In a published ruling that exposes a rift between the California and federal courts, California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal concluded on Tuesday that property rights don’t apply to dead bodies.

The unanimous decision turns away a negligence suit against the Los Angeles county coroner’s office, in which the relatives of a 66-year-old drive-by shooting victim claimed damages after setting eyes on his decomposed body. The county had kept his remains unembalmed and unrefrigerated for a week, according to Tuesday’s 11-page opinion.

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