TITLE 16

Health and Safety

Vital Statistics

CHAPTER 31. REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS, DEATHS, MARRIAGES, DIVORCES, ANNULMENTS AND ADOPTIONS

Subchapter III. Burial, Removal or Cremation of Dead Bodies


When a death or a fetal death occurs or a dead body is found, the body shall not be disposed of until the burial/transit permit is completed. Said permit is required to accompany the body and is to be:

(1) Given to the sexton of the cemetery when the body is interred.

(2) Retained by the funeral director when the cemetery has no sexton.

(3) Retained with the ashes in cases of cremation, or by the funeral director if so desired.

27 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 10; Code 1915, § 814; 28 Del. Laws, c. 60, § 1; Code 1935, § 797; 44 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; 48 Del. Laws, c. 319, § 1; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 3151; 52 Del. Laws, c. 88, § 4; 68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1.;

No common carrier shall receive for shipment from any point within this State to any other point either within or without this State any dead human body, unless the funeral director or person acting as such presents a completed burial/transit permit as provided in § 3151 of this title.

26 Del. Laws, c. 75; Code 1915, § 770; Code 1935, § 776; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 3153; 68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1.;

No body or stillborn fetus shall be disinterred within the State except upon a permit granted by the State Registrar of Vital Statistics. The forms of disinterment permits shall be prepared by the Office of Vital Statistics. Disinterment and removal must be conducted under the personal supervision of a licensed funeral director.

68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1.;

(a) Authorization. — A permit for disinterment and reinterment of a dead body or fetus shall be issued by the State Registrar upon receipt of a notarized application/authorization signed by the next-of-kin and the person who is in charge of the disinterment, or upon receipt of an order of a court of record of this state directing such disinterment, or upon notarized written application of the Attorney General to request a special disinterment permit for legal purposes.

(b) Mass disinterment and reinterment. — Upon receipt of a court order, a signed and notarized permission of the next-of-kin of all decedents, or a signed and notarized application for disinterment for legal purposes, the State Registrar may issue 1 permit for disinterment and reinterment of all remains in a mass disinterment provided that, insofar as possible, the remains of each body be identified and the place of disinterment and reinterment specified.

(c) Nature of permit. — The authorization issued in accordance with the statutes and regulations governing disinterment shall be permission for disinterment, transportation and reinterment.

(d) Fee for permit. — The Department shall receive a fee not to exceed $10 for each disinterment/reinterment permit issued.

68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 145.;

The State Registrar of Vital Statistics through the central office or any of the county vital statistics offices, upon application to and the payment of the usual fee to any or either of them, shall issue a permit to any relative of any deceased person buried prior to January 1, 1893, and now remaining in private, family or old and neglected burying grounds in Sussex County and Kent County for the disinterment of the remains and the reinterment of the remains in public or private cemeteries or any other chosen or designated place in Kent County or Sussex County or without the State, the same as if the application had been made by a duly licensed undertaker. Upon obtaining the permit, the relative is vested with the same authority as a duly licensed undertaker in the disinterment and reinterment of the remains including the securing of vaults and providing for all other necessary arrangements in connection therewith.

Code 1915, § 812a; 38 Del. Laws, c. 47, § 1; Code 1935, § 889; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 3158; 68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1.;

The Department shall modify and relax its regulations and restrictions relative to the disinterring and reinterring of dead bodies, including the securing of separate disinterment and transfer permits of the bodies in those cases where the bodies are in public or private burying grounds which have been condemned by this State or the United States government for the purposes of public improvement, in order to enable the carrying into effect of complete removals in such cases to the full extent that the same can be accomplished, in the opinion of the Department, by licensed undertakers under its supervision and without jeopardizing the public health.

41 Del. Laws, c. 196; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 3159; 68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 146.;

No person shall destroy or dispose of by burning in this State the body of an individual dead from any cause, except in a crematorium or crematory licensed for this express purpose and under the conditions provided in §§ 3158-3164 of this title.

25 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 9; 27 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 14; 27 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 15; Code 1915, § 818; Code 1935, § 801; 44 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 3160; 68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1.;

(a) A person, firm, organization or association desiring to acquire, erect, or construct a crematory shall first obtain approval from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

(b) The crematory shall be constructed in accordance with regulations adopted under Chapters 60 and 79 of Title 7 and shall not be located, managed, or conducted at any time in such a way to be a public nuisance.

(c) The crematory shall be subject at all times to inspection by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Department of Health and Social Services, and by such officers of the state law-enforcement departments as may desire to inspect it.

25 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 9; 27 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 14; 27 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 15; Code 1915, § 818; Code 1935, § 801; 44 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 3161; 68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 147; 74 Del. Laws, c. 293, § 1.;

(a) A body may be cremated only after the preparation of a special cremation permit signed by the chief medical examiner or an assistant or deputy medical examiner. In the presentation of the cremation permit to the chief medical examiner or the chief medical examiner's representative for signature, the permit must be accompanied by a death certificate signed by the attending physician and by a cremation authorization signed by the next-of-kin or legal representative of the deceased. The signature of the chief medical examiner or the chief medical examiner's representative to the cremation permit shall constitute an affirmation that there is no medical reason why the cremation should not take place. The chief medical examiner or an assistant or deputy medical examiner shall have the authority to hold the remains of the deceased pending any investigation into the cause and manner of death.

(b) One copy of the cremation permit shall be retained by the person, firm, corporation or association conducting the crematory and shall be produced for inspection or other purposes when asked for by the inspecting authority. A second copy of the cremation permit shall accompany the death certificate when it is filed in the Office of Vital Statistics.

25 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 9; 27 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 14; 27 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 15; Code 1915, § 818; Code 1935, § 801; 44 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 3162; 65 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 164, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Within 24 hours after the cremation is completed a report indicating the name of the individual, the individual's address while alive, the date and cause of death, the names of the individuals signing the permit, the date of the cremation and the disposal of the ashes shall be forwarded by the person in charge of the crematory to the central Office of Vital Statistics.

25 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 9; 27 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 14; 27 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 15; Code 1915, § 818; Code 1935, § 801; 44 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 3163; 68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The ashes resulting from the cremation of a body may be delivered by the attendants of the crematory to any member of the family of the deceased designated to receive them or to the person arranging for the cremation. After this delivery, they may be transported in any way in the State and disposed of in such a way as is desired by the person receiving them.

25 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 9; 27 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 14; 27 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 15; Code 1915, § 818; Code 1935, § 801; 44 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 3164; 68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1.;

A representative of the family or some individual accredited to act as representative of the family of the individual being cremated may be present at the time the cremation is being carried out.

25 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 9; 27 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 14; 27 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 15; Code 1915, § 818; Code 1935, § 801; 44 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 3165; 68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1.;

The provisions of § 3159 of this title, respecting the signatures of the chief medical examiner or an assistant or deputy medical examiner and by the Attorney General or a deputy attorney general, are required in respect of the cremation of the body of an individual dying in the State but removed to any other state for the purpose of cremation.

25 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 9; 27 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 14; 27 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 15; Code 1915, § 818; Code 1935, § 801; 44 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 3166; 68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1.;

The cremation in this State of the bodies of persons dying in other states is permissible if all the legal requirements of the state in which the death occurred have first been complied with.

25 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 9; 27 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 14; 27 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 15; Code 1915, § 818; Code 1935, § 801; 44 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 3167; 68 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1.;

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