For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall
(a) "Veteran" means a living or deceased person who meets all of
the following conditions:
(1) Either served in the active military or naval service of the
United States during a war in which the United States was engaged, or
served in active duty in a force of any organized state militia, not
including the inactive National Guard and not including the
California National Guard when in an inactive, full-time status.
(2) Was released from the service otherwise than by dishonorable
discharge or was furloughed to the reserve.
(b) "Veteran's commemorative property" means any monument,
headstone, marker, memorial, plaque, statue, vase, urn, flagholder,
badge, or shield that meets all of the following conditions:
(1) Identifies or commemorates any veteran or group of veterans,
including, but not limited to, any veterans' organization or any
military unit, company, battalion, or division.
(2) Is located in any cemetery.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b) and Section 8124,
no person or entity shall sell, trade, or transfer veteran's
(b) Any person, unincorporated association, cemetery corporation,
or religious corporation, except a municipal corporation described in
Section 8137, that owns or controls a cemetery where any veteran's
commemorative property has been placed that wishes to sell, trade, or
transfer veteran's commemorative property shall petition the
superior court in the county in which the veteran's commemorative
property is located for permission to sell, trade, or transfer all or
any part of the veteran's commemorative property. The court may
approve the sale, trade, or transfer of the veteran's commemorative
property under any of the following conditions:
(1) The veteran's commemorative property is at reasonable risk of
physically deteriorating so that it will become unrecognizable as
identifying or commemorating the veteran or group of veterans
originally identified or commemorated thereby and the veteran's
commemorative property that is to be sold, traded, or transferred is
replaced at its original site by a fitting replacement commemorative
property, monument, or marker that appropriately identifies and
commemorates the veteran or group of veterans.
(2) The veteran's commemorative property is proposed to be sold,
traded, or transferred to a suitable person that will preserve the
current condition of the veteran's commemorative property and place
the veteran's commemorative property in a suitable place that will
commemorate the veteran or group of veterans.
(3) The petitioner needs to sell, trade, or transfer the veteran's
commemorative property to ensure that sufficient funds are available
to suitably maintain the cemetery where the veteran's commemorative
property was placed, and the specific lot, plot, grave, burial place,
niche, crypt, or other place of interment of a veteran or group of
veterans, so that the place will retain the respect that these
hallowed places deserve.
(4) If the veteran's commemorative property to be sold, traded, or
transferred is reasonably known to the petitioner to have been
donated to the petitioner by any veterans' organization, historical
organization, civic organization, or an individual, the sale, trade,
or transfer shall have been consented to by that veterans'
organization, historical organization, civic organization, or
(5) If the petitioner is not the owner of the veteran's
commemorative property that is to be sold, traded, or transferred,
the petitioner is authorized by the owner of the veteran's
commemorative property to engage in the sale, trade, or transfer.
(6) By operation of any other law authorizing the sale, trade, or
transfer of the veteran's commemorative property.
(c) A petition under subdivision (b) shall be filed with the clerk
of the superior court. Upon receipt of the petition, the clerk shall
fix the time and date for the hearing. The date fixed for the
hearing shall be within a reasonable time after the petition is
(d) The petitioner shall serve notice of the hearing and a copy of
the petition upon the persons and entities mentioned in paragraphs
(1) to (6), inclusive, of subdivision (e) who could reasonably be
ascertained and contacted by the petitioner and upon any other person
as may be directed by the court. Service of the notice of hearing
and petition shall be made in a manner and by a date as shall be
specified by the court.
(e) At the hearing held pursuant to subdivision (c), the following
persons and entities, or their representatives, may be heard:
(1) The petitioner.
(2) Any person, other than the petitioner, who is the owner of the
veteran's commemorative property in question.
(3) Any veterans' organization, historical organization, civic
organization, or individual that donated the veteran's commemorative
property in question to the petitioner.
(4) The family of each veteran at whose lot, plot, grave, burial
place, niche, crypt, or other place of interment the veteran's
commemorative property in question is or was placed.
(5) The Division of Veterans Services within the Department of
(6) The Department of Parks and Recreation.
(7) Any other member of the public who would like to offer written
or oral testimony.
(f) Testimony may be heard in person or by counsel or submitted in
(g) An order of the court granting the petition, in whole or in
part, or modifying the petition, may, at the discretion of the court,
specify the manner in which the petitioner is to use or apply the
proceeds of the sale, trade, or transfer. In particular, but not by
way of limitation, if the petitioner is an unincorporated association
or corporation that is subject to the Nonprofit Corporation Law
(Division 2 (commencing with Section 5000) of Title 1 of the
Corporations Code), any order of the court granting the petition, in
whole or in part, or modifying the petition, may, at the discretion
of the court, specify that the petitioner deposit the proceeds of the
sale, trade, or transfer in the permanent maintenance fund
maintained by the petitioner pursuant to the Nonprofit Corporation
(h) A person who violates any provision of this section is guilty
of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred
dollars ($100) or more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by
imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 10 days or more than
six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment; and in addition is
liable for all costs, expenses, and disbursements paid or incurred
by the person prosecuting the case.