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Conducting Inquests in King County

Conducting Inquests in King County

Document Code No.: PHL 7-1-1 (AEO)
Department/Issuing Agency: County Executive Office
Effective Date: March 16, 2010
Approved: /s/ Dow Constantine
Type of Action: Supersedes PHL 7-1 (AEO)

Signed document (PDF, 398 KB)

WHEREAS, Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 36.24 authorizes the county coroner to summon a jury to inquire into the death of a person by suspicious circumstances; and

WHEREAS, Section 895 of the King Countycharter provides that "[a]n inquest shall be held to investigate the causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of the law enforcement agency of the county in the performance of his duties"; and

WHEREAS, King County Code (KCC) Chapter 2.24 created a division of the medical examiner within the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health and assigned to it most of the coroner's duties under RCW Chapter 36.24, "except for the holding of inquests, which function is vested in the county executive" under KCC 2.24.110(A); and

WHEREAS, the County Executive, in exercising the authority to hold inquests, has discretion to determine how inquest proceedings are to be conducted, and to delegate the duty of presiding over an inquest to another impartial public official, and

WHEREAS, the County Executiveretains the ultimate responsibility for the exercise of the inquest power and the performance of the delegated duty.

NOW, THEREFORE, I Dow Constantine, King County Executive do hereby order, direct, and implement the policies and procedures at appendix 1 and appendix 2 for conducting inquests:

DATED this 16th day of March, 2010

/s/ Dow Constantine, King County Executive


/s/ Tony Adams for Carolyn Ableman, Director

Records and Licensing Services Division