Not-for-Profit Corporation Law Section 1510
(a)Posting and distribution of rules, regulations, charges and prices. The rules, regulations, charges, and prices of goods, lots, plots or parts thereof shall be suitably printed and shall be conspicuously posted by the corporation in each of its offices, if any, and conspicuously displayed on any website the corporation maintains or through which it conducts business. A printed copy of charges and prices of goods, lots, plots or parts thereof shall be made available upon request by any person for up to the actual price of the printing of the copy. For each day in which the corporation fails to post or display the rules, regulations, charges and prices the corporation shall be subject to a penalty of twenty-five dollars which may be recovered in a civil action by the cemetery board. For each instance in which the corporation fails to make available a copy of the prices of goods, lots, plots, or parts thereof, to a person who requests such copy, the corporation shall be subject to a penalty of twenty-five dollars which may be recovered in a civil action by the cemetery board. The cemetery board may waive the payment of the penalty or any part thereof.
(b)Surveys and maps of cemetery.
(1)Every cemetery corporation, from time to time, as land in its cemetery may be required for burial purposes, shall survey and subdivide such lands and make and file in the office of the corporation a map thereof, open to public inspection, delineating the lots or plots, avenues, paths, alleys and walks and their respective designations; a true copy thereof shall upon its written request, be filed with the cemetery board. Any unsold lots, plots or parts thereof, in which there are no remains, by order of the directors, may be resurveyed and altered in shape or size, and properly designated on such map.
(2)Every cemetery corporation shall provide reasonable access to every lot, plot and grave. This provision shall not be applicable where on September first, nineteen hundred forty-nine such access cannot be provided without the disinterment of a body or bodies. A cemetery corporation shall not permit or allow a body to be interred hereafter in a path, alley, avenue or walk shown on the cemetery maps or actually in existence. Nothing herein contained, however, shall prevent a cemetery corporation in special cases from enlarging a lot by selling to the owner thereof the access space next to such lot, and permitting interments therein, provided reasonable access to such lot and to adjoining lots is not thereby eliminated, and provided the approval of the cemetery board shall have first been obtained.
(c)Record of burials, natural organic reductions or cremations. A record shall be kept of every burial in the cemetery of a cemetery corporation, showing the date of burial, the name, age, and place of birth of the person buried, when these particulars can be conveniently obtained, and the lot, plot, or part thereof, in which such burial was made. A copy of such record, duly certified by the secretary of such corporation, shall be furnished on demand and payment of such fees therefor as are allowed the county clerk for certified copies of records. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, all cemetery corporations which conduct cremations or natural organic reductions shall maintain permanent records of the name of the deceased human being, the funeral home from which the remains were received, the receipt of delivery of the deceased human remains, the authorizing agent for the cremation or natural organic reduction, and the manner of disposition of the remains. Such records may be reviewed by the division of cemeteries at any time.
(d)When burial not to be refused. No cemetery corporation shall refuse or deny the right of burial and the privileges incidental thereto in any lot, plot or part thereof to those otherwise lawfully entitled to be buried therein, for any reason except for the non-payment of interment charges and the purchase price of the lot, plot or part thereof, in accordance with the terms of the contract of purchase or except as provided in subdivision (f) of § 1509 (Cemetery rules and regulations)section fifteen hundred nine of this article.
(e)Removals. A body interred in a lot in a cemetery owned or operated by a corporation incorporated by or under a general or special law may be removed therefrom, with the consent of the corporation, and the written consent of the owners of the lot, and of the surviving wife, husband, children, if of full age, and parents of the deceased. If the consent of any such person or of the corporation can not be obtained, permission by the county court of the county, or by the supreme court in the district, where the cemetery is situated, shall be sufficient. Notice of application for such permission must be given, at least eight days prior thereto, personally, or, at least sixteen days prior thereto, by mail, to the corporation or to the persons not consenting, and to every other person or corporation on whom service of notice may be required by the court.
(f)Expenses of improving vacant lot. Whenever a person having a lot in a cemetery shall vacate the same by a removal of all the bodies therefrom, and leave such lot in an unsightly condition for one month, the corporation may grade, cut, fill or otherwise change the surface thereof, without reducing the area of the lot. The expense, not exceeding ten dollars, shall be chargeable to the lot. If the owners of such lot, within six months after such expense has been incurred, shall not repay such expense, the corporation may sell the lot at public auction upon the cemetery grounds, previous notice of such sale having been posted at the main entrance of the cemetery, and mailed to the owners of such lot at their last-known post office address, at least ten days prior to the day of sale, and shall pay the surplus, if any, on demand to the owners of such lot.
(g)Removal or correction of dangerous conditions in cemetery lots. Any plant life, fencing or embellishment or structure other than a mausoleum, monument or mound, in a lot, plot or part thereof which becomes so worn, neglected, broken or deteriorated that its continued existence is a danger to persons or property within the cemetery grounds may be removed, repaired or corrected by the cemetery corporation at its own cost and expense, provided it first gives not less than fifteen days notice by registered or certified mail to the last known owner at his last known address to repair or remove such object and the said owner shall fail to repair or remove the object within the time provided in said notice. In the event of such removal, correction or repair by the cemetery corporation it shall, within twenty days thereafter, notify the lot owner, by registered or certified mail addressed to him at his last known address, of the action taken by the cemetery corporation. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to affect, supersede or impair any contract, rule or regulation duly approved by the cemetery board, or right or obligation of the cemetery corporation, nor shall it be construed as placing any legal duty or obligation to exercise any right authorized by this subdivision.
(h)Repair or notice as to non-dangerous damage or defacement. Except as otherwise provided by rule or regulation of the cemetery board pursuant to subparagraph two-a of paragraph (c) of § 1504 (Cemetery board and general administration)section fifteen hundred four of this article, in the event a lot, plot or part thereof is substantially damaged or defaced which does not present a dangerous condition to persons or property, or in the event a mausoleum, monument or mound in a lot, plot or part thereof is substantially damaged or defaced, and the correction of such condition is not subject to the provisions of paragraph (g) of this section or section fifteen hundred ten-a of this article, the cemetery corporation within thirty days of the discovery of this condition may at its own cost and expense repair the damage or defacement, or if it determines not to do so, the corporation shall within such thirty day period notify the owner, his or her distributee or the person filing an affidavit with such corporation pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (e) of § 1512 (Rights of lot owners)section fifteen hundred twelve of this article of such condition at the last address of such owner, distributee or person appearing on the books and records of the corporation. The notice shall be sent by first class mail and a certificate of mailing shall be obtained. Nothing herein contained shall be construed as establishing any right of damages not otherwise provided by law, rule or contract in any person against the cemetery corporation for failure to repair any condition described or give notice thereof as provided for in this paragraph.
(i)Record of inscriptions to be filed. Whenever, under any general or special law, any cemetery is abandoned or is taken for a public use, the town board of the town or the governing body of the city in which such cemetery is located, shall cause to be made, at the time of the removal of the bodies interred therein, an exact copy of all inscriptions on each headstone, monument, slab or marker erected on each lot or plot in such cemetery and shall cause the same to be duly certified and shall file one copy thereof in the office of the town or city clerk of the town or city in which such cemetery was located and one copy in the office of the state historian and chief of the division of history in the department of education at Albany. In addition to such inscriptions, such certificate shall state the name and location of the cemetery so abandoned or taken for a public use, the cemetery in which each such body was so interred and the disposition of each such headstone, monument, slab or marker.
(j)Grave markers. No cemetery corporation, which provides for the burial of persons of the Jewish faith, shall promulgate any rule or regulation prohibiting the use of cement beds as a means of demarcating a specific grave area. Such cemetery corporations shall provide this service to all persons of the Jewish faith requesting this method of marking a grave when such grave area is provided through the agency of a membership or religious corporation or unincorporated association or society which provides burial benefits for the members. Subject to the rules and regulations promulgated by the cemetery board, such cemetery corporations shall establish the schedule of charges to be assessed for installation and maintenance of cement beds. The schedule of charges shall be filed with and approved by the cemetery board. Such regulation may require the payment of the cost of perpetual care as a condition to such installation and maintenance. The charges assessed shall be paid by the person requesting the service. The provisions of this paragraph shall only be applicable within the counties contained within the first, second, tenth and eleventh judicial districts as such districts are arranged pursuant to Judiciary Law § 140 (Division of state into judicial districts)section one hundred forty of the judiciary law.
(k)Notice and restoration as to damage and defacement due to vandalism. In the event a monument is damaged or defaced by an act of vandalism, the cemetery corporation shall, within thirty days of the discovery of such damage, notify the owner, his distributee or the person filing an affidavit with such corporation pursuant to the provisions of paragraph one of subdivision (e) of § 1512 (Rights of lot owners)section fifteen hundred twelve of this article of such damage in the manner provided in subdivision (h) of this section. The cost and expense of such notice may be provided from the fund where such fund exists. If a fund has been established, the cemetery corporation shall restore the monument with moneys from such fund. If such a fund has not been established or where such fund is inadequate to restore the monument, the cemetery corporation may restore such monument at its own cost and expense. Nothing herein contained shall be construed as establishing any right of damages not otherwise provided by law, rule or contract in any person against the cemetery corporation for failure to restore any monument if no monument maintenance fund exists or if such fund is inadequate to restore such monument.
(l)Removal of monument. No person or organization shall remove a monument without authorization in the form of a court order from a court of competent jurisdiction, or without the written authorization of the owner of a burial plot, or the lineal descendants of the deceased, if such owner or lineal descendants are known, and without obtaining written approval from a duly incorporated cemetery association, which association shall keep a record of all such written approvals. The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the removal, in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the secretary of state, of a monument for the purpose of repair, nonpayment or adding inscriptions as authorized by a cemetery association or as permitted in this article. A violation of any provision of this paragraph shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars.
(m)Use of construction and demolition debris for burial. No cemetery corporation or religious corporation having charge and control of a cemetery which heretofore has been or which hereafter may be used for burials, shall use construction and demolition debris, as that term is defined in 6 NYCRR 360-1.2, for the purpose of burying human remains.
(n)Interment of pet cremated remains. The interment of pet cremated remains in a cemetery corporation shall be available to a lot owner only in those circumstances where the interment is incidental to the burial of human remains and where authorization has been provided in a written statement from the cemetery corporation. The cemetery corporation shall provide a list of approved charges for the interment of such remains. All payments received for interment of such remains shall be deposited in the cemetery corporation’s permanent maintenance fund. Pet cremated remains must be disposed of by placing them in a grave, crypt, or niche. Nothing in this section shall obligate a cemetery corporation to allow interment of such cremated pet remains where prior approval at the time of sale or in advance of need has not been received. The provisions of this section shall not apply to an incorporated or unincorporated cemetery operated, supervised or controlled by a religious corporation or a lot, plot or part thereof whose record owner is an incorporated or unincorporated religious association or society.
(o)Posting and distribution of the New York state cemetery disclosure form.
(1)New York state cemetery disclosure forms shall be created by the state cemetery board and shall be posted on the website of the division of cemeteries in the department of state. Copies of such forms shall be suitably printed by the cemetery corporation and conspicuously displayed in each of its offices, if any, so that all persons visiting such place may readily see the form and inspect its contents. Physical copies of the forms shall be made available to any person inquiring about cemetery lots, goods, or services. A corporation may offer a customer the option of receiving the forms through the use of a quick response (QR) code in lieu of receiving a paper copy.
(2)The New York state cemetery disclosure forms shall be in the form and manner as prescribed by the state cemetery board, shall include the contact information of the New York department of state division of cemeteries, and shall contain an explanation of the rights of lot owners and family members including, but not be limited to, the following: (A) a website address, and a hyperlink in the case of electronic copies, for information about the regulation of cemeteries in New York, the New York department of state division of cemeteries and the state cemetery board, and a description of those types of cemeteries that are not regulated by the state cemetery board; (B) the process of purchasing and re-selling a burial lot, plot or part thereof; (C) the right to interment and disposition options; (D) inheritance rights of a burial lot, plot or part thereof; (E) a listing of reasons that interment may be denied; (F) the requirements in regards to the use of outer enclosures; (G) the rights of lot owners as members of the cemetery corporation; (H) cemeteries’ duties regarding charges, prices, rules, and regulations; (I) the right to make burial arrangements and provide for memorialization; and (J) any other information deemed appropriate.
(3)The state cemetery board may, from time to time, update and amend the New York state cemetery disclosure form as it deems necessary.
Section 1510 — Cemetery duties,
https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/NPC/1510 (updated Jun. 30, 2023; accessed Nov. 25, 2023).