70-30. Jurisdiction over remains.

(a) Subsequent to notification of the discovery of an unmarked human burial or human skeletal remains, the medical examiner of the county in which the remains were encountered shall determine as soon as possible whether the remains are subject to the provisions of G.S. 130A-383.

(b) If the county medical examiner determines that the remains are subject to the provisions of G.S. 130A-383, the county medical examiner will immediately proceed with the investigation.

(c) If the county medical examiner determines that the remains are not subject to the provisions of G.S. 130A-383, the county medical examiner shall so notify the Chief Medical Examiner. The Chief Medical Examiner shall notify the State Archaeologist of the discovery of the human skeletal remains and the findings of the county medical examiner. The State Archaeologist shall immediately take charge of the remains.

(d) Subsequent to taking charge of the human skeletal remains, the State Archaeologist shall have 48 hours to make arrangements with the landowner for the protection or removal of the unmarked human burial or human skeletal remains. The State Archaeologist shall have no authority over the remains at the end of the 48-hour period and may not prohibit the resumption of the construction or agricultural activities without the permission of the landowner. (1981, c. 853, s. 2; 2007-484, ss. 10(c), 11(b).)