Inquests and Police Reports to the Coroner

Historically, in South Australia the investigation into a reportable death usually started with a police report. This report was forwarded to the State Coroner who then decided whether or not to proceed with a coronial inquest.

Inquests were held into deaths deemed to be either unnatural or criminally suspicious. Inquests were also held into the cause of fires, even where no deaths or injuries were reported.

 

 

 

 

 

Records relating to inquests

Series ID

Series title and date range

Access

GRG 24/11

Depositions taken during inquests 1839-1851

Restricted, contact the Coroner’s Court

GRG 24/6Correspondence files ('CSO' files) - Colonial, later Chief Secretary's Office 184-1984

Open after 30 years

See Special List to Coronial Inquests for 1852 - 1856

GRG 1/2Correspondence files (‘AGO’ or ‘AGD’ files) – Attorney-General’s Department 1856-1980

Open after 50 years

See Special List for 1857 - 1869.

GRG 1/27

Inquest files – City Coroner and successors 1867, 1869-1876, 1931-1976

Open after 60 years

See Special List for 1867 - 1876 and Jill Statton, Inquests SA Index Record Series No. 3

Partly indexed by GRG1/94 Index to inquest files, 1917 - 1932

GRG 1/91

Burial orders 1926-1971

Open after 50 years

Partly indexed by GRG 1/92 Index to certificates of burial, 1933 - 1953. See also Jill Statton, Burial Orders index, SA Records Series 5 & 6.

GRG 1/95

Inquest findings 1937-1942

Open

See index at the front of the volume

GRG 1/106

Fire reports 1956-1984

Open after 50 years

Partly indexed by GRS/14140 Index to fire reports, 1966 - 1993

Within GRG 1/27, inquests dating between 1877 and 1930 were authorised for destruction during World War II. For these years, police reports to the Coroner (GRG 1/44) are often useful for fires or deaths in the Adelaide metropolitan area.

Records relating to Police reports to the Coroner

Until the 1960s, Police reports to the Coroner series only related to deaths in the Adelaide metropolitan area. The series include reports on deaths of patients at Parkside Lunatic Asylum and Adelaide Lunatic Asylum.

Series ID

Series title and date range

Access

GRG 1/28Notices of deaths to Coroner 1875-1876Open

GRG 1/44

Police reports to the Coroner 1879-1982

Open after 50 years

See Special List for 1911 onwards and Jill Statton, Coroner's Reports index, SA Record Series No. 1 & 2 for 1879 - 1910

GRG 1/39

Police Reports to the Coroner 1884-1891

Open

Police station inquest records

Records of inquests into deaths outside the Adelaide metropolitan area may have been created at local police stations. See ArchivesSearch for police station records.

 

 

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