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Pennsylvania Funeral Director Law Gutted by Federal Judge

Harrisburg, PA – The recent ruling by Judge John Jones III, of the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, in the Heffner v. Murphy case was unprecedented and a surprise to the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association.  This sweeping ruling certainly has the potential to change the landscape of funeral directing in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Funeral Directors is not a party to this litigation and, therefore, will be observing what might occur going forward.  Either party may appeal, and at some point, legislation will be introduced to address the Court's ruling regarding many of the counts.

The Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association strongly hopes that the State Board of Funeral Directors will give every consideration to an appeal to the Third Circuit Court in order to obtain real clarity on the issues at hand.


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  • Dale Clock

    This is a good thing. Thanks to Ernie Heffner and all the other funeral directors who fought the good fight against these archaic and foolish laws. I am just amazed that funeral directors and State organization continue to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting to maintain laws that only keep funeral homes from providing the services that the public is asking of us. Here’s to the hope that someday in the near future that funeral homes in Michigan will be able to own and operate their own crematories and funeral homes in New York can have receptions that serve food and all the other dumb, out of date laws that restrict us from running profitable business go away.