2011 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 979. Investigation of deaths.
979.10(1)(a)(a) No person may cremate the corpse of a deceased person within 48 hours after the death, or the discovery of the death, of the deceased person unless the death was caused by a contagious or infectious disease. No person may cremate a corpse unless the person has received a cremation permit from:
979.10(1)(a)1.1. The coroner or medical examiner in the county where the death occurred if the death occurred in this state;
979.10(1)(a)2.2. The coroner or medical examiner in the county where the event which caused the death occurred if the death occurred in this state and if the death is the subject of an investigation under s. 979.01; or
979.10(1)(a)3.3. The coroner or medical examiner of the county where the corpse is to be cremated if the death occurred outside this state. A cremation permit issued under this subdivision may not be used in any county except the county in which the cremation permit is issued.
979.10(1)(b)(b) A coroner or medical examiner shall include in any cremation permit issued under par. (a) a statement that he or she has viewed the corpse which is the subject of the permit and made personal inquiry into the cause and manner of death under sub. (2) and is of the opinion that no further examination or judicial inquiry is necessary.
979.10(1)(c)(c) No person may deposit any cremated remains of a corpse in any cemetery without the permission of the person who owns or is in charge of the cemetery.
979.10(2)(2) If a corpse is to be cremated, the coroner or medical examiner shall make a careful personal inquiry into the cause and manner of death, and conduct an autopsy or order the conducting of an autopsy, if in his or her or the district attorney's opinion it is necessary to determine the cause and manner of death. If the coroner or medical examiner determines that no further examination or judicial inquiry is necessary he or she shall certify that fact. Upon written request by the district attorney the coroner or medical examiner shall obtain the concurrence of the district attorney before issuing the certification. If the coroner or medical examiner determines that further examination or judicial inquiry is necessary, he or she shall notify the district attorney under s. 979.04 (2).
979.10(3)(3) The coroner shall receive a fee of $25, to be paid out of the county treasury, for each corpse viewed or inquiry made under sub. (2), unless an annual salary has been established by the county board under s. 979.11.
979.10(4)(4) Whoever accepts, receives, or takes any corpse of a deceased person with intent to destroy the corpse by means of cremation, or who cremates or aids and assists in the cremation of any corpse of a deceased person without having presented the permit specified in sub. (1) shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than 9 months or both.
979.10 - ANNOT.History: 1971 c. 164 s. 86; 1973 c. 272; 1979 c. 177; 1983 a. 146; 1983 a. 279 s. 20; Stats. 1983 s. 979.10; 1985 a. 315; 2001 a. 104.
979.10 - ANNOT.Cross-reference: See also s. DHS 135.06, Wis. adm. code.
979.10 - ANNOT.Chapters 69 and 157 are not alternatives to the requirement in this section that anyone cremating a corpse first obtain a cremation permit from the coroner. University medical schools or anyone else qualified to receive a corpse can receive a corpse for research without first obtaining a permit. This section only requires that a permit be obtained before cremation. 77 Atty. Gen. 218.
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