Bill Text: NY A03338 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Allows cemetery corporations to grant qualified veterans' organizations the right to receive the cremains of a veteran which has not been claimed by a relative or friend of the deceased within one hundred twenty days after cremation.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2019-01-29 - referred to corporations, authorities and commissions [A03338 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A03338-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          3338
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 29, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  ORTIZ, RAIA -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
        AN ACT to amend the  not-for-profit  corporation  law,  in  relation  to
          disposition of unclaimed cremated remains of a veteran
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Section 1517 of  the  not-for-profit  corporation  law,  as
     2  added by chapter 579 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows:
     3  § 1517. Crematory operations.
     4    Cemetery  corporations that operate a crematory shall have the follow-
     5  ing duties and obligations:
     6    (a) Maintenance and privacy. (1) A crematory facility shall  be  main-
     7  tained  in  a  clean, orderly, and sanitary manner, with adequate venti-
     8  lation and shall have a temporary storage area available  to  store  the
     9  remains  of  deceased human beings pending disposition by cremation, the
    10  interior of which shall not be accessible to the general public.
    11    (2) Entrances and windows of the crematory  facility  shall  be  main-
    12  tained  at  all  times  to  secure privacy, including (i) doors shall be
    13  tightly closed and rigid; (ii)  windows  shall  be  covered;  and  (iii)
    14  entrances  shall  be  locked  and  secured when not actively attended by
    15  authorized crematory personnel.
    16    (b) Cremation process. (1) The cremation process shall be conducted in
    17  privacy. No person except authorized persons shall be admitted into  the
    18  retort  area,  holding facility, or the temporary storage facility while
    19  the remains of deceased human  beings  are  being  cremated.  Authorized
    20  persons,  on  admittance,  shall  comply with all rules of the crematory
    21  corporation and not infringe upon the privacy of the remains of deceased
    22  human beings.
    23    (2) The following are authorized  persons:  (i)  licensed,  registered
    24  funeral directors, registered residents, and enrolled students of mortu-
    25  ary  science;  (ii)  officers  and trustees of the cemetery corporation;
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD07358-01-9

        A. 3338                             2
     1  (iii) authorized employees or their authorized agents  of  the  cemetery
     2  corporation;  (iv)  public  officers  acting  in  the discharge of their
     3  duties; (v) authorized instructors of funeral  directing  schools;  (vi)
     4  licensed physicians or nurses; and (vii) members of the immediate family
     5  of  the  deceased  and  their authorized agents and designated represen-
     6  tatives.
     7    (c) Identification of deceased human beings. (1)  No  crematory  shall
     8  cremate the remains of any deceased human being without the accompanying
     9  cremation permit, required pursuant to section four thousand one hundred
    10  forty-five  of  the  public  health  law  which  permit shall constitute
    11  presumptive evidence of the identity of the said remains.  In  addition,
    12  all  crematories situated outside the city of New York, must comply with
    13  paragraph (b) of subdivision two of section four  thousand  one  hundred
    14  forty-five  of  the  public health law pertaining to the receipt for the
    15  deceased human being. From the time of such delivery to  the  crematory,
    16  until  the  time  the  crematory  delivers the cremains as directed, the
    17  crematory shall be responsible for the remains  of  the  deceased  human
    18  being. Further, a cremation authorization form must accompany the permit
    19  required  in  section four thousand one hundred forty-five of the public
    20  health law. This form, provided or approved by the  crematory,  must  be
    21  signed  by the next of kin or authorizing agent attesting to the permis-
    22  sion for the cremation of the deceased, and disclosing to the  crematory
    23  that  such  body  does  not contain a battery, battery pack, power cell,
    24  radioactive implant, or radioactive device, if any, and that these mate-
    25  rials were removed prior to the cremation process.
    26    (2) Upon good cause being shown rebutting the presumption of the iden-
    27  tity of such remains, the cremation shall not commence until  reasonable
    28  confirmation  of  the identity of the deceased human being is made. This
    29  proof may be in the form of, but not limited to, a signed affidavit from
    30  a licensed physician, a member of  the  family  of  the  deceased  human
    31  being,  the  authorizing  agent  or a court order from the state supreme
    32  court within the county of the cemetery corporation. Such proof shall be
    33  provided by the authorizing agent.
    34    (3) The crematory shall have a written plan to assure that  the  iden-
    35  tification  established  by the cremation permit accompanies the remains
    36  of the deceased human being through the cremation process and until  the
    37  identity  of  the  deceased  is  accurately and legibly inscribed on the
    38  container in which the cremains are placed.
    39    (d) Opening of container holding the remains  of  the  deceased  human
    40  being.  (1)  The  casket,  alternative  container, or external wrappings
    41  holding the remains of the deceased human  being  shall  not  be  opened
    42  after  delivery  to  the  crematory  unless  there  exists good cause to
    43  confirm the identity of the deceased, or to assure that no  material  is
    44  enclosed  which  might  cause injury to employees or damage to crematory
    45  property, or upon reasonable demand by members of the  immediate  family
    46  or the authorized agent.
    47    (2)  In  such instances in which the casket, alternative container, or
    48  wrappings are opened after delivery to the crematory, such action  shall
    49  only  be  conducted by the licensed funeral director or registered resi-
    50  dent delivering the remains of the deceased human being  and  if  neces-
    51  sary,  with  the assistance of crematory personnel and a record shall be
    52  made, which shall include the reason for such action, the  signature  of
    53  the  person authorizing the opening thereof, and the names of the person
    54  opening the container and the witness thereto, which shall  be  retained
    55  in  the  permanent  file  of the crematory. The opening of the container
    56  shall be conducted in the presence of the witness and shall comply  with

        A. 3338                             3
     1  all  rules  and regulations intended to protect the health and safety of
     2  crematory personnel.
     3    (e)  Ceremonial  casket  cremation  disclosure.  In those instances in
     4  which the remains of deceased human beings are  to  be  delivered  to  a
     5  crematory  in  a  casket  that  is not to be cremated with the deceased,
     6  timely disclosure thereof must be made by the person making the  funeral
     7  arrangements to the crematory that prior to cremation the remains of the
     8  deceased  human  being shall be transferred to an alternative container.
     9  Such signed acknowledgement of the authorizing person, that  the  timely
    10  disclosure  has  been  made,  shall  be retained by the crematory in its
    11  permanent records.
    12    (f) Transferring remains. (1) The remains of a  deceased  human  being
    13  shall not be removed from the casket, alternative container, or external
    14  wrappings  in  which  it  is delivered to the crematory unless explicit,
    15  signed authorization is provided by the person making  funeral  arrange-
    16  ments  or  by  a  public  officer discharging his or her statutory duty,
    17  which signed authorization shall be retained by  the  crematory  in  its
    18  permanent records.
    19    (2)  When  the remains of a deceased human being are to be transferred
    20  to an alternative container, the transfer shall be conducted in  privacy
    21  with  dignity and respect and by the licensed funeral director or regis-
    22  tered resident who delivered those remains and if  necessary,  with  the
    23  assistance  of  crematory  personnel.  The  transferring operation shall
    24  comply with all rules and regulations intended to protect the health and
    25  safety of crematory personnel.
    26    (g) Commingling human remains. The cremation of remains of  more  than
    27  one deceased human being in a retort at any one time is unlawful, except
    28  upon  the  explicit, signed authorization provided by the persons making
    29  funeral arrangements and the signed approval  of  the  crematory,  which
    30  shall be retained by the crematory in its permanent records.
    31    (h)  Processing  of cremains. (1) Upon the completion of the cremation
    32  of the remains of a deceased human being, the  interior  of  the  retort
    33  shall  be thoroughly swept so as to render the retort reasonably free of
    34  all matter. The contents thereof shall  be  placed  into  an  individual
    35  container  and  not commingled with other cremains. The cremation permit
    36  shall be attached to the individual container preparatory to final proc-
    37  essing.
    38    (2) A magnet and sieve, or other appropriate method of separation, may
    39  be used to divide the cremains from unrecognizable incidental or foreign
    40  material.
    41    (3) The incidental and foreign material of the cremation process shall
    42  be disposed of in a safe manner in compliance with  all  sanitary  rules
    43  and regulations as byproducts.
    44    (4)  The  cremains  shall  be  pulverized  until no single fragment is
    45  recognizable as skeletal tissue.
    46    (5) The  pulverized  cremains  shall  be  transferred  to  a  sealable
    47  container or containers whose inside dimension shall be of suitable size
    48  to contain the entire cremains of the person who was cremated.
    49    (6) The prescribed sealable container or containers shall be accurate-
    50  ly  and legibly labeled with the identification of the human being whose
    51  cremains are contained therein, in a manner acceptable to  the  division
    52  of cemeteries.
    53    (i)  Disposition of cremains. The authorizing agent shall be responsi-
    54  ble for the final disposition of the cremains. Cremains must be disposed
    55  of by placing them in a grave, crypt, or niche, by scattering them in  a
    56  designated  scattering  garden or area, or in any manner whatever on the

        A. 3338                             4
     1  private property of a consenting owner or by delivery to the authorizing
     2  agent or a person specifically designated by the authorizing agent. Upon
     3  completion of the cremation process, if the cemetery corporation has not
     4  been  instructed  to arrange for the interment, entombment, inurnment or
     5  scattering of the cremains, the cemetery corporation shall  deliver  the
     6  cremains to the individual specified on the cremation authorization form
     7  or  the funeral firm of record. The delivery may be made in person or by
     8  registered mail. Upon receipt of the cremains, the individual  receiving
     9  them may transport them in any manner in the state without a permit, and
    10  may dispose of them in accordance with this section. After delivery, the
    11  cemetery  corporation  shall  be discharged from any legal obligation or
    12  liability concerning the cremains. If, after a  period  of  one  hundred
    13  twenty  days  from  the date of the cremation, the authorizing agent has
    14  not instructed the cemetery corporation to arrange for the final  dispo-
    15  sition of the cremains or claimed the cremains, the cemetery corporation
    16  may dispose of the cremains in any manner permitted by this section. The
    17  cemetery corporation, however, shall keep a permanent record identifying
    18  the  site of final disposition. The authorizing agent shall be responsi-
    19  ble for reimbursing the cemetery corporation for all reasonable expenses
    20  incurred in disposing of the cremains. Upon disposing of  the  cremains,
    21  the  cemetery  corporation shall be discharged from any legal obligation
    22  or liability concerning the cremains. Except with  the  express  written
    23  permission of the authorizing agent, no person shall:
    24    (1)  dispose  of  cremains  in  a  manner or in a location so that the
    25  cremains are commingled with those of another person.  This  prohibition
    26  shall  not  apply to the scattering of cremains at sea, by air, or in an
    27  area located in a cemetery and used exclusively for those purposes; and
    28    (2) place cremains of more than  one  person  in  the  same  temporary
    29  container or urn.
    30    (j) Disposition of unclaimed cremated remains of a veteran. (1) Pursu-
    31  ant  to  the  requirements  of  paragraph  (i) of this section, if, upon
    32  completion of the cremation process, the cemetery  corporation  has  not
    33  been  instructed  to arrange for the interment, entombment, inurnment or
    34  scattering of the cremains of an individual known to be  a  veteran  and
    35  provided  a  diligent effort has been made to locate and notify the next
    36  of kin or authorizing agent that signed the cremation authorization  for
    37  the deceased veteran, after a period of one hundred twenty days from the
    38  date  of  the  cremation, where the authorizing agent has not instructed
    39  the cemetery corporation to arrange for the  final  disposition  of  the
    40  cremains  or  claimed  the  cremains,  the cemetery corporation may also
    41  dispose of the cremains in any manner permitted by this  section  or  by
    42  relinquishing  possession  of  veterans'  cremains  for disposition by a
    43  veterans'  organization  that  qualifies  as  a  section  501(c)(3)   or
    44  501(c)(19) tax exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Code, or a
    45  federally  chartered veterans' service organization. The cemetery corpo-
    46  ration, however, shall keep a permanent record identifying the veterans'
    47  organization receiving the remains and the  site  designated  for  final
    48  disposition by the organization. The method of disposition shall be made
    49  pursuant  to  this section and shall be directed to a section of a ceme-
    50  tery corporation where veterans are memorialized by a  veteran's  marker
    51  if  eligible,  a veterans' section of a cemetery corporation or a veter-
    52  ans' cemetery if the deceased veteran is eligible for interment in  such
    53  a  manner.  Such  interment, entombment, inurnment or scattering  of the
    54  cremains of an individual known to be a  veteran  by  such  a  veterans'
    55  organization  shall occur within sixty days. The authorizing agent shall
    56  be responsible for reimbursing the cemetery corporation or the veterans'

        A. 3338                             5
     1  organization for all reasonable expenses incurred in  disposing  of  the
     2  cremains. Upon disposition of the cremains, the cemetery corporation and
     3  the   veterans'  organization  as  defined  in  this  section  shall  be
     4  discharged  from  any  legal  obligation  or  liability  concerning  the
     5  cremains. Except with the express written permission of the  authorizing
     6  agent, no person shall:
     7    (i)  dispose  of  cremains  in  a  manner or in a location so that the
     8  cremains are commingled with those of another person.  This  prohibition
     9  shall  not  apply to the scattering of cremains at sea, by air, or in an
    10  area located in a cemetery and used exclusively for those purposes; and
    11    (ii) place cremains of more than one  person  in  the  same  temporary
    12  container or urn.
    13    (2) For the purposes of this paragraph, "diligent effort" shall mean a
    14  reasonable  effort,  and  includes  a certified letter, delivery receipt
    15  requested, mailed to the next of kin or authorizing  agent  that  signed
    16  the cremation authorization.
    17    (k)  Crematory  operation  certification.  Any employee of a crematory
    18  whose function is to conduct the daily operations of the cremation proc-
    19  ess shall be certified by an organization approved by  the  division  of
    20  cemeteries.  Proof of such certification must be posted in the crematory
    21  and available for inspection at any time. Any new employees of a  crema-
    22  tory  required  to  be  certified  under this section shall be certified
    23  within one year of  their  employment.  Any  employees  of  a  crematory
    24  required  to  be  certified under this section and retained prior to the
    25  effective date of this paragraph shall be certified within one  year  of
    26  such  effective  date.  Renewal of such certification shall be completed
    27  every five years from the date of certification.
    28    § 2. This act shall take effect November 11, 2020.
feedback