mother filed an urgent application to the court to restrain the coroner from releasing the body of their deceased baby to the father
separated couples were arguing about who shall administer the funeral arrangement of their 14 month old baby who died as a result of a serious illness. right after the coronial and post-mortem examination of the deceased child, each parent made their own separate funeral arrangement.
The mother filed an urgent application to the Supreme Court to restrain the coroner from releasing the body of their deceased baby to the father. She filed the application on a Thursday. In her application she also moved that she be declared the sole administrator of the funeral arrangement. The application was filed in the Supreme Court on short notice by filing Summons and supported by affidavits.
The Supreme Court is facing a very difficult situation to resolve who between the separated parents shall be declared the carriage of the funeral arrangement of the child. Each year, the Family Law Court is confronted by serious disputes about the care of the children. In this case, it is confronted by custody and shared parental responsibility issue over the body of a deceased child.
Case Law provides that it is a general principle that the executor named in the will is the administrator of the burial of the deceased. In the absence of the executor or the will, the kin next in line shall be the administrator. However, in this case, both parents have equal entitlement to the administration of the burial of their child. To decide this issue, the Court has to apply previous jurisprudence on the issue if there are two or more who have equal ranking privilege, the practicality of burial without unreasonable delay shall be upheld.
And based on practicability and urgency of the situation, the Court on the following Monday granted the application of the mother against the father. She was declared the sole administrator of the burial arrangements of their child. The Court further ordered that each party will bear their own costs of the application.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.