36 CFR § 12.6 - Disinterments and exhumations.

§ 12.6 Disinterments and exhumations.

(a) Interment of an eligible person's remains is considered permanent. Disinterment and removal of remains are allowed only for the most compelling of reasons and may be accomplished only under the supervision of the superintendent.

(b) Except for a directed exhumation conducted pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section, a disinterment is allowed only pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit issued by the superintendent.

(c) A disinterment shall be accomplished at no cost to the National Park Service. The superintendent shall establish a fee designed to recover the costs associated with supervising and administering a disinterment, including the costs of opening and closing the grave and redressing any disturbed graves or headstones.

(d) The next-of-kin is responsible for making all arrangements and incurring all financial obligations related to a disinterment. These arrangements and obligations include, but are not limited to the following:

(1) Compliance with State and local health laws and regulations;

(2) Engaging a funeral director;

(3) Recasketing the remains;

(4) Rehabilitation of the gravesite according to conditions established by the superintendent;

(5) Providing the superintendent a notorized affidavit by each living close relative of the deceased and by the person who directed the initial interment, if living, and even though the legal relationship of such person to the decedent may have changed, granting permission for the disinterment; and

(6) Providing the superintendent a sworn statement, by a person having first hand knowledge thereof, that those who supplied such affidavits comprise all the living close relatives of the decedent, including the person who directed the initial interment.

(e) The following are prohibited:

(1) Failure to obtain a permit required pursuant to this section;

(2) Violation of a condition established by the superintendent or of a term or condition of a permit issued in accordance with this section; or

(3) Failure to pay a fee prescribed by the superintendent in accordance with this section.

(f) The directed exhumation of an eligible person's remains shall be accomplished upon receipt by the superintendent of an order issued by a State or Federal court of competent jurisdiction. The superintendent shall retain court orders and other pertinent documents in the national cemetery files as a permanent record of the action.

(g) To the extent practicable, a directed exhumation shall be accomplished without expense to the National Park Service and without direct participation by national cemetery employees.

(h) The superintendent shall coordinate a directed exhumation with the ordering court, assure compliance with all State and local laws and supervise disinterment activities on site.

(i) If reinterment of exhumed remains is to be elsewhere, the superintendent may reassign the gravesite for use in connection with another interment.

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