CHAPTER 368j
CEMETERIES

Table of Contents

Sec. 19a-297. (Formerly Sec. 19-148). Bylaws. Sexton.
Sec. 19a-308a. Abandoned cemeteries. Acquisition by municipality. Notice requirements. Objections. Vesting of title with municipality.
Sec. 19a-310. (Formerly Sec. 19-161). Approval of vaults above ground by Department of Public Health. Fees.
Sec. 19a-314a. Disclosure of dispute resolution procedure relating to the sale of any item or service by a town, ecclesiastical society or cemetery association which owns, manages or controls a cemetery. "Cemetery" defined.

      Sec. 19a-297. (Formerly Sec. 19-148). Bylaws. Sexton. The selectmen of towns, cemetery associations or ecclesiastical societies, having the care of cemeteries, may (1) enact bylaws providing for the care and management of all burial lots, and the protection of all shrubs, trees, fences and monuments thereon, provided no such bylaws shall (A) require or result in the removal or banishing of any undamaged United States flag or armed forces service marker, including flagholders provided by veterans organizations, from any grave site, or (B) restrict the placement of United States flags on the graves of veterans from the Saturday before Memorial Day in each year until the Monday after the fourth of July, and (2) appoint superintendents and sextons for such cemeteries. Such superintendents and sextons shall have the exclusive right to direct the opening of graves, and no grave shall be opened in any cemetery except with the consent of the superintendent or sexton. Any person to whom such bylaws have been made known who violates the same shall be fined not more than ten dollars. The incorporators, organizers or members of any cemetery association or, if no incorporators, organizers or members are living, the owners of burial lots therein, by a majority vote, may, at any meeting called for that purpose, amend its articles of association or its bylaws.

      (1949 Rev., S. 4710; 1957, P.A. 13, S. 92; 1967, P.A. 161, S. 1; P.A. 79-105; P.A. 80-483, S. 79, 186; P.A. 96-209, S. 1; P.A. 09-5, S. 1.)

      History: 1967 act added proviso re flag or service marker; P.A. 79-105 added flagholders provided by veterans organizations in proviso; P.A. 80-483 made technical grammar corrections; Sec. 19-148 transferred to Sec. 19a-297 in 1983; P.A. 96-209 added "or members" after "organizers"; P.A. 09-5 designated existing provisions re bylaws as Subdiv. (1), designated existing bylaw prohibition therein as Subpara. (A), added Subpara. (B) therein re bylaw prohibition against restriction on placement of United States flags on veterans' graves, designated existing provision re appointment of superintendents and sextons as Subdiv. (2) and made technical changes, effective May 4, 2009.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 19a-308a. Abandoned cemeteries. Acquisition by municipality. Notice requirements. Objections. Vesting of title with municipality. (a) As used in this section, "abandoned cemetery" means a cemetery (1) in which no burial has occurred during the previous forty years and in which the lots or graves have not been maintained during the previous ten years except for maintenance rendered by the municipality in which such cemetery is located, (2) in which one burial has occurred in the past forty years, a permit was issued under section 7-65 after such burial, or (3) in which no lots have been sold in the previous forty years and in which most lots and graves have not been maintained during the previous ten years except for maintenance rendered by the municipality in which such cemetery is located.

      (b) Any municipality may acquire an abandoned cemetery, including ownership of any occupied or unoccupied lots or grave sites in such cemetery. Such municipality may cause a survey of such cemetery to be completed in order to ascertain the extent of such cemetery. The municipality shall use due diligence in identifying any owners of the abandoned cemetery or any of the cemetery's occupied or unoccupied lots or grave sites and shall provide notice to such owners of the municipality's intention to acquire the abandoned cemetery. In the event that a municipality is unable to locate such an owner, the municipality shall publish notice of its intention to acquire the abandoned cemetery in a newspaper having a general circulation in such municipality. Such notice shall be published for a period of three consecutive weeks.

      (c) The notice described in subsection (b) of this section shall give a basic description of the abandoned cemetery, by reference to the municipality's tax maps, and shall set a date and place where objections to the acquisition of the cemetery by the municipality will be heard.

      (d) Any owner who receives notice pursuant to subsection (b) of this section may reassert his or her right of ownership over the abandoned cemetery, occupied or unoccupied lot or grave site, as applicable, by sending written notice of his or her objection to the municipality not later than fourteen days after his or her receipt of notice pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. Any owner who reasserts his or her rights pursuant to this subsection shall promptly comply with all municipal ordinances concerning such abandoned cemetery, occupied or unoccupied lot or grave site.

      (e) In the event that no objection is received by the municipality pursuant to subsection (d) of this section not later than fifteen days after the last date of publication of the notice described in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, title to such abandoned cemetery and any occupied or unoccupied lots or graves shall vest in such municipality. Whenever title vests in a municipality pursuant to this subsection, such municipality shall record a confirmation of such vesting, including a basic description of the cemetery, on the land records of the municipality in which such cemetery is located.

      (f) If title to an abandoned cemetery vests with a municipality pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, such municipality shall maintain title to such cemetery, shall not transfer title to such cemetery, and shall maintain the characteristics of such cemetery and make no changes in the use of such cemetery land. The municipality may appoint a superintendent or sexton for such cemetery pursuant to section 19a-297, and may appropriate funds as necessary for the care, maintenance and support of such cemetery.

      (P.A. 09-232, S. 69.)

      History: P.A. 09-232 effective July 8, 2009.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 19a-310. (Formerly Sec. 19-161). Approval of vaults above ground by Department of Public Health. Fees. No person shall construct any vault, crypt, columbarium or mausoleum for public use, wholly or partially above the surface of the ground, to be used to contain the body of any dead person (1) unless the same is located within the confines of an established cemetery containing not less than five acres, which cemetery has been in existence and operation for a period of at least five years immediately preceding the time of the erection thereof, or (2) if located within a cemetery containing less than five acres, such location has been approved by the selectmen of any town, the mayor and council or board of aldermen of any city and the warden and burgesses of any borough; except that in any town, city or borough having a zoning commission or combined planning and zoning commission, such commission shall have the authority to grant such approval; nor until plans and specifications for such vault, crypt, columbarium or mausoleum are approved by the Department of Public Health and a fee of one thousand two hundred fifty dollars is paid to the Department of Public Health for its review and approval of such plans and specifications, provided a columbarium which is used solely as a repository for the remains, after cremation, of deceased persons and is located on the premises of any religious society or corporation shall not be subject to the provisions of this section. Such plans and specifications shall set forth the sections, halls, rooms, corridors, elevators or other subdivisions thereof, with their descriptive names and numbers, and shall provide: (a) That such structure be so arranged that the cell, niche or crypt may be readily examined at any time by any person authorized by law to do so; (b) that the materials of which such structure is to be constructed are to be of the best quality and of a character best suited for the purposes intended; and (c) that the structure shall be so constructed as to insure its durability and permanence as well as the safety, convenience, comfort and health of the community in which it is located, as dictated and determined at the time by modern mausoleum construction and engineering science. The person making the application shall file a certificate of such approval, signed by the Commissioner of Public Health, with a copy of such plans and specifications, in the office of the town clerk of the town wherein such structure is to be erected, and such clerk shall retain the same on file.

      (1949 Rev., S. 4706; 1969, P.A. 30; 1971, P.A. 34, S. 1; P.A. 77-614, S. 323, 610; P.A. 87-490, S. 4; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6, S. 9, 117; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 173.)

      History: 1969 act deleted requirement that crypt or cell be constructed so as to be hermetically and permanently sealed stated in former Subdiv. (b) and redesignated remaining subdivisions accordingly; 1971 act excluded columbarium used solely for cremated remains and located on premises of religious society or corporation from provisions of section; P.A. 77-614 replaced department and commissioner of health with department and commissioner of health services, effective January 1, 1979; Sec. 19-161 transferred to Sec. 19a-310 in 1983; P.A. 87-490 inserted Subdiv. (2) concerning approvals in cemeteries containing less than five acres; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6 established a fee of $1,000 for review and approval of plans; P.A. 93-381 replaced department and commissioner of health services with department and commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 increased fee from $1,000 to $1,250.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 19a-314a. Disclosure of dispute resolution procedure relating to the sale of any item or service by a town, ecclesiastical society or cemetery association which owns, manages or controls a cemetery. "Cemetery" defined. (a) As used in this section, "cemetery" means any place performing interments on or after October 1, 1995.

      (b) Each town, ecclesiastical society or cemetery association which owns, manages or controls a cemetery shall disclose to each consumer, in writing at the time of the sale of any item or service, any dispute resolution procedure of such town, ecclesiastical society or cemetery association. The written disclosure shall also indicate that the consumer may contact the Department of Public Health or local public health director if the consumer has any complaints which concern violations of sections 7-64 to 7-71, inclusive, 19a-310 and 19a-311.

      (P.A. 95-184, S. 1, 2; 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 01-195, S. 140, 181; P.A. 09-232, S. 24.)

      History: P.A. 95-257 authorized substitution of Commissioner and Department of Public Health for Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 01-195 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (b), effective July 11, 2001; P.A. 09-232 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing reference to Sec. 7-72 with reference to Sec. 7-71.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)