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Photos: Jackson's funeral

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  1. Michael Jackson's 11-year-old daughter, Paris Michael Katherine, cries as she attempts to speak and is consoled by Jackson's siblings at Staples Center on Tuesday, July 7, in Los Angeles. “I just want to say ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you can ever imagine. And I just wanted to say I love him so much," she said. (Pool / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Family, friends and celebrities sing "We Are the World" at the end of the pop star's public memorial at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 7. (NBC News) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Michael Jackson's children, Paris Michael Katherine, Prince Michael II (aka Blanket) and Michael Joseph Jr. (aka Prince Michael) appear onstage at the pop star's public memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 7. (Pool / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Jermaine Jackson throws a rose on brother Michael Jackson's casket after performing "Smile," which was the pop star's favorite song, during the public memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 7. (Mark J. Terrill / Pool via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Usher sings Jackson's "Gone Too Soon" at the late star's public memorial service. The song is off the "Dangerous" album and was originally dedicated to Ryan White, who died of AIDS in 1990 at age 18. (Mario Anzuoni / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Brooke Shields, who was a childhood friend of the pop star, speaks about her long friendship with Michael Jackson. The actress, who fought back tears during her speech, tells the crowd about what some considered their "odd" relationship and the fun they had together as children. (Paul Buck / Pool via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Jennifer Hudson, who is expecting her first child, sings "Will You Be There?" at the public memorial service for the late singer. (Mario Anzuoni / Pool via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. The Rev. Al Sharpton, a longtime friend of the Jackson family, speaks about how the "King of Pop" broke down barriers and "opened up the whole world." (Mark J. Terrill / Pool via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. From left to right, Rebbie Jackson, Janet Jackson, Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Jackie Jackson and Jermaine Jackson attend brother Michael Jackson's public memorial service at Staples Center on Tuesday in Los Angeles. (Courtesy of Harrison Funk and Kevin Mazur / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Former NBA star Magic Johnson pauses as he eulogizes Michael Jackson during the singer's public memorial service. Johnson spoke of his relationship with the Jackson family and also shared a humorous tale of the singer's taste for Kentucky Fried Chicken. (Mario Anzuoni / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. John Mayer performs "Human Nature," one of the many hits off the 1982 hit album "Thriller," at Jackson's public memorial service held at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 7. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Katherine Jackson, right, sits with Michael Jackson's children during the pop star's public memorial service held at Staples Center on Tuesday, July 7, in Los Angeles. (Mario Anzuoni / Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Stevie Wonder performs at Michael Jackson's public memorial service. The singer started with his 1971 song "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer," then switched to "They Won't Go When I Go." (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Janet Jackson, center, attends brother Michael's public memorial service at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 7. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Mariah Carey, left, and Trey Lorenz perform at Michael Jackson's public memorial service. The pair sang the Jackson 5 hit "I'll Be There." (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Fans attending the public memorial for Michael Jackson cry at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 7. (Gabriel Bouys / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Lionel Richie performs the Commodores' song "Jesus Is Love" during the public memorial service for Michael Jackson. (Mark J. Terrill / Pool via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Michael Jackson's parents, Joe Jackson, back center, and Katherine, front left, arrive with his son Michael Joseph Jr., right, at the star's public memorial service held at Staples Center on Tuesday, July 7. (Mario Anzuoni / Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Queen Latifah speaks at the memorial service for music legend Michael Jackson. The actress also read a poem from Maya Angelou entitled "We Had Him." (Gabriel Bouys / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. A fan holds up a license plate before Michael Jackson's public memorial service on Tuesday. (Mark J. Terrill / Pool via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Michael Jackson's public memorial service at the Los Angeles' Staples Center on Tuesday, July 7, begins with singer Smokey Robinson reading comments from Nelson Mandela, Diana Ross and other friends. (Courtesy of Harrison Funk and Kevin Mazur / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Corey Feldman arrives at Michael Jackson's public memorial service at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 7. The actor became friends with the pop singer in the 1980s. (Mark J. Terrill / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. The Jackson brothers accompany Michael Jackson's casket into his public memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 7. (Mark J. Terrill / Pool via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Fans enter the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the public memorial service for Michael Jackson on Tuesday, July 7. More than 1.6 million people registered for the lottery for free tickets to the event, and 8,750 were chosen to receive two tickets each. (Patrick T. Fallon / Zuma Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Members of the media work in front of the Staples Center in Los Angeles during the public memorial service for the late pop star Michael Jackson on Tuesday, July 7. (Chris Carlson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Fans gather outside Staples Center before a public memorial service for Michael Jackson on Tuesday, July 7, in Los Angeles. (Jae C. Hong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. The hearse carrying the coffin of Michael Jackson arrives at the star's public memorial service held at Staples Center on Tuesday in Los Angeles. (John Moore / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Leslie Young, 43, left, and Mari Quates, 50, wave and yell from the 5th Street overpass as the Michael Jackson funeral procession drives down an empty 110 freeway in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 7. The women came from their local offices to get a glimpse of the family as the cars head toward Staples Center for the public memorial service. (Stephanie Mullen / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. The casket is carried out after a private funeral ceremony for pop star Michael Jackson at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 7. Jackson's body -- reportedly resting in a $25,000 gold-plated casket -- was later transported to a lavish public memorial at the 20,000-capacity Staples Center. (Vincent Laforet / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. A motorcade arrives at Forest Lawn Memorial Park for Michael Jackson's funeral services in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 7. (Phil McCarten / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. A motorcade arrives at Forest Lawn Memorial Park on Tuesday, July 7, in Los Angeles. Jackson, 50, the iconic pop star, died at UCLA Medical Center after going into cardiac arrest at his rented home on June 25 in Los Angeles. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Members of the media wait at Forest Lawn Memorial Park before services for Michael Jackson in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Jackson fans began crowding into downtown Los Angeles for a star-packed public memorial to the "King of Pop," whose sudden death nearly two weeks ago shocked the world. (Phil McCarten / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. A Los Angeles police officer directs the funeral procession outside the Jackson family home in Encino, Calif., on Tuesday, July 7, enroute to Forest Lawn Memorial Park. (Paul J. Richards / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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By The Scoop
msnbc.com
updated 7/9/2009 2:04:46 PM ET 2009-07-09T18:04:46

Authority over how and where Michael Jackson’s remains are buried is left in the hands of his parents Joe and Katherine Jackson, according to California code.

If a person didn’t leave instructions and means to provide for their own burial, there is a clear pecking order of who has the right to control disposition of remains and make arrangements, according to California Health and Safety Code Section 7100.

Control goes first to the power of attorney for health care (Jackson doesn’t appear to have one), then to a surviving competent spouse, then to a competent adult child, and if none of those options exist, power rests with the deceased’s parents.

That means that Joe and Katherine Jackson may bury their son according to their own wishes, and they also are not legally bound to follow any desires Michael might have indicated verbally.

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That Joe and Katherine are left to make the burial decision could go a long way in explaining the delay, as they have an estranged relationship. Although they are legally married, they’ve been living separately — he in Las Vegas and she in the family’s Encino, Calif., home. And even during the days leading up to Tuesday's public memorial service, the parents were at odds with each other.

“Joe would call to have the front gate opened for a buddy of his, and he’d be allowed inside,” said a law enforcement official stationed outside the Encino compound. “Then a few minutes later, the car would come back out the driveway, and we’d get a call from Katherine saying not to let Joe’s buddy back in. This happened over and over.”

A representative for the family is not making any comment on the status of burial arrangements, or the current location of Jackson’s remains.

Why can’t we keep track of the body?
Michael Jackson’s death certificate listed Forest Lawn Memorial Park as the “temporary” destination for his remains. But beyond that indication, neither the family nor Forest Lawn is under obligation to update any public records in a way that clarifies the current or future location of Jackson’s remains.

“There is no requirement that the family notify the state when the body is moved from the temporary location to another location,” said Russ Heimerich, spokesperson for the California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau.

Video: Where is Michael Jackson’s body? Not only that, but “remains can be stored indefinitely, provided they are in the proper facility,” Heimerich said. In other words, while most prefer to come to a conclusion about disposition as quickly as possible, there’s certainly no ticking clock.

And there’s yet another wrinkle: A “proper” facility does not necessarily indicate a licensed facility. In other words, there can exist a business capable of “proper” storage of remains that is not necessarily a licensed facility, like a cemetery or crematorium.

“It’s going to be difficult to find out where this body is until the family wants to share that information,” said Heimerich.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter: @ courtneyatmsnbc.

© 2013 msnbc.com Reprints

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