2011 ORS § 97.150¹
Disposition of cremated remains
  • procedures
  • notice
  • limitations on liability of cemetery authority, crematory operator or funeral service provider

(1)(a) If the cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner has been authorized to cremate remains of a decedent pursuant to ORS 97.130 (Right to control disposition of remains), the authorization must also contain further instructions to the cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner as to the final disposition of the cremated remains.

(b) If the cremated remains are left in the possession of the cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner and no instructions for final disposition are given to the cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner within 180 days after the date of cremation, the cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner shall make a reasonable effort to notify the person who has the authority to direct disposition of the cremated remains under ORS 97.130 (Right to control disposition of remains) (2). The notice must state that the cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner intends to dispose of the cremated remains unless the person who has the authority to direct disposition of the cremated remains gives instructions to the contrary to the cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner within 30 days after the date of the notice.

(c) Reasonable effort to notify includes, but is not limited to, notice, delivered personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person who has the authority to direct disposition of the cremated remains at the address of the person in the records of the cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner.

(d) If the person who has the authority to direct the disposition of the cremated remains has not given instructions for the disposition of the cremated remains within 30 days after the date of the notice, the cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner may dispose of the cremated remains as is legally practicable.

(2) A cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner is not liable in any civil or criminal proceeding relating to cremated remains that have been left in the possession of the cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner for a period of 180 days or more unless:

(a) The cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner has failed to make a reasonable effort to notify the person who has the authority to direct disposition of the cremated remains as described in subsection (1) of this section;

(b) A written contract has been entered into with the cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner for care of the cremated remains; or

(c) Permanent interment has been made.

(3) A cemetery authority is not liable in any civil or criminal proceeding relating to cremated remains that have been interred, scattered, placed in an ossuary or disposed of in any other manner within the cemetery if the person who physically possesses the cremated remains consents to the disposition.

(4) A cemetery authority is not liable in any civil or criminal proceeding relating to cremated remains that have been scattered within the cemetery without the knowledge of the cemetery authority. The cemetery authority may dispose of cremated remains that have been scattered within the cemetery without the knowledge of the cemetery authority as is legally practicable.

(5) If the cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner has complied with this section, then the cemetery authority, crematory operator or licensed funeral service practitioner may dispose of the remains as is legally practicable. [Amended by 1989 c.669 §1; 1997 c.472 §3; 2011 c.164 §2]