Cemetery Access Rights

What are Public and Private Cemeteries

The general community, a neighborhood, or a church uses a public cemetery.

A private cemetery is used only by a family or a small portion of the community. However, the mode of use rather than ownership determines whether a cemetery is public or private. So, public use rather than ownership determines if a cemetery is public. For example, a privately-owned or privately maintained cemetery may be deemed a public cemetery if it is open to the public's use for burials under reasonable regulations.

Family burying grounds are lots that are not sold to the public and restricted to interments for a group of persons related to each other by blood or marriage.

A cemetery includes the actual gravesites and surrounding areas, such as avenues, walks, and grounds.

Cemetery Laws

Cemeteries are not governed by laws that apply to real property or corporations due to their inherently different nature. Cemeteries are generally regulated at the State level.


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