Art. 49.09: Body Disinterred Or Cremated

(a) If a body or body part subject to investigation under Article 49.04 of this code is interred and an authorized person has not conducted an inquest required under this subchapter, a justice of the peace may direct the disinterment of the body or body part in order to conduct an inquest.

(b) A person may not cremate or direct the cremation of a body subject to investigation under Article 49.04 unless the body is identified and the person has received from the justice of the peace a certificate signed by the justice stating that:

(1) an autopsy was performed on the body under Article 49.10 of this code; or

(2) no autopsy was necessary.

(c) An owner or operator of a crematory shall retain a certificate received under Subsection (b) of this article for a period of 10 years from the date of cremation of the body named on the certificate.

(d) A person commits an offense if the person cremates or directs the cremation of a body without obtaining a certificate from a justice of the peace as required by Subsection (b) of this article. An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

(e) If the body of a deceased person is unidentified, a person may not cremate or direct the cremation of the body under this article. If the body is buried, the justice of the peace shall record and maintain for not less than 10 years all information pertaining to the body and the location of burial.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 529, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Subsecs. (b), (d) amended by and Subsec. (e) added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 656, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Subsec. (a) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 826, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1295, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.