2003 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Representative Taylor
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE IMMEDIATE KIN OF DECEDENTS MAY MOVE HUMAN REMAINS INTERRED IN GRAVESITES IN CEMETERIES IN THIS STATE TO OTHER GRAVESITES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Subject to any applicable provisions under Chapter 61 of Title 41, or unless otherwise prescribed in the decedent's last will and testament, human remains or cremated human remains interred in a cemetery may be moved to other places of interment as provided in this act. If remains are to be transported into or out of this state, interred remains may be removed upon receipt of a burial-transit permit and any applicable rules of the State Department of Health shall apply.
For removals of interred human remains from a cemetery, the removals shall be done only with the written consent of the cemetery organization operating the cemetery, the written consent of the current plot owner or owners and the written consent of one (1) of the following person or persons, in the priority listed as follows:
(a) The decedent's surviving spouse;
(b) If there is no surviving spouse, the decedent's surviving adult child or children;
(c) If there is no surviving adult child or children, the decedent's surviving parent or parents;
(d) If there is no surviving parent or parents, the decedent's adult sibling or siblings;
(e) If there is no adult sibling or siblings, the adult person in the next degree of kinship in the order named by law to inherit the estate of the decedent.
(2) A person listed in subsection (1) of this section may consent to the removal only if there is no person or persons in a priority listed before that person.
(3) If the consent required in subsection (1) of this section cannot be obtained, the remains may be removed by permission of the county court, or chancery court if there is no county court, of the county in which the cemetery is located. Before the date of application to the court for permission to remove remains under this subsection, notice must be given to the following:
(a) The cemetery organization operating the cemetery in which the remains are interred;
(b) Each person whose consent is required for removal of the remains under subsection (1) of this section; and
(c) Any other person or persons that the court requires to be served.
(4) For purposes of subsection (3) of this section, personal notice must be given not later than the eleventh day before the date of application to the court for permission to remove the remains, or notice by certified or registered mail must be given not later than the sixteenth day before the date of application.
(5) Any person who removes remains from a cemetery shall keep a record of the removal that includes the following:
(a) The date the remains are removed;
(b) The name and age at death of the decedent if those facts can be conveniently obtained;
(c) The place to which the remains are moved; and
(d) The cemetery and plot from which the remains are removed.
(6) If the remains are not reinterred in another state, the person who removes the remains shall make and keep a record of the disposition of the remains.
(7) A person who removes remains from a cemetery shall give the cemetery organization operating the cemetery a copy of the court record as required by subsections (3) and (4) of this section.
(8) No remains may be removed from a cemetery plot for which the purchase price is past due and unpaid.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.