Chapter 2. General Provisions of California Health And Safety Code >> Division 7. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 2.
(a) Every person who knowingly mutilates or disinters,
wantonly disturbs, or willfully removes any human remains in or from
any location other than a dedicated cemetery without authority of law
is guilty of a misdemeanor, except as provided in Section 5097.99 of
the Public Resources Code. The provisions of this subdivision shall
not apply to any person carrying out an agreement developed pursuant
to subdivision ( l) of Section 5097.94 of the Public Resources Code
or to any person authorized to implement Section 5097.98 of the
Public Resources Code.
(b) In the event of discovery or recognition of any human remains
in any location other than a dedicated cemetery, there shall be no
further excavation or disturbance of the site or any nearby area
reasonably suspected to overlie adjacent remains until the coroner of
the county in which the human remains are discovered has determined,
in accordance with Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 27460) of
Part 3 of Division 2 of Title 3 of the Government Code, that the
remains are not subject to the provisions of Section 27491 of the
Government Code or any other related provisions of law concerning
investigation of the circumstances, manner and cause of any death,
and the recommendations concerning the treatment and disposition of
the human remains have been made to the person responsible for the
excavation, or to his or her authorized representative, in the manner
provided in Section 5097.98 of the Public Resources Code. The
coroner shall make his or her determination within two working days
from the time the person responsible for the excavation, or his or
her authorized representative, notifies the coroner of the discovery
or recognition of the human remains.
(c) If the coroner determines that the remains are not subject to
his or her authority and if the coroner recognizes the human remains
to be those of a Native American, or has reason to believe that they
are those of a Native American, he or she shall contact, by telephone
within 24 hours, the Native American Heritage Commission.
Every person who removes any part of any human remains from
any place where it has been interred, or from any place where it is
deposited while awaiting interment or cremation, with intent to sell
it or to dissect it, without authority of law, or written permission
of the person or persons having the right to control the remains
under Section 7100, or with malice or wantonness, has committed a
public offense that is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to
subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code.
This section shall not prohibit the removal of foreign materials,
pacemakers, or prostheses from cremated remains by an employee of a
licensed crematory prior to final processing of ashes. Dental gold or
silver, jewelry, or mementos, to the extent that they can be
identified, may be removed by the employee prior to final processing
if the equipment is such that it will not process these materials.
However, any dental gold and silver, jewelry, or mementos that are
removed shall be returned to the urn or cremated remains container,
unless otherwise directed by the person or persons having the right
to control the disposition.
Every person who removes or possesses dental gold or
silver, jewelry, or mementos from any human remains without specific
written permission of the person or persons having the right to
control those remains under Section 7100 is punishable by
imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal
Code. The fact that residue and any unavoidable dental gold or
dental silver, or other precious metals remain in the cremation
chamber or other equipment or any container used in a prior cremation
is not a violation of this section.
(a) Every person who willfully mutilates, disinters, removes
from the place of interment, or commits an act of sexual penetration
on, or has sexual contact with, any remains known to be human,
without authority of law, is guilty of a felony. This section does
not apply to any person who, under authority of law, removes the
remains for reinterment, or performs a cremation.
(b) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) "Sexual penetration" means the unlawful penetration of the
vagina or anus, however slight, by any part of a person's body or
other object, or any act of sexual contact between the sex organs of
a person and the mouth or anus of a dead body, or any oral copulation
of a dead human body for the purpose of sexual arousal,
gratification, or abuse.
(2) "Sexual contact" means any willful touching by a person of an
intimate part of a dead human body for the purpose of sexual arousal,
gratification, or abuse.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7052, cremated
remains may be removed from the place of interment for disposition as
provided in Section 7054.6 or for burial at sea as provided in
Every person who arrests, attaches, detains, or claims to
detain any human remains for any debt or demand, or upon any
pretended lien or charge, or fails to release any human remains, the
personal effects, or any certificate or permit required under
Division 102 (commencing with Section 102100) that is in his or her
possession or control forthwith upon the delivery of authorization
for the release signed by the next of kin or by any person entitled
to the custody of the remains, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(a) (1) Except as authorized pursuant to the sections
referred to in subdivision (b), every person who deposits or disposes
of any human remains in any place, except in a cemetery, is guilty
of a misdemeanor.
(2) Every licensee or registrant pursuant to Chapter 12
(commencing with Section 7600) or Chapter 19 (commencing with Section
9600) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code and the
agents and employees of the licensee or registrant, or any unlicensed
person acting in a capacity in which a license from the Cemetery and
Funeral Bureau is required, who, except as authorized pursuant to
the sections referred to in subdivision (b), deposits or disposes of
any human remains in any place, except in a cemetery, is guilty of a
misdemeanor that shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail
not exceeding one year, by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars
($10,000), or both that imprisonment and fine.
(b) Cremated remains may be disposed of pursuant to Sections
7054.6, 7116, 7117, and 103060.
(c) Subdivision (a) of this section shall not apply to the
reburial of Native American remains under an agreement developed
pursuant to subdivision ( l) of Section 5097.94 of the Public
Resources Code, or implementation of a recommendation or agreement
made pursuant to Section 5097.98 of the Public Resources Code.
No cremated remains shall be removed from the place of
cremation, nor shall there be any charge for the cremation, unless
the cremated remains have been processed so that they are suitable
for inurnment within a cremated remains container or an urn. Every
contract for cremation services shall include specific written
notification of the processing to the person having the right to
control the disposition of the remains under Section 7100.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a recognizable
dead human fetus of less than 20 weeks uterogestation not disposed of
by interment shall be disposed of by incineration.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, recognizable
anatomical parts, human tissues, anatomical human remains, or
infectious waste following conclusion of scientific use shall be
disposed of by interment, incineration, or any other method
determined by the state department to protect the public health and
As used in this section, "infectious waste" means any material or
article which has been, or may have been, exposed to contagious or
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), cremated remains
may be removed in a durable container from the place of cremation or
interment and kept in or on the real property owned or occupied by a
person described in Section 7100 or any other person, with the
permission of the person with the right to disposition, or the
durable container holding the cremated remains may be kept in a
church or religious shrine, if written permission of the church or
religious shrine is obtained and there is no conflict with local use
permit requirements or zoning laws, if the removal is under the
authority of a permit for disposition granted under Section 103060.
The placement, in any place, of six or more cremated remains under
this section does not constitute the place a cemetery, as defined in
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, cremated remains
may be placed in one or more keepsake urns. Keepsake urns shall be
kept as authorized by the person or persons with the right to control
disposition pursuant to Section 7100, provided that a permit for
disposition of human remains pursuant to Section 103060 is issued by
the local registrar for each keepsake urn designating the home
address of each person receiving a keepsake urn and a permit fee
pursuant to Section 103065 is paid. No keepsake urn shall be subject
to Section 8345. For purposes of this section, a keepsake urn shall
mean a closed durable container that will accommodate an amount of
cremated remains not to exceed one cubic centimeter.
(c) Prior to disposition of cremated remains, every licensee or
registrant pursuant to Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 7600) or
Chapter 19 (commencing with Section 9600) of Division 3 of the
Business and Professions Code, and the agents and employees of the
licensee or registrant shall do all of the following:
(1) Remove the cremated remains from the place of cremation in a
(2) Keep the cremated remains in a durable container.
(3) Store the cremated remains in a place free from exposure to
(4) Responsibly maintain the cremated remains.
(a) Except with the express written permission of the
person entitled to control the disposition of the remains, no person
(1) Cremate the remains of more than one person at the same time
in the same cremation chamber, or introduce the remains of a second
person into a cremation chamber until incineration of any preceding
remains has been terminated and reasonable efforts have been employed
to remove all fragments of the preceding remains. The fact that
there is residue in the cremation chamber or other equipment or any
container used in a prior cremation is not a violation of this
(2) Dispose of or scatter cremated remains in a manner or in a
location that the remains are commingled with those of another
person. This paragraph shall not apply to the scattering of cremated
remains at sea from individual containers or to the disposal in a
dedicated cemetery of accumulated residue removed from a cremation
chamber or other cremation equipment.
(3) Place cremated or uncremated remains of more than one person
in the same container or the same interment space. This paragraph
shall not apply to the following:
(A) Interment of members of the same family in a common container
designed for the cremated remains of more than one person.
(B) Interment in a space or container that has been previously
designated at the time of sale as being intended for the interment of
remains of more than one person.
(C) Disposal in a dedicated cemetery of residue removed from a
cremation chamber or other cremation equipment.
(b) Written acknowledgement from the person entitled to control
the disposition of the cremated remains shall be obtained by the
person with whom arrangements are made for disposition of the remains
on a form that includes, but is not limited to, the following
information: "The human body burns with the casket, container, or
other material in the cremation chamber. Some bone fragments are not
combustible at the incineration temperature and, as a result, remain
in the cremation chamber. During the cremation, the contents of the
chamber may be moved to facilitate incineration. The chamber is
composed of ceramic or other material which disintegrates slightly
during each cremation and the product of that disintegration is
commingled with the cremated remains. Nearly all of the contents of
the cremation chamber, consisting of the cremated remains,
disintegrated chamber material, and small amounts of residue from
previous cremations, are removed together and crushed, pulverized, or
ground to facilitate inurnment or scattering. Some residue remains
in the cracks and uneven places of the chamber. Periodically, the
accumulation of this residue is removed and interred in a dedicated
cemetery property, or scattered at sea." The acknowledgment shall be
filed and retained, for at least five years, by the person who
disposes of or inters the remains.
(c) Any person, including any corporation or partnership,
knowingly violating any provision of this section is guilty of a
(a) Every person, who for himself or herself or for another
person, inters or incinerates a body or permits the same to be done,
or removes any remains, other than cremated remains, from the primary
registration district in which the death or incineration occurred or
the body was found, except a removal by a funeral director in a
funeral director's conveyance or an officer of a duly accredited
medical college engaged in official duties with respect to the body
of a decedent who has willfully donated his or her body to the
medical college from that registration district or county to another
registration district or county, or within the same registration
district or county, without the authority of a burial or removal
permit issued by the local registrar of the district in which the
death occurred or in which the body was found; or removes interred
human remains from the cemetery in which the interment occurred, or
removes cremated remains from the premises on which the cremation
occurred without the authority of a removal permit is guilty of a
misdemeanor and punishable as follows:
(1) For the first offense, by a fine of not less than ten dollars
($10) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500).
(2) For each subsequent offense, by a fine of not less than fifty
dollars ($50) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) or
imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 60 days, or by
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a funeral director of a
licensed out-of-state funeral establishment may transport human
remains out of this state without a removal permit when he or she is
acting within the requirements specified in subdivision (b) of