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Illinois Saving Graves by Foxie Hagerty


"Illinois Saving Graves is dedicated to providing leadership, education and advocacy in preserving and restoring endangered and forgotten cemeteries statewide"

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Human Skeletal Remains Protection Act.

as recited to me by the office of the

Illinois Historic Preservation Office

(20 ILCS 3440/0.01) (from Ch. 127, par. 2660)
Sec. 0.01. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Human Skeletal Remains Protection Act.
(Source: P.A. 86 1324.)

(20 ILCS 3440/1) (from Ch. 127, par. 2661)
Sec. 1. Definitions. For the purposes of this Act:
(a) "Human skeletal remains" include the bones and decomposed fleshy parts of a deceased human body.
(b) "Unregistered graves" are any graves or locations where a human body has been buried or deposited; is over 100 years old; and is not in a cemetery registered with the State Comptroller under the Cemetery Care Act.
(c) "Grave artifacts" are any item of human manufacture or use that is associated with the human skeletal remains in an unregistered grave.
(d) "Grave markers" are any tomb, monument, stone, ornament, mound, or other item of human manufacture that is associated with an unregistered grave.
(e) "Person" means any natural individual, firm, trust, estate, partnership, association, joint stock company, joint venture, corporation or a receiver, trustee, guardian or other representatives appointed by order of any court, the Federal and State governments, including State Universities created by statute or any city, town, county or other political subdivision of this State.
(f) "Disturb" includes excavating, removing, exposing, defacing, mutilating, destroying, molesting, or desecrating in any way human skeletal remains, unregistered graves, and grave markers.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/2) (from Ch. 127, par. 2662)
Sec. 2. Legislative finding and intentions. The General Assembly finds that existing laws do not provide equal or adequate protection for all human graves. There is a real and growing threat to the safety and sanctity of unregistered and unmarked graves. Numerous incidents in Illinois have resulted in the desecration of human remains and vandalism to grave markers. Similar incidents have occurred in neighboring states and as a result those states have increased their criminal penalties for such conduct. There is a strong likelihood that persons engaged for personal or financial gain in the mining of prehistoric and historic Indian, pioneer, and Civil War veteran's graves will move their operations to Illinois to avoid the increased penalties being imposed in neighboring states. There is an immediate need for legislation to protect the graves of these earlier Illinoians from such desecration. The General Assembly intends to assure with this Act that all human burials be accorded equal treatment and respect for human dignity without reference to ethnic origins, cultural backgrounds or religious affiliations.
 

The General Assembly also finds that those persons engaged in the scientific study or collecting of artifacts which have not been acquired in violation of law are engaged in legitimate and worthy scientific, educational and recreational activities. This Act is not intended to interfere with the continued legitimate collecting activities or studies of such persons; nor is it intended to interfere with the normal enjoyment of private property owners, farmers, or those engaged in the development, mining or improvement of real property.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/3) (from Ch. 127, par. 2663)
Sec. 3. Any person who discovers human skeletal remains subject to this Act shall promptly notify the coroner. Any person who knowingly fails to report such a discovery within 48 hours is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor, unless such person has reasonable cause to believe that the coroner had already been so notified. If the human skeletal remains appear to be from an unregistered grave, the coroner shall promptly notify the Historic Preservation Agency prior to their removal. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to apply to human skeletal remains subject to "An Act to revise the law in relation to coroners".
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/4) (from Ch. 127, par. 2664)
Sec. 4. It is unlawful for any person, either by himself or through an agent, to knowingly disturb human skeletal remains and grave artifacts in unregistered graves protected by this Act unless such person obtains a permit issued by the Historic Preservation Agency.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/4.5)
Sec. 4.5. O'Hare Modernization. Nothing in this Act limits the authority of the City of Chicago to exercise its powers under the O'Hare Modernization Act or requires that City, or any person acting on behalf of that City, to obtain a permit under this Act when acquiring property or otherwise exercising its powers under the O'Hare Modernization Act.
(Source: P.A. 93 450, eff. 8 6 03.)

(20 ILCS 3440/5) (from Ch. 127, par. 2665)
Sec. 5. It is unlawful for any person, either by himself or through an agent, to knowingly disturb a grave marker protected by this Act unless such person obtains a permit issued by the Historic Preservation Agency.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/6) (from Ch. 127, par. 2666)
Sec. 6. It is unlawful for any person, either by himself or through an agent, to offer any human skeletal remains, grave artifacts or grave markers for sale or exchange with the knowledge that they have been collected or excavated in violation of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/7) (from Ch. 127, par. 2667)
Sec. 7. It is unlawful for any person, either by himself or through an agent, to knowingly allow the disturbance of human skeletal remains, unregistered graves, or grave markers on property controlled by that person unless such disturbance is authorized by a permit issued by the Historic Preservation Agency.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/8) (from Ch. 127, par. 2668)
Sec. 8. The State's Attorney of the county in which a violation of Sections 4, 5, 6 or 7 of this Act is alleged to have occurred, or the Attorney General, may be requested by the Director of the Historic Preservation Agency to initiate criminal prosecutions or to seek civil damages, injunctive relief and any other appropriate relief. The Historic Preservation Agency shall co operate with the State's Attorney or the Attorney General. Persons aware of any violations of this Act shall contact the Historic Preservation Agency.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/9) (from Ch. 127, par. 2669)
Sec. 9. The Historic Preservation Agency is authorized to offer a reward of up to $2000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons who violate Sections 4, 5, 6 and 7 of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/10) (from Ch. 127, par. 2670)
Sec. 10. Any violation of Sections 4, 6 or 7 of this Act is a Class A misdemeanor and the violator shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than 1 year and a fine not in excess of $10,000; any subsequent violation is a Class 4 felony. Each disturbance of an unregistered grave constitutes a separate offense.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/11) (from Ch. 127, par. 2671)
Sec. 11. Any violation of Section 5 of this Act is a Class B misdemeanor and the violator shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than 6 months and a fine not in excess of $500; any subsequent violation is a Class A misdemeanor. Each disturbance of a grave marker constitutes a separate offense.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/12) (from Ch. 127, par. 2672)
Sec. 12. Persons convicted of a violation of Section 4 or 5 of this Act shall also be liable for civil damages to be assessed by the Historic Preservation Agency. Civil damages may include:
(a) forfeiture of any and all equipment used in disturbing the protected unregistered graves or grave markers;
(b) any and all costs incurred in cleaning, restoring, analyzing, accessioning and curating the recovered materials;
(c) any and all costs associated with restoring the land to its original contour or the grave marker to its original condition;
(d) any and all costs associated with recovery of data, and analyzing, publishing, accessioning and curating materials when the prohibited activity is so extensive as to preclude the restoration of the unregistered burials or grave markers;
(e) any and all costs associated with the reinterment of the human skeletal remains;
(f) any and all costs associated with the determination and collection of the civil damages.
When civil damages are recovered through the Attorney General, the proceeds shall be deposited into the Historic Sites Fund; when civil damages are recovered through the State's Attorney, the proceeds shall be deposited into the county funds designated by the county board.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/13) (from Ch. 127, par. 2673)
Sec. 13. (a) The Historic Preservation Agency shall develop regulations, in consultation with the Illinois State Museum, whereby permits may be issued for the removal of human skeletal remains and grave artifacts from unregistered graves or the removal of grave markers.
(b) Each permit shall specify all terms and conditions under which the removal of human skeletal remains, grave artifacts, or grave markers shall be carried out. All costs accrued in the removal of the aforementioned materials shall be borne by the permit applicant. Upon completion of the project, the permit holder shall submit a report of the results to the Historic Preservation Agency.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/14) (from Ch. 127, par. 2674)
Sec. 14. All human skeletal remains and grave artifacts in unregistered graves are held in trust for the people of Illinois by the State and are under the jurisdiction of the Historic Preservation Agency. All materials collected under this Act shall be maintained, with dignity and respect, for the people of the State under the care of the Illinois State Museum.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/15) (from Ch. 127, par. 2675)
Sec. 15. The Historic Preservation Agency shall promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

(20 ILCS 3440/16) (from Ch. 127, par. 2676)
Sec. 16. Activities reviewed by the Historic Preservation Agency pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f) and activities permitted pursuant to the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (P.L. 95 87), or the rules and regulations promulgated there under or any law, rule or regulation adopted by the State of Illinois thereunder shall be exempt from these permitting requirements.
(Source: P.A. 86 151.)

Go to www.ilga.gov/legislation.  Then click on Illinois Compiled Statutes, then choose Chapter 20, then scroll down until you find 20 ILCS 3440 Human Skeletal Remains Protection Act.

Occasionally an unmarked grave or cemetery is disturbed, either by an accidental discovery or by a planned undertaking:  (1) If human remains or graves are accidently uncovered, then the discovery must be reported to the county coroner within 48 hours.  If the coronerís office determines that the case does not warrant any further investigation and the remains appear to be over 100 years old, then jurisdiction is transferred to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.  (2) If a planned undertaking will adversely impact an unregistered grave or cemetery, then a permit must be obtained from our Agency prior to any development. Professional archaeologists and skeletal analysts are required to lead the archaeological investigation.  

It is unlawful for any person or agent representing a person to knowingly disturb or to allow the disturbance of human skeletal remains, grave artifacts, or grave markers without obtaining a permit from the IHPA.  Any violation of this Act is a Class A misdemeanor and the violator can face imprisonment of up to 6 months and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  Any subsequent violation is a Class 4 felony. 

Under this law, all human skeletal remains and grave artifacts in unregistered graves are under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and are held in trust for the people of the State.  All material collected under this Act will be maintained, with dignity and respect, at the Illinois State Museum , Springfield .  

In some instances, unregistered graves are identified with a grave marker.  The administrative codes of the Human Skeletal Remains Protection Act (17 IAC 4170) state that if direct lineal descendents can be identified, then they may submit a written request to the IHPA for the return of the remains, grave artifacts, and grave marker.  Descendents must demonstrate their direct lineal descent from the deceased through family genealogical records.  The family must agree to the reburial of the remains and artifacts within a set period of time and must provide notarized proof that the reburial has occurred. 

HISTORIC PRESERVATION AGENCY

20 ILCS 3405/      Historic Preservation Agency Act.

20 ILCS 3410/      Illinois Historic Preservation Act.

20 ILCS 3415/      Historical Sites Listing Act.

20 ILCS 3420/      Illinois State Agency Historic Resources Preservation Act.

20 ILCS 3425/      State Historical Library Act.

20 ILCS 3430/      Old State Capitol Act.

20 ILCS 3435/      Archaeological and Paleontological Resources Protection Act.

20 ILCS 3440/      Human Skeletal Remains Protection Act.

Dawn E. Cobb
Human Skeletal Remains Protection Act Coordinator
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
1 Old State Capitol Plaza
Springfield, Illinois 62701-1512
E-mail: dawn.cobb@illinois.gov
Phone: 217.558.8973     Fax: 217.782.8161

 

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