Chapter 8.60


8.60.010    Application.

8.60.020    Notification of potentially interested parties.

8.60.030    Acceptance of county responsibility.

8.60.040    Provision of services at county expense.

8.60.050    Disposition of remains after cremation.

8.60.060    Disposition of interred remains.

8.60.070    Payment of costs incurred.

8.60.080    Recoupment of county expense.

8.60.090    Interpretations and administration.

8.60.100    Administration.

8.60.010 Application.

Any person in possession of unclaimed human remains and any person who sees human remains under circumstances suggesting that no one has assumed responsibility for them shall notify the county coroner. If the person reporting has custody of the remains, that person shall complete the form designed and made available by the coroner to the best of that person’s ability and provide it to the coroner. (Ord. 93-5 § 1.A, 1993).

8.60.020 Notification of potentially interested parties.

The coroner shall, upon receipt of the application, attempt to notify the spouse, children and parents of the deceased and any other known relatives or friends or religious organizations that may desire to claim the remains and provide for disposition. (Ord. 93-5 § 1.B, 1993).

8.60.030 Acceptance of county responsibility.

The coroner, after appropriate enquiry, unable to find any person obligated and financially able, or any other person or religious organization willing to provide for the disposition of the body of the deceased, shall proceed to dispose of the remains and indicate, on the disposition portion of the form, that this has been done and whether or not an exception to the county policy on disposition has been approved or requested by a county official authorized to do so. An exception may be authorized where the coroner determines that burial of the remains is necessary due to the circumstances surrounding the death, or known religious or family objections to cremation exist. (Ord. 93-5 § 1.C, 1993).

8.60.040 Provision of services at county expense.

The coroner shall, after acceptance of county responsibility to dispose of the remains, arrange for the transportation and cremation of the remains or for such exceptional disposition as may have been authorized pursuant to this chapter. Transportation shall be provided by and disposition by the entity or entities on a rotation basis who have previously agreed to provide these services to the county for a specified fee. (Ord. 93-5 § 1.D, 1993).

8.60.050 Disposition of remains after cremation.

The coroner may make the ashes of the deceased available to relatives or friends of the deceased who wish to conduct a memorial service for the deceased or to dispose of the ashes. Ashes not disposed of in this manner shall be retained by the coroner for one year after receipt and, thereafter, in a location to be approved by the county commissioners. (Ord. 93-5 § 2.A, 1993).

8.60.060 Disposition of interred remains.

The county will inter remains, where burial as an exception to policy is approved, at a single facility in adjacent plots and release interred remains pursuant to applicable statutes. (Ord. 93-5 § 2.B, 1993).

8.60.070 Payment of costs incurred.

The entity providing the services approved pursuant to this chapter shall complete the “application for payment” portion of the form, attach an invoice specifying the services provided and submit the same to the auditor for processing with other claims pursuant to the county policy pertaining at the time. (Ord. 93-5 § 2.C, 1993).

8.60.080 Recoupment of county expense.

The county prosecuting attorney is authorized and requested to pursue recoupment of county expense in cases where such effort appears to be cost effective. (Ord. 93-5 § 3, 1993).

8.60.090 Interpretations and administration.

A. The coroner will be presented with cases which do not, for any number of possible reasons, fall squarely within the process provided for by this chapter. In such instances, the coroner shall exercise discretion consistent with the intent of this chapter that the county:

1. Fairly meet its statutory obligation;

2. With minimum expenditure of funds badly needed for other important governmental services;

3. For cases where the statutory eligibility for service is clear;

4. Where a reasonable effort to locate and notify relatives and/or religious organizations who may wish to assume the responsibility has been made within the constraints requiring promptness in disposition of the remains.

B. Anyone aggrieved by a decision of the coroner may petition the county commissioners for an opportunity to be heard and the commissioners may, after hearing from the grievant and the coroner, take such further action as they deem fit under the circumstances. The coroner is encouraged to report cases suggesting a need for the modification of the policy embodied in this chapter. (Ord. 93-5 § 4, 1993).

8.60.100 Administration.

The county coroner shall have the primary responsibility for the administration of this chapter and shall report to the commissioners periodically on instances suggesting the need for clarification or revision of the procedures specified by the chapter. The county auditor and county sheriff shall assist the coroner in the discharge of the county’s responsibilities under this act. (Ord. 93-5 § 1, 1993).