Who can help?

Administrative help

If you have questions about the coronial process or want information about an investigation, please contact the coroner’s court.

Financial help and general advice

  • The Australian Government web page ‘What to do following a death’ can help with the following:
    • benefits you may be able to claim after the death of someone close to you
    • insurance policies, funeral plans and Wills
    • who to notify
    • removing someone’s name from mailing lists
    • social media accounts
    • financial information services
    • support for you after someone has died
    • other government and community support services.
    • If the death occurred as a result of a vehicle crash, you may be able to claim benefits through the Motor Accidents Insurance Board (MAIB). The following information is available on their web site:
      • the complete list of Benefits and Claims
      • information on Funeral and Death Benefits.

Legal advice

The coroner’s court cannot give you legal advice. Community Legal Centres and Legal Aid offer free legal advice but usually are unable to represent people in court (in an inquest). If you have legal questions, Community Legal Services and Legal Aid advice services are good places to go to get help if you are unable to pay for legal services.

Community Legal Centres

Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania

Representation in court

The coroner’s court is not able to give you legal advice and assistance. If you want a lawyer to represent you in coronial proceedings (and come to an inquest for you), you will usually need to pay for a private lawyer. The Law Society offers a referral service and they can direct you to a lawyer who knows about coronial matters if you are not sure who to contact. The Law Society also provides a ‘pro bono clearing house’ (at no cost), which may be able to help people who cannot afford legal advice.

In some cases, Legal Aid will represent people at an inquest if they cannot afford a private lawyer, and it is useful to note that:

  • assistance for an inquest is not normally granted unless there are exceptional circumstances
  • if you want to claim that there are exceptional circumstances and you should receive aid, you will need to contact Legal Aid to make an application
  • the definition of ‘exceptional circumstances’ is not set and each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Legal Aid
  • Hobart: (03) 6236 3800
  • Launceston: (03) 6328 4000.

If you need extra assistance

General information for people with diverse needs

  • At the coroner’s court we are committed to providing equal outcomes for all people regardless of their social or personal attributes.
  • If there is something that will help you, please tell us.
  • Court staff can help you to fill out court forms.
  • Court staff can help you to make applications.
  • You can always bring a support person with you, or have a support person contact the court for you.
  • If you need help understanding what is happening, please ask us.
  • If you need help giving evidence at an inquest, please talk to court staff or ask someone else to contact the court for you.

Interpreters

  • If you, or someone you support, need an interpreter to help communicate with the coroner’s court, please let us know.
  • If the coroner approves it, court staff can arrange an interpreter for you and the court will cover the full cost.
  • The court will only use NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd) accredited / recognised interpreters if there is one available for your language.
  • The coroner’s court can arrange an interpreter to attend the coroners’ office and meet you there to talk about the investigation.
  • The coroner’s court can also arrange for an interpreter to attend an inquest to help the families to understand the proceedings, or to help a person to give evidence.
  • Interpreters can be arranged to translate into Auslan or another form of communication.
  • For meetings, client consultations and similar, please contact the Telephone Interpreter Service: 13 14 50.

Translators

  • In some cases, it will possible for the coroner’s court to get a document translated into another language so that family members can understand it.
  • If you want a coronial record translated, please apply to the coroner’s court for access to the document using the ‘Application to Access Coronial Records ’ form and let them know that you will need it translated into another language when you apply. The form can be found on the Magistrates Court web site, under Forms or you can pick up a copy at the coroners’ office.

Assistance for the hearing impaired

  • A ‘hearing loop’ is available in both the Launceston and Hobart Magistrates Court (including the coroner’s court). This small adjustable device is connected to an earpiece, which amplifies the court proceedings. If you need access to the hearing loop during an inquest, please ask a court security guard to assist you when you arrive at court.
  • Interpreters can be arranged to interpret into Auslan. If you require this service at an inquest, you should contact the coroner’s court at least a couple of weeks in advance to allow us time to arrange it.

Assistance for those with physical difficulties getting to court

  • All Registries of the Magistrates Court (including the coroner’s court) are wheelchair accessible.
  • If you are unable to attend court due to medical issues, please contact the coroner’s court and tell us.
  • If you are sent a ‘summons’ to attend court to be a witness, you will have to come to court unless you make a different arrangement with the coroner’s court staff.
  • Sometimes it is possible to arrange for people to “attend” court by being on the telephone so that they can speak and hear everything that is happening.
  • Sometimes it is even possible to give evidence in court through the telephone, but it is up to the coroner whether it is allowed.

Court support - emotional assistance and guidance

Victims Support Service for those whose loved ones have been victims of violent crime

  • Hobart: (03) 6233 5002
  • Launceston: (03) 6336 2581
  • Burnie: (03) 6477 7133

Court Support and Liaison Service - Safe at Home provides support for victims of family violence

  • Toll free: 1300 663 773
  • Hobart: (03) 6165 7524
  • Launceston: (03) 6777 2937
  • Burnie: (03) 6477 7133

Salvation Army - Court and Prison Chaplaincy emotional and spiritual support through the court process

  • Hobart: (03) 6278 8140
  • Launceston: (03) 6323 7500

Migrant Resource Centre for migrants who have entered Tasmania in the last five years

  • Hobart: (03) 6221 0999
  • Launceston: (03) 6332 2211

Aboriginal Court Support Officer provides support for Aboriginal Australian victims of family violence in a culturally aware and sensitive manner

  • Toll Free: 1300 663 773
  • Hobart: (03) 6165 7524
  • Launceston: (03) 6777 2939
  • Burnie: (03) 6434 7268 or (03) 6477 7133

Other useful contacts