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157.07   Platting.
157.08   Conveyances.
157.10   Alienation, disposition, and use of cemetery lots and mausoleum spaces.
157.11   Improvement and care of cemetery lots and grounds.
157.111   Opening and closing of burial places.
157.112   Reburial of human remains by a cemetery authority.
157.113   Permission to place cremated human remains in a cemetery.
157.114   Duty to provide for burials.
157.115   Abandonment of cemeteries and cemetery lots.
157.12   Mausoleums.
157.123   Columbaria maintained by religious associations.
157.125   Trustees for the care of cemeteries or cemetery lots.
157.128   Minimum acreage requirement for cemetery established on or after November 1, 1991.
157.129   Minimum acreage of cemeteries; local ordinance.
157.19   Deposit and investment of care funds and preneed trust funds.
157.50   Municipal cemeteries.
157.60   Public easement in cemetery.
157.62   Reporting; record keeping; audits.
157.625   Reporting exemption for certain cemeteries.
157.63   Reporting and auditing exemptions; certification of compliance of cemetery organized and operated by, or affiliated with, a religious association.
157.635   Regulations of cemetery organized and operated by, or affiliated with, a religious association.
157.637   Veteran burials.
157.64   Penalties.
157.65   Enforcement.
SUBCHAPTER III
BURIAL SITES PRESERVATION
157.70   Burial sites preservation.
Ch. 157 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See s. 69.18 for 1) registration of deaths; 2) medical certification; 3) disposition of corpse or stillbirth; and 4) disinterment and reinterment.
subch. I of ch. 157 SUBCHAPTER I
CORPSES
157.01 157.01 Rules for preparation, transportation and disposition. The department of health services shall make, and delegate to the funeral directors examining board the enforcement of, rules not inconsistent with ch. 445 covering the control of communicable diseases and sanitary and health regulations in the preparation, transportation and disposition of dead human bodies.
157.01 History History: 1975 c. 39; 1979 c. 175 s. 53; 1979 c. 221 ss. 658, 2202 (45); 1983 a. 485; 1985 a. 315; 1985 a. 316 s. 14; Stats. 1985 s. 157.01; 1995 a. 27 s. 9126 (19); 2007 a. 20 s. 9121 (6) (a).
157.01 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also chs. DHS 135 and 136, Wis. adm. code.
157.02 157.02 Disposal of unclaimed corpses.
157.02(1g)(1g)Definition. In this section, “burial" has the meaning given in s. 157.061 (1).
157.02 Note Note: Sub. (1g) was created as sub. (1) (a) by 2017 Wis. Act 246 and renumbered to sub. (1g) by the legislative reference bureau under s. 13.92 (1) (bm) 2. Sub. (1g) (title) is inserted by the legislative reference bureau under s. 35.17.
157.02(1r) (1r)Notice to relatives.
157.02(1r)(am) (am) When an inmate of any state, county or municipal institution dies, the superintendent or other person in charge of the institution shall immediately notify a relative of the decedent. A public officer having the possession or the disposition of a corpse shall immediately notify a relative of the decedent. If no relative is known, or discoverable by use of ordinary diligence, notice may be dispensed with.
157.02(1r)(b) (b) If the deceased had been an inmate of a state correctional institution, the department of corrections shall provide written notification to the relative informing him or her that the department of corrections, upon request, will do any or all of the following:
157.02(1r)(b)1. 1. Provide a copy of any autopsy report or other report or information pertaining to the death.
157.02(1r)(b)2. 2. Allow the relative to claim the cremated remains of the inmate before burial of the remains.
157.02(1r)(c) (c) The department of corrections shall describe how requests under par. (b) may be made and shall promptly comply with any such request.
157.02 Note Note: Sub. (1r) (title), (am), (b), and (c) were renumbered from sub. (1) (title), (am), (b), and (c), as affected by 2017 Wis. Act 246, to sub. (1r) (title), (am), (b), and (c) by the legislative reference bureau under s. 13.92 (1) (bm) 2.
157.02(2) (2)Time allowed relative to act. If a relative or friend fails to arrange for taking charge of the corpse within a reasonable time after death, the superintendent or other officer may proceed as provided in this section, but relatives or friends may claim the corpse at any time before it has been delivered pursuant to sub. (3) or, if a request is made under sub. (1r) (b) 2., after it has been cremated but before burial of the cremated remains under sub. (5).
157.02 Note Note: The cross-reference to sub. (1r) (b) 2. was changed from sub. (1) (b) 2. by the legislative reference bureau under s. 13.92 (1) (bm) 2. to reflect the renumbering under s. 13.92 (1) (bm) 2. of sub. (1), as affected by 2017 Wis. Act 246.
157.02(3) (3)Notice to university or school. If the corpse is in the Mendota Mental Health Institute district, the University of Wisconsin shall be notified that it may have the corpse. If the corpse is in the Winnebago Mental Health Institute district, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Inc., or any accredited school of mortuary science at Milwaukee shall be notified that it may have the corpse. The university or school so notified shall immediately inform the superintendent or public officer whether it desires to have the corpse. If it does, the corpse shall be delivered accordingly, properly encased, to the most available facility for transportation to the consignee, the consignee to pay the cost of transportation.
157.02(4) (4)Standing applications. If there are advance applications for such bodies, by the Medical College of Wisconsin, Inc., or any accredited school of mortuary science, the superintendent or public officer shall make an equitable distribution between them.
157.02(5) (5)Other disposition. If the corpse is not disposed of under subs. (1r) to (4), the superintendent or public officer shall properly bury it, or cremate it, subject to s. 979.10, and bury the cremated remains.
157.02 Note Note: The cross-reference to sub. (1r) was changed from sub. (1) by the legislative reference bureau under s. 13.92 (1) (bm) 2. to reflect the renumbering under s. 13.92 (1) (bm) 2. of sub. (1), as affected by 2017 Wis. Act 246.
157.02 History History: 1971 c. 211; 1973 c. 90 s. 560 (3); 1985 a. 316 s. 14; Stats. 1985 s. 157.02; 1987 a. 27; 1989 a. 31; 2001 a. 103; 2017 a. 246; s. 13.92 (1) (bm) 2; s. 35.17 correction in (1g) (title).
157.03 157.03 Restrictions on use of bodies for anatomical purposes; embalming such bodies; delivery of bodies to relatives.
157.03(1)(1)The corpse of a person who died with smallpox, diphtheria or scarlet fever, or who in his or her last sickness shall request to be buried or cremated, and of a stranger or traveler who suddenly died, shall not be disposed of under s. 157.02 (3), and no person having charge of a corpse authorized to be so disposed of shall sell or deliver it to be used outside the state.
157.03(2) (2)Upon receipt of the corpse by a university or school pursuant to s. 157.02 (3) it shall be properly embalmed and retained for 3 months before being used or dismembered and shall be delivered to any relative claiming it upon satisfactory proof of relationship.
157.03 History History: 1985 a. 316 ss. 14, 25; Stats. 1985 s. 157.03; 1993 a. 482.
157.04 157.04 Penalty. Any officer or person having a corpse in charge, and refusing to report and deliver it, when required by this subchapter, or violating the provisions forbidding sale or delivery thereof, to be used outside the state, shall be liable to the person, university or medical school aggrieved, in the sum of $50.
157.04 History History: 1985 a. 316 s. 14; Stats. 1985 s. 157.04.
157.05 157.05 Autopsy. Consent for a licensed physician to conduct an autopsy on the body of a deceased person shall be deemed sufficient when given by whichever one of the following assumes custody of the body for purposes of burial: Father, mother, husband, wife, child, guardian, next of kin, domestic partner under ch. 770, or in the absence of any of the foregoing, a friend, or a person charged by law with the responsibility for burial. If 2 or more such persons assume custody of the body, the consent of one of them shall be deemed sufficient.
157.05 History History: 1979 c. 110; 1985 a. 316 s. 14; Stats. 1985 s. 157.05; 2009 a. 28.
157.055 157.055 Disposal of human remains during state of emergency relating to public health.
157.055(1)(1)In this section:
157.055(1)(a) (a) “Funeral establishment" has the meaning given in s. 445.01 (6).
157.055(1)(b) (b) “Public health authority" has the meaning given in s. 250.01 (6g).
157.055(2) (2)Notwithstanding ss. 69.18 (4), 445.04 (2), 445.14, 979.01 (3), (3m), and (4), 979.02, and 979.10, and subch. VII of ch. 440, during a period of a state of emergency related to public health declared by the governor under s. 323.10, a public health authority may do all of the following:
157.055(2)(a) (a) Issue and enforce orders that are reasonable and necessary to provide for the safe disposal of human remains, including by embalming, burial, cremation, interment, disinterment, transportation, and other disposal.
157.055(2)(b) (b) Take possession and control of any human remains.
157.055(2)(c) (c) Order the disposal, through burial or cremation, of any human remains of an individual who has died of a communicable disease, within 24 hours after the individual's death and consider, to the extent feasible, the religious, cultural, or individual beliefs of the deceased individual or his or her family in disposing of the remains.
157.055(2)(d) (d) If reasonable and necessary for emergency response, require a funeral establishment, as a condition of its permit under s. 445.105 (1), to accept human remains or provide the use of its business or facility, including by transferring the management and supervision of the funeral establishment to the public health authority, for a period of time not to exceed the period of the state of emergency.
157.055(2)(e) (e) Require the labeling of all human remains before disposal with all available identifying information and information concerning the circumstances of death and, in addition, require that the human remains of an individual with a communicable disease be clearly tagged to indicate that remains contain a communicable disease and, if known, the specific communicable disease.
157.055(2)(f) (f) Maintain or require the maintenance of a written or electronic record of all human remains that are disposed of, including all available identifying information and information concerning the circumstances of death and disposal. If it is impossible to identify human remains prior to disposal, the public health authority may require that a qualified person obtain any fingerprints, photographs, or identifying dental information, and collect a specimen of deoxyribonucleic acid from the human remains and transmit this information to the public health authority.
157.055(2)(g) (g) Notwithstanding s. 59.34 (1) or 59.35 (1), authorize a county medical examiner or a county coroner to appoint emergency assistant medical examiners or emergency deputy coroners, whichever is applicable, if necessary to perform the duties of the office of medical examiner or coroner, and to prescribe the duties of the emergency assistant medical examiners or emergency deputy coroners. The term of any emergency appointment authorized under this paragraph may not exceed the period of the state emergency. A county medical examiner or county coroner may terminate an emergency appointment before the end of the period of the state emergency, if termination of the appointment will not impede the performance of the duties of his or her office.
157.055 History History: 2001 a. 109; 2005 a. 31; 2009 a. 42, 282.
157.06 157.06 Anatomical gifts.
157.06(2)(2)Definitions. In this section:
157.06(2)(a) (a) “Agent" means a health care agent, as defined in s. 155.01 (4), or an individual who is expressly authorized in a record that is signed by a principal to make an anatomical gift of the principal's body or part.
157.06(2)(b) (b) “Anatomical gift" means a donation of all or part of a human body to take effect after the donor's death, as determined in accordance with s. 146.71, for the purpose of transplantation, therapy, research, or education.
157.06(2)(c) (c) “Decedent" means a deceased individual.
157.06(2)(d) (d) “Disinterested witness" means a witness who is not any of the following:
157.06(2)(d)1. 1. The spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandchild, grandparent, or guardian of the individual who makes, amends, revokes, or refuses to make an anatomical gift.
157.06(2)(d)2. 2. A person who exhibits special care and concern, except as a compensated health care provider, for the individual who makes, amends, revokes, or refuses to make an anatomical gift.
157.06(2)(d)3. 3. Any other person to whom the anatomical gift could pass under sub. (11).
157.06(2)(e) (e) “Donor" means an individual whose body or part is the subject of an anatomical gift.
157.06(2)(f) (f) “Donor registry" means a database that contains records of anatomical gifts and amendments to or revocations of anatomical gifts.
157.06(2)(g) (g) “Driver's license" means a license or permit to operate a vehicle, whether or not conditions are attached to the license or permit, that is issued by the department of transportation under ch. 343.
157.06(2)(h) (h) “Eye bank" means a person that is licensed, accredited, or regulated under federal or state law to engage in the recovery, screening, testing, processing, storage, or distribution of human eyes or portions of human eyes.
157.06(2)(i) (i) “Guardian" means a person appointed by a court to make decisions regarding the support, care, education, health, or welfare of an individual, and does not include a guardian ad litem.
157.06(2)(j) (j) “Hospital" means a facility approved as a hospital under s. 50.35 or a facility operated as a hospital by the federal government, a state, or a political subdivision of a state.
157.06(2)(k) (k) “Identification card" means an identification card issued by the department of transportation under s. 343.50.
157.06(2)(L) (L) “Organ procurement organization" means a person designated by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as an organ procurement organization.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 186 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on November 3, 2020. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after November 3, 2020, are designated by NOTES. (Published 11-3-20)