Rights and Duties Relating to Cemeteries, Human Bodies and Anatomical Gifts

ORS 97.220


Except as provided in ORS 97.223 (Interment or temporary storage of human remains in case of natural disaster or other emergency), the remains of a deceased person interred in a plot in a cemetery may be removed from the plot with the consent of the cemetery authority and written consent of:


The person under ORS 97.130 (Right to control disposition of remains) (2)(a), (b) or (c) who has the authority to direct disposition of the remains of the deceased person; or


If the remains are cremated remains, the person who had possession of the cremated remains and authorized the interment of the cremated remains.


If the consent of a person described in subsection (1) of this section or of the cemetery authority cannot be obtained, permission by the county court of the county where the cemetery is situated is sufficient. Notice of application to the court for such permission must be given at least 60 days prior thereto, personally or by mail, to the cemetery authority, to the person not consenting and to every other person or authority on whom service of notice is required by the county court.


If the payment for the purchase of an interment space is past due for a period of 90 days or more, this section does not apply to or prohibit the removal of any remains from one plot to another in the same cemetery or the removal of remains by the cemetery authority from a plot to some other suitable place.


This section does not apply to the disinterment of remains upon order of court or if ordered under the provisions of ORS 146.045 (Duties of Chief Medical Examiner) (3)(e). [Amended by 1977 c.582 §3; 2007 c.661 §2; 2011 c.164 §3; 2019 c.241 §3]

Notes of Decisions

Provisions of this section are mandatory, not permissive, and thus spouse's written consent was necessary for disinterment, notwithstanding that disinterment after oral consent was permissible under cemetery's rules. Bash v. Fir Grove Cemeteries Co., 282 Or 677, 581 P2d 75 (1978)

Chapter 97

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Embalming dead human body without prior authorization from surviving spouse or next of kin, (1981) Vol 41, p 457


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Jun. 26, 2021