Section 34-13-1

Definitions.

(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 including, 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.

g. Pathology.

h. Bacteriology.

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) ALKALINE HYDROLYSIS. The technical process that reduces human remains to bone fragments using heat, water, and chemical agents.

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

(5) 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 this chapter.

(6) 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.

(7) BOARD. The Alabama Board of Funeral Service.

(8) CASH ADVANCE ITEMS. Any item of service or merchandise described to a purchaser using the term cash advance, accommodation, cash disbursement, or similar term. A cash advance item is also any item obtained from a third party and paid for by a funeral provider on behalf of a purchaser. Cash advance items include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

a. Cemetery or crematory services.

b. Pallbearers.

c. Public, or other, transportation.

d. Clergy honoraria.

e. Flowers.

f. Musicians or singers.

g. Nurses.

h. Obituary notices.

i. Funeral programs.

j. Gratuities.

k. Death certificates.

l. Outer burial containers.

m. Cemetery plots.

n. Escorts.

(9) CASKET. A rigid container designed for the encasement of human remains.

(10) 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.

(11) 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.

(12) CONVICTION. The entry of a plea of guilty or a guilty verdict rendered by any court of competent jurisdiction, excluding traffic violations.

(13) CREMATED REMAINS. Human remains recovered after the completion of the cremation process, including pulverization, which leaves only bone fragments reduced to unidentifiable dimensions.

(14) CREMATION. The technical process, using heat, flames, or chemical agents, 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.

(15) CREMATIONIST. A person licensed by the board to perform the procedure of cremation.

(16) CREMATION CHAMBER. The retort or vessel used to reduce human remains to bone fragments.

(17) CREMATION CONTAINER. The container in which human remains are transported to a crematory, in which human remains are placed in upon arrival at a crematory, or for storage and placement in a cremation chamber for cremation.

(18) CREMATORY. A building or portion of a building that houses a cremation chamber and that may house a holding facility for purposes of cremation and as part of a funeral establishment.

(19) 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.

(20) 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.

(21) FUNERAL. A ceremony for celebrating, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. A funeral may be divided into the following two parts:

a. The funeral service, which may take place at a funeral home, church, or other place.

b. The committal service or disposition, which may take place by the grave, tomb, mausoleum, or crematory where the body of the decedent is to be buried or cremated.

(22) FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS. The completing of funeral service arrangements, cremation arrangements, and the financial details of a funeral at the time of death. The term includes the collection of vital statistic information, death certificate information, obituary and funeral notice completion, the completion of a statement of funeral goods and services selected, organizing of funeral and memorial services for families, and the ordering of cash advance items.

(23) 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 funeral arrangements or providing for funeral services or the making of financial arrangements for the rendering of these services; the provision or maintenance of a place for the preparation for disposition of dead human bodies; or the use of the terms funeral director, undertaker, mortician, funeral parlor, or any other 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.

(24) FUNERAL DIRECTOR. A person required to be licensed to practice the profession of funeral directing under the laws of this state, who consults with 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 funeral services, or who uses in connection with the profession of funeral directing the terms funeral director, undertaker, funeral counselor, mortician, or any other 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 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. For the purposes of this chapter, the term does not include any cemetery authority.

(25) FUNERAL ESTABLISHMENTS. The term includes any funeral home or mortuary service located at a specific street address where the profession of funeral directing, embalming, or cremation is practiced in the care, planning, and preparation for burial, cremation, or transportation of human dead. A funeral establishment shall consist of and maintain all of the following facilities:

a. A preparation room equipped with sanitary nonporous floor and walls, necessary drainage and ventilation, and containing operating embalming equipment, necessary approved tables, instruments, hot and cold running water, containers or receptacles for soiled linen or clothing, 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 displayed in full size, cuts, photographs, or electronic images. At no time shall less than eight different adult size caskets be on the premises.

c. At least one operating funeral coach or hearse properly licensed and equipped for transporting human remains in a casket or urn.

d. If engaged in the practice of cremation, the establishment shall satisfy all crematory requirements provided in this chapter and have on site an adequate supply of urns for display and sale.

e. A room suitable for public viewing or other funeral services that is able to accommodate a minimum of 100 people.

f. An office for holding arrangement conferences with relatives or authorizing agents.

(26) 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.

(27) GROSS IMMORALITY. Willful, flagrant, or shameful immorality or showing a moral indifference to the opinions of the good and respectable members of the community and to the just obligations of the position held by the offender.

(28) HOLDING ROOM. Either of the following:

a. A room within a funeral establishment that satisfies the requirements of a branch location as provided in this chapter or board rule, for the retention of human remains before disposition.

b. A room within a crematory facility, designated for the retention of human remains before and after cremation, that is not accessible to the public.

(29) MANAGING CREMATIONIST. A licensed funeral director and cremationist who has full charge, control, and supervision of all activities involving cremation at a funeral establishment or crematory.

(30) MANAGING EMBALMER. A licensed embalmer who has full charge, control, and supervision of all activities involving the preparation room and embalming.

(31) MANAGING FUNERAL DIRECTOR. A licensed funeral director who has full charge, control, and supervision of all activities involving funeral directing for a funeral establishment.

(32) MORAL TURPITUDE. Any unlawful sexual or violent act, or any act involving theft, theft of services, extortion, receiving stolen property, identity theft, forgery, fraud, tampering with records, bribery, perjury, or any similar act in any jurisdiction.

(33) 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.

(34) MORTUARY SERVICE. A location with a specific street address where embalming or cremation, or both, is practiced for a licensed funeral establishment and where no services or merchandise are sold directly or at retail to the public. A mortuary service shall consist of and maintain all of the following facilities:

a. A preparation room equipped with sanitary nonporous floor and walls, operating embalming equipment, and necessary drainage and ventilation and containing necessary approved tables, instruments, hot and cold running water, containers or receptacles for soiled linen or clothing, and supplies for the preparation and embalming of dead human bodies for burial, cremation, and transportation.

b. At least one operating motor vehicle properly licensed and equipped for transporting human remains in a casket or urn.

c. If engaged in the practice of cremation, the establishment shall satisfy all requirements for a crematory provided in this chapter.

(35) OPERATOR. A person, corporation, firm, legal representative, or other organization owning or operating a funeral establishment.

(36) PRACTICAL EMBALMER. 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.

(37) 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.

(38) 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.

(39) 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 the conduct of funeral services from a church or chapel.

(Acts 1975, No. 214, p. 705, §2; Acts 1983, No. 83-746, p. 1235, §1; Act 2002-239, p. 498, §1; Act 2011-623, p. 1439, §1; Act 2014-125, p. 206, §1; Act 2016-265, §1; Act 2017-433, §1.)