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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XLVII
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE AND CORRECTIONS
Chapter 936
INQUESTS OF THE DEAD
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F.S. 936.003
936.003 Procedure.
(1) The state attorney may petition the county court in the county in which the body was found to hold an inquest into any death for which an examination, investigation, or autopsy is required to be performed by the medical examiner pursuant to the provisions of s. 406.11 when there is a question of the involvement of a criminal act, criminal negligence, or foul play in the death. The county court judge presiding at the inquest shall be deemed coroner only insofar as she or he is empowered to thus preside. Except as provided in this subsection, all duties and responsibilities of a coroner provided by law shall be vested in a medical examiner regulated pursuant to the provisions of chapter 406.
(2) Upon receipt of the petition of the state attorney, the county court judge shall schedule the time and place of the inquest. The county court judge shall send her or his warrant for witnesses, to be served by a sheriff, commanding the witnesses to come to the inquest to be examined and to declare their knowledge concerning the death. Any witness appearing at, or summoned to appear at, an inquest shall be entitled to the same compensation as that provided by law for witnesses in any criminal proceeding held in the county.
(3) After the evidence has been presented, the court shall deliver a verdict stating whether or not there exists probable cause to believe that the death was the result of a criminal act, criminal negligence, or foul play. The verdict shall also state the name of the person or persons believed to be responsible for the death, if reasonably known.
(4) All inquests shall be open to the public.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 77-294; s. 297, ch. 79-400; s. 1588, ch. 97-102.