2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 26 - HEALTH AND VITAL STATISTICS
Section 26:7-18.2 - Disposition of unclaimed cremains.
26:7-18.2 Disposition of unclaimed cremains.
2. a. Except as provided by subsection b. of this section, a person may dispose of the cremains of a dead human body which have not been claimed by a relative or friend of the deceased within one year from the date of cremation upon certification, to the commissioner's satisfaction, that a diligent effort has been made to identify, locate and notify a relative or friend of the deceased within that one-year period. A diligent effort shall include a certified letter, return receipt requested, mailed to the person who authorized the cremation.
As used in this section, "cremains" means that substance which remains after the cremation of a dead human body.
b.A funeral director, licensed pursuant to P.L.1952, c.340 (C.45:7-32 et seq.), shall grant a qualified veterans' organization the right to receive the cremains of a veteran which have not been claimed by a relative or friend of the deceased within one year after cremation upon certification, to the commissioner's satisfaction, that a diligent effort, as defined in subsection a. of this section, has been made to identify, locate and notify a relative or friend of the deceased within that one-year period.
A qualified veterans' organization which takes possession of cremains pursuant to this section shall dispose of the cremains by scattering them at sea or by interring them on land in a dignified manner at the State-operated, Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery, if the individual is eligible for interment at that facility.
As used in this section, "qualified veterans' organization" means a veterans' organization that qualifies as a section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) tax exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Code, or a federally chartered Veterans' Service Organization.
c.A funeral home or mortuary, or an agent of the funeral home or mortuary, or a funeral director, or qualified veterans' organization, shall not be liable for damages in any civil action arising out of the disposal of cremains pursuant to this section unless the damages are the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct.
L.1983, c.385, s.2; amended 2009, c.14, s.1.
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