North Carolina Cemetery Access Rights
Chapter 65: Cemeteries - Article 12 - Abandoned and Neglected Cemeteries.
Part 3. Access to and Maintenance of Abandoned or Neglected Cemeteries.
§ 65‑101. Entering public or private property to maintain or visit with consent.
Any of the following persons, with the consent of the public or private landowner, may enter the property of another to discover, restore, maintain, or visit a grave or abandoned public cemetery:
(1) A descendant of the person whose remains are reasonably believed to be interred in the grave or abandoned public cemetery.
(2) A descendant's designee.
(3) Any other person who has a special personal interest in the grave or abandoned public cemetery. (1987, c. 686, s. 1; 1991, c. 36, s. 1; 2007‑118, s. 1.)
§ 65‑102. Entering public or private property to maintain or visit without consent.
(a) If the consent of the landowner cannot be obtained, any person listed in G.S. 65‑101(1), (2), or (3) may commence a special proceeding by petitioning the clerk of superior court of the county in which the petitioner has reasonable grounds to believe the grave or abandoned public cemetery is located for an order allowing the petitioner to enter the property to discover, restore, maintain, or visit the grave or abandoned public cemetery. The petition shall be verified. The special proceeding shall be in accordance with the provisions of Articles 27A and 33 of Chapter 1 of the General Statutes. The clerk shall issue an order allowing the petitioner to enter the property if the clerk finds all of the following:
(1) There are reasonable grounds to believe that the grave or abandoned public cemetery is located on the property or it is reasonably necessary to enter or cross the landowner's property to reach the grave or abandoned public cemetery.
(2) The petitioner, or the petitioner's designee, is a descendant of the deceased, or the petitioner has a legitimate historical, genealogical, or governmental interest in the grave or abandoned public cemetery.
(3) The entry on the property would not unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of the property by the landowner.
(b) The clerk's order may state one or more of the following:
(1) Specify the dates and the daylight hours that the petitioner may enter and remain on the property.
(2) Grant the petitioner the right to enter the landowner's property periodically, as specified in the order, after the time needed for initial restoration of the grave or abandoned public cemetery.
(3) Specify a reasonable route from which the petitioner may not deviate in all entries and exits from the property. (1987, c. 686, s. 1; 1991, c. 36, s. 1; 1999‑216, s. 12; 2007‑118, s. 1.)
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