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An exhumation involves retrieving a person’s remains from a place of burial, usually for further examination.

The State Coroner occasionally orders an exhumation, but only when it is necessary and appropriate.

Requesting an exhumation

You may apply to the State Coroner for an exhumation to be authorised.

Please complete the Application for exhumation form and submit to court.

If the request is not approved, you may appeal to the Supreme Court within three months of the decision.

Advising all parties

The senior next of kin and the cemetery trust (or private land owner) will receive a notice of intention to exhume.

The senior next of kin can appeal to the Supreme Court within 48 hours after receiving the notice.

When notice is not required

The State Coroner is not required to give notice if the exhumation is urgent, or there are reasonable grounds to believe that giving such a notice would result in:

  • the escape of an offender or accomplice
  • the fabrication or destruction of evidence.
Last updated on 18 Dec 2018