§ 3117 Funeral establishment permit; circumstances for termination and continuation.
(a) Upon completion of an application provided by the Board, payment of the appropriate fee, and fulfillment of all standards set by the Board by regulation, the Board shall issue a funeral establishment permit when the applicant provides evidence, verified by oath, that the establishment meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Funeral services shall be conducted from a building that meets the requirements of a funeral establishment as defined in § 3101 of this title.
(2) The funeral establishment shall have in charge full time therein a person licensed in accordance with this chapter; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not apply to funeral establishments maintained, operated, or conducted prior to September 6, 1972.
(3) The property on which the funeral establishment is located shall be properly zoned by the local zoning authority.
(4) The funeral establishment has acquired all appropriate business licenses issued by the State Division of Revenue.
(b) No person shall conduct, maintain, manage, or operate a funeral establishment unless a permit for each such establishment has been issued by the Board. Violation of this subsection shall constitute grounds for discipline. A funeral establishment permit shall be conspicuously displayed in said funeral establishment. When funeral services are held in any private residence, church, or lodge hall, no permit shall be required, provided that the funeral director of record at said funeral services is operating from a firm with an already-existing funeral establishment permit.
(c) All funeral establishment permits shall be renewed biennially in a manner determined by the Division, and shall be accompanied by a fee determined by the Division pursuant to § 3110 of this title. All permits shall list the name of the licensed full-time funeral director in charge of the establishment.
(d) The applicant to whom the establishment permit has been issued shall not permit the unauthorized practice of funeral services, personally or by agents, on or off the premises of said funeral establishment.
(e) In the event of the death, disability, or circumstance that prevents the direct supervision and management by the funeral director of the funeral establishment, said permit is void, except under the occurrence of at least 1 of the following conditions:
(1) Where a funeral establishment has been operated by a funeral director under the director's license, the director's estate may continue the funeral establishment under the supervision and management of a licensed funeral director of this State until such time as the estate may be settled, but for no more than 2 years after the date of the decedent's death.
(2) Where a funeral establishment has been operated by a corporation, said corporation may continue operating and assume all responsibilities of the funeral establishment, provided that an officer of the corporation is a licensed funeral director of this State. Any change in officers of the corporation shall be reported to the Board.
(f) The Board is authorized to suspend or revoke a permit, after notice and hearing, for failure to comply with this statute or any lawful regulation applicable to funeral establishments.
(g) A funeral establishment with multiple branch locations in Delaware operated under the same trade name or owned by the same owner or owners is required to maintain an embalming area in at least 1 of its Delaware locations, and the embalming area shall be disclosed on the appropriate establishment licenses. Nothing in this chapter shall grant permission for the transfer, on a regular basis, of decedents back and forth across state boundaries for the purposes of centralized embalming.
§ 3118 Exemptions.
(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent persons licensed to practice in any other state, district, territory, or foreign country who, as practicing funeral directors, enter this State to transport or bury human remains, or to consult with a funeral director of this State. Such consultation shall be limited to examination, recommendation, or testimony in litigation.
(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the practice of funeral services by any student of an accredited school or college of funeral services, or any intern duly registered with the Board, from receiving practical training under the personal supervision of a licensed funeral director in this State.
(c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the practice of funeral services by any funeral director commissioned by any of the armed forces of the United States, or by the Public Health Service, provided that practice as a funeral director is limited to the confines of a military reservation or Public Health Service facility.
(d) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the practice of funeral services by individuals performing the administrative and management aspects of funeral services under the direct supervision of a license funeral director, provided that any sales of goods and services must be reviewed and authorized by, and under the signature of, the licensed funeral director in this State.
§ 3119 Interference with free choice of funeral establishment; operating mortuary in cemetery; accepting fees from cemeteries.
No person licensed for the practice of funeral services, nor any person acting on behalf of the licensee shall do any of the following:
(1) Take part in any transaction or business which in any way interferes with the freedom of choice of the general public to choose a funeral establishment, except where the body or a part thereof is given for anatomical purposes.
(2) Operate a mortuary or funeral establishment located within the confines of, or connected with, any cemetery.
(3) Receive or accept any commission, fee, remuneration or benefit of any kind from any cemetery, mausoleum or crematory, or from any proprietor or agent thereof, in connection with the sale or transfer of any cemetery lot, entombment vault, burial privilege or cremation, nor act, directly or indirectly, as a broker or jobber of any cemetery property or interest therein.
§ 3120 Interstate transportation of human remains.
§ 3121 Cremation.
(a) Where not previously identified, human remains may not be cremated until they have been identified by either the next-of-kin, the person authorized to make funeral arrangements, or the medical examiner. This subsection shall not apply to disposition of human remains by any school of anatomy, medicine, or dentistry.
(b) Human remains shall be transported to a crematory using a rigid, leak-resistant container which meets all of the following criteria:
(1) Is made of readily combustible material.
(2) Is of sufficient strength and rigidity for ease of handling.
(3) Complies with all local, state, and federal governmental emissions regulations.
(4) Is not composed of metal or polyethylene.
(5) Maintains a secure closure for the respectful conveyance of the decedent.
(c) A person who knowingly engages a Delaware-licensed funeral establishment to arrange for the cremation of the deceased human remains shall also be responsible, following cremation, for the identification and arrangement of the final disposition of said human remains. Failure to do so within 60 days of the date of death shall be grounds for the funeral establishment of record to submit notification to the Attorney General that the cremated remains have been abandoned.
(d) Cremated remains which have been unclaimed or abandoned for a period of more than 12 months from the date of death may be disposed of in a cemetery of the funeral establishment's choice, in a manner so as to permit the return of said cremated remains to the appropriate authorized individual at a future date. All expenses surrounding the disposition and subsequent retrieval of the cremated remains shall be at the sole expense of the authorizing party. A record of the disposition of said cremated remains must be maintained by the funeral establishment of record.
§ 3122 Processing human remains where investigation of death is required.
No person licensed under this chapter shall remove or embalm human remains when the person has information indicating that an investigation of death is required pursuant to § 4706 of Title 29.
§ 3123 Penalties.
(a) A person is guilty of a misdemeanor when:
(1) The person is not licensed as a funeral director under this chapter and, while not licensed, that person does at least 1 of the following:
a. Engages in the practice of funeral services.
b. Uses that person's name or otherwise assumes or uses any title or description conveying or tending to convey the impression that the person is qualified to practice funeral services.
(2) The person is not registered as an intern under this chapter and, while not registered, that person does at least 1 of the following:
a. Acts as an intern registered under this title.
b. Uses that person's name or otherwise assumes or uses any title or description conveying or tending to convey the impression that the person is qualified to act as an intern registered under this title.
(b) Upon the first conviction of an offense under this section, the person shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for each offense and shall pay all costs.
(c) Upon the second or subsequent conviction for an offense under this section, the person shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 for each offense and shall pay all costs.
(d) Superior Court shall have jurisdiction over all violations of this chapter.
(e) Where it is alleged that such violation of this section has resulted in injury to any person, the offender shall be charged and tried under the applicable provisions of Title 11.
§ 3124 Criminal background checks of licensed funeral directors.
An applicant for licensure to practice as a licensed funeral director shall submit, at the applicant's expense, fingerprints and other necessary information in order to obtain all of the following:
(1) A report of the individual's entire criminal history record from the State Bureau of Identification or a statement from the State Bureau of Identification that the State Central Repository contains no such information relating to that person.
(2) A report of the individual's entire federal criminal history record pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation appropriation of Title II of Public Law 92-544 (28 U.S.C. § 534). The State Bureau of Identification shall be the intermediary for purposes of this section and the Board shall be the screening point for the receipt of the individual's federal criminal history records.