Brighton Coroner Office

HM Coroner for Brighton & Hove is a sovereign judicial administrator who obeys laws specifically set for inquests and coroners. The coroner’s responsibility includes investigating reported deaths that appear to be:

  • Sudden or under unknown circumstances
  • Caused by violence or unnatural
  • Have happened in legal care

It is also the duty of the Coroner to make enquiries aimed at establishing:

  • The identity of the deceased
  • The place and time of their death
  • The circumstances surrounding their death

Where a death occurred suddenly or unexpectedly, the body may be carried to the Brighton & Hove City Mortuary and the Coroner must be informed. The investigations performed by the Coroner may require a post-mortem examination which is done at the mortuary to determine the cause of death. In a few cases, an inquest might be necessary.

Location of the Coroner’s office

The Coroner’s Office is situated on the Woodvale Crematorium grounds, beside the Lewes Road gate. The Coroner may be contacted between 9am and 5pm on Monday to Friday. The phone number is 01273 292046.

The Coroner’s Officers

The Coroner’s Officers are supervised by the coroners and part of their duty is to liaise with families of the deceased, doctors, the police and funeral directors. The work from the Brighton Police Station and can be contacted between 8am and 4pm. In case of an emergency, the Coroner’s officers may be reached through the non-emergency number (101) of the Sussex Police. The Coroner’s Officer on call at that moment will respond to any requests.

For details of upcoming Openings, Pre-inquest Reviews, Inquest Hearings, Adjournments and Documentary Inquests, visit the site for upcoming Inquests.

Registering a death

A death must be registered in the Register’s Office in the district where it happened. If it occurred in Brighton or Hove, the family members must visit the Brighton & Hove Register Office.  A death registration appointment can be booked online.

In any case where it is difficult to visit the office, the family or friend of the deceased may register the death by ‘declaration’ at any office of the register in England and Wales. However, because the death will not be registered there, there could be a delay in interment if this is the case. Be informed that before a death can be registered, a death certificate issued by the doctor (or Coroner-in case of a post-mortem) must be presented to the Registrar.

Who can register a death?

There is no specific restriction on who may register a death. Ideally, a death can be registered by any of the following:

  • A relative of the deceased
  • A person present at the death
  • A person preparing the funeral arrangements

Other individuals may be able to register a death depending on the circumstances. If you are not sure about your eligibility to register one, the register can advise you.

There are biodegradable caskets available for sale at the City Mortuary. If you are contacting a funeral director, ensure they belong to a trade association.

At Sussex Funerals, you can get further advice on planning a burial arrangement.

Call 01273 736469 (Hove) or 07789 174453 (Brighton)

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