December 13, 2005
DISINTERMENT OF A BODY
By: John Kasprak, Senior Attorney
You asked for the state law on disinterment of a body.
In order to open any grave for the disinterment of a body in a cemetery or burial place, or disinter or remove any body from the town in which the death took place, a person must get a disinterment permit from the town registrar of vital statistics. Disinterment may also be done according to a Superior Court order (CGS § 7-67).
The registrar of vital statistics must issue the disinterment permit, upon request, after (1) receiving a certificate of death containing the facts required by law for a burial permit, (2) when it appears that the death certificate is already a matter of record, or (3) that the original burial permit, by virtue of which the body of the deceased person was brought into the town, is on file or recorded in the registrar's office. The disinterment permit must be issued to the responsible funeral director or embalmer, as indicated on the death certificate or burial permit, or to an individual designated on a court order. A disinterment permit cannot be issued in a case where death was caused by a communicable disease, except upon permission of the town's health director (§ 7-68).
By law, any person who opens the grave or tomb where any body has been deposited, or removes any body from such place, without the consent of the spouse or the near relatives of the deceased, is subject to a fine of up to $2,000 and imprisonment up to five years (§ 53-344).