You are here: California / Health and Safety Code - HSC / CHAPTER 5. Interments [9060. - 9069.] / Section 9069.

Section 9069. (Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 57, Sec. 5.)
Cite as: Cal. Health & Safety Code §9069.

(a) A district may seek the abandonment of an interment plot in a cemetery owned by the district pursuant to this section.

(b) The board of trustees shall file a petition with the superior court of the principal county which contains all of the following:

(1) An identification of the interment plot that the district desires to be declared abandoned.

(2) A statement that the district has made a diligent search to locate the present owner of the interment plot.

(3) A statement that the present owner of the interment plot is unknown to the district.

(4) A statement that, to the best knowledge of the district, at least 50 years have passed since any portion of the interment plot has been used for interment purposes.

(5) A statement that, after a reasonable physical investigation of the interment plot, the interment plot has not been used for the interment of human remains.

(6) A request that the court declare the interment plot abandoned.

(c) Upon the filing of a petition pursuant to subdivision (b), the clerk of the superior court shall set a time for a hearing on the petition.

(d) After the clerk of the superior court has set the hearing, the district shall give notice of the court’s hearing. The notice shall identify the interment plot that the district desires to be declared abandoned, state the name and address of the last known owner of the interment plot, state that the court will hold a hearing to determine whether to declare the interment plot abandoned, and state the time and place of the court’s hearing. The district shall give notice of the court’s hearing by publishing a notice pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code in at least one newspaper of general circulation within the jurisdiction of the district at least 10 days before the hearing. The district shall post the public notice in at least three public places within the jurisdiction of the district, at least 10 days before the hearing. One of the public places shall be at the interment plot that the district desires to be declared abandoned, and one of the public places shall be at the offices of the district. In addition, the district shall mail the notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 10 days before the hearing to the last known owner of the interment plot.

(e) At the time set for the hearing, the superior court shall hear and consider any evidence that is introduced in favor or, and any objections to, the abandonment of the interment plot. The court may continue its hearing from time to time. The court shall determine from the evidence presented whether the facts stated in the district’s petition are true. The court shall dismiss any portion of the district’s petition if the court determines that any of the facts stated in that portion of the petition are not true, or if the court determines the identity of the present owner of the interment plot. If the court determines that the facts stated in the district’s petition are true, the court may order that the interment plot shall be deemed abandoned and full title shall revert to the district. The superior court’s order shall not become final until one year after the date on which the court made its order.

(f) Within 30 days after the date on which the superior court made its order, the district shall give notice of the court’s order. The notice shall identify the interment plot that the district desires to be declared abandoned, state the name and address of the last known owner of the interment plot, and state the date on which the court’s order will be final. The district shall give notice of the court’s order by publishing a notice pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code in at least one newspaper of general circulation within the jurisdiction of the district. The district shall post the public notice in at least three public places within the jurisdiction of the district. One of the public places shall be at the interment plot that the district desires to be declared abandoned, and one of the public places shall be at the offices of the district. In addition, the district shall mail the notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known owner of the interment site.

(g) At any time before the superior court’s order becomes final, any person may petition the court to reopen the proceeding. Upon receiving a petition and after giving notice to the district, the court may reopen the proceeding. The court may hear and consider any additional evidence regarding the facts in the district’s petition. The court may amend its previous order. If the court determines that any of the facts stated in any portion of the district’s petition are not true, or if the court determines the identify of the present owner of the interment plot, the court shall dismiss that portion of the district’s petition.

(h) The interment plot shall be deemed abandoned on the date on which the superior court’s order becomes final. The district shall record the court’s order in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the interment plot is located. Upon recordation of the court’s order, the district is the owner of the interment plot and the district may resell the interment rights.

(i) If, after the proceedings taken pursuant to this section, the district discovers the presence of human remains in the interment plot, the district shall make reasonable efforts to identify the remains. The district shall close and appropriately mark the interment plot. The district shall offer the new owner of the interment rights in that interment plot comparable interment rights in another interment plot. The district shall not be liable for any claims for damages if the district has proceeded pursuant to this section.





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