Citation: Disturbance of Human Remains (Indiana Code Ann. Â§14-21-1-27, et seq.).
Date Enacted: 1989, amended 1995
Summary: The law applies to artifacts and human remains found on public and private lands. The statute specifically exempts coal mining, agriculture and surface collection. People disturbing the ground for the purpose of discovering artifacts or burial objects may only do so in accordance with an approved Department of Natural Resources (DNR) plan. Anyone disturbing a burial must notify the DNR and within two days treat or rebury the remains according to rules adopted by the Commission. Failure to do so is a Class A misdemeanor. If human remains are disturbed while trying to recover artifacts without an approved plan, it is a Class D felony. If human remains are encountered during ground disturbing activities other than those exempted, the activities must stop and the DNR must be notified within two days. After notification, the DNR may either authorize the project to continue or require that the activity be conducted with an approved plan. There are no provisions for scientific study of the human remains prior to reinterment. There are also no provisions that associated artifacts must be reburied or any provision for consultation with Native American groups.
Jurisdiction: Public and private lands in Indiana.
Statute of Limitations: Not specified.
Areas Covered Under Act: Burial grounds, human skeletal remains and artifacts are protected.
Ownership: The Department of Natural Resources.
Review/Consultation Committee: No review committee is established.
Liable: Anyone who knowingly disturbs a burial without a permit or fails to report such an action is liable.
Penalties: Misdemeanor for failure to notify; Class D felony for disturbing without a permit.
Exemptions: Agriculture, coal mining and surface collecting are exempted from the law.
Permitting: The Division of Historic Preservation will issue permits under an approved plan.