Fulton County, Indiana

Fulton County is focused on creating a prosperous future while preserving our history.

Purpose, Responsibilities and Duties of the Coroner

Purpose:
The coroner "speaks for the dead,"  and is an independent investigative agent who has been given constitutional powers usually reserved for officers of the court.  The coroner can issue subpoenas for records or call witnesses. They can order autopsies, hire a pathologist  and/or  conduct toxicological examinations to be completed on the fluids drawn from the body.  Coroner's are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The coroner, who has the responsibility of making a positive identification of the deceased and certifying the cause and manner of death, conducts a parallel investigation to any law enforcement agency.

 Responsibilities and duties of the coroner include:

  1. IDENTIFICATION of the deceased;
    2. Determination of the CAUSE of death; 
    3. Determination of the MANNER of death.

 IDENTIFICATION may be as easy as having a family member at the scene when you get there or as challenging  as having only a few bones to work with and having to utilize one of the many experts available to your coroner.

 CAUSE of death is the final factor or event that happened to the deceased. If this had not happened, the individual would still be alive. This may be a cascade of factors or events, one following the other and this will be reflected on the death certificate that your coroner files with the county health department

 As an example:

  1. asphyxia (inability to breathe), due to                                                                                                                     
  2. chest compression, due to
    C.  settling of automobile, due to
    D. mechanical failure of jacking apparatus.

 This group of factors is referred to as the mechanism, which lead to the asphyxia, which is the cause of death.

 MANNER of death is a descriptive grouping. It is, however, a firmly set, universally accepted acknowledgement of how people die. These possibilities are:

A. homicide;
B. suicide;
C. accidental;
D. natural; 
E. undetermined.


Contact the County

Fulton County Courthouse
(More about Fulton County Courthouse)
815 N Main St
Rochester, IN 46975
Get Directions