Alabama Funeral and Cremation State Statutes
Article 1 General Provisions.
(a) For purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) ACCREDITED SCHOOL or COLLEGE OF MORTUARY SCIENCE. A school or college approved by the Alabama Board of Funeral Service and which maintains a course of instruction of not less than 48 calendar weeks or four academic quarters or college terms and which gives a course of instruction in the fundamental subjects as set forth, but not limited to, the following:
a. Mortuary management and administration.
b. Legal medicine and toxicology as it pertains to funeral directing.
c. Public health, hygiene, and sanitary science.
d. Mortuary science, to include embalming technique, in all its aspects; chemistry of embalming, color harmony; discoloration, its causes, effects, and treatment; treatment of special cases; restorative art; funeral management; and professional ethics.
e. Anatomy and physiology.
f. Chemistry, organic and inorganic.
i. Sanitation and hygiene.
j. Public health regulations.
k. Other courses of instruction in fundamental subjects as may be prescribed by the Alabama Board of Funeral Service.
(2) AMERICAN BOARD OF FUNERAL SERVICE EDUCATION. That funeral service educational organization which is an agency granted official recognition by the United States Secretary of Education and which is composed of members representing the American Association of College of Mortuary Science, the Conference of Funeral Service Examining Board of the United States, Inc., the National Association of Colleges of Mortuary Science, and the University Mortuary Science Education Association and which has as its object the furtherance of education in the field of funeral service and in fields necessary to, or allied with, the field of funeral service, and further to formulate standards of funeral service education and to grant accreditation to qualified schools and colleges of mortuary science and to do all things incidental to the foregoing.
(3) APPRENTICE EMBALMER or EMBALMER'S APPRENTICE. Any person engaged in the study of the art of embalming under the instructions and supervision of a licensed embalmer practicing in this state.
(4) APPRENTICE FUNERAL DIRECTOR or FUNERAL DIRECTOR'S APPRENTICE. Any person operating under or in association with a funeral director for the purpose of learning the business or profession of funeral director, to the end that he or she may become licensed under the provisions of this chapter.
(5) AUTHORIZING AGENT. A person at least 18 years of age, except in the case of a surviving spouse or parent, who is legally entitled to order the cremation or final disposition of particular human remains.
(6) BOARD. The Alabama Board of Funeral Service.
(7) CEMETERY. A place dedicated to and used or intended to be used for the permanent interment of human remains. It may be either land or earth interment; a mausoleum for vault or crypt entombment; a structure or place used or intended to be used for the interment of cremated remains; cryogenic storage; or any combination of one or more thereof.
(8) CEMETERY AUTHORITY. Any individual, person, firm, profit or nonprofit corporation, trustee, partnership, society, religious society, church, association or denomination, municipality, or other group or entity, however organized, insofar as they or any of them may now or hereafter establish, own, operate, lease, control, or manage one or more cemeteries, burial parks, mausoleums, columbariums, or any combination or variation thereof, or hold lands or structures for burial grounds or burial purposes in this state and engage in the operation of a cemetery, including any one or more of the following: The care and maintenance of a cemetery; the interment, entombment, and memorialization of the human dead in a cemetery; the sale, installation, care, maintenance, or any combination thereof, with respect of monuments, markers, foundations, memorials, burial vaults, urns, crypts, mausoleums, columbariums, flower vases, floral arrangements, and other cemetery accessories, for installation or use within a cemetery; and the supervision and conduct of funeral and burial services within the bounds of the cemetery. It is the legislative intent of this chapter that a cemetery authority, to the extent that it engages in any of the activities described in this subdivision, shall not be affected by this chapter and shall not be deemed to have entered into or engaged in the practice of funeral directing, embalming, or funeral establishment operation.
(9) CREMATION. The technical process, using heat and flame, that reduces human remains to bone fragments. The reduction takes place through heat and evaporation. Cremation shall include the processing, and may include the pulverization, of the bone fragments.
(10) CREMATIONIST. A person who performs the procedure of cremation.
(11) CREMATORY. A building or portion of a building that houses a retort and that may house a holding facility for purposes of cremation and as part of a funeral establishment.
(12) EMBALMER. Any person engaged or holding himself or herself out as engaged in the business, practice, science, or profession of embalming, whether on his or her own behalf or in the employ of a registered and licensed funeral director.
(13) EMBALMING. The practice, science, or profession, as commonly practiced, of preserving, disinfecting, and preparing by application of chemicals or other effectual methods, human dead for burial, cremation, or transportation.
(14) FUNERAL DIRECTING. The practice of directing or supervising funerals, the practice of preparing dead human bodies for burial by means other than embalming, or the preparation for the disposition of dead human bodies; the making of arrangements or providing for funeral services or the making of financial arrangements for the rendering of these services or the sale of this merchandise or supplies; the provision or maintenance of a place for the preparation for disposition of dead human bodies; or the use of the words or term "funeral director," "undertaker," "mortician," "funeral parlor," or any other word or term from which can be implied the practice of funeral directing; or the holding out to the public that one is a funeral director or engaged in a practice described in this subdivision.
(15) FUNERAL DIRECTOR. A person required to be licensed to practice the profession of funeral directing under the laws of this state, who meets the public, who plans details of funeral services with members of the family and minister or any other person responsible for such planning, or who directs, is in charge, or apparent charge of, and supervises funeral service in a funeral home, church, or other place; who enters into the making, negotiation, or completion of financial arrangements for funerals, including, but not limited to, the sale and selection of funeral supplies, or who uses in connection with the profession of funeral directing the words or terms "funeral director," "undertaker," "funeral counselor," "mortician," or any other word, term, or picture or combination thereof when considered in context in which used, from which can be implied the practicing of the profession of funeral directing or that the person using such word, term, or picture can be implied to be holding himself or herself out to the public as being engaged in the profession of funeral directing; and for all purposes under Alabama law, a funeral director is considered a professional; provided, for the purposes of this chapter, the term or terms shall not include any cemetery authority as defined in this section.
(16) FUNERAL ESTABLISHMENTS. The term "funeral home," "mortuary," or "funeral establishment" shall be construed to be a place at a specific street address or location where the profession of funeral directing, embalming, or cremation, as defined in this chapter, is practiced in the care, planning, and preparation for burial or cremation or transportation of human dead, but shall not include any cemetery or land or structure owned, operated, leased, controlled, or managed by any cemetery authority as a cemetery. All of such places shall consist of and shall maintain the following facilities:
a. A preparation room equipped with a sanitary floor and necessary drainage and ventilation and containing necessary approved tables, instruments, and supplies for the preparation and embalming of dead human bodies for burial, cremation, and transportation.
b. A display room containing a stock of adult caskets and funeral supplies.
c. At least one motor vehicle equipped for transporting human remains in a casket or urn.
d. If engaged in the practice of cremation, at least one operable retort for cremation and an adequate supply of urns for display and sale.
(17) FUNERAL SUPPLIES or FUNERAL MERCHANDISE. Caskets made of any material for use in the burial or transportation of human dead; outer receptacles, when sold by a funeral director, including burial vaults and urns, for cremated human remains; clothing used to dress human dead when sold by a funeral director; and all equipment and accouterments normally required for the preparation for burial or funeral and other disposition of human dead.
(18) MORTUARY SCIENCE. The scientific, professional, and practical aspects, with due consideration given to accepted practices, covering the care, preparation for burial, or transportation of dead human bodies, which shall include the preservation and sanitation of the bodies and restorative art and those aspects related to public health, jurisprudence, and good business administration.
(19) OPERATOR. A person, corporation, firm, legal representative, or other organization owning or operating a funeral establishment.
(20) PRACTICAL EMBALMERS. Any person who has been actively and continuously engaged or employed in the practice of embalming under the supervision of a licensed embalmer for four consecutive years immediately preceding May 1, 1975, and has been issued a license as a practical embalmer under the grandfather provisions of this chapter.
(21) PROCESSING or PULVERIZATION. The reduction of identifiable bone fragments after the completion of the cremation process to unidentifiable bone fragments or granulated particles by manual or mechanical means.
(22) RETORT. An enclosed space within which the cremation process takes place.
(23) TEMPORARY CONTAINER. A receptacle for cremated remains, usually composed of cardboard, plastic, or similar material, that can be closed in a manner that prevents the leakage or spillage of the cremated remains or the entrance of foreign material, and is a single container of sufficient size to hold the cremated remains until an urn is acquired or the cremated remains are scattered or buried.
(24) URN. A receptacle designed to encase cremated remains.
(b) Nothing in this chapter shall require a funeral director or funeral establishment to have or provide a chapel or to restrict, in any manner, the conduct of funeral services from a church or chapel.
(c) Nothing contained in the definition of funeral directing, or in any other provision of this chapter, shall be deemed or construed to be applicable to, or to regulate or restrict, in any manner, cemetery authorities in the conduct of activities of a cemetery authority as defined in this chapter; or to be applicable to, or to regulate or restrict, in any manner, the carrying on by any cemetery authority of any and all activities, functions, practices, and services which may now or hereafter (i) constitute any part of the operation or management of a cemetery or of the property of a cemetery as defined in this chapter or (ii) otherwise consist of the interment or entombment of the human dead or memorialization of the human dead in any manner within a cemetery property.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §2; Acts 1983, No. 83-746, p. 1235, §1; Act 2002-239, p. 498, §1.)
Purpose of chapter.
It is declared and established that the procedures for making final disposition of human dead, including embalming and funeral directing, are so affected with the public interest as to require regulation and control of such included occupations and that, additionally, such regulation and control are necessary for the prevention of the spread of infectious and contagious diseases, for the protection of the health and welfare of the people of the state and that all of the provisions of this chapter and regulations authorized to be made are necessary to effectuate its purpose; and all of the provisions of this chapter shall be construed liberally and in a manner to carry out its obvious intents and purposes.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §1.)
Applicability of chapter.
This chapter does not apply to any cemetery or cemetery authority or to any public institution, medical college, county medical society, anatomical association, college of embalming, or any officer thereof, or to any other recognized person carrying out the provision of the statutes of the State of Alabama prescribing the conditions under which indigent human dead bodies are held subject for scientific or anatomical study; provided, that nothing in this section shall be construed to give any cemetery or cemetery authority or any other person or entity the right to enter into or engage in any funeral home operation or the practice of embalming or funeral directing or any related funeral home or funeral directing activities. Nor shall this chapter include any temporary or occasional or extra help to assist in the conduct of a funeral employed on such basis by a funeral director, provided such funeral is under the general supervision of a licensed funeral director.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §11.)
Publication of statutes and regulations.
Upon request, the board shall distribute to funeral directors, embalmers and apprentices and such other persons as may be interested therein, in pamphlet form, the provisions of this chapter together with all rules and regulations prescribed, adopted or promulgated pursuant to this chapter, together with a complete and current list of all persons and establishments licensed under this chapter.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §35; Acts 1981, No. 81-200, p. 234, §4; Acts 1983, No. 83-746, p. 1235, §1.)
Courts having jurisdiction; initiation of proceedings.
Circuit courts shall have jurisdiction in all prosecutions arising under this chapter. The district attorney is authorized to institute prosecutions for violations of this chapter by information, or prosecutions may be instituted by indictment or by complaint verified before any magistrate.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §38.)
Recourse by a licensee against unreasonable orders or wrongful interpretations by the board.
In the event a licensee under this chapter should have cause to believe that the board, or a member or members thereof, has used the powers of the board to promulgate orders or rulings or requirements not intended by this chapter and that such orders or rulings or requirements are used to subject said licensee to unreasonable and wrongful interpretations of this chapter by the board or that the board or a member or members thereof have imposed the powers of the board or the wrongful interpretations of this chapter upon the licensee to such extent that it constitutes harrassment of the licensee, then the licensee may take an appeal for relief to the circuit court of the county in which the licensee practices embalming, funeral directing or operates a funeral establishment as prescribed in Section 34-13-31.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §47.)
Embezzlement, abstracting or willfully misapplying moneys collected; bribery.
Each and every person who embezzles, abstracts or willfully misapplies any of the moneys, funds, security or credit of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service or who misuses any of the funds or fees so collected, by virtue of this chapter, and any person who, with like intent, aids or abets any person in violation of this chapter, or any portion thereof, shall be deemed guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500.00 nor exceeding $5,000.00 and imprisonment in the penitentiary for a period of not less than one year and not more than five years, and the principal offenders and those aiding and abetting same may be charged in the same count, and separate offenses may be charged, in separate counts, in the same indictment and tried together. Any person found guilty of offering or of accepting a bribe whereupon any person is illegally licensed to practice embalming, funeral directing or to operate a funeral establishment in this state shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500.00 and may be imprisoned in the penitentiary for a period of one to three years, and the principal offenders and those aiding and abetting same may be charged in the same count and separate offenses may be charged in separate counts in the same indictment and tried together.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §48.)
Certified copy of official documents.
On application of any person and payment of the cost thereof, the executive secretary of the board shall furnish, under the seal of the board and signed by the executive secretary, a certified copy of any license, rule, regulation or order. In any court or proceeding such copy shall be prima facie evidence of the fact of the issuance of such license, regulation, rule or order and that such is effective as of the date of such certificate.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §51.)
Pricing requirements and methods of quoting prices.
Each funeral home shall have a card or brochure in each casket stating the price of the funeral service using said casket and listing the services and other merchandise included in the price. Where there are separate prices for the casket, the professional services, the use of facilities and the use of equipment, such card shall indicate the price of each such item, except in those instances such as unknown transportation costs and similar items, which services must be stated with the price to be fixed upon billing. When the arrangers decide on the type of service desired, the firm must provide or cause to be provided to the person or persons making the arrangements, at the time such arrangements are completed and prior to the time of rendering the service or providing the merchandise, a written statement showing (1) the price of the service that the person or persons have selected and what is included therein; (2) the price of each of the supplemental items of service and merchandise requested; (3) the amount involved for each of the items for which the funeral service home will advance money as an accommodation to the family; and (4) the method of payment. No additional charges shall be made without approval of the arrangers except as stated in this section.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §52.)
Unless otherwise provided herein, violation of any part of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor and shall be punishable as such under the laws of Alabama. It is further provided that those actions specifically enumerated in subdivisions (2)a. through (2)f., (2)h., (2)j., (2)m. and (2)n. of Section 34-13-56 shall be punishable as a misdemeanor and may be prosecuted accordingly.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §53; Acts 1981, No. 81-200, p. 234, §4.)
The following persons, in the priority listed herein, may serve as an authorizing agent:
(1) The decedent's spouse at the time of the decedent's death.
(2) The decedent's surviving children. If there is more than one child who qualifies as an authorizing agent, any such child may serve as the authorizing agent except, in the case of a cremation, such child must submit by affidavit the consent of all other surviving children to serve as authorizing agent. If any surviving child is unable to be notified of a pending cremation, the remaining children may select the authorizing agent by submission of legal documentation of the inability to notify the absent child or children. If the funeral director receives written objection to such cremation from any child before cremation, no cremation shall be performed except upon the written withdrawal of the objection or upon the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(3) The decedent's surviving parents. If the decedent is survived by two parents, either parent may serve as the authorizing agent except, in the case of a cremation, such parent must submit by affidavit the consent of the other surviving parent to serve as authorizing agent. If the other surviving parent is unable to be notified of a pending cremation, a parent may serve as the authorizing agent by submission of legal documentation of the inability to notify the absent parent. If the funeral director receives written objection to such cremation from either parent before cremation, no cremation shall be performed except upon the written withdrawal of the objection or upon the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(4) The decedent's surviving siblings. If there is more than one sibling who qualifies as an authorizing agent, any sibling may serve as the authorizing agent except, in the case of a cremation, such sibling must submit by affidavit the consent of all other surviving siblings to serve as authorizing agent. If any surviving sibling is unable to be notified of a pending cremation, the remaining siblings may select the authorizing agent by submission of legal documentation of the inability to notify the absent sibling or siblings. If the funeral director receives written objection to such cremation from any sibling before cremation, no cremation shall be performed except upon the written withdrawal of the objection or upon the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(5) Any person acting on the decedent's signed written instructions regarding final disposition contained in a preneed funeral contract and, in the case of cremation, a cremation authorization form signed by the decedent.
(6) Any person serving as executor or legal representative of a decedent's estate and acting on the decedent's signed, written instructions contained in a will or other writing, regardless of whether the will has been probated.
(7) The person in the next degree of kinship under the laws of descent and distribution to inherit the decedent's estate. If there is more than one person of the same degree, any such person may serve as the authorizing agent.
(8) In the case of indigents or any other individuals whose final disposition is the responsibility of the state or any of its subdivisions or agencies, a public administrator, medical examiner, coroner, or any other public official charged with arranging the final disposition shall serve as the authorizing agent in the absence or refusal of any person described in subdivisions (1) to (7), inclusive.
(9) In the absence or refusal of any person described in subdivisions (1) to (7), inclusive, any person willing to assume the responsibility as authorizing agent.
(Act 2002-239, p. 498, §3.)
Liability of funeral director or establishment.
(a) A funeral director or funeral establishment that has received expressed written authorization for final disposition or cremation from the authorizing agent shall not be liable for the final disposition or cremation of the human remains designated by the authorization if the disposition or cremation is performed in accordance with this chapter, nor shall a funeral director or funeral establishment be liable for following, in a reasonable fashion, the instructions of any person who falsely represents being the proper authorizing agent.
(b) Absent the receipt of a court order or other suitable confirmation of resolution, a funeral director or funeral establishment may not be liable for refusing to accept human remains for final disposition or for refusing to perform a cremation, if the funeral director or other agent of the funeral establishment: (1) Is aware of any dispute concerning the final disposition or cremation of the human remains; or (2) has a reasonable basis for questioning any of the representations made by the authorizing agent. A funeral director or other agent of the funeral establishment may not be liable for refusing to accept human remains for any lawful reason.
(Act 2002-239, p. 498, §3.)
Article 2 Board of Funeral Service.
Creation; composition; qualifications of members; appointment; terms of office; abolition of Board of Embalming.
There is hereby created and established the Alabama Board of Funeral Service, consisting of seven members, each of whom shall be citizens of the United States and of the State of Alabama. All members of the former Alabama Embalming Board who are holding office on September 10, 1975, shall, by virtue of said office, become members of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service for the term ending December 31, 1976; provided, that not more than one member of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service may reside in the same district as herein created under Section 34-13-21, and if more than one member of the State Embalming Board resides in one district at the time of the organization of said board, the Governor shall select one member of said Embalming Board to be a member of the original Alabama Board of Funeral Service from said district, and the other member of said Embalming Board shall not be eligible for membership on said board.
At a special meeting called for such purpose, to be held in Montgomery, Alabama within 45 days from September 10, 1975, the Alabama Funeral Directors Association, Incorporated and the Alabama Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, Incorporated, in joint meeting, shall nominate three qualified persons for each of the positions as members of the original board of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service which are not filled by members of the State Embalming Board. The names of such persons so nominated shall be promptly certified by the secretary of the Alabama Funeral Directors Association, Incorporated, and the Alabama Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, Incorporated, to the Governor of the State of Alabama who shall appoint the members of said board from among the persons so nominated; provided, that not more than four members of said board at any time may be members of the same race. Four members shall be appointed for a term ending December 31, 1977, and the board shall be constituted so that the terms of three members of said board will end December 31, 1976, and the terms of four members will end December 31, 1977. The terms of the members of the State Embalming Board, who become members of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service under this chapter, shall expire December 31, 1976, unless there are more than three such members, in which event, the Governor shall designate which of the three members of the State Embalming Board shall serve for terms ending December 31, 1976, and which shall serve for terms ending December 31, 1977.
After selection of the original members of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service and during October of each year, all embalmers and all funeral directors licensed under this chapter shall meet in Montgomery, Alabama at a time and date in October and at a place to be fixed by the Alabama Board of Funeral Service for the purpose of nominating three persons to the Governor of Alabama for each vacancy on said board, and the Governor shall promptly appoint one of the three persons so nominated.
The successors to the original members of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service shall be selected for terms of two years. After the terms of the original members of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service, four of said members serving on said board must be practicing and licensed embalmers in Alabama for the last 10 consecutive years immediately preceding their appointment and shall be licensed embalmers and funeral directors in this state under this chapter. Three of said members shall have been actively engaged in funeral directing in Alabama for the last 10 consecutive years preceding their appointment and shall be licensed funeral directors of this state, under this chapter, and shall, at the time of their appointment to the board, be operators of funeral establishments in this state. If the license of a member of said board as a funeral director or embalmer should be revoked or suspended, such member shall automatically, by reason of such revocation or suspension, become ineligible to serve as a member of the board, and a new member, properly qualified, must be selected in the same manner provided for appointment to the board. Should a member fail to qualify after appointment, then he shall automatically become ineligible to serve as a member of the board, and a new member, properly qualified, shall be appointed and shall serve the remainder of the term of the member so terminated. Each member of the board must remain an active practicing funeral director or embalmer and funeral establishment operator during his tenure of service on the board. Each member may be reappointed for one additional two-year term, as provided by this chapter, or new members may be appointed under the terms of this chapter. It is the intent of this chapter that no person shall serve more than a total of four years as a member of the board. In no event shall more than one member of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service reside in one district. At each meeting where nominations are made for members of the board, only one licensed funeral director of each establishment shall have the right to vote for nominees.
Any state board member who is elected to the national board shall, upon his election, begin to serve the state board in an ex officio capacity only, for the duration of his national board term. A member, properly qualified, shall be selected in the same manner provided for appointment to the state board and shall serve the remainder of the term of the member elected to the national board.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §3; Acts 1983, No. 83-746, p. 1235, §1.)
There are hereby created, for the purpose of this chapter, seven geographical districts which shall be identical with the seven congressional districts as fixed and established by Section 17-20-1, as may be amended. It is the purpose and intention of this section to provide that one member of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service shall be selected from each district, which shall be geographically identical with the congressional districts, and that three nominees to the Governor for appointment to said board shall be made from each said district.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §4.)
The Alabama Board of Funeral Service shall hold not less than one meeting quarterly for the purpose of examining applicants for licenses, such meeting to be held at such time and place as the board may determine after notice of such meeting has been given in the manner prescribed herein at least 15 days prior to such meeting. The board shall not have power to delegate to any person who is not a member of the board the authority to conduct or administer an examination for a license, it being the intent of this chapter that only members of the board may conduct or administer examinations for licenses. The board may hold such other meetings as it may deem necesssary. Five or more members shall comprise a quorum. The board shall not meet on the premises of any embalming school or college of mortuary science; and, if any such meeting is held, all the proceedings of such meeting shall be void. If any application for license under this chapter are pending, the applicant or applicants shall be afforded the right to take the examination required hereunder at the date and place of such quarterly meeting.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §5; Acts 1983, No. 83-746, p. 1235, §1.)
Officers; procedural rules and regulations; compensation of members; executive secretary; disposition of fees and fines.
(a) The board appointed under the provisions of this chapter and each successor thereto is authorized to select from its own membership a chairman and to adopt and promulgate such rules and regulations for the transaction of its business and for the betterment and promotion of the standards of service and practice to be followed in the funeral service profession in the State of Alabama as it may deem expedient and consistent with the laws of this state and for the public good.
The chairman of the board shall preside at all meetings of the board unless otherwise ordered, and he shall exercise and perform all duties and functions incident to the office of chairman of the board.
The board may select also from its own membership a vice-chairman, a secretary and a treasurer. No two offices shall be held by the same person. The chairman and vice-chairman shall not be of the same race.
(b) The treasurer shall give bond to the State of Alabama in the sum of $10,000, and any premium payable for the bond shall be paid from the funds of the board. The bond shall be deposited with the Treasurer of the State of Alabama.
(c) Board members shall be reimbursed for their necessary traveling expenses and the necessary expenses incident to their attendance upon the business of the board, and, in addition thereto, they shall receive the sum of $50 per diem for every day not to exceed 10 days per year actually spent by the member upon the business of the board. The board may employ an executive secretary and associate executive secretary who shall each receive and be paid an annual salary to be fixed by the board, but not to exceed the salary level established and paid to cabinet officers in the state government. The salary shall be paid on a monthly basis. In addition, the executive secretary and associate executive secretary shall receive his or her necessary traveling and other incidental expenses as are incurred in the performance of duties, and all expenses, per diem and compensation shall be paid out of the receipts of the board. At no time shall the operation of the board be an expense to the state, and at no time shall expenses of the board exceed the receipts hereof.
(d) The executive secretary of the board shall have complete supervision and be held responsible for the direction of the office of the board and shall have supervision over field inspection and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter and shall be responsible and answerable to the board. The associate executive secretary shall assist the executive secretary and perform such other duties as may be assigned to him or her by the board. The executive secretary and associate executive secretary shall not be of the same race.
(e) The executive secretary of the board shall keep a record in which shall be registered the name and business address of every person to whom licenses have been granted in accordance with this chapter, the number and date of the license and the date of each renewal. Upon request to do so, the executive secretary of the board shall supply each person licensed for the practice of embalming and funeral directing with a list of all persons and establishments holding a license under this chapter, then in force, giving the names of the persons, their business addresses and the numbers of their licenses.
(f) It shall be the duty of the executive secretary of the board to prepare under the direction of the board and cause to be printed all forms required by this chapter to be prescribed by the board. All notices required to be mailed by any provision of this chapter shall be directed to the last known post office address of the party to whom the notice is sent.
(g) The executive secretary shall serve at the pleasure of the board and shall perform duties as may be necessary for the proper functioning of the board as the board may determine or as may be prescribed in this chapter. During and for three years after his employment, neither the executive secretary nor any member of his family within the third degree shall be employed by any funeral establishment.
(h) All fees and fines received under the provisions of this chapter shall be paid into a special fund in the State Treasury to be known as the Alabama State Funeral Directors and Embalmers Fund, which is hereby created, for the necessary and proper expenses of the board, and for a reasonable reserve for future use by the board. All moneys in the fund are hereby appropriated, as a continuing appropriation, to the Alabama Board of Funeral Service to be used for carrying out any of the provisions of this chapter.
(i) Each member of the board, the executive secretary, the associate executive secretary and designated employees of the board appropriately identified are authorized on complaint or for inspection purposes to enter the office, premise, establishment or place of business of any funeral service licensee in the State of Alabama or any office, premises, establishment or place where the practice of funeral service is carried on, or where the practice is advertised as being carried on, for the purpose of inspecting the office, premises or establishment and for the purpose of inspecting the license and registration of any funeral service licensee and apprentice trainee operating therein.
All members of the board or designated employees of the board are hereby authorized to serve and execute any process issued by any court under the provisions of this chapter and to serve and execute any papers or process issued by the board or any officer or member thereof under authority of this chapter.
(j) The board may employ clerical assistants and employees or other help as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter, and the terms and conditions of employment shall be determined by the board. The board may establish and equip an office from which the provisions of this chapter may be carried out.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §6; Acts 1981, No. 81-200, p. 234, §4; Acts 1995, No. 95-517, p. 1047, §1.)
Oath of members.
Every member of the board, after appointment and before entering upon his duties, shall make oath before some officer competent to administer oaths, that he is legally qualified to become a member of said board under the provisions of this chapter and that he will faithfully perform the duties of such office, a copy of which shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §7.)
Hearings to be public; record of proceedings.
All hearings provided for by this chapter shall be open to the public, and a report and record of proceedings of each hearing shall be made at the expense of the board. A copy of such report and record shall be furnished to any interested party, upon request and tender to the executive secretary of the board of the reasonable cost of preparation thereof.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §31.)
Promulgation of rules and regulations; authority to hold hearings; restraining of violations.
(a) The board has the power to adopt and enforce for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare reasonable rules and regulations.
(b) The rules and regulations of the board shall not become effective until they have been published and discussed at a public hearing and have been filed in the office of the Secretary of State; and, when so filed, such rules and regulations shall be in full force and have the effect of law. The board shall mail notice of such hearing to each licensee under this chapter 15 days before the date of such hearing.
(c) All rules and regulations adopted by the board shall be referenced to the section or sections of this chapter which set forth the legislative standard which it interprets or to which it applies. Every rule and regulation shall be in writing, promulgated by an order, state its effective date, indexed in a permanent book which shall be a permanent record, and a true copy shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State of Alabama. A copy of every order promulgating a rule, regulation or other order containing a requirement of general application shall be mailed to each licensee by first class mail. The failure of a licensee to receive a copy of the rule, regulation or order shall not exempt or excuse him from the duty of compliance with the valid rules, regulations or orders lawfully issued.
(d) The board shall have power to hold hearings, conduct investigations, subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and take testimony in order to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(e) A court of competent jurisdiction may, upon application of the board, restrain violations or refusals to comply with the provisions of this chapter or the regulations of the board.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §34.)
Seal; scope of rules and regulations.
The board shall adopt a common seal, which may be altered as often as said board may desire, and may adopt and enforce, for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare, reasonable rules and regulations relating to:
(1) The practice of the profession of embalming, including, but not limited to, solicitation of business;
(2) The practice of the profession of funeral directing, including but not limited to, solicitation of business;
(3) The sanitary condition and physical facilities of funeral homes, mortuaries and funeral establishments where the profession of embalming and funeral directing is carried on, with particular regard to plumbing, sewage, disinfecting, ventilation and equipment;
(4) Carrying out generally the various provisions of this chapter for the protection of the peace, health, safety and welfare of the public; and
(5) Carrying out a program for training of apprentice embalmers and apprentice funeral directors.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §§8, 34.)
On or before April 1 of each year, the board shall report to the Governor and to the Legislature a full statement of the receipts and disbursements of the board during the preceding year and full statement of its doings and proceedings and such recommendations as it may deem proper.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §36; Acts 1981, No. 81-200, p. 234, §4.)
Audit and payment of expenses.
All necessary expenses incurred in giving examinations to applicants and incidental to the renewal of licenses and all necessary expenses incurred in education and enforcing the provisions of this chapter shall be audited by the Examiner of Public Accounts and paid from the funds provided for in this chapter in the same manner as other claims against the state are paid after due approval thereof by the chairman and executive secretary of the board.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §37.)
Appeal from decision of board.
(a) Whenever, by decision, final order or other final determination upon any public hearing provided for by this chapter, a party to such hearing shall feel aggrieved, an appeal may be taken to the circuit court for the county within which such party resides or, if he is not a resident of Alabama, then to the circuit court for the county within which the hearing was held. However, if there is more than one appellant, the circuit court having jurisdiction to hear the appeal of the first appellant filing a notice of appeal shall have jurisdiction to hear all appeals arising from the same hearing, irrespective of the place of residence of the appellants.
(b) On taking and perfecting an appeal to the circuit court having jurisdiction thereof, the court shall proceed as in other cases.
(c) All appeals shall be taken within 30 days from the date of the action or order made the basis of the appeal and shall be granted as a matter of right and be deemed perfected by filing with the board a bond for security of costs of said appeal. Upon filing of a verified petition and hearing thereon, the court may, in its discretion, stay the order appealed from pending final judicial review. No new or additional evidence may be introduced in the circuit court except as to fraud or misconduct of some person engaged in the administration of this chapter and affecting the order, rule or ruling appealed from. The court shall otherwise hear the case upon the record as certified to the court by the executive secretary of the board and shall set aside the order, rule or action appealed from if the court finds that the board erred to the prejudice of the appellant's substantial rights in its application of the law; or, the order, decision or award was procured by fraud or was based upon a finding of facts contrary to the substantial weight of the evidence, or that the order was arbitrary, capricious or inconsistent with respect to any of the material issues involved; or that the board failed in its order to find sufficient facts as to each material issue involved to enable the court to determine the basis for the conclusion of the board. The court may, instead of setting aside the order, remand the case to the board for further proceedings in conformity with the direction of the court. The court may, in advance of judgment and upon a sufficient showing, remand the cause to the board for the purpose of taking additional testimony or other proceedings.
(d) An appeal may be taken from the judgment decree or any appealable order of the circuit court to the Supreme Court of this state. Appeals to the Supreme Court shall be taken, perfected, heard and determined in the manner prescribed by law and the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure for taking, perfecting, hearing and determining appeals to the Supreme Court.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §32.)
Article 3 Licenses, Examinations and Registration.
Division 1 General Provisions.
Board recognition of schools and colleges.
The Alabama Board of Funeral Service shall recognize and approve and accept applicants for examination from only those established embalming schools or colleges which are recognized by the board. The board shall recognize and approve any embalming school or college approved by the American Board of Funeral Service Education, and any additional embalming schools or colleges which, in the judgment of the board, offer courses of study which generally include the subjects set out in Section 34-13-94. The Alabama Board of Funeral Service shall not examine or issue an embalmer's license to any person who does not hold a certificate of graduation from an embalming school or college meeting the criteria or standards as defined in this section.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §20.)
Reciprocity of licenses.
(a) The board may, but shall not be required to, recognize and issue, without examination, and upon payment of a fee of one hundred dollars ($100) for each license, a reciprocal license for the practice of funeral directing or embalming to any person licensed as a funeral director or embalmer by any state, if the board makes an individual determination that the applicant's qualifications meet or exceed the minimum qualifications required for funeral directors or embalmers in this state and that a written examination of such applicant would be superfluous.
(b) Applications shall be made on forms prescribed and furnished by this board. An applicant holding a funeral director or embalmer license from another state, and applying for a funeral director or embalmer license in Alabama will be considered for licensing by reciprocity.
(c) The board shall at the time of the application make a reasonable determination that the applicant is a legal resident of the United States. The board reserves the right to require applicants for reciprocity to submit to a personal interview or a written examination relating to the law as it pertains to the regulation of the funeral service profession in Alabama.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §19; Acts 1981, No. 81-200, p. 234, §4; Acts 1981, No. 81-709, p. 1190, §1; Act 2006-598, p. 1635, §1.)
Execution and display of licenses.
(a) Licenses under this chapter shall be granted to individuals upon the qualification and successful examination of the individual applicant and shall specify the name to whom it is issued.
(b) Every license issued under this chapter shall be signed by the chairman and executive secretary of the board and shall be displayed in the place of business or employment of the licensee.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §21.)
Renewal of licenses; authorization; attestation of identity; records.
(a) Every licensed funeral director, every licensed embalmer, and every licensed operator shall pay annually a fee for renewal of his or her license. The renewal fees shall be set by the board at a rate not to exceed fifty dollars ($50) for licensed embalmers and funeral directors and shall not exceed one hundred dollars ($100) for licensed operators.
(b) All licenses granted under this chapter shall expire on October 1, following their issuance or renewal, and shall become invalid unless renewed as provided in this section. There shall be no proration of licenses.
(c) The board shall mail on or before August 1 of each year to each licensed funeral director, to each licensed embalmer, and to each licensed operator addressed to him or her at his last address, a notice that his or her renewal fee is due and payable and that, if such fee is not paid by October 1, the license shall lapse.
(d) At the time, or before, a licensee changes place of employment, residence address, or makes any other change in status which is of record at the board office, the licensee shall report such change of status, on a form provided by the board, to the executive secretary.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §22; Acts 1981, No. 81-200, p. 234, §4; Acts 1981, No. 81-709, p. 1190, §1; Acts 1983, No. 83-746, p. 1235, §1; Act 2002-239, p. 498, §1.)
No license to an embalmer, a funeral director or a funeral establishment granted under or regulated by this chapter shall be transferable or assignable.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §10.)
Reinstatement of lapsed licenses.
When a licensee, for any reason, has allowed his license to lapse, the board hereby is given power of reinstatement, in its discretion, if application therefor is made within a period of six months from the lapse and is accompanied by payment of all penalties and lapsed fees, from the time of the lapse to date of reinstatement. The penalties to be paid to the board shall be $25.00 to reinstate licenses which have lapsed.
After said six-month period has elapsed, such license may be reinstated only by complying with the provisions hereinabove relating to the issuance of an original license in addition to payment of all lapsed fees and penalties.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §24; Acts 1981, No. 81-200, p. 234, §4; Acts 1981, No. 81-709, p. 1190, §1.)
Grounds for revocation, suspension or refusal to issue or renew licenses; fines.
(a) The board may refuse to grant, refuse to renew, or suspend or revoke a license after proper hearing and notice to the licensee, upon the licensee's being found guilty of any of the following:
(1) Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.
(2) Unprofessional conduct, which is defined to include any of the following:
a. Misrepresentation or fraud in the conduct of the business or the profession of a funeral director or embalmer.
b. False or misleading advertising as a funeral director or embalmer or knowingly engaging in any advertising which is misleading or inaccurate in any material particular.
c. Solicitation of dead human bodies by the licensee, his or her agents, assistants, or employees, whether the solicitation occurs after death or while death is impending.
d. Employment by the licensee of a person or persons to be used for the purpose of obtaining or soliciting funeral directing or embalming business.
e. Employment directly or indirectly of any apprentice, agent, assistant, embalmer, employee, or other person, on part or full time or on commission, for the purpose of calling upon individuals or institutions where a death has occurred or is imminent by whose influence dead human bodies may be turned over to a particular funeral director or embalmer or funeral establishment, or both.
f. The buying of business by the licensee, his or her agents, assistants, or employees.
g. Gross immorality.
h. Aiding or abetting an unlicensed person to practice funeral directing or embalming.
i. Using profane, indecent, or obscene language in the presence of a dead human body, or within the immediate hearing of the family or relative of a deceased whose body has not yet been interred or otherwise disposed of.
j. Solicitation or acceptance by a licensee of any commission or bonus or rebate in consideration of recommending or causing a dead human body to be disposed of in any mausoleum or cemetery.
k. Any violation of this chapter.
l. Any violation of state law or municipal or county ordinance or regulation affecting the handling, custody, care, or transportation of dead human bodies.
m. Fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining a license.
n. Refusing to promptly surrender the custody of a dead human body, upon the express order of the person lawfully entitled to the custody thereof.
o. Performing services in a professional capacity as a funeral director or embalmer, or both, for any unlicensed funeral establishment operating in violation of this chapter.
p. Being intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs while on duty at a funeral establishment.
q. Willfully retaining or willfully failing to account for any property of a decedent.
r. Knowingly and willfully signing a certificate as having embalmed or prepared a body for burial when, in fact the services were not performed by the licensee.
(b) In addition to the disciplinary actions authorized in subsection (a), the board may levy and collect administrative fines for violations of this chapter or the rules or regulations of the board in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §25; Acts 1995, No. 95-517, p. 1047, §2.)
Secretary to mail notices of examination.
The executive secretary of the board shall mail notices to all applicants and all established funeral firms in the state 15 days before an examination, listing the names of all persons admitted by the board to take the examination and setting out the time and place of the examination.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §39.)
Division 2 Funeral Directors.
License required; filing of application; fee; time and place for examination.
(a) No person shall engage in, or attempt to engage in, the practice or profession or business of a funeral director unless licensed to do so by the Alabama Board of Funeral Service. The board hereby is granted authority to issue license to funeral directors.
(b) Any person desiring to engage in the business, profession or practice of funeral director shall make application to the board and shall accompany his application by a fee to be established by the board, not to exceed $100.00, whereupon the board shall fix the time and place for the examination of the applicant and shall notify the applicant thereof.
(c) In addition, the board shall establish and charge a reasonable examination fee, based on actual costs, for each applicant who sits for an examination, however, in no event shall the fee exceed $25.00 above the actual cost of preparing and administering such exam.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §§9, 40; Acts 1981, No. 81-200, p. 234, §4; Acts 1981, No. 81-709, p. 1190, §1; Acts 1991, No. 91-196, p. 360, §3.)
Form and contents of application.
An application for a license as a funeral director shall be in writing and verified on a form provided by and addressed to the board and filed with the secretary of the board. The application must specify the address of the applicant and must be accompanied by the affidavits of at least two licensed embalmers or funeral directors to the effect that the applicant is of good character and has qualified himself to become licensed as prescribed by this chapter.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §12.)
Qualifications of applicants for examination.
An applicant for a funeral director's license is entitled to an examination if he:
(1) Is a citizen of the United States;
(2) Is at least 18 years of age;
(3) Has had practical experience as an apprentice for not less than two years within a period of three consecutive years, excluding time lost by interruptions caused by the active duty of the applicant in the military service of the United States or its allies during war or national emergency and excluding time lost by interruptions which the board deems excusable as caused by circumstances beyond the control of the applicant; and
(4) Has completed apprenticeship not more than two years prior to taking the examination, excluding time lost under the circumstances mentioned in subdivision (3) of this section.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §13; Acts 1983, No. 83-746, p. 1235, §1.)
Scope of examination.
The applicant for a funeral director's license shall, before the application is granted, successfully pass an examination upon, but not limited to, the following subjects: Funeral directing, the manners in which death may be determined, the laws governing the preparation and disposal of human dead bodies and the shipment of bodies dying from infectious or contagious diseases and local health and sanitary ordinances in relation to funeral directing. Said examination shall be prepared and graded by the board, which may review and adopt, in whole or in part, examination questions or forms proposed by the American Board of Funeral Service Education if it finds, in the discretion of the board, that such questions are appropriate and adequate.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §14.)
Application by surviving spouse upon death of funeral director; operation under special permit by operator.
(a) When a licensed funeral director dies leaving a licensed funeral business with no licensed funeral director, the surviving spouse, or a surviving child of legal age, shall have the right to make application for examination as a funeral director. The application shall be in writing, on a form prescribed by the board, and shall state the facts pertaining to the case. The board may, in its discretion, certify the applicant for the examination prescribed for funeral directors, in which event the requirements with respect to prior experience and apprenticeship shall be waived.
(b) When a licensed funeral director dies leaving a licensed funeral business with no licensed funeral director, the board may issue a special operating permit to the operator of such licensed funeral business for a period of 12 months, with the board having the right to extend said permit an additional reasonable time to afford such operator the opportunity of obtaining a licensed funeral director for such business. The operator shall be required to pay a fee for the issuance of said special operating permit in the amount of $25.00.
(c) All human dead embalmed for a funeral establishment operating under a special operating permit and all funeral directing operations carried on under said permit shall be in conformance with all the requirements of this chapter which are not in conflict with this section.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §45.)
Division 3 Embalmers.
License required; fees.
(a) No person shall follow, engage in or hold himself out as engaged in the practice as an embalmer unless licensed to do so by the Alabama Board of Funeral Service. The board hereby is granted authority to issue licenses to embalmers.
(b) All persons shall qualify for examination in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and shall be licensed as an embalmer only after due examination by the board and the payment of an examination and license fee to be established by the board, not to exceed $100.00.
(c) In addition, the board shall establish and charge a reasonable examination fee, based on actual costs, for each applicant who sits for an examination, however, in no event shall the fee exceed $25.00 above the actual cost of preparing and administering such exam.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §10; Acts 1981, No. 81-200, p. 234, §4; Acts 1981, No. 81-709, p. 1190, §1; Acts 1991, No. 91-196, §3.)
Application for examination.
The applicant for an embalmer's license shall make application to the board and shall present himself at the next meeting of the board for the examination of applicants. The application must be in writing and verified on a form provided by and addressed to the board and must be accompanied by the prescribed fee and by affidavits of at least two licensed embalmers to the effect that the applicant is of good moral character and has met all qualifications required for examination for license as prescribed by this chapter.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §16.)
Qualifications of applicants for license.
In order to qualify for a license as an embalmer, the applicant shall:
(1) Be a citizen of the United States;
(2) Be over 18 years of age;
(3) Be of good character;
(4) Have completed a two-year course of apprenticeship under an embalmer or embalmers licensed and engaged in practice as an embalmer in this state, and the applicant shall have completed the required course of apprenticeship within a period of three consecutive years, excluding time lost by interruption caused by the active duty of the applicant in the military service of the United States or its allies during war or national emergency and excluding time lost by interruptions which the board deems excusable as caused by circumstances beyond the control of the applicant;
(5) Have completed a course of instruction in an embalming school or college which has been approved by the board as defined in Section 34-13-50; and
(6) Have completed the course of apprenticeship not more than two years before the date of examination, excluding time lost under the circumstances mentioned in subdivision (4) of this section.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §17; Acts 1983, No. 83-746, p. 1235, §1.)
Examination of applicant for license.
The board shall hold a public examination at least once each quarter for the purpose of examining applicants for embalmer's license, as prescribed in Section 34-13-22, at such time and place as the board may determine. Notice of the time and place of the meeting shall be sent to the various applicants by mail at least 15 days before the meeting or examination.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §15.)
Scope and conduct of examination.
(a) The board shall examine applicants for an embalmer's license in the following subjects:
(1) Mortuary management and administration;
(2) Legal medicine and toxicology;
(3) Public health, hygiene and sanitary science;
(4) Mortuary science, to include embalming technique, in all aspects; chemistry of embalming, color harmony; discoloration, its causes, effect and treatment; treatment of special cases; restorative art; funeral management; and professional ethics;
(5) Anatomy and physiology;
(6) Chemistry, organic and inorganic;
(9) Sanitation and hygiene;
(10) Public health regulations; and
(11) Other courses of instruction in fundamental subjects as may be prescribed by the board.
(b) All examination papers shall be kept on file by the Alabama Board of Funeral Service for at least three years.
(c) To constitute a passing grade, an applicant must receive an average mark of not less than 70 percent on all subjects; provided, that where the applicant has received a mark of less than 70 percent in one or more subjects, such applicant shall not be passed, notwithstanding that his average mark may be higher than 70 percent.
(d) If the board is satisfied that the applicant has the requisite qualifications to practice the occupation of embalming, a license shall be issued to him authorizing him to practice such occupation until October 1 of that year, at which time the license may be renewed as prescribed in this chapter.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §18.)
Division 4 Funeral Establishments.
Operation through licensed director or embalmer; change of name.
Any person, corporation, partnership, society or group owning or operating a funeral establishment coming within the provisions of this chapter may do so only through the services of a licensed funeral director or embalmer. No person not licensed as a funeral director or embalmer shall be permitted to perform the functions of a funeral director or embalmer as herein defined or hold himself out to the public as such by reason of his ownership in a funeral establishment or by reason of his ownership of stock owned in or office held in a corporation to own or operate a funeral establishment. After September 10, 1975, no firm or corporation authorized to own and operate a funeral establishment may change or amend its name or charter so as to include in its firm or corporate name the name of any person who is not individually licensed as a funeral director in this state; provided, that the provisions of this sentence shall not be applicable to the name of any firm or corporation owning or operating a funeral establishment on September 10, 1975, so long as such firm or corporation remains under the same ownership.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §40.)
License required; inspections; transfer of license.
(a) No funeral establishment or branch thereof for the preparation, disposition and care of dead human bodies shall be opened or maintained unless duly licensed by the board. No funeral establishment or branch shall be moved without obtaining a new funeral establishment license from the board.
(b) The board shall charge a fee of $35.00 in addition to the license fee for the first inspection of any funeral establishment seeking a license under Section 34-13-72 made for the purpose of determining whether such funeral establishment has fulfilled the requirements for licensure hereunder. The board shall charge a fee of $75.00 for each reinspection necessitated by failure of any funeral establishment to pass such first inspection. All funeral establishments and branches shall be inspected by the board, or its representatives, at least once annually, with an inspection fee of $35.00, and shall meet and conform to the provisions of this chapter and to such other lawful standards and requirements as may be determined by rule of the board in furtherance of the provisions of this chapter; and, for failure to do so, the board may revoke such license in accordance with the procedure set forth in this chapter.
(c) Applications for transfer of a license to another location in the same county shall be made upon blanks furnished by the board and shall be accompanied by a fee of $25.00. The fee for a new branch or location for a funeral establishment shall be $250.00. Any change in ownership must be immediately reported to the board.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §44; Acts 1981, No. 81-200, p. 234, §4; Acts 1981, No. 81-709, p. 1190, §1; Acts 1983, No. 83-746, p. 1235, §1.)
Employment of embalmer or director by other establishments; supervision and control; licensing of establishment not to license embalmer or director.
No application for a license of a funeral establishment shall be considered which does not show on the application that a licensed funeral director and licensed embalmer are employed by the establishment. This section shall not be construed to require a full-time licensed embalmer at each funeral establishment. No funeral establishment shall be licensed except upon the basis of a licensed funeral director. All embalming must be performed under a licensed embalmer, but such licensed embalmer shall not be restricted from working for more than one funeral establishment.
No licensed funeral director, based upon whose license or licenses a funeral establishment license has been issued, may serve as the regularly employed licensed funeral director at another funeral establishment which is owned by a different person, firm or corporation at the same time for the purpose of qualifying such other establishment under this chapter.
It is hereby declared to be the legislative intent of this chapter that every funeral establishment in this state shall be operated under the full charge, control and supervision of an individually licensed funeral director or a person licensed both as a funeral director and as an embalmer; provided, that this section shall not preclude an unlicensed person from being in charge of the bookkeeping or records of such an establishment. The name of the licensed person to be in charge of each funeral establishment shall be stated on the application for all licenses or renewal of such licenses.
The issuance of a license to operate a funeral establishment to a person who is not individually licensed as a funeral director or embalmer does not entitle said person to practice embalming or funeral directing, as defined by this chapter, it being the intent of this chapter that such practice may be performed only through individually licensed funeral directors and embalmers; and, in addition to all other grounds for suspension of a funeral establishment license as enumerated in this chapter, a funeral establishment license shall be revoked by the board upon hearing thereon if any person, whether owner, officer, stockholder or otherwise, who is connected with the funeral home shall perform any of the functions of a funeral director or embalmer as defined herein or shall hold himself out as a funeral director.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §43.)
Application for license; inspection of establishment; issuance of license.
(a) Application for a license to operate a funeral establishment shall be made in writing on a form provided by the board. The application shall be verified by the applicant or, if the applicant is a corporation, firm or other organization, by an officer or member thereof, and shall be accompanied by an application fee to be established by the board, not to exceed $300.00. The application shall disclose:
(1) The name and address of the establishment;
(2) That the establishment is operated by a licensed funeral director and a licensed embalmer or a person licensed both as a funeral director and embalmer;
(3) A description of the establishment's buildings, equipment and facilities;
(4) That the establishment has a sanitary, properly equipped embalming room, a place for the conduct of funerals and a casket selection room stocked with an average selection of caskets; and
(5) Such other information as may be required by the board.
(b) Upon receipt of said application, the board shall make inspection of the funeral establishment. If the board determines that the establishment meets the qualifications prescribed by law, it shall issue the license.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §41; Acts 1981, No. 81-200, p. 234, §4; Acts 1981, No. 81-709, p. 1190, §1.)
Reissuing license when name of establishment changed.
An operator of a funeral establishment licensed under the provision of Section 34-13-113 and who desires to change the name of the establishment may have his license reissued to him, in the changed name, upon application to the board and payment of a fee of $25.00.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §23.)
Revocation, suspension or refusal to renew license.
(a) The board may revoke, suspend or refuse to renew a license issued to an operator of a funeral establishment as provided in this chapter.
(b) If, upon a complaint made to it or otherwise, the board has reason to believe that the operator of a funeral establishment has failed to comply with the provisions of this chapter or the regulations of the board, it shall conduct an investigation. If it appears to the board that there is reasonable ground to believe that the operator has failed so to comply, it shall conduct a hearing on the matter. Notice of the time and place of the hearing, setting forth the respects in which failure to comply is charged, shall be sent to the operator no later than 15 days prior to the date set for the hearing. The operator may have the assistance of counsel at the hearing.
(c) If, upon the hearing, the board finds that the operator has failed to comply with the provisions of this chapter or the regulations of the board, it may revoke, suspend or refuse to renew the license.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §33.)
Penalty for failure to register.
Any person, firm, partnership, society, group or corporation who has control of a funeral home, mortuary, chapel or funeral establishment, as defined in this law, and fails to register same according to the provisions of this chapter, upon conviction, may be fined not less than $300.00 nor more than $500.00 for each violation, and each day that said funeral home, mortuary, chapel or funeral establishment is operated shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct violation of this chapter.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §42.)
Division 4A Cremation Services.
License required; affidavit of training, etc.; inspections; records.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, association, or entity to operate a crematory or practice cremation without the crematory being licensed as a funeral establishment in accordance with this chapter.
(b) Any funeral establishment performing cremation services shall certify by affidavit to the board that any cremationist conducting cremations has received adequate and appropriate training or experience in the practice of cremation.
(c) The board shall adopt and enforce rules and regulations as may be reasonable and necessary for the operation of crematories to protect the health, welfare, and safety of the people of this state.
(d) The board shall inspect the records and premises of any funeral establishment operating a crematory. In making inspections, the board shall have access to all records, the crematory building, the cremation chambers or furnaces, and the storage areas for human remains before and after cremation, during regular office hours or the hours the crematory is in operation. No prior notification of the inspection is required to be given to the funeral establishment. If any funeral establishment performing cremation services fails to allow an inspection or any part thereof, it shall be grounds for the suspension or revocation of a license or other disciplinary action against the licensee, as the board may deem reasonable and necessary to the extent of the law. The board shall conduct annually a minimum of one unannounced inspection of each licensed funeral establishment performing cremation services.
(e) Each funeral establishment performing cremation services shall keep records as required by the board to assure compliance with all laws relating to the disposition of human remains and shall file annually with the board a report in the form prescribed by the board, describing the operations of the licensee, including the number of cremations made, the disposition thereof, and any other information as the board may, from time to time, require.
(f) Each funeral establishment performing cremation services shall report to the board any maintenance or inspections performed by the manufacturer within 30 days of the maintenance or inspection.
(g) A funeral establishment performing cremation services shall be subject to all local, state, and federal health and environmental protection requirements and shall obtain all necessary licenses and permits from the Alabama Board of Funeral Service, the federal and state Departments of Health and Human Services, and the state and federal Environmental Protection Agencies, or other appropriate local, state, or federal agencies.
(Act 2002-239, p. 498, §3.)
Cremation procedures; authorization; attestation of identity; records. THIS SECTION WAS ASSIGNED BY THE CODE COMMISSIONER. THIS SECTION HAS NOT BEEN CODIFIED BY THE LEGISLATURE.
(a) Human remains shall not be cremated within 24 hours after the time of death, unless death was a result of an infectious, contagious, or communicable disease and unless the disease is verified and the time requirement waived by a medical examiner, county health director, county coroner, or attending physician where the death occurred.
(b) A cremation authorization form prescribed by the board shall be signed by the authorizing agent and must accompany any request for cremation. A copy of the cremation authorization shall be presented with the body to the crematory before any cremation process may be initiated.
(c) It shall be disclosed to the family member serving as the authorizing agent that he or she, or his or her designee, may witness the transportation of the human remains to be cremated to the crematory. Every funeral establishment performing cremation services that prohibits relatives or the responsible party from viewing the cremation process shall disclose this fact in writing to the person or persons entitled to custody of the remains prior to the signing of any contract.
(d) An authorizing agent has the duty to inform the funeral director of the presence of a pacemaker or other potentially hazardous implant, including any toxic or explosive-type sealed implants in the human remains. The funeral director shall be responsible for ensuring that all necessary steps have been taken to remove the pacemaker before delivering the human remains to the crematory. Should the cremationist discover the presence of a pacemaker or other hazardous implants in the human remains, the cremationist shall arrange for the removal of the pacemaker or other hazardous implant.
(e) The simultaneous cremation of the human remains of more than one person within the same retort, without the prior written consent of the authorizing agent, is prohibited. It is hereby the declared intent of this subsection that establishments performing cremations in accordance with this chapter may cremate only dead human remains.
(f) Upon the completion of each cremation, and insofar as is practicable, all of the recoverable residue of the cremation process shall be removed from the retort and placed in a separate container and may not be commingled with cremated remains of another person nor shall cremated remains of a dead human be divided or separated without the prior written consent of the authorizing agent.
(g) Each funeral establishment which offers or performs cremations shall maintain an identification system that ensures its ability to identify the human remains in its possession throughout all phases of the cremation process. Upon completion of the process, the cremationist must attest to the identity of the cremated remains, and the date, time, and place the cremation process occurred on a form issued by the board. The form shall accompany the human remains in all phases of transportation, cremation, and return of cremated remains.
(h) Each funeral establishment and cremationist which offers or performs cremations shall maintain a record of all cremations performed, which shall include the name of the decedent, the date of death, the date and time of the cremation, the signature of the cremationist performing the cremation, a copy of the authorization for cremation, a copy of the affidavit attesting to the cremation, and, if the cremation is performed for any other funeral establishment or entity, the identity of this establishment or entity.
(i) Human remains must be delivered to a crematory in a combustible cremation container. Human remains shall not be removed from the cremation container and the cremation container shall be cremated with the human remains, unless the authorizing agent has been informed in writing that the crematory does not cremate metal containers.
(Act 2002-239, p. 498, &sect; 3.)
Disposition of cremated remains.
(a) The authorizing agent shall provide to the funeral establishment which the cremation arrangements are made a signed statement specifying the ultimate disposition of the cremated remains, if known. A copy of this statement shall be retained by the funeral establishment offering or conducting the cremation.
(b) Cremated remains shall be shipped only by a method that has an internal tracing system available and that provides a receipt signed by the person accepting delivery.
(c) The authorizing agent is responsible for the disposition of the cremated remains. If, after 60 days from the date of cremation, the authorizing agent or his or her representative has not specified the ultimate disposition or claimed the cremated remains, the funeral establishment or entity in possession of the cremated remains may dispose of the cremated remains in a dignified and humane manner and in accordance with any state, county, or municipal laws or provisions regarding the disposal of cremated remains. A record of this disposition shall be made and kept by the entity making the disposition. Upon disposing of cremated remains in accordance with this section, the funeral establishment or entity in possession of the cremated remains shall be discharged from any legal obligation or liability concerning the cremated remains.
(Act 2002-239, p. 498, §3.)
Division 5 Apprentices.
Application for issuance of apprentice's certificate; term of apprenticeship.
(a) Every person desiring to engage as an apprentice shall make application as a funeral director's apprentice or an embalmer's apprentice to the board upon a form provided by the board. The application shall state that the applicant is over the age of 16, holds a high school certificate or the equivalent, or is currently enrolled and actively working toward graduation from an accredited high school and is of good moral character. The application must be verified by the oath of applicant and be accompanied by a fee to be established by the board, not to exceed $20.00. The executive secretary of the board shall, whenever it appears to him that no reason exists for the denial of an application and that the application is regular upon its face, have the power to issue to the applicant a certificate of apprenticeship, without submitting the application to the board. If, however, any doubt exists as to the qualifications of the applicant, the application shall be submitted to the board and may be accepted or rejected by a majority of the board. The period of apprenticeship of a funeral director's apprentice or an embalmer's apprentice must be performed in Alabama under the supervision of a funeral director or embalmer, respectively, licensed by the Alabama Board of Funeral Service.
(b) The regular course of apprenticeship shall be two years, but the apprentice is entitled to two weeks time off each year, without leave of absence from the board. Any applicant for an apprentice certificate or license shall be credited with all time served as such as an apprentice embalmer or funeral director prior to September 10, 1975, upon filing of two affidavits confirming such service by a licensed embalmer or funeral director under whom such service was performed.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §26; Acts 1981, No. 81-200, p. 234, §4; Acts 1981, No. 81-709, p. 1190, §1.)
Annual renewal of certificate.
A certificate of apprenticeship issued as provided for herein shall be signed by the apprentice and shall be renewable annually upon the payment by the holder by October 1 of each year of an annual renewal fee to be established by the board, not to exceed $20.00. Failure to pay the renewal fee by the prescribed date of any year shall cause the certificate to become delinquent, in which case it shall be renewed only for good cause shown. No person may be granted a certificate of apprenticeship as funeral director's apprentice or embalmer's apprentice, respectively, for more than three consecutive years, excepting as provided. The board shall mail, on or before August 1 of each year, to each registered apprentice at his last known address, a notice that his renewal fee is due and payable and that, if not paid by October 1, his license will lapse.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §27; Acts 1981, No. 81-200, p. 234, §4; Acts 1981, No. 81-709, p. 1190, §1.)
Annual report of apprentices.
All apprentices registered as provided in this chapter shall be under the supervision and control of the board and shall be required to report to the board annually on January 1, upon forms provided by the board, showing the work which such apprentices have performed during the annual period preceding the first of the month on which the report is made, including the number of hours served and the number of bodies the apprentice has assisted in embalming or otherwise prepared for disposition during such period. The information contained in the report shall be certified to as correct by the funeral director by whom the apprentice has been employed during such period.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §28.)
Leave of absence.
The board has power to grant leaves of absence and to grant extensions thereof to apprentices registered under the provisions of this chapter. However, no credit shall be given to an apprentice upon his apprenticeship for the period during which he is absent from duty on leave, and no more than an aggregate of 12 months' leave of absence shall be granted to any apprentice during the term of his apprenticeship. Application for leave of absence and for extension thereof shall be made by the apprentice upon a form provided by and addressed to the board. Upon the termination of a leave of absence or any extension thereof, the apprentice shall report to the board the fact that he has resumed his duties as an apprentice and certified to by the funeral director under whom he has resumed his duties or by the embalmer under whom he is apprenticed, confirming this fact. Failure to so report within 30 days after the expiration date of any leave of absence or extension thereof shall automatically cancel the registration of the apprentice.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §29.)
Grounds for suspension and revocation of certificates; reregistration when certificate has lapsed or is revoked.
(a) The board has power to suspend or revoke a certificate of apprenticeship, after notice and upon hearing, where the apprentice is guilty of any of the following acts or omissions:
(1) Failure to devote not less than an average of 30 hours per week to the duties of his apprenticeship;
(2) Failure to make an annual report to the board as required by this chapter;
(3) Absence from duty except on vacation for an aggregate of more than 10 days in any six months or 20 days in any year, without leave of absence granted by the board;
(4) Gross immorality;
(5) Being on duty as an apprentice while under the influence of liquor or illegal drugs;
(6) Disobedience of proper orders or instructions of his superiors;
(7) Violation of any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation of the board made under this chapter;
(8) Soliciting business for a funeral director or for any embalmer; or
(9) Fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining a certificate of registration as an apprentice.
(b) An apprentice who has allowed his certificate of apprenticeship to lapse or who has had his certificate of apprenticeship suspended or revoked may, within one year after such suspension or revocation, make application for registration but not more than two such registrations shall be allowed by the board. The board may, when the circumstances warrant, allow an apprentice credit under a reregistration for time actually served under a previous registration; except, that if the previous registration has been suspended or revoked upon any of the grounds set forth in subsection (a) of this section, not more than 75 percent of the time previously served shall be credited on the reregistration.
(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §30.)
Article 4 Donor Eye Enucleation Licenses.
The Board of Funeral Service is authorized to issue a donor eye enucleation license to any embalmer or funeral director who makes written application to the Board of Funeral Service and complies with its standards, measures and procedures, provided such applicant possesses the educational qualifications, standards of proficiency and fitness prescribed by the board.
(Acts 1976, No. 586, p. 798, §1.)
Promulgation of standards, procedures, regulations, etc., by Board of Funeral Service.
(a) The Board of Funeral Service is authorized to establish and promulgate standards, measures, procedures and regulations necessary to assure that any licensee under this article possesses the knowledge and technical skills to perform donor eyes enucleations acceptable as good ophthalmological and pathological procedure for the purposes of prohibiting unnecessary mutilation.
(b) The Board of Funeral Service is authorized to further prescribe, establish and promulgate any standards and regulations necessary to effect the provisions of this article.
(Acts 1976, No. 586, p. 798, §§2, 4.)
Compliance by licensee with Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.
Any person who holds a donor eye enucleation license shall comply with the applicable provisions of the "Alabama Uniform Anatomical Gift Act."
(Acts 1976, No. 586, p. 798, §3.)