2006 Indiana Code - CHAPTER 57. DISINTERMENT, DISENTOMBMENT, AND DISINURNMENT

IC 23-14-57
     Chapter 57. Disinterment, Disentombment, and Disinurnment

IC 23-14-57-1
Requirements for disinterment
     Sec. 1. (a) As used in this section, "removed" refers to the disinterment, disentombment, or disinurnment of the remains of a deceased human.
    (b) Except as provided in subsection (e), the remains, either cremated or uncremated, of a deceased human shall not be removed from a cemetery without:
        (1) a written order issued by the state department of health;
        (2) the written consent of:
            (A) the owner of the cemetery; or
            (B) the owner's representative; and
        (3) the written consent of:
            (A) the spouse of the deceased; or
            (B) the parents of the deceased in the case of a deceased minor child;
authorizing the disinterment, disentombment, or disinurnment.
    (c) Before issuing a written authorization under subsection (b), the state department of health shall do the following:
        (1) Obtain written evidence of the legal ownership of the property from which the remains will be removed.
        (2) Send written notice to the department of natural resources, division of historic preservation and archeology, of the time, date, and place from which the remains will be removed.
        (3) Obtain written evidence that a licensed funeral director has agreed to:
            (A) be present at the removal and at the reinterment, reentombment, or reinurnment of the remains; and
            (B) cause the completed order of the state department of health to be recorded in the office of the county recorder of the county where the removal occurred.
        (4) Obtain written evidence that a notice of the proposed removal has been published at least five (5) days before a written order is issued by the state department of health in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the removal will occur.
        (5) Obtain a copy of:
            (A) the written consent required under subsection (b)(3); or
            (B) a court order obtained by a person under subsection (d).
    (d) If the written consent of:
        (1) the spouse of the deceased; or
        (2) the parents of the deceased in the case of a deceased minor;
is not available, a person who has made a request under this section to the state department of health may petition a court to determine whether to waive the consent requirement of subsection (b)(3). In determining whether to waive the requirement, the court shall consider the viewpoint of any issue (as defined in IC 29-1-1-3) of the

deceased. In a proceeding under this subsection, the court may not order the disinterment, disentombment, or disinurnment of the remains of a deceased human.
    (e) This subsection applies only if the human remains are on property owned or leased by a coal company. The remains, either cremated or uncremated, of a deceased human may be removed from a cemetery by a coal company if the coal company obtains a court order authorizing the disinterment, disentombment, or disinurnment. Before issuing a court order under this subsection, a court must conduct a hearing and be satisfied as to the following:
        (1) That the property is owned or leased by the coal company.
        (2) That the coal company has obtained the written consent of:
            (A) the spouse of the deceased; or
            (B) the parents of the deceased in the case of a deceased minor child;
        authorizing the disinterment, disentombment, or disinurnment. If the consent is not available, the court may waive the requirement after considering the viewpoint of any issue (as defined in IC 29-1-1-3) of the deceased.
        (3) That the department of natural resources, division of historic preservation and archeology, has received at least five (5) days written notice of the time, date, and place of any hearing under this subsection. The notice must describe the proposed place from which the remains will be removed.
        (4) That a licensed funeral director has agreed to:
            (A) be present at the removal and at the reinterment, reentombment, or reinurnment of the remains; and
            (B) cause the completed order of the state department of health to be recorded in the office of the county recorder of the county where the removal occurred.
        (5) That the coal company has caused a notice of the proposed removal to be published at least five (5) days before the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the removal will occur.
        (6) That the coal company will notify the department of natural resources, division of historic preservation and archeology, after the hearing of the proposed time and date when the remains will be removed.
    (f) The state department of health may adopt rules under IC 4-22-2 to implement this section.
As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.31. Amended by P.L.155-2002, SEC.11.

IC 23-14-57-2
Orders authorizing removal of human remains
     Sec. 2. (a) When the state department of health issues a written order authorizing the removal of human remains from a cemetery, it shall issue the order in duplicate.
    (b) The state department of health shall deliver one (1) copy of the order to the cemetery from which the human remains are removed

and the other copy of the order to the cemetery to which the human remains are delivered for reinterment, reentombment, or reinurnment.
    (c) Each cemetery to which a copy of an order is delivered under subsection (b) shall retain the copy of the order permanently.
As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.31.

IC 23-14-57-3
Removal of human remains for nonpayment; liability of owner
     Sec. 3. (a) This chapter does not prohibit:
        (1) the removal of human remains by a cemetery owner from a plot, building, or structure for which the purchase price is past due and unpaid; and
        (2) the reinterment, reentombment, or reinurnment of the remains in some other suitable plot in the cemetery.
    (b) For a removal and reinterment, reentombment, or reinurnment (at the discretion of the cemetery owner) referred to in subsection (a), the cemetery owner is not liable in any action unless the owner fails to exercise reasonable care in the removal or reinterment, reentombment, or reinurnment. There is a rebuttable presumption that the owner exercised reasonable care in the removal or reinterment, reentombment, or reinurnment.
As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.31.

IC 23-14-57-4
Coroner's order for disinterment
     Sec. 4. This chapter does not apply to the disinterment, disentombment, or disurnment of remains upon the written order of the coroner of the county in which the cemetery is situated.
As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.31.

IC 23-14-57-5
Removal for autopsy or reinterment
     Sec. 5. (a) The remains of a deceased human interred, entombed, or inurned in a plot in a cemetery may be removed from the plot for the purpose of autopsy or reinterment, reentombment, or reinurnment in another cemetery with:
        (1) the consent of the owner of the cemetery; and
        (2) the written consent of:
            (A) the surviving spouse in the case of a deceased married person; or
            (B) the surviving parents in the case of a deceased minor child.
    (b) If the consent of:
        (1) the owner of the cemetery; or
        (2) a person from whom consent is required under subsection (a)(2);
can not be obtained, the remains of a deceased human can be removed for the purpose of autopsy or reinterment, reentombment, or reinurnment in another cemetery only under a judgment of the circuit or superior court with jurisdiction in the county in which the

cemetery is located.
As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.31.

IC 23-14-57-6
Payment of costs and expenses
     Sec. 6. Before any disinterment, disentombment, or disinurnment may take place under this chapter, the reasonable costs and expenses of the disinterment, disentombment, or disinurnment, including attorney's fees, must be paid by the person or persons applying for the disinterment, disentombment, or disinurnment.
As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.31.

IC 23-14-57-7
Violation of chapter; Class B misdemeanor
     Sec. 7. A person who knowingly violates this chapter commits a Class B misdemeanor.
As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.31.

IC 23-14-57-8
Liability of cemetery owner
     Sec. 8. The owner of a cemetery is not liable in any action for a removal or reinterment, reentombment, or reinurnment described in this chapter unless the owner fails to exercise reasonable care in the removal or reinterment, reentombment, or reinurnment. There is a rebuttable presumption that the owner exercised reasonable care in the removal or reinterment, reentombment, or reinurnment.
As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.31.

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