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CORONER Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

The name of an ancient officer of the common law, whose office and functions are continued in modern English and American administration. The coroner is an officer belonging to each county, and is charged with duties both judicial and ministerial, but chiefly the former. It is his special province and duty to make inquiry into the causes and circumstances of any death happening within his territory which occurs through violence or suddenly and with marks of suspicion. This examination (called the “coroner’s inquest”) is held with a jury of proper persons upon view of the dead body. See Bract, fol. 121; 1 Bl. Comm. 346-348 ; 3 Steph. Comm. 33. In England, another branch of his judicial office is to inquire concerning shipwrecks, and certify whether wreck or not, and who Is in possession of the goods; and also to inquire concerning treas ure trove, who were the finders, and where it is, and whether any one be suspected of having found and concealed a treasure. 1 Bl. Comm. 340. It belongs to the ministerial office of the coroner to serve writs and other process, and generally to discharge the duties of the sheriff, in case of the incapacity of that officer or a vacancy in bis office. On the office and functions of coroners, see, further, Pueblo County v. Marshall, 11 Colo. 84, 16 Pac. 837; Cox v. Royal Tribe. 42 Or. 305, 71 Pac. 73, 60 L. R. A. 020, 95 Am. St. Rep. 752; Powell v. Wilson, 10 Tex. 59; Lancaster County v. Holyoke, 37 Neb. 32S, 55 N. W. 950, 21 L. R. A. 394


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