Code Section Group

Military and Veterans Code - MVC

DIVISION 4. VETERANS' AID AND WELFARE [690 - 1008.5]

  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 389. )

CHAPTER 5. Local Aid [920 - 975.5]

  ( Chapter 5 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 389. )

ARTICLE 2. Burial of Veterans and Veterans’ Dependents [940 - 955]
  ( Heading of Article 2 amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 189, Sec. 1. )

940.
  

As used in this article, unless the context otherwise indicates, “veteran” means a person honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States, including, but not limited to, the Philippine Commonwealth Army, the Regular Scouts (“Old Scouts”), and the Special Philippine Scouts (“New Scouts”).

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 768, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1997.)

940.5.
  

As used in this article, the terms “burial” and “interment” include cremation, except that the election of the form of interment as between burial and cremation shall be made pursuant to the first paragraph of Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code.

(Added by Stats. 1983, Ch. 134, Sec. 2.)

941.
  

This article shall not apply to soldiers, sailors, or marines who die in the national or State soldiers’ homes in this State.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 389.)

942.
  

The board of supervisors of each county shall designate an honorably discharged veteran of the United States military or a member of a veterans’ remains organization, as defined in Section 951, who shall cause to be decently interred the body of any veteran or spouse or eligible dependent of a veteran as defined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for compensation purposes who dies in the county. This section shall apply to all indigent, abandoned, or unclaimed veterans and dependents of veterans, including those deceased veterans and dependents of veterans without sufficient means to defray the expenses of burial, other than moneys paid or due and payable by the United States, pursuant to the World War Adjusted Compensation Act.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 189, Sec. 2. (AB 1644) Effective January 1, 2011.)

943.
  

Such burial shall not be made in any cemetery or burial ground, or any portion thereof, used exclusively for the burial of the pauper dead.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 389.)

944.
  

In the event a deceased veteran or a widow of a veteran has been interred other than by the person designated by the board of supervisors, the person so designated may pay the sum of three hundred fifty dollars ($350) toward the burial expenses of the person who would have been entitled to interment by the person designated by the supervisors.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 380, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2008.)

945.
  

The expenses to the county of each burial or contribution shall not exceed the sum of three hundred fifty dollars ($350). Claims therefor are governed by Part 3 (commencing with Section 900) and Part 4 (commencing with Section 940) of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 380, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2008.)

946.
  

Such claims shall be paid by the county in which the veteran or widow dies. If the decedent was a resident of any other county than the one paying the claim, the county of the decedent’s residence shall refund the money advanced by the county where such person died. Such claims shall be audited and paid by the county as other accounts.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 389.)

947.
  

The person appointed under section 942, before he assumes the charge and expenses of any burial, shall first satisfy himself by a careful inquiry into and examination of all the circumstances in the case that the family of the decedent, if any, residing in the county, is unable for want of means to defray the expenses of the burial. If he finds such inability he shall cause the decedent to be buried as provided in this article. He shall immediately report his action to the clerk of the board of supervisors of the county, stating all the facts and that he found the family of the decedent in indigent circumstances and unable to pay the expenses of the burial. He shall also report the name, rank, and command of the veteran, the date of death, place of burial, occupation, and an itemized statement of the expenses of such burial.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 389.)

948.
  

The clerk of the board of supervisors, upon receiving the report and statement of expenses, shall transcribe in a book kept for that purpose all the facts contained in the report respecting such decedent. The clerk, upon the burial of any honorably discharged soldier, sailor, or marine, shall make application to the proper authorities of the United States, for a suitable headstone, as provided by act of Congress, and cause the same to be placed at the head of the grave of such soldier, sailor, or marine. The expenses shall not exceed ten dollars ($10) for cartage and properly setting each stone.

(Amended by Stats. 1963, Ch. 603.)

949.
  

The board of supervisors shall perpetually maintain the grave of any such honorably discharged soldier, sailor, or marine. The expenses thus incurred shall be audited and paid as provided in section 946 for burial expenses.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 389.)

950.
  

The person appointed under section 942 shall receive no compensation for any duties he may perform in compliance with this article.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 389.)

951.
  

(a) “Veteran status information” means the data required by the Department of Veterans Affairs to verify the status of a decedent as either a veteran or the dependent of a veteran for purposes of eligibility for burial in a national or state cemetery, including the person’s name, service number, social security number, date of birth, date of death, place of birth, branch of the service, and military rank.

(b) “Veterans’ remains organization” means any entity recognized by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Personnel Records Center as an organization authorized to verify and inter unclaimed cremated remains of American veterans, including a member or employee of that entity.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 186, Sec. 3. (SB 815) Effective January 1, 2014.)

951.5.
  

The public administrator of the county shall make every reasonable effort to determine if the unclaimed remains of a decedent referred to the public administrator belong to a veteran or the dependent of a veteran. If there is reason to believe that the remains belong to a veteran or the dependent of a veteran, the public administrator shall work with the county veteran service officer, a national veterans cemetery, the United States Social Security Administration, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or other applicable entity to determine if the remains belong to a veteran or the dependent of a veteran.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 722, Sec. 2. (AB 1806) Effective January 1, 2013.)

952.
  

(a) A cemetery corporation or association, or other entity in possession of the cremated remains of a veteran or dependent of a veteran, shall, upon request of a veterans’ remains organization and after verifying the status of the veterans’ remains organization as an organization currently authorized by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Personnel Records Center or as an organization authorized by the local county board of supervisors to verify and inter unclaimed cremated remains of American veterans, release veteran status information to the veterans’ remains organization.

(b) The use or disclosure of veteran status information obtained by a veterans’ remains organization pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be permitted only for the purpose of verifying veteran interment benefits of the deceased veteran or a dependent of a veteran with the California Department of Veterans Affairs and shall not be used or disclosed for any other purpose.

(c) The cemetery authority, cemetery corporation or association, or other entity in possession of the cremated remains of a veteran or dependent of a veteran may, upon request of a veterans’ remains organization and after verifying the status of the veterans’ remains organization as an organization currently authorized by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Personnel Records Center or as an organization authorized by the local county board of supervisors to verify and inter unclaimed cremated remains of American veterans, release the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran to a veterans’ remains organization for the sole purpose of interment, subject to Section 943 of this code and Sections 7110 and 7208 of the Health and Safety Code, when all of the following conditions have been met:

(1) The veterans’ remains organization has verified the interment benefits of the deceased veteran or dependent of a veteran with the California Department of Veterans Affairs and provided documentation of the verification to the cemetery authority, cemetery corporation or association, or other entity that the decedent is a veteran or a dependent of a veteran eligible for burial in a national or state cemetery.

(2) The veterans’ remains organization has made a reasonable effort to locate the agent or family member who has the right to control the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran.

(3) The veterans’ remains organization has provided notice to all known agents or family members who have the right to control the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran of the veteran’s remains organization’s intent to claim the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran for the purpose of providing a proper burial of the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran in accordance with Section 943 of this code and Sections 7110 and 7208 of the Health and Safety Code.

(4) An agent or family member who has the right to control the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran has made no attempt to claim the cremated remains.

(5) The cremated remains have been in the possession of the cemetery authority, cemetery corporation or association, or other entity for a period of at least one year.

(d) The cemetery authority, cemetery corporation or association, or other entity that releases veteran status information or cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran pursuant to this section shall not be subject to civil liability, except for gross negligence, if all of the conditions of this section are met.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 71, Sec. 114. (SB 1304) Effective January 1, 2015.)

953.
  

(a) A veterans’ remains organization shall take all reasonable steps to inter the cremated remains of a veteran or dependent of a veteran received in accordance with this article.

(b) A veterans’ remains organization that receives and inters the cremated remains of a veteran or dependent of a veteran pursuant to this article shall not be liable for negligence if the veterans’ remains organization does not know or have reason to know that the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran were not released by the cemetery authority, cemetery corporation or association, or other entity in compliance with subdivisions (a) and (c) of Section 952.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 189, Sec. 5. (AB 1644) Effective January 1, 2011.)

954.
  

The board of supervisors of each county is encouraged to designate personnel from a veterans’ remains organization, as defined in Section 951, to fulfill the role created in Section 942.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 189, Sec. 6. (AB 1644) Effective January 1, 2011.)

955.
  

(a) (1) A county veteran service officer that determines, pursuant to Section 951.5, that unclaimed remains are those of a veteran or dependent of a veteran, and that the remains meet the criteria for interment by a veterans’ remains organization pursuant to Section 952, shall report the following information to the Department of Veterans Affairs:

(A) The name, rank, and branch of service of the deceased or, if the deceased is the dependent of a veteran, the name of the deceased and the name, rank, and branch of service of the eligible veteran.

(B) Dates of service.

(C) Location of the remains and a telephone number and name for the contact at that location.

(2) If, pursuant to Section 951.5, the public administrator of a county determines, without the involvement of the county veteran service officer, that the remains belong to a veteran or dependent of a veteran, the public administrator shall report this information to the county veteran service officer. Following this report, the county veteran service officer shall follow the reporting procedures described in paragraph (1).

(b) The Department of Veterans Affairs shall create and maintain a list of veterans and dependents of veterans whose remains are reported pursuant to subdivision (a). This list shall be available to the representatives of veterans’ remains organizations by telephone or in person.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 722, Sec. 3. (AB 1806) Effective January 1, 2013.)

MVCMilitary and Veterans Code - MVC2