of an inquest which is held without a jury, have effect subject to such modifications as are rendered necessary by the absence of a jury, and where the whole of an inquest is held without a jury the inquisition shall be under the hand of the Coroner alone.
(4) Where an inquest or any part of an inquest is held without a jury, anything done at the inquest, or at that part of the inquest, by or before the Coroner alone shall be as validly done as if it had been done by or before the Coroner and a jury.

Inquest into the death of two or more persons
13. A Coroner may hold one inquest into the cause of death of two or more persons whose death appears to him to have been caused by the same accident or occurrence.
Inquest where body destroyed or irrecoverable
14. Where a Coroner has reason to believe that a death has occurred in such circumstances that an inquest ought to be held, and that owing to the destruction of the body by fire or otherwise or to the fact that the body is lying in a place from which it cannot be recovered, an inquest cannot be held except by virtue of the provisions of this section, he may report the facts to the Governor, and the Governor may, if he considers it desirable so to do, direct an inquest to be held touching the death, and an inquest shall be held accordingly, and for that purpose the provisions of this Act shall apply with such modifications as may be necessary in consequence of the inquest being held otherwise than on or after view of the body.
Post-mortem examination without inquest
15. (1) Where a Coroner is informed that the dead body of a person is lying within Montserrat and there is reasonable cause to suspect that the person has died a sudden death of which the cause is unknown, if the Coroner is of opinion that a post-mortem examination may prove an inquest to be unnecessary, he may direct the medical officer of the district in which the body is so lying or any other registered medical practitioner, to make a post-mortem examination of the body of the deceased and to report the result thereof to him in writing.
(2) If as a result of such post-mortem examination the Coroner is satisfied that an inquest is unnecessary, he shall send to the Registrar of Births and Deaths of the district whose duty it is by law to register the death, a certificate under his hand stating the cause of death as disclosed by the report and issue his warrant authorising the burial of the deceased.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorising the Coroner to dispense with an inquest in any case where there is reasonable cause to suspect that the deceased has died an unnatural death, or has died in any prison, or place of confinement or in any asylum for persons of unsound mind or other place of lawful detention.
Provision for post-mortem and special examination
16. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 7 and section 15 the Coroner may, at any time after he has decided to hold an inquest, request any registered medical practitioner to make—
(a) a post-mortem examination of the body of the deceased;
(b) a special examination by way of analysis, test or otherwise of such parts or contents of the body or such other substances or things as ought in the opinion of the Coroner to be submitted

to analyses, tests or other special examination with a view to ascertaining how the deceased came by his death.
(2) If any person who has made such post-mortem or special examination as aforesaid is summoned by the Coroner as a witness, he may be asked to give evidence as to his opinion upon any matter arising out of the examination, and as to how in his opinion the deceased came by his death.
(3) If it shall appear to the Coroner that the death of the deceased was caused partly or entirely by the improper or negligent treatment of a medical practitioner or other person, that medical practitioner or other person shall not be allowed to perform or assist at any post-mortem or special examination made for the purposes of the inquest on the deceased, but such medical practitioner or other person shall have the right, if he so desires, to be represented at any such post-mortem examination.
Removal of body for post-mortem examination
17. Where by the direction or at the request of a Coroner a post-mortem examination of a body is to be made, the Coroner may order the removal of the body to any place which may be provided for the purpose.
Jury
Jury, how summoned
18. (1) Where by this Act a Coroner is required to hold an inquest he shall subject to the provisions of section 12 issue his warrant directed to the senior officer of police and other police officers of the district where the body lies, requiring him or them to summon five good and lawful men to appear before him at a specified time and place, there to inquire as jurors touching the death of such person as aforesaid.
(2) On receipt of such warrant the said senior officer, or in his absence such other police officer as shall be in charge of the police station in the district, shall summon such five good and lawful men as aforesaid which summons shall be served personally, or by leaving a copy at the usual place of abode of the juror, and shall deliver a list of the persons so summoned to the Coroner at the inquest.
(3) No person shall be summoned to serve as a juror or on any inquest on a death of any person confined in any prison or place of confinement or in any asylum for persons of unsound mind or any other place of lawful detention, who is confined in or connected with the management or service of such prison, place of confinement, asylum or place of detention.
(4) If less than five jurors appear at the time and place so appointed for the inquest, the Coroner shall on proof of the service of the summons upon the absentee deal with him in manner hereinafter provided, after which he shall direct so many good and lawful men then present, or in the

neighbourhood, to be impanelled as may be sufficient to complete the number of jurors required.
(5) A person summoned as a juror in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be one who is liable to serve as a common juror under the provisions of the Jury Act.
(6) The Governor acting on the advice of Cabinet may prescribe fees to be paid to persons summoned to appear as jurors in accordance with the provisions of this section: (Amended by Act 9 of 2011)
Provided that, until such fees are so prescribed, the person summoned to appear as jurors under this Act shall be paid at the rate from time to time payable to common jurors under the provisions of the Jury Act.
(Amended by Act 26 of 1980)
Refusal or neglect of jurors to perform duty
19. Any person who—
(a) being summoned as a juror on any inquest shall refuse or neglect to attend; or
(b) being in attendance on such summons shall refuse to be sworn or to serve as a juror; or
(c) being called on to make up a tales shall refuse to be sworn or to serve as a juror,
shall be liable to a fine, to be imposed by the Coroner, not exceeding $10.
Oaths to be taken by jurors
20. So soon as the Coroner and jurors at any inquest have assembled, the Coroner shall call upon one to serve as foreman and they shall be sworn by or before him diligently to inquire touching the death of the person on whose body the inquest is about to be held, and a true verdict to give according to the evidence.
View of body and burial order
21. (1) At or before the first sitting of an inquest on a body, the Coroner shall view the body, and if, before the body has been buried, the Coroner so directs, or a majority of the jury so desires, the body shall be viewed by the jury also:
Provided that, where a previous inquest on the body has been begun but not completed, it shall not be obligatory upon the Coroner holding a subsequent inquest to view the body.
(2) The warrant of a Coroner authorising the burial of a body upon which he has decided to hold an inquest may be issued at any time after he has viewed the body.

Procedure upon Inquests
Inquest to be judicial inquiry
22. Every inquest under this Act shall be a judicial inquiry and may be held as well on Sunday as on any other day.
Court not an open one
23. The room or building in which a Coroner’s Court is held shall not be deemed an open Court, and it shall be lawful for such Coroner, in his discretion, to order that no person shall have access to, or be or remain in, such room or building, the jury excepted, without the consent or permission of such Coroner, if it appears to him that the ends of the inquiry will be best answered by so doing.
Counsel and solicitors
24. No counsel or solicitor shall be entitled as of right to appear in any proceeding before a Coroner’s Court, but the Coroner may, if he shall think fit, on application, permit such appearance.
Proceedings at inquest: Evidence and Inquisition
25. (1) The Coroner shall, at the first sitting of the inquest, examine on oath touching the death all persons who tender their evidence respecting the facts and all persons having knowledge of the facts whom he thinks it expedient to examine.
(2) The evidence of every witness shall be taken down in writing in the form of a deposition, which shall be read over to the witness and signed by the Coroner and the witness, or, in case of the incapacity or refusal of the latter to sign the same, then by the Coroner and some other person in whose presence the deposition was taken; and such deposition shall be admissible in evidence in any proceedings in the cases in which and subject to the conditions under which in similar proceedings in England the like deposition taken by or before a Coroner in England would be admissible in evidence. This subsection shall not derogate from the admissibility in evidence of any such deposition independently of this Act.
(3) At the conclusion of each day’s evidence, the Coroner shall certify it in the following form—
“The foregoing depositions of A.B., C.D., and E.F. were
taken and sworn before me this .............................................................
day of ......................................, 20........... .
G.H., Coroner.”


(4) After hearing the evidence the jury shall give their verdict, and certify it by an inquisition in writing, setting forth, so far as such particulars have been proved to them, who the deceased was, and how, when, and where the deceased came by his death, and if he came by his death by murder or manslaughter, the persons, if any, whom the jury find to have been guilty of such murder or manslaughter, or of being accessories before the fact to such murder.
(5) If the jury at an inquest fails to agree on a unanimous verdict, the Coroner may accept the verdict of four of them and such majority shall, in that case, certify the verdict in accordance with the requirements of subsection (4).
(6) The inquisition shall be under the hands of the jurors who concur in the verdict, and of the Coroner.
(7) In any other case of disagreement, the Coroner may discharge the jury and issue a warrant for summoning another jury, and thereupon the inquest shall proceed in all respects as if the proceedings which terminated in the disagreement had not taken place, except that it shall not be obligatory on the Coroner to view the body.
(8) A Coroner holding an inquest in any place may adjourn the inquest to another day, whether the same be Sunday or any other day, and order the adjourned inquest to be held in the same or any other place.
Notice to Labour Commissioner of inquest in case of death by accident,
etc.
26. (1) Where a Coroner holds an inquest on a body of any person whose death may have been caused by any accident or disease or any explosion, fire, collapse of buildings, accidents to machinery or plant, or other occurrences in places where workers are employed, of which notice is required by any law in force in Montserrat to be given to a Labour Commissioner, the Coroner shall adjourn the inquest unless the Labour Commissioner or some person authorised in that behalf by him is present to watch the proceedings, and shall, at least four days before holding the adjourned inquest, send to such Labour Commissioner notice in writing of the time and place of holding the adjourned inquest:
Provided that, the Coroner, before the adjournment, may take evidence to identify the body, and may order interment thereof.
(2) With respect to any such inquest as aforesaid the following persons, that is to say—
(a) the Labour Commissioner aforesaid or some person authorised in that behalf by him;
(b) any relation of the person in respect of whose death the inquest is being held;
(c) the employer in whose employment the accident or disease occurred or was contracted;

(d) any person appointed in writing by the majority of the workers employed in the place of employment in which the deceased was employed;
(e) any person appointed in writing by any Trade Union, organization of workers or other association of persons to which the deceased at the time of his death belonged or to which any worker employed in the said place of employment belongs;
(f) any association of employers of which the said employer is a member,
shall, subject to the power of the Coroner to disallow any question which in his opinion is not relevant or is otherwise not a proper question, be entitled to examine any witness either in person or by counsel or solicitor.
(3) If the Labour Commissioner or some person duly authorised by him is not present at any such adjourned inquest and evidence is given thereat of any neglect as having caused or contributed to the accident or disease, or of any defect in or about the place of employment appearing to the Coroner to require a remedy, the Coroner shall send to the Labour Commissioner notice in writing of the neglect or defect.
Transmission of finding
27. The Coroner after the termination of an inquest on any death shall send to the Registrar of Births and Deaths whose duty it is by law to register the death the finding of the jury in writing.
Witnesses
Duty of persons to attend inquest
28. It shall be the duty of all persons who are able to give material evidence concerning any matter to be inquired into at an inquest to attend the inquest at the time and place appointed and to give such evidence.
Coroner may summon witnesses
29. The Coroner may at any time summon such witnesses, as he deems necessary, touching the matter of the inquest.
Penalty in the case of witnesses
30. Any person who—
(a) being summoned to attend as a witness on any inquest, shall refuse or neglect to attend; or
(b) being present in Court, shall refuse to be sworn, or to give evidence; or

(c) having given evidence, shall refuse to sign his or her deposition when required to do so,
shall be liable to be committed for contempt, or to pay a fine, to be imposed by the Coroner, not exceeding $10.
Refusal to enter into recognizance
31. Any person who shall refuse to enter into any recognizance required to be entered into under this Act, shall be liable to be committed for contempt, or to pay a fine, to be imposed by the Coroner, not exceeding $10, or to be imprisoned until the return day of such recognizance unless the same is sooner entered into, or, in the discretion of the Coroner, to a fine and imprisonment.
Murder, Manslaughter or Infanticide
Inquest in cases of murder, manslaughter or infanticide
32. (1) If on an inquest touching a death the Coroner is informed before the jury have given their verdict that some person has been charged before a Magistrate with the murder, manslaughter or infanticide of the deceased or with an offence under section 53 of the Road Traffic Act (causing death by reckless or dangerous driving) in relation to the deceased, he shall, in the absence of reason to the contrary, adjourn the inquest until after the conclusion of the criminal proceedings and may if he thinks fit discharge the jury. (Amended by Act 28 of 1980)
(2) After the conclusion of the criminal proceedings the Coroner may, subject as hereinafter provided, resume the adjourned inquest if he is of opinion that there is sufficient cause to do so:
Provided that, if in the course of the criminal proceedings any person has been charged on indictment, then upon the resumed inquest no inquisition shall charge that person with an offence of which he could have been convicted on the indictment or contain any finding which is inconsistent with the determination of any matter by the result of those proceedings.
(3) Where a Coroner resumes an inquest which has been adjourned in accordance with the requirements of this section and the jury has been discharged, the Coroner shall proceed in all respects as if the inquest had not previously been begun, and the provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly as if the resumed inquest were a fresh inquest except that it shall not be obligatory on the Coroner to view the body.
(4) If, having regard to the result of the criminal proceedings, the Coroner decides not to resume the inquest, he shall furnish the Registrar of Births and Deaths of the district whose duty it is by law to register the death with a certificate stating the result of the criminal proceedings and the particulars necessary for the registration of the death so far as they have been ascertained at the inquest, and the Registrar shall enter the death and

particulars in the form and manner prescribed by the law for the time being in force.
(5) Where a Magistrate before whom a person is charged with murder, manslaughter or infanticide is not himself the Coroner who is responsible for holding an inquest upon the body, it shall be his duty to inform the Coroner so responsible of the making of the charge, and of the committal for trial, or discharge, as the case may be, of the person charged, and it shall be the duty of the Registrar of the High Court to which a person charged with murder, manslaughter or infanticide is committed for trial, and of the Registrar of the Court before which any appeal from a conviction of murder, manslaughter or infanticide is heard, to inform the Coroner of the result of the proceedings.
(6) For the purposes of this section, the expression “criminal proceedings” means the proceedings before a Magistrate and before any Court to which the accused person is committed for trial or before which an appeal from the conviction of that person is heard, and criminal proceedings shall not be deemed to be concluded until no further appeal can be made.
Warrant for apprehension
33. Where a Coroner’s inquisition charges any person with murder, manslaughter or infanticide, the Coroner shall, if the person is at large, issue his Warrant for his apprehension and committal to prison, or, if he be already in prison, the Coroner shall issue a Warrant of Detainer addressed to the keeper of the prison in which the accused is confined.
Bail for manslaughter
34. In every case in which a Coroner’s jury shall have found a verdict of manslaughter or infanticide against any person or persons, it shall be lawful for the Coroner before whom the inquest was taken to accept bail, if he shall think fit, with good and sufficient sureties for the appearance of the person or persons against whom such verdict was returned at the preliminary inquiry whereat he is charged with the offence of manslaughter or infanticide, and thereupon such person, if in custody of any officer of the Coroner’s Court, or in any prison under a warrant of commitment issued by such Coroner, shall be discharged therefrom.
Order for production of person committed to or detained in prison
35. Whenever any person who has been committed to prison on the Coroner’s Warrant is required to undergo a preliminary examination before a Magistrate, such Magistrate may issue an Order, addressed to the keeper of the prison in which such prisoner is confined, directing him to produce such prisoner at the time and place named in such Order and such prisoner shall be deemed during his progress to and from, and his attendance at, such examination to be in lawful custody.

Copies of depositions
36. A person against whom a Coroner’s jury has found a verdict of murder, manslaughter or infanticide shall be entitled to have from the person having for the time being the custody of the inquisition or of the depositions of the witnesses at the inquest, copies thereof on payment of a reasonable sum for the same, not exceeding the rate of 3¢ for every folio of 90 words.
Recognizances
37. Where a verdict or finding of murder, manslaughter or infanticide is returned against any person, it shall be the duty of the Coroner to bind by recognizances every witness who has been examined at the inquest to appear at the hearing of the preliminary inquiry of the accused, then and there to give evidence, and the said recognizance being duly acknowledged by the person entering into the same, shall be subscribed by the Coroner.
Burials and Exhumations
Burial without warrant prohibited
38. (1) No minister or other person shall knowingly bury, or allow to be buried, the body of any person who died an unnatural death or under circumstances calling for the interposition of a Coroner, without the production, at or before the time of the funeral of a warrant of a Coroner authorising such burial.
(2) Any minister or other person who contravenes the provisions of this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of $100.
Medical practitioner not to issue certificate of death in certain cases
39. No certificate of the cause of death shall be issued by any registered medical practitioner in any case where, to his knowledge, the deceased died an unnatural death or where such death shall have occurred under circumstances which require a report to be made to the Coroner or where the Coroner is informed of a sudden death of which the cause is unknown.
Power to exhume
40. (1) A Coroner may, if he thinks fit, and whether an inquest is pending or not, order that the body of any deceased person be exhumed, and direct that it be viewed and if necessary anatomically examined by a registered medical practitioner.
(2) The Director of Public Prosecutions may at any time by his warrant order the exhumation of a body and the examination thereof when, in his opinion, the ends of justice will be advanced. (Amended by Act 9 of 2011)

Fire and Treasure Trove
Inquest as to fire
41. Whenever it shall appear to a Coroner that a fire has occurred in his district causing injury to person or property, or in respect of which there is reasonable ground to suspect that an offence has been committed, such Coroner may, in his discretion, hold an inquest as to the cause and circumstances of such fire; and all the provisions of this Act relating to an inquest into the cause of death, shall, so far as the same are applicable, apply to an inquest into the cause of fire:
Provided that, the Coroner shall hold such an inquest if so directed in writing by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
(Amended by Act 9 of 2011)
Inquest on treasure trove
42. A Coroner shall have jurisdiction to inquire of treasure that is found, who were the finders, and who is suspected thereof and the provisions of this Act so far as is consistent with the tenor thereof, shall apply to every such inquest.
Supplementary
Director of Public Prosecutions may require inquest to be held
43. (1) The Director of Public Prosecutions may require any Coroner to hold an inquest into the cause of, and the circumstances connected with, the death of any person, and may so require any Coroner to hold such inquest although an inquest with respect to the same death may have been already commenced, or held, or returned, and every Coroner so required shall have full power to, and shall, hold such inquest.
(2) Where the Director of Public Prosecutions requires any Coroner to hold any inquest and an inquest with respect to the same death is in the course of being held, or has been held, by any other Coroner all proceedings at, or founded on, such last mentioned inquest shall be stayed.
(Amended by Act 9 of 2011)
Director of Public Prosecutions may order further investigation
44. Where the proceedings at any inquest have been closed by the Coroner, and it appears to the Director of Public Prosecutions that further investigation is necessary, the Director of Public Prosecutions may require such Coroner to re-open such inquest and make further investigation, and thereupon the Coroner shall have all power to, and shall re-open the inquest and make further investigation, and thereafter proceed in the same manner as if the proceedings at such inquest had not been closed by the Coroner:

Provided that, the provisions of this section shall not apply to any inquest at which any verdict or finding of murder, manslaughter or infanticide has been returned against any person therein named.
(Amended by Act 9 of 2011)
Ordering Coroner to hold inquest
45. (1) Where—
(a) a Coroner refuses or neglects to hold an inquest or further investigation as required by sections 43 and 44; or
(b) the Director of Public Prosecutions is satisfied that a Coroner has held an inquest and that by reason of fraud, rejection of evidence, irregularity of proceedings, insufficiency of inquiry or otherwise, it is necessary or desirable, in the interests of justice, that another inquest should be held,
the High Court may order an inquest to be held touching the said death, and may, if the Court thinks it just, order the said Coroner to pay such costs of and incidental to the application as to the Court may seem just, and where an inquest has been already held may quash the inquisition on that inquest. (Amended by Act 9 of 2011)

(2) The Court may order that such inquest shall be held either by the said Coroner or by any other Coroner of Montserrat, and the Coroner ordered to hold the inquest shall for that purpose have the same powers and jurisdiction as, and be deemed to be, the said Coroner.
(3) Upon any such inquest, if the case be one of death, it shall not be necessary, unless the Court otherwise orders, to view the body, but save as aforesaid the inquest shall be held in like manner in all respects as any other inquest under this Act.
(4) Any power vested by this section in the High Court may, subject to any rules of Court, be exercised by any Judge of that Court.
Records of proceedings to be sent to Director of Public Prosecutions
46. All inquisitions and records of proceedings at any inquest shall be transmitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions within seven days at the latest after the inquest is closed. (Amended by Act 9 of 2011)
Deposit of inquisitions, etc.
47. The Director of Public Prosecutions may deposit in the office of the Registrar of the High Court all inquisitions and records of proceedings at any inquest. The Registrar shall cause a register to be kept of every such document so deposited, and shall cause an alphabetical index of the same to be made. (Amended by Act 9 of 2011)

Fees for post-mortem examinations, etc.
48. When any registered medical practitioner is ordered, or required to make any post-mortem or anatomical examination of the dead body of any person under this Act, he shall be entitled to receive such fee as may be prescribed by the Governor acting on the advice of Cabinet, and such fee shall be paid by the Accountant General of Montserrat. (Amended by Acts 26 of 1980 and 9 of 2011)

Miscellaneous
Contempt of Court
49. Any person who obstructs or impedes the proceedings in any Coroner’s Court, or wilfully insults the Coroner or any officer of the Court, or wilfully misbehaves himself in such a manner as to interfere with the proceedings, shall be liable to be committed for contempt or to a fine, to be imposed by the Coroner, not exceeding $25, and, in either case, to be removed from the Court.
Appeals
50. Any person who is imprisoned or fined under section 49 may appeal to the Court of Appeal in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as a person convicted summarily in the Magistrate’s Court; and the provisions of Part 10 of the Criminal Procedure Code shall apply, mutatis mutandis, accordingly.
(Inserted by Act 5 of 1984 and Amended by Act 9 of 2010)
Obstruction
51. Any person who—
(a) obstructs the Coroner, or his jury, in any view or inquest; or
(b) wilfully does any act with the view of defeating the object of the inquest; or
(c) obstructs or annoys any medical practitioner in the performance of any post-mortem examination or other duty imposed upon him by the Coroner; or
(d) obstructs or impedes the disinterment or burial of any body ordered by the Coroner to be disinterred or buried;
shall be guilty of an indictable offence, and shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of twelve months, or to a fine of $240, or to both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the Court.

How fines to be levied
52. A list of all fines imposed by the Coroner shall be signed by him and returned into the Magistrate’s Court to be levied and disposed of in the same manner as fines inflicted in such Court.
Power to make rules
53. The Governor acting on the advice of Cabinet may make rules for regulating the practice and procedure at or in connection with inquests and post-mortem examinations and, in particular (without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision) such rules may provide—
(a) as to the procedure at inquests held without a jury;
(b) as to the procedure to be followed where a Coroner decides not to resume an adjourned inquest;
(c) as to the fees to be paid to a registered medical practitioner for a post-mortem or anatomical examination of the dead body of any person under the provisions of section 48;
(d) as to the fees to be paid to a Coroner or Deputy Coroner for performance of his functions under this Act;
(e) as to the fees to be paid to persons summoned to appear as jurors under the provisions of section 18; and
(f) as to the fees to be paid for the handling and transport of dead bodies.
(Amended by Acts 26 of 1980, 3 of 1997 and 9 of 2011)
Forms
54. The forms in the Schedule may be used in all matters to which they apply, and when so used shall be sufficient in law. Where any form required by this Act is not contained in the Schedule, the Coroner shall follow as nearly as possible the forms which would be adopted in England under similar circumstances.
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SCHEDULE
(Section 53)
FORMS
FORM 1
WARRANT TO BURY WHERE INQUEST UNNECESSARY
(Sections 9 and 15)
(Royal Arms)
MONTSERRAT
Whereas I am credibly informed that, on the ................ day of ..........…..………,
20......., the body of .............……............ was found dead at ........................................
in Montserrat and am satisfied of the cause of death of the said ...................................
and that no inquest touching his death should be held; these are therefore to certify
that you may permit the body of the said ...............................………................. to be
buried, and for your so doing this is your warrant.
Given under my hand this .................... day of .........................., 20....... .

Coroner.
To
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FORM 2
WARRANT TO SUMMON JURY
(Section 18)
(Royal Arms)
MONTSERRAT
To the Senior Officer of Police and all other police officers of Montserrat.
By virtue of my office, these are, in Her Majesty’s name, to charge and
command you that, on sight hereof, you summon and warn five good and lawful men
of Montserrat personally to be and appear before me on .....….... day, the ..……......
day of ............………..………..... instant, at .............. of the clock in the ............
noon, at .………………………............., then and there to do and to execute all such
things as shall be given them in charge, on behalf of our Sovereign Lady the Queen,
touching the death of ..……….......................; and for so doing this is your Warrant:
And that you also attend at the time and place above mentioned to make a return
of those you shall so summon : And further to do and execute such other matters as
shall be then and there enjoined you: And have you then and there this Warrant.
Given under my hand at .................................., in Montserrat, this ............... day
of ....................., 20......... .

A.B., Coroner.
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FORM 3
SUMMONS TO JURYMEN
(Section 18)
(Royal Arms)
MONTSERRAT
By virtue of a Warrant under the hand of A.B., Esquire, Her Majesty’s Coroner
for Montserrat, you are hereby summoned personally to be and appear before him as
a juryman on .......……..... day, the ..................... day of .......………...........................
instant, at ............ o’clock of the ............. noon precisely, at ....………………..........,
then and there to inquire on Her Majesty’s behalf touching the death
of ...…………………..............; and further to do and execute such matters and
things as shall be then and there given you in charge, and depart not without leave.
Hereof fail not at your peril.
Dated this ........... day of ................................., 20........ .
C.D., ............................. of Police.
To Mr. E.F., of …………………………..
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FORM 4
WARRANT TO BURY AFTER VIEW
(Section 21)
(Royal Arms)
MONTSERRAT
I, the undersigned Coroner, do hereby authorise the burial of the body
of ........………………................... late of ..…………………........................... whose
death was reported to me on the .................. day of ........................., 20........, and
whose body has been viewed by me* [and by the inquest jury].
Given under my hand this ............ day of ...................., 20........ .
Coroner.
*Strike out if inapplicable.
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FORM 5
SUMMONS TO WITNESS
(Section 29)
(Royal Arms)
MONTSERRAT
Whereas I am credibly informed that you can give evidence on behalf of our
Sovereign Lady the Queen touching the death of ..................................... *[now lying
dead at ..............…………………...........] or *[whose body has been viewed by me
at .......................................................].
These are therefore, by virtue of my office, in Her Majesty’s name to charge and
command you personally to be and appear before me at ..........................................,
at ................................. of the clock ........m on ......... the .......... day of ................
instant, then and there to give evidence and be examined on Her Majesty’s behalf,
before me and my inquest, touching the premises.
Hereof fail not at your peril.
Given under my hand this ............. day of ..........................….., 20........ .

Coroner.
To
*Strike out whichever inapplicable.
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FORM 6
FORM OF INQUISITION (WITH JURY)
(Section 25)
(Royal Arms)
MONTSERRAT
AN INQUISITION taken for our Sovereign Lady the Queen at ..........................,
in Montserrat, on ................................... the .......... day of ...................……, 20.........,
[and by adjournment on the ………. day of ........................... (or as the case may
require) before A.B., Esquire, Coroner of Montserrat, upon the oath (or and
affirmation) of C.D., E.F., G.H., I.J., K.L.. good and lawful men of Montserrat, duly
sworn to inquire for our Lady the Queen, touching the death of M.N. (or of a person
to the jurors unknown) and upon view of his body [by me];* and those of the said
jurors whose names are hereunto subscribed upon their oaths do say that etc.
(Here follows the finding)
And the jurors aforesaid do further say that the said M.N. at the time of his death
was a ...... male person of the age of ………… years and a …………………….. .
IN WITNESS WHEREOF as well the said Coroner as the jurors have hereunto
subscribed their hands the day and year first above written.
A.B. Coroner
C.D. Foreman
E.F.
G.H.
I.J.
K.L.
*Strike out if inapplicable.
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FORM 7
FORM OF INQUISITION (WITHOUT A JURY)
(Section 12)
(Royal Arms)
MONTSERRAT
AN INQUISITION taken for our Sovereign Lady the Queen at ...........................,
in Montserrat on .............................. in the ......... day of ........................, 20........,
[and by adjournment on the ............. day of ............................... (or as the case may
require)] by me A.B., Esquire Coroner of Montserrat ..................................................
on view by me of the body of C.D. (or of a person to me unknown) as to his death,
and I, the said A.B. do say—
(Here set out the circumstances of the death)
(Here set out the conclusion of the Coroner as to the death)
And I, the said A.B., do further say that the said C.D. at the time of his death
was a ...………... male person of the age of ..…………………….... years and
a ................................................. .
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I, the said A.B., have hereunto subscribed my hand
the day and year first above written.

Coroner.
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FORM 8
WARRANT OF APPREHENSION
(Section 33)
(Royal Arms)
MONTSERRAT
To all Police Officers of Montserrat, and to all others Her Majesty’s Officers of
the Peace within Montserrat.
Whereas by an Inquisition taken before me ........................................., Coroner
for Montserrat aforesaid, on view of the body of .........................................................
then and there lying dead, one .................................. of ..............................................,
stands charged with the wilful murder (or as the case may be) of the said
………………………… .
These are therefore, by virtue of my office in Her Majesty’s name, to charge
and command you and every of you, that you, or some or one of you, without delay,
do apprehend and bring before me the said Coroner, or one of Her Majesty’s
Justices of the Peace of Montserrat, the body of the said .............................................
of whom you shall have notice that he may be dealt with according to law; and for
your so doing this is your warrant.
Given under my hand and seal this ............ day of ...........…………..., 20........

Coroner. [L.S.]
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FORM 9
WARRANT OF COMMITMENT
(Section 33)
(Royal Arms)
MONTSERRAT
To the Police Officers and other Her Majesty’s Officers of the Peace for
Montserrat of ........................................ and also to the Keeper of Her Majesty’s
Prison at ....................................................................... .
Whereas by an Inquisition taken before me, ......……................................
Coroner for Montserrat the day and year hereunder mentioned on view of the body
of ........................................ then and there lying dead, one .........................................
of ........................................ stands charged with the wilful murder (or as the case
may be) of the said ......................................................................:
These are therefore, by virtue of my office, in Her Majesty’s name, to charge
and command you, or any of you, forthwith safely to convey the body of the said
........................……………...... to Her Majesty’s Prison at ...................….................,
and safely deliver the same to the Keeper of Her Majesty’s Prison; and these are
likewise by virtue of my said office, in Her Majesty’s name to will and require you
the said Keeper of the said Prison, to receive the body of the said
.................................... into your custody, and him safely to keep in the said Prison
until he shall be thence discharged by due course of law; and for your so doing this
is your warrant.
Given under my hand and seal this ......... day of .............……...., 20...... .

Coroner [L.S.]
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FORM 10
WARRANT OF DETAINER
(Section 33)
(Royal Arms)
MONTSERRAT
To the Keeper of Her Majesty’s Prison at ……………………………………..
Whereas you have in your custody the body of .....................................................;
and whereas by an Inquisition taken before me, ...............................................
Coroner for Montserrat, the day and year hereunder written, at ..........…………….....
on view of the body of ............................………... then and there lying dead, he the
said …………………………..........…....……......... stands charged with the wilful
murder (or as the case may be) of the said ...................................................................:
These are therefore by virtue of my office; in Her Majesty’s name, to charge and
command you to detain and keep in your custody the body of the said ........................
until he shall be thence discharged by due course of law; and for your so doing this
is your warrant.
Given under my hand and seal this ............. day of .....................…….., 20…… .
Coroner [L.S.]
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FORM 11
ORDER TO BRING UP PRISONERS FOR EXAMINATION
(Section 35)
(Royal Arms)
MONTSERRAT
To the Keeper of Her Majesty’s Prison at ……………………………………….. .
Whereas I am informed that A.B. is now detained in the said Prison under your
custody, by authority of a warrant of commitment under the hand and seal
of ....………….................................. Esquire, Her Majesty’s Coroner for Montserrat.
Now these are to require and command you, by virtue of the power vested in me
under the provisions of the Coroners Act, to produce before me the body of the said
A.B., under safe and secure conduct, at the Magistrate’s Court, at ................................,
on ............ day, the ………… day of ...................................., 20........ at ……………
o’clock in the ................. noon, there to answer a certain charge or information lodged
against him, and so from day to day until he shall have answered the said charge or
information, and be further dealt with according to law.
And for so doing this is your warrant.
Given under my hand and seal this .......... day of .............……….……, 20....... .

Magistrate [L.S.]
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POST MORTEM FEES RULES – SECTIONS 48 AND 52
(S.R.O. 24/1982)
Commencement
[30 April 1982]
Short title
1. These Rules may be cited as the Post Mortem Fees Rules.
Fees for Post Mortem Examinations
2. The fee payable to a registered medical practitioner for conducting a post
mortem or anatomical examination of the dead body of any person under the
Coroner’s Act shall be one of the following—
(a) in respect of a fresh corpse .................... $120
(b) in respect of a decomposed corpse ........ $240
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CORONER’S FEES RULES – SECTION 52(C)
(S.R.O. 18/1982)
Commencement
[2 April 1982]
Short title
1. These Rules may be cited as the Coroner’s Fees Rules.
Coroner’s fees
2. The fees payable to the Coroner for performance of his duties outside normal
office hours and to any person not a public officer who is appointed to perform the
functions of the Coroner shall be those set out in the Schedule hereto.
Interpretation
3. In these Rules, the expression “normal office hours” shall mean the hours
specified in General Orders of the Governor as the normal hours of work for the
Magistrate.
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SCHEDULE
For every viewing of a body without a jury ................... $50
For identification of a body with a jury .......................... $50
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HANDLING AND TRANSPORT OF CORPSES RULES – SECTION 52
(S.R.O. 51/1999)
Commencement
[27 September 1999]
Short title
1. These Rules may be cited as the Handling and Transport of Corpses Rules.
Fees for the handling and transport of corpses
2. (1) The fees payable for the handling and transport of the dead body of any
person are as follows—
Handling Fees
Decomposed body ..................................... $1,500
Non-decomposed body .............................. $400
Transport Fees
Decomposed body ..................................... $500
Non-decomposed body .............................. $100
(2) Where the Coroner determines that the dead body of any person is not
easily accessible, the following fees shall be payable in respect of its handling and
transport.
Handling Fees
Decomposed body ..................................... $2,500
Non-decomposed body .............................. $800
Transport Fees
Decomposed body ..................................... $750
Non-decomposed body .............................. $150
(3) The Coroner may, if he is of the opinion that the degree of difficulty is
exceptionally great, grant an increase of the fee for handling a decomposed body by
tranches of $500 up to a maximum of $4,000.
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