You are here: California / Health and Safety Code - HSC / ARTICLE 2. State Cultural Affiliation and Repatriation [8012. - 8021.] / Section 8016.


Section 8016. (Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 818, Sec. 1.)
Cite as: Cal. Health & Safety Code §8016.

(a) If there is more than one request for repatriation for the same item, or there is a dispute between the requesting party and the agency or museum, or if a dispute arises in relation to the repatriation process, the commission shall notify the affected parties of this fact and the cultural affiliation of the item in question shall be determined in accordance with this section.

(b) Any agency or museum receiving a repatriation request pursuant to subdivision (a) shall repatriate human remains and cultural items if all of the following criteria have been met:

(1) The requested human remains or cultural items meet the definitions of human remains or cultural items that are subject to inventory requirements under subdivision (a) of Section 8013.

(2) The state cultural affiliation of the human remains or cultural items is established as required under subdivision (f) of Section 8012.

(3) The agency or museum is unable to present evidence that, if standing alone before the introduction of evidence to the contrary, would support a finding that the agency or museum has a right of possession to the requested cultural items.

(4) None of the exemptions listed in Section 10.10(c) of Title 43 of the Federal Code of Regulations apply.

(5) All other applicable requirements of regulations adopted under the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 3001 et seq.), contained in Part 10 of Title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations, have been met.

(c) Within 30 days after notice has been provided by the commission, the museum or agency shall have the right to file with the commission any objection to the requested repatriation, based on its good faith belief that the requested human remains or cultural items are not culturally affiliated with the requesting California tribe or are not subject to repatriation under this chapter.

(d) The disputing parties shall submit documentation describing the nature of the dispute, in accordance with standard mediation practices and the commission’s procedures, to the commission, which shall, in turn, forward the documentation to the opposing party or parties. The disputing parties shall meet within 30 days of the date of the mailing of the documentation with the goal of settling the dispute.

(e) If, after meeting pursuant to subdivision (b), the parties are unable to settle the dispute, the commission, or a certified mediator designated by the commission in accordance with subdivision (b) of Section 8026, shall mediate the dispute.

(f) Each disputing party shall submit complaints and supporting evidence to the commission or designated mediator and the other opposing parties detailing their positions on the disputed issues in accordance with standard mediation practices and the commission’s mediation procedures. Each party shall have 20 days from the date the complaint and supporting evidence were mailed to respond to the complaints. All responses shall be submitted to the opposing party or parties and the commission or designated mediator.

(g) The commission or designated mediator shall review all complaints, responses, and supporting evidence submitted. Within 20 days after the date of submission of responses, the commission or designated mediator shall hold a mediation session and render a decision within seven days of the date of the mediation session.

(h) When the disposition of any items are disputed, the party in possession of the items shall retain possession until the mediation process is completed. No transfer of items shall occur until the dispute is resolved.

(i) Tribal oral histories, documentations, and testimonies shall not be afforded less evidentiary weight than other relevant categories of evidence on account of being in those categories.

(j) If the parties are unable to resolve a dispute through mediation, the dispute shall be resolved by the commission. The determination of the commission shall be deemed to constitute a final administrative remedy. Any party to the dispute seeking a review of the determination of the commission is entitled to file an action in the superior court seeking an independent judgement on the record as to whether the commission’s decision is supported by a preponderance of the evidence. The independent review shall not constitute a de novo review of a decision by the commission, but shall be limited to a review of the evidence on the record. Petitions for review shall be filed with the court not later than 30 days after the final decision of the commission.



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