OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS
EMBALMERS AND FUNERAL DIRECTORS
In this chapter:
I. "Apprentice" means any person engaged in embalming under the instruction and supervision of an embalmer duly licensed under the provisions of this chapter and actively engaged in embalming in this state.
II. "Associate funeral director" means an individual who is duly licensed, by passage of a written examination, in another state and who has either secured potential employment as a funeral director or has committed to the purchase of an existing funeral home in this state upon licensure.
III. "Board" means the state board of registration of funeral directors and embalmers established under RSA 325:2.
IV. "Continuing education" means planned, organized learning experiences designed to augment the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of embalmers and funeral directors for the enhancement of the funeral profession.
V. "Embalmer" means any person engaged, or holding oneself out as engaged, in embalming, whether on the person's own behalf or in the employ of another, and shall include any person who uses, in connection with the name, the word "embalmer," or any other word or title intending to imply or designate the person as an embalmer, or as one engaged in embalming.
VI. "Embalming" means the business, practice, science, or profession of preserving, disinfecting, and preparing in any manner dead human bodies for burial, cremation, or transportation.
VII. "Funeral directing" means the business, practice, or profession of:
(a) Directing or supervising funerals;
(b) The preparation or disposal of dead human bodies;
(c) Conducting or maintaining a preparation room or establishment equipped with necessary drainage and ventilation, which contains the necessary instruments and supplies for the preparation and embalming of dead human bodies for burial, cremation, or transportation; or
(d) Conducting or maintaining a funeral home or parlor, mortuary or funeral chapel from which funerals may be held and in which services may be conducted.
VIII. "Funeral director" means any person engaged, or holding oneself out as engaged, in funeral directing or who uses in connection with the name or business the words "funeral director," "mortician," or any other word or title intending to imply or designate the person as a funeral director, undertaker, or mortician.
IX. "Funeral home" means every place or premise devoted to or used in the care and preparation for the funeral and burial of dead human bodies or maintained for the convenience of the bereaved for viewing or other services in connection with dead human bodies or as an office or place for carrying on the profession of funeral directing.
X. "Person" includes corporations, partnerships, associations, or other organizations.
XI. "Student apprentice" means an apprentice registered with a postsecondary institution of mortuary science accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:1. RSA 325:1. 1989, 264:1. 1996, 283:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
I. There shall be a board of registration of funeral directors and embalmers consisting of 5 members, including 4 funeral directors or embalmers and one public member, appointed by the governor, with the approval of the council, to serve terms of 5 years. No member of the board shall be appointed to more than 2 consecutive terms.
II. Professional members of the board shall:
(a) Be residents of this state;
(b) Have at least 5 years' practical experience in funeral directing or embalming; and
(c) Have been engaged in funeral directing or embalming within the state for at least 5 years.
III. The public members of the board shall be persons who are not, and never were, members of the regulated profession or the spouse of any such person, and who do not have, and never have had, a material financial interest in either the provision of mortuary services or an activity directly related to funeral directing or embalming, including the representation of the board or profession for a fee at any time during the 5 years preceding appointment.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:2. RSA 325:2. 1973, 366:1. 1981, 487:3. 1983, 291:1. 1985, 416:6. 1987, 134:3. 1995, 310:182. 2010, 118:7. 2015, 276:108, XIX, eff. July 1, 2015. 2021, 197:50, eff. July 1, 2021.
325:3 Repealed by 1981, 487:26, I, eff. July 1, 1981.
325:4 Repealed by 1981, 487:26, II, eff. July 1, 1981.
325:5 Removal From Office.
Any member of said board may be removed by the governor and council for cause.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:5.
325:6 Repealed by 2021, 197:56, I, eff. July 1, 2021.
Vacancies in the board shall be filled by the governor with the advice and consent of the council for the unexpired term, and said appointment shall be made within 60 days from the date of such vacancy.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:7.
325:8 Organization; Quorum.
Within 30 days after appointment and qualification of a member, the board shall meet and elect from among its members a chairperson and such other officers as the board may provide for by rule. This organization shall continue until the appointment of a new member or upon the resignation of an existing board officer. The office of secretary and treasurer may be held by one member. A majority of the members of the board who have been approved by the governor and council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:8. RSA 325:8. 1996, 283:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1997. 2021, 197:51, eff. July 1, 2021.
325:8-a Board Duty; Crematory Licensing.
The board shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of RSA 325-A relative to the cremation of human remains.
Source. 2006, 288:1, eff. July 1, 2006.
325:9 Rulemaking Authority.
The board shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to:
II. The qualifications of applicants in addition to those requirements set by RSA 325:13 and 14, and including the qualifications for satisfactory evidence of:
(a) Completion of one year (30 credit hours) at an accredited postsecondary educational institution, and
(b) Good professional character;
III. How an applicant shall be examined, including the time and place of the examination;
IV. Eligibility requirements for renewal of license, including the requirements for continuing education;
VI. Ethical and professional standards required to be met by each holder of the license to practice under this chapter and how disciplinary actions by the board shall be implemented for violation of these standards;
VII. Matters related to the proper administration of this chapter;
VIII. Procedures for hearing consistent with the requirements of due process;
IX. The supervision of persons holding apprentice licenses under RSA 325:30;
IX-a. The activities and duties of all unlicensed personnel employed in the removal and transportation of human remains;
X. Conditions for reinstatement of a suspended or revoked license; and
XI. Conditions for continuance of the business of a deceased funeral director under RSA 325:37.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:9. RSA 325:9. 1981, 487:4. 1983, 325:5. 1987, 185:1. 2014, 167:13, eff. July 1, 2014. 2021, 197:52, 56, II, eff. July 1, 2021.
325:10 Repealed by 2015, 276:108, XX, eff. July 1, 2015.
325:11 Repealed by 2021, 197:56, III, eff. July 1, 2021.
325:12 Repealed by 2021, 197:56, IV, eff. July 1 2021.
The board shall establish fees for initial and renewal licenses, examination of applicants, for apprentices, for funeral home inspections, and for transcribing and transferring records and other services.
Source. 1981, 487:6. 1987, 185:2. 2014, 167:14. 2015, 229:7, eff. July 1, 2015. 2022, 314:7, eff. July 1, 2022.
325:13 Embalmers; Qualifications.
No person shall embalm dead human bodies or engage or hold himself out as engaged in embalming, whether on his own behalf or in the employ of another, unless he shall:
I. Be at least 18 years of age;
II. Be of good professional character;
III. (a) Have completed at least one year (30 credit hours) at an accredited postsecondary educational institution; or
(b) Have completed successfully a course of instruction in an embalming school prior to 1975, have been actively licensed since graduation, and present to the board a letter of good standing from the licensing state;
IV. Have completed a one year course in apprenticeship under the supervision of a duly licensed or registered embalmer actively engaged in embalming within the state;
V. Have completed a full course of instruction in an embalming school maintaining at that time a standard satisfactory to the board;
VI. Pass such examinations as the board may deem proper to ascertain his efficiency and qualifications to engage in embalming; and
VII. Obtain the appropriate license from the board.
Source. 1935, 95:1. 1939, 76:2. RL 168:13. 1949, 154:1. RSA 325:13. 1973, 72:69; 354:1. 1981, 487:7. 1983, 325:1, 2. 1989, 264:2, eff. July 25, 1989.
325:14 Funeral Directors; Qualifications.
No person shall engage or hold himself out as engaged in funeral directing, unless he:
I. Is the holder of an embalmer's license;
II. Has passed such examinations as the board may deem proper to ascertain his efficiency and qualifications to engage in funeral directing; and
III. Obtains the appropriate license from the board.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:14. RSA 325:14. 1981, 487:8, eff. July 1, 1981.
325:15 Corporations, Etc.
No corporation or partnership shall be issued a license as a funeral director nor shall any corporation or partnership or any individual connected therewith publicly advertise such corporation or partnership as being licensed funeral directors. This section shall not apply to any corporation licensed prior to January 1, 1953, nor to any corporation whose application for a license or certificate was pending before the board on that date.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:15. 1949, 154:2. 1953, 150:1. RSA 325:15. 1981, 487:9, eff. July 1, 1981.
325:16 Licensed Place of Business Required.
Funeral directing shall be conducted in a fixed place of business by and through a licensed funeral home.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:16. RSA 325:16. 1996, 283:3, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
The board may inspect all places where funeral directing is conducted or where embalming is practiced. No such place shall be inspected more frequently than twice yearly, unless the board shall find that just cause or evidence of repeated complaints exists.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:17. RSA 325:17. 1981, 487:10. 1987, 185:3, eff. July 11, 1987.
Examinations of applicants for licensure shall be held at least annually. Any person who desires to engage in funeral directing or embalming shall submit in writing to the board on forms provided by it an application for licensure accompanied by a fee established by the board. The board shall require the applicant to submit to such examinations as it may deem proper.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:18. RSA 325:18. 1957, 77:2. 1981, 487:11, eff. July 1, 1981.
325:19 Alternatives to the Board's Examination.
The board shall have the power, in its discretion, to accept in lieu of an examination documentation that an applicant has been practicing for 10 or more consecutive years in another state prior to filing an application to practice in New Hampshire and:
I. A duly authenticated statement of a national board of examiners, or of a board duly approved by the Conference of Embalmers' Examining Boards of the United States, Inc., certifying the successful passage of an examination conducted by said board or boards; or
II. Completion of a course of instruction at an embalming school taken prior to 1975, including passage of a written examination administered by another state, and licensure as evidence of practice in such other state from the time of original licensure to the date of application to practice in New Hampshire.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:19. RSA 325:19. 1989, 264:3, eff. July 25, 1989.
The board shall issue to each applicant successfully passing the examination, where an examination is required, and who otherwise satisfies the board of her or his qualifications, a license, entitling her or him to practice or engage in the business in this state as a funeral director, embalmer, or both, as the case may be.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:20. RSA 325:20. 1981, 487:12, eff. July 1, 1981. 2021, 197:53, eff. July 1, 2021.
325:21 Contents and Display of.
Every license shall specify the name of the person to whom it was issued, the address of his place of business or employment, and shall be conspicuously displayed, at all times, in his place of business or employment. Licenses shall not be assignable.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:21. RSA 325:21. 1981, 487:13, eff. July 1, 1981.
The board may license any applicant who is licensed in any other state, provided:
I. The applicant holds a current funeral director's or embalmer's license in his state of residence and is in good standing with the regulating state board.
II. The applicant shall be subject to a 6-month apprenticeship during which time 25 solo case reports of funeral directing and embalming solely conducted by the applicant shall be submitted to the board.
III. The applicant shall not possess more than a 25 percent ownership interest in a sponsoring funeral home during the first 3 years of his practice in New Hampshire.
IV. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, the applicant shall pass the written examination required by the board pursuant to this chapter.
V. The applicant shall be subject to review by the board on a yearly basis for the first 3 years of associate licensure. Upon approval he shall be eligible for permanent licensure upon application and payment of fees.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:22. RSA 325:22. 1957, 77:3. 1973, 354:2. 1981, 487:14. 1989, 264:4, eff. July 25, 1989.
325:22-a Interstate Agreements.
The board may enter into an agreement with the corresponding licensing authority of any other state competent to enter into such agreement which shall permit a nonresident person duly registered and licensed as a funeral director or embalmer in any state signing the agreement with the board to go into the other state for the purpose of handling, embalming, transporting, and burying dead human bodies and directing funerals as though he or she were licensed under the laws of New Hampshire, except that he or she shall not maintain an establishment, advertise, have any agent or agency, or otherwise hold himself or herself out as a funeral director or embalmer other than in his or her native state; provided that the agreement will set forth that the licensing authority of the state in which the funeral director or embalmer is licensed will assume the responsibility for instituting disciplinary action against any licensed funeral directors or embalmers who may be guilty of unprofessional conduct in the practice of their business in New Hampshire when such is reported by this board and the same to apply to New Hampshire individuals licensed under this chapter.
Source. 1959, 128:2. 1981, 487:15, eff. July 1, 1981. 2021, 197:54, eff. July 1, 2021.
All licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter shall expire on June 30 of each odd-numbered year unless previously suspended or revoked.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:23. RSA 325:23. 1981, 487:16. 2016, 52:1, eff. July 2, 2016.
325:24 Notices of Expiration.
On or before May 15 of each odd-numbered year, the board shall notify each holder of a license of the expiration of her or his license and an application for the renewal thereof.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:24. RSA 325:24. 1981, 487:17. 2016, 52:1, eff. July 2, 2016. 2021, 197:55, eff. July 1, 2021.
325:25 Renewal of Licenses.
I. Every person licensed to practice under this chapter, except as provided in RSA 325:29, shall apply to the board every 2 years for license renewal. The board shall require each licensee to show proof of meeting the continuing education requirement of RSA 325:28-a. Payment shall be made to the board secretary of the renewal fee established in RSA 325:12-a.
II. All licenses shall automatically lapse unless a timely and complete renewal application has been filed.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:25. RSA 325:25. 1957, 77:4. 1973, 354:3. 1977, 563:1. 1981, 487:18. 1996, 283:4. 2014, 167:15. 2015, 229:8. 2016, 52:1, eff. July 2, 2016.
325:26 Repealed by 1981, 487:26, III, eff. July 1, 1981.
325:27 Repealed by 1981, 487:26, IV, eff. July 1, 1981.
325:28 Repealed by 2011, 48:2, eff. July 8, 2011.
325:28-a Continuing Education Requirement.
As a condition of license renewal, the board shall require each licensee to attain a minimum number of continuing education credits every 2 years as specified in the rules adopted by the board.
Source. 1996, 283:6. 2016, 52:2, eff. July 2, 2016.
325:29 Apprentice Licenses.
No person shall assist in the embalming of dead human bodies for burial or cremation in any manner unless he holds a license as an apprentice.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:29.
325:30 Issuance; Term; Renewal.
Apprentice licenses shall be issued for a period of one year and shall terminate one year from the date of issuance unless sooner ended by death, resignation, revocation or by ruling or decision of the board. Such licenses may be renewed in the discretion of the board. The fees for an original apprentice license shall be established by the board.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:30. 1953, 150:2. RSA 325:30. 1957, 77:6. 1973, 354:5. 1977, 563:3. 1981, 487:20. 1983, 325:4, eff. Aug. 17, 1983.
325:31 Rules Governing.
The board may make such rules and regulations as it deems advisable for the qualifying or supervising of apprentices. No apprentice shall be permitted to advertise or hold himself out to the public as a holder of a license in funeral directing or embalming.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:31.
325:31-a Eye Procurement Technician Qualification.
No person shall perform eye tissue removal or processing pursuant to RSA 291-A:11 unless such person has successfully completed a course of training acceptable to a procurement organization as defined in RSA 291-A:2, XX. The procurement organization shall have the power to establish qualifications and terms for the successful completion of the course of training.
Source. 1979, 73:2. 1997, 336:2. 2010, 111:2, eff. July 31, 2010.
325:32 Disciplinary Action.
I. The board may undertake disciplinary proceedings:
(a) Upon its own initiative; or
(b) Upon written complaint of any person which charges that a person licensed by the board has committed misconduct under paragraph II and which specifies the grounds therefor.
II. Misconduct sufficient to support disciplinary proceedings under this section shall include:
(a) The practice of fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice under this chapter;
(b) Conviction of a felony or any offense involving moral turpitude;
(c) Dishonest or unprofessional conduct related to the practice of the profession or any particular aspect or specialty of the profession including, but not limited to, violation of state or federal laws pertaining to the practice of the profession, violation of a nationally recognized ethical code or set of ethical principles pertaining to the profession, or violation of any ethical code or principles identified in rules adopted by the board.
(d) Unfitness or incompetency to practice the profession or any particular aspect or specialty of the profession as evidenced, in a context related to the practice of the profession, by:
(1) The intentional disrespect of a dead human body;
(2) Gross or repeated negligence; or
(3) A pattern of conduct inconsistent with the basic skills, knowledge or professional character expected of all licensees, or all licensees engaged in a particular specialty practice.
(e) Addiction to the use of alcohol or other habit-forming drugs to a degree which renders him unfit to practice under this chapter;
(f) Mental or physical incompetency to practice under this chapter;
(g) Willful or repeated violation of the provisions of this chapter or any law or ordinance related to embalming or funeral directing, or any substantive rule of the board; or
(h) Suspension or revocation of a license, similar to one issued under this chapter, in another jurisdiction and not reinstated.
III. The board may take disciplinary action in any one or more of the following ways:
(a) By reprimand;
(b) By fining;
(c) By suspension of license for a period of up to 5 years or by limiting or restricting a license.
(d) By revocation of certification;
(e) By requiring the person to participate in a program of continuing education in the area or areas in which the person has been found deficient;
(f) By imposing civil penalties not to exceed $2,000 per offense or, in the case of continuing offenses, $200 per day, whichever is greater.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:32. RSA 325:32. 1981, 487:21. 1983, 325:7. 1987, 134:4. 1996, 283:7-10, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
325:32-a Reciprocal Discipline.
I. Upon receipt of a final order from the licensing authority of another jurisdiction which imposes disciplinary sanctions against a licensee or a person applying for a license, the board may issue an order directing the licensee or applicant to appear and show cause why similar disciplinary sanctions or, in the case of an applicant, license denial or restriction, should not be imposed in this state. In any such proceeding, the decision of the foreign licensing authority may not be collaterally attacked, but the licensee or applicant shall be given the opportunity to demonstrate why a lesser sanction should be imposed.
II. The board may commence a formal or informal investigation, or an adjudicative hearing, concerning allegations of misconduct and other matters within the scope of this chapter on its own motion whenever it has a reasonable basis for doing so, and the type of procedure chosen shall be a matter reserved to the discretion of the board. Formal or informal investigations may be conducted on an ex parte basis.
III. The board may administer oaths or affirmations, preserve testimony, and issue subpoenas for witnesses and for documents during any formal investigation or adjudicatory hearing, and as provided by paragraph IV of this section. Subpoenas not addressed in paragraph IV shall be served in accordance with the procedures and fee schedules established by the superior court, except that:
(a) Board licensees shall not be entitled to a witness fee or mileage expenses for travel within the state.
(b) Witness fees and mileage expenses need not be tendered in advance if the subpoena is annotated "Fees Guaranteed by the New Hampshire Board of Registration of Funeral Directors and Embalmers."
(c) The respondent shall be allowed at least 48 hours to comply.
IV. The board may at any time subpoena the professional records of its licensees and relevant health care records from physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers or facilities licensed or certified by this state. Such subpoenas shall be served by certified mail or by personal delivery to the address provided to the board pursuant to paragraph VI, and no witness or other fee shall be necessary for valid service. A minimum of 15 days' advance notice shall be allowed for complying with a subpoena duces tecum issued under this chapter.
V. A person holding or applying for licenses or other privileges granted by the board shall keep the board informed of such person's current business and residence addresses, and shall furnish written notice to the board of any change in such address within 30 days from the date the change occurs. A licensee or applicant shall have received adequate notice of any hearing or other action taken under this chapter if notice is mailed in a timely fashion to the most recent home or business address furnished under this paragraph.
VI. (a) Complaints of licensee misconduct shall be in writing, and shall be treated as requests for the commencement of a disciplinary hearing to which the time limitations of RSA 541-A:29 shall not apply.
(b) A complaint which fails to state a cause of action may be dismissed or summarily denied in whole or in part.
(c) The board shall fairly investigate all complaints to the extent warranted by the allegations and the resources available to the board. Following an investigation, the board shall have discretion to decline to prosecute or to defer prosecution on allegations made in any complaint based upon the board's assessment of the seriousness of the alleged misconduct and the resources and priorities of the board. Board decisions deferring misconduct prosecutions shall be final and shall not be subject to judicial review.
(d) Some or all of the allegations in a complaint may be consolidated with another complaint or with issues which the board wishes to investigate or hear on its own motion.
(e) The board may at any time settle misconduct allegations made in a complaint without the consent of the complainant, provided that material facts are not in dispute and the complainant is given an opportunity to comment in writing upon the terms of the proposed settlement.
VII. The board may issue any disciplinary sanction or take any action with regard to any pending application pursuant to this section otherwise permitted by this chapter, including sanctions or actions which are more stringent than those imposed by the foreign jurisdiction.
VIII. The board may adopt summary procedures for handling proceedings brought under this chapter, but shall furnish the respondent at least 10 days' written notice and a reasonable opportunity to be heard. The board may require a licensee to suspend practice in this state as a condition of postponing a hearing date established for allegations brought under this section.
Source. 1996, 283:11, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
325:32-b Temporary Suspension.
In cases involving imminent danger of life or health, the board may order suspension of a license or privilege granted under this chapter pending hearing for a period of no more than 60 days. In such cases, the basis for the board's finding of imminent danger of life or health shall be in writing and combined with a hearing notice which complies with RSA 325:34, III and RSA 541-A:31, III. Notwithstanding the requirements of RSA 541-A:30, III, the board's hearing may commence no more than 30 days after the date of the order suspending the license. If the board does not commence the hearing within 30 days, the suspension order shall be automatically vacated, but a licensee shall be allowed additional time to prepare for or to complete a hearing under this section only by agreeing to a further suspension commensurate with the additional time extension.
Source. 1996, 283:11, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
325:33 Investigatory Powers of the Board; Complaints.
I. The board may investigate possible misconduct by licensees, and applicants, and any other matters within the scope of this chapter. Investigations may be conducted with or without the issuance of a board order setting forth the general scope of the investigation. Board investigations and information obtained by the board pursuant to such investigations, including complaints received under RSA 325:32, I(b), shall be privileged, confidential, and exempt from the public disclosure provisions of RSA 91-A, unless such information is subsequently included in the record in a public disciplinary hearing. The board may disclose information obtained in its investigations to law enforcement or health licensing agencies in this state or any other jurisdiction or in accordance with specific statutory requirements or court orders.
III. At the commencement of an adjudicatory proceeding, or at any time during a formal or informal investigation, and without issuing a subpoena, the board, or a person to whom the board has delegated appropriate authority, may mail a statement of the allegations being investigated to a licensee and order that person to provide a detailed and good faith written response to the allegations. In such circumstances, the board may also require a licensee to furnish complete copies of appropriate professional records concerning matters relevant to allegations at issue. In both instances, the licensee shall respond within a reasonable time period of not less than 15 days, as the board may specify in its written order.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:33. RSA 325:33. 1981, 487:22. 1996, 283:12. 2012, 33:1. 2015, 276:91, eff. July 1, 2015. 2021, 197:56, V, eff. July 1, 2021.
325:33-a Summons; Oath; Witnesses.
I. The board shall have the power to subpoena witnesses and administer oaths in any disciplinary proceedings, and to compel, by subpoena duces tecum, the production of papers and records.
II. Witnesses summoned before the board shall be paid the same fees as witnesses summoned to appear before the superior court, and such summons issued by the board shall have the same effect as though issued for appearance before such court.
Source. 1987, 134:5, eff. May 7, 1987.
325:34 Hearings, Decisions and Appeals.
I. Adjudicatory proceedings shall be open to the public. The board's public docket file for each such proceeding shall include a taped or written record of all oral hearings and shall be retained by the board for 6 years from the issuance of the final decision.
II. (a) Any member of the board, or any other qualified person appointed by the board, may act as the presiding officer in adjudicatory proceedings and may issue oaths or affirmations to witnesses, rule on evidentiary and other procedural matters, and prepare a recommended decision.
(b) If the person acting as a presiding officer prepares a recommended decision, that person shall not participate in the board's deliberations.
(c) If a nonboard member acts as a presiding officer, and no recommended decision is prepared, that person may participate in board deliberations only to the extent of providing technical assistance to the board in preparing its final decision.
III. (a) Except as otherwise provided by this chapter or RSA 541-A:30, respondents in an adjudicatory proceeding shall receive at least 15 days' written notice of the date, time, and place of a hearing. Hearing notices shall include an itemization of the issues to be heard and shall be public documents.
(b) When a board issues a hearing notice after investigation of allegations contained in a written complaint, the hearing notice shall constitute a final determination of the complainant's request for the commencement of a disciplinary proceeding on each of the allegations raised in the complaint. The hearing notice shall be served upon the complainant as well as the licensee, and shall provide the complainant with an opportunity to intervene subject to restrictions which reasonably advance the public interest objectives of this chapter.
(c) Any person appearing as a party or witness in an adjudicatory proceeding, or any person who is the subject of an investigation, or who is questioned in an investigation, is entitled to be represented by legal counsel, but the board shall have no obligation or authority to appoint or provide an attorney to any such person.
IV. In adjudicatory proceedings, the board may hold prehearing conferences which are closed to the public and, except as provided in paragraph VI of this section, exempt from the provisions of RSA 91-A until such time as a public evidentiary hearing is convened. In all instances, settlement discussions engaged in by the parties at prehearing conferences may be conducted off the record.
V. The board may dispose of issues or allegations at any time during an investigation or adjudicatory proceeding by issuing a settlement agreement or consent order, an order of dismissal for default or failure to state a proper basis for disciplinary action, or a summary judgment order based upon undisputed material facts. Disciplinary action taken by the board at any stage of a proceeding, and any dispositive action taken after the issuance of a public hearing notice, shall be reduced to writing and made available to the public.
VI. Decisions in adjudicatory proceedings shall be made by a majority of the board members eligible to participate in the decision, and the board's deliberative processes in adjudicatory proceedings shall be privileged and exempt from the public disclosure provisions of RSA 91-A. Decisions and orders in adjudicatory proceedings, including prehearing orders required by RSA 541-A:31, V(d), shall be publicly available, but only after they have been reduced to writing, signed by a representative of the board, and served upon the parties.
VII. Final disciplinary actions taken by the board may be appealed to the supreme court pursuant to RSA 541 and shall not be subject to stay pending appeal.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:34. RSA 325:34. 1996, 283:13, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
325:34-a License Suspension; Hearing Required.
If the board suspends a license under this section, the licensee shall be provided with a hearing within 10 days from the effective date of the suspension. The suspension shall remain in effect during the pendency of the hearing, which shall not be unreasonably delayed by the board.
Source. 1996, 283:14, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
325:35 Immunity From Civil Action.
No civil action shall be maintained against the board or any of its members, or any agent or employee of the board, with regard to any action or activity in the performance of any duty or authority established by this chapter. No civil action shall be maintained against any other organization or individual for or by reason of any good faith statement, report, communication, or testimony to the board or determination by the board in relation to proceedings under this chapter.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:35. RSA 325:35. 1996, 283:15, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
325:36 Reinstatement Applications.
Any person whose license has been revoked may be summarily denied relicensure, except as the board may have otherwise provided in its revocation order. Persons whose licenses have lapsed for nonrenewal shall not again be licensed without filing an application for reinstatement which contains such information as the board may by rule require for the purpose of determining whether the applicant retains the level of professional qualifications expected of existing practitioners. However, persons who have not practiced funeral directing and embalming on a full-time basis in a jurisdiction with license requirements comparable to those of this state for more than 5 years since they were last licensed in New Hampshire shall retake the license examination and meet all other requirements for initial licensure.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:36. RSA 325:36. 1996, 283:15, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
325:37 Deceased Director.
The widow or widower of a licensed funeral director or the wife or husband of one who is incapacitated may continue to administer his or her business providing she or he employs a person who holds the required license.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:37. RSA 325:37. 1977, 480:1. 1981, 487:23, eff. July 1, 1981.
325:38 Securing of Business.
It shall be unlawful for any funeral director or embalmer, or the agents or representatives thereof, directly or indirectly, to pay or cause to be paid any sum of money or other valuable consideration for the securing of business.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:39.
325:39 Repealed by 2021, 197:56, VI, eff. July 1, 2021.
325:40 Sudden, Accidental or Suspicious Deaths.
No person shall inject into any cavity or artery of the body of any person who has died from an accidental or sudden death, or under suspicious circumstances, any fluid or substance until a legal certificate of the cause of death has been obtained from the attending physician or medical referee, nor until a legal investigation has determined the cause of death. If a criminal cause of death is alleged or suspected, no fluid or other substance shall be injected into a body until the cause of death is legally established.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:41. RSA 325:40.
325:40-a Repealed by 2022, 192:2, eff. Aug. 16, 2022.
325:40-b Care of Deceased Human Bodies.
If final disposition has not occurred within 48 hours after the funeral home obtains actual physical custody of the body, the body shall be embalmed or maintained at a temperature of under 40 degrees Fahrenheit or encased in a closed container with methods employed to prevent leakage.
Source. 2022, 192:1, eff. Aug. 16, 2022.
325:41 Embalming Fluids.
The sale or use for embalming purposes of any fluid containing arsenic, zinc, mercury, copper, lead, silver, antimony, chloral, or cyanogen, or any compound containing any of these, or any poisonous alkaloid, is prohibited, and all brands of embalming compounds used within the state shall be subject to test and approval by the department of health and human services.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:42. RSA 325:41. 1983, 293:1. 1995, 310:181, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.
325:42 Repealed by 2021, 197:56, VII, eff. July 1, 2021.
I. A person shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor if a natural person, or a felony if any other person, who:
(a) Performs embalming without being licensed under this chapter.
(b) Makes funeral arrangements, unless such person is a funeral director, next-of-kin as defined in RSA 290:16, IV, or designated agent under RSA 290:17.
II. A person shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor if a natural person, or a felony if any other person, who:
(a) Being in the funeral business, employs an unlicensed person, other than an apprentice, to make funeral arrangements or perform embalming, unless the person is exempted under this chapter.
(b) Fraudulently procures a license under this chapter.
(c) Violates any provision of this chapter or rule adopted by the board.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:58. RSA 325:43. 1973, 528:213. 1983, 325:8. 1987, 134:6. 1996, 283:16, 17. 1999, 62:7, 8. 2006, 76:6, eff. July 1, 2006.
325:44 Burial Associations Prohibited.
It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in, promote or participate, directly or indirectly, in any scheme or plan in the nature of a burial association or in a so-called chain of burial or funeral establishments.
Source. 1935, 95:1. RL 168:38. RSA 325:44.
Prearranged Funerals or Burial Plans
325:45 Funds to be Deposited.
All moneys paid during a person's lifetime to any individual, firm, association, partnership, or corporation engaged in performing funeral services by such person or by someone in such person's behalf under an agreement that services be performed or merchandise be delivered in connection with the disposition of such person's body after the person's death shall be deposited by the payee within 30 days after receipt in a separate account in a bank, trust company, credit union, savings institution, licensed insurance company, or bonded, registered broker-dealer in this state in the name of the payee as mortuary trustee for the person for whose benefit the payment was made, and shall be held in such account together with any interest accrued. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent transfer of such funds to another such bank, trust company, credit union, savings institution, licensed insurance company, or bonded, registered broker-dealer by merger or consolidation or by operation of law. A mortuary trustee shall provide evidence of the original deposit and any subsequent deposits to the payor within 30 days after deposit into the separate account and shall provide evidence of any subsequent transfer of funds, as permitted by this section, to the payor within 30 days after effecting such transfer of funds. A copy of a written receipt or statement of deposit issued by the bank, trust company, credit union, savings institution, licensed insurance company, or bonded, registered broker-dealer, shall be sufficient as evidence of deposit or transfer for the purposes of this section. For purposes of this section, a mortuary trustee shall include any person or organization holding money in trust in connection with a pre-paid funeral.
Source. 1971, 332:1. 1995, 76:1. 1998, 231:1, eff. Aug. 23, 1998.
325:46 Withdrawal of Funds.
Such funds may be withdrawn, if otherwise lawful, by the payee on written instructions of the person who originally paid the money or such person's legal representative if the account was opened as revokable. Such funds may be withdrawn, if otherwise lawful, by the payee upon the death of the person for whose benefit such funds were paid, to be used in accordance with the agreement, which shall be filed with the bank, trust company, savings institution, licensed insurance company, or bonded, registered broker-dealer.
Source. 1971, 332:1. 1995, 76:1, eff. July 8, 1995.
325:46-a Prearranged Funeral Contracts; Contents; Procedures.
I. Any prearranged funeral contract that involves the payment of money to a trust account or the purchase or assignment of an insurance policy or annuity shall be in writing and shall include all of the following information:
(a)(1) The name, address, and phone number of the seller and the name and address of the purchaser of the contract.
(2) If the contract beneficiary is someone other than the purchaser of the contract, the name and address of the contract beneficiary.
(3) If the contract involves the payment of money but not the purchase or assignment of an insurance policy or annuity, the social security number of the purchaser of the contract or if the contract beneficiary is someone other than the purchaser, the social security number of the contract beneficiary.
(b) A statement of the funeral goods and funeral services purchased, which may be made by attaching a copy of the completed statement of funeral goods and services selected to the prearranged funeral contract.
(c) A disclosure explaining the form in which the purchase price shall be paid and, if the price is to be paid in installments, a disclosure to the purchaser regarding what constitutes a default under the prearranged funeral contract and the consequences of the default.
(d) A disclosure informing the purchaser whether the contract is either a guaranteed prearranged funeral contract or a nonguaranteed prearranged funeral contract, and, if the contract is guaranteed only in part, a disclosure specifying the funeral goods or funeral services included in the guarantee.
(e) If the prearranged funeral contract is a guaranteed contract, a disclosure that the seller, in exchange for all of the proceeds of the trust, insurance policy, or annuity, shall provide the funeral goods and funeral services set forth in the prearranged funeral contract without regard to the actual cost of such funeral goods and funeral services prevailing at the time of performance.
(f) If the prearranged funeral contract is a nonguaranteed contract, a disclosure that:
(1) The proceeds of the trust, insurance policy, or annuity shall be applied to the retail prices in effect at the time of the funeral for the funeral goods and funeral services set forth in the contract;
(2) Any excess funds remaining after all expenses for the funeral have been paid shall be paid to the estate of the decedent or the beneficiary named in the life insurance policy if the prearranged funeral contract is funded by a life insurance policy; and
(3) In the event of an insufficiency in funds, the seller shall not be required to perform until payment arrangements satisfactory to the seller have been made.
(g) A disclosure that:
(1) The purchaser has the right to make the contract irrevocable and that if the prearranged funeral contract is irrevocable, the purchaser does not have a right to revoke the contract.
(2) The purchaser has the right to make the contract revocable, and that the purchaser has the right to revoke a revocable prearranged funeral contract.
(h) A disclosure informing the purchaser of the initial right to cancel the prearranged funeral contract within 10 days. Any purchaser, on initially entering into a prearranged funeral contract may, within 10 days after entering into that contract, rescind the contract and request and receive from the seller of the contract all payments made under the contract.
(i) A disclosure that the seller may substitute funeral goods or funeral services of equal quality, value, and workmanship if those specified in the prearranged funeral contract are unavailable at the time of need.
(j) A disclosure that any purchaser of funeral goods and funeral services is entitled to receive price information prior to making that purchase in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's funeral industry practices revised rule, 16 C.F.R. part 453.
II. If the purchaser of a prearranged funeral contract that is revocable elects to cancel the contract, the purchaser shall provide a written notice to the seller of the contract and the trustee of the prearranged funeral contract trust stating that the purchaser intends to cancel the contract. Fifteen days after the purchaser provides that notice to the seller and trustee, the purchaser may cancel the contract.
III. The purchaser of a prearranged funeral contract that is irrevocable may transfer the prearranged funeral contract to a successor seller. A purchaser who elects to make such a transfer shall provide a written notice of the designation of a successor seller to the trustee and the original seller. Within 15 days after receiving the written notice of the new designation from the purchaser, the trustee shall list the successor seller as the seller of the prearranged funeral contract and the original seller shall relinquish and transfer all rights under the prearranged funeral contract to the successor seller. The trustee shall confirm the transfer by providing written notice of the transfer to the original seller, the successor seller, and the purchaser.
IV. If a seller of a prearranged funeral contract elects to transfer a prearranged funeral contract trust from the original institution to a different institution, the trustee of the original trust shall notify the purchaser of the prearranged funeral contract of that transfer in writing within 30 days after the transfer occurred and shall provide the purchaser with the name of and the contact information for the institution where the new trust is maintained. Upon receipt of the trust, the trustee of the transferred trust shall notify the purchaser of the receipt of the trusts.
V. If a seller receives a notice that the contract beneficiary has died and that funeral goods and funeral services have been provided by a provider other than the seller, except as otherwise specified in this section, the seller shall direct the trustee, within 30 days after receiving that notice, to pay to the contract beneficiary all funds held by the trustee, less any fees charged, distributions paid, and expenses incurred by the trustee.
VI. In the event that the balance in the funeral trust account or insurance policy on the date of the trust/insurance policy beneficiary's death exceeds the price of the funeral goods and/or services provided, the excess shall be refunded to the estate of the trust beneficiary. In such event, the amount refunded may be subject to claims of the state of New Hampshire or the United States.
Source. 2011, 120:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.
325:47 Institution Absolved From Liability.
Such bank, trust company, savings institution, licensed insurance company, or bonded, registered broker-dealer shall be discharged from liability for payment of the funds in any such account upon presentation of a written consent to withdrawal signed by the party who paid the funds or such party's legal representative, if such account is revokable, and by the payee, or upon presentation of proof of death of such person for whose benefit such funds were paid. This section shall not apply to the sale of cemetery lots, crypts, niches, cemetery burial privileges, cemetery space or perpetual care.
Source. 1971, 332:1. 1995, 76:1, eff. July 8, 1995.
325:48 Employment Prohibited.
No person holding a license under this chapter shall be employed as a funeral home, funeral establishment, funeral director or embalmer by a cemetery, cemetery association, or cemetery corporation, nor shall such person own or control a cemetery, cemetery association, or cemetery corporation. This section shall not prohibit such person from (1) serving as an officer, director, or trustee of a cemetery, cemetery association or cemetery corporation without pay or for a salary not exceeding $500 per year or (2) employment by a cemetery, cemetery association or cemetery corporation in capacities other than that of a funeral home, funeral establishment, funeral director or embalmer, or (3) taking bodies out of a grave or transferring such bodies to other graves.
Source. 1971, 332:1. 1986, 191:5, eff. July 28, 1986.
325:49 Solicitation Prohibited.
No funeral home, funeral establishment, crematories, memorial societies, burial associations, cemetery, cemetery associations or person holding a license under this chapter shall as, or through, an agent or principal solicit a prearranged funeral service or plan for any person or persons. "Prearranged funeral service or plan" shall mean any funeral service or plan which is arranged, planned or determined prior to the demise of a person or persons for whom the funeral service is to be performed. Funeral homes, funeral establishments, crematories, memorial societies, burial associations, cemetery, cemetery associations and licensees under this chapter may enter into contracts or agreements for prearranged funeral services or plans provided that they do not in any manner either as, or through, principals or agents solicit such contract or agreement.
Source. 1971, 332:1, eff. July 1, 1971.
325:50 Certain Payments Prohibited.
No funeral home, funeral establishment, crematories, memorial societies, burial associations, cemetery, cemetery associations or person licensed under this chapter shall pay or cause to be paid, directly or indirectly, any money or other thing of value to a person not responsible for payment for the funeral as a commission or gratuity for the securing of business for such funeral home, establishment or licensee.
Source. 1971, 332:1, eff. July 1, 1971.