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A02482
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1019
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY GILLEN, BARRAR, CALTAGIRONE, D. COSTA, COX,
DIAMOND, DRISCOLL, FARRY, FRANKEL, GABLER, A. HARRIS,
HICKERNELL, JOZWIAK, KNOWLES, LAWRENCE, McCARTER, McGINNIS,
McNEILL, MILLARD, B. MILLER, MOUL, NEILSON, O'BRIEN, O'NEILL,
PICKETT, QUIGLEY, ROZZI, STAATS, TALLMAN, WARD, WATSON,
ZIMMERMAN, RADER, WARNER, EMRICK, MACKENZIE, TOOHIL, MAHER,
WHEELAND, READSHAW, MASSER, DeLUCA, REESE AND SAYLOR,
MARCH 30, 2017
AS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT, HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, AS AMENDED, JUNE 28, 2017
AN ACT
Amending Titles 9 (Burial Grounds) and 68 (Real and Personal
Property) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in
general provisions relating to burial grounds, further
providing for definitions; providing for transfer of
ownership of cemeteries and for reasonable access to burial
grounds; and prescribing a penalty; and, in seller
disclosures, further providing for disclosure form.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 101 of Title 9 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a definition
DEFINITIONS to read:
§ 101. Definitions.
Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent
provisions of this title which are applicable to specific
chapters or other provisions of this title, the following words
and phrases when used in this title shall have, unless the
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context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them
in this section:
"Burial plot." Real property where an individual has been
guaranteed THE RIGHT to be interred when the individual dies,
but legal title to ownership of the land has not been conveyed
by the person who owns the land.
* * *
"PRIVATE CEMETERY." A PLACE FOR THE DISPOSAL OR BURIAL OF
DECEASED HUMAN BEINGS, BY CREMATION OR IN A GRAVE, MAUSOLEUM,
VAULT, COLUMBARIUM OR OTHER RECEPTACLE, BUT THE OWNERSHIP OR
RIGHT TO USE ANY BURIAL PLOT IS NOT OFFERED TO THE PUBLIC.
"PRIVATE FAMILY CEMETERY." A PLACE FOR THE DISPOSAL OR
BURIAL OF DECEASED HUMAN BEINGS, BY CREMATION OR IN A GRAVE,
MAUSOLEUM, VAULT, COLUMBARIUM OR OTHER RECEPTACLE, BUT THE
OWNERSHIP OR RIGHT TO USE ANY BURIAL PLOT IS RESTRICTED TO A
GROUP OF PERSONS RELATED TO EACH OTHER BY BLOOD OR MARRIAGE.
"PROOF OF PURCHASE." A GRAVE DEED, CONTRACT OR OTHER
DOCUMENT OR RECEIPT WHICH REASONABLY DEMONSTRATES OWNERSHIP OR
THE RIGHT TO USE A BURIAL PLOT.
* * *
Section 2. Title 9 is amended by adding chapters to read:
CHAPTER 5
TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP
OF CEMETERIES
Sec.
501. Notification.
502. Responsibilities.
§ 501. Notification.
Prior to purchasing real property, a potential purchaser
shall be notified of a cemetery , PRIVATE CEMETERY or private
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family cemetery on the property in accordance with the
following:
(1) If the real property is subject to a residential
real estate transaction, the seller shall inform the
purchaser of a CEMETERY, PRIVATE CEMETERY OR private family
cemetery on the real property, in accordance with 68 Pa.C.S.
§ 7304(b)(18) (relating to disclosure form).
(2) If the real property is subject to a commercial real
estate transaction, the seller shall inform the purchaser of
a cemetery , PRIVATE CEMETERY or private family cemetery on
the real property.
§ 502 501 . Responsibilities.
When there is a transfer of ownership of real property where
burial plots are located, the new owner shall:
(1) Honor all purchases of burial plots on the real
property made before the transfer of ownership.
(2) Allow for the interment of any individual for whom
proof of purchase of a burial plot prior to the transfer of
ownership can be produced, provided that:
(i) The new owner may discontinue the sale of burial
plots.
(ii) Failure by the new owner to comply with the
provisions of this chapter shall be a violation of the
act of December 17, 1968 (P.L.1224, No.387), known as the
Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, and
the Office of Attorney General may bring an enforcement
action against the new owner.
(3) Establish reasonable access procedures in accordance
with Chapter 7 (relating to reasonable access to burial
grounds).
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CHAPTER 7
REASONABLE ACCESS TO
BURIAL GROUNDS
Sec.
701. DEFINITIONS.
701 702 . Declaration of policy.
702 703 . Reasonable access for visitation.
§ 701. DEFINITIONS.
THE FOLLOWING WORDS AND PHRASES WHEN USED IN THIS CHAPTER
SHALL HAVE THE MEANINGS GIVEN TO THEM IN THIS SECTION UNLESS THE
CONTEXT CLEARLY INDICATES OTHERWISE:
"BURIAL PLOT." THE LOCATION OF A DECEASED HUMAN BEING
LOCATED IN A GRAVE, MAUSOLEUM, VAULT, COLUMBARIUM OR OTHER
RECEPTACLE.
§ 701 702 . Declaration of policy.
The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:
(1) An individual has a right to reasonable access for
visitation to a burial plot in a cemetery that is owned by a
cemetery company or person other than a cemetery company or
is a PRIVATE CEMETERY OR private family cemetery.
(2) The Commonwealth has a significant interest in
protecting that right.
§ 702 703 . Reasonable access for visitation.
(a) Cemetery companies.--A cemetery company shall grant an
individual reasonable ingress and egress to a burial plot in a
cemetery owned by a cemetery company for the purpose of visiting
the burial plot.
(b) Cemeteries not owned by cemetery companies.--The owner
of a cemetery not owned by a cemetery company shall grant an
individual reasonable ingress and egress to a burial plot in the
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cemetery for the purpose of visiting the burial plot.
(c) Private CEMETERIES AND PRIVATE family cemeteries.--The
owner of property where a PRIVATE CEMETERY OR private family
cemetery is located shall grant an individual reasonable ingress
and egress to a burial plot in the PRIVATE CEMETERY OR THE
private family cemetery for the purpose of visiting the burial
plot.
(d) Residential buildings.--For cemeteries , PRIVATE
CEMETERIES or private family cemeteries where a residential
building is located on the real property, the owner of the real
property may determine that reasonable access includes
prearranged times for visitation and the methods of ingress and
egress to the burial plot.
(e) Reasonableness ACCESS STANDARDS .--The cemetery company
or owner may designate the frequency, hours and duration of
visitation and the route of ingress and egress.
(f) Immunity.--The cemetery company or owner shall, in the
absence of gross negligence or willful misconduct, be immune
from liability in a civil suit, claim or cause of action arising
out of access granted under this section.
(g) Petition.--An individual denied reasonable access under
this section may petition the court of common pleas having
jurisdiction where the cemetery, PRIVATE CEMETERY, private
family cemetery or burial plot is located for relief.
(h) Penalty.--A person who violates this section commits a
misdemeanor of the third degree.
Section 3. Section 7304(b) of Title 68 is amended by adding
a paragraph to read:
§ 7304. Disclosure form.
* * *
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(b) Contents of property disclosure statement.--The form of
property disclosure statement promulgated by the State Real
Estate Commission shall call for disclosures with respect to all
of the following subjects:
* * *
(18) Condition, if known, and location of a burial site,
family burial site PLOT, CEMETERY, PRIVATE CEMETERY, PRIVATE
FAMILY CEMETERY or other grave marker on the property, the
responsibilities related to access and additional interments
as provided under 9 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5 (relating to transfer of
ownership of cemeteries) and 7 (relating to reasonable access
to burial grounds).
* * *
Section 4 3. This act shall apply to cemeteries, PRIVATE
CEMETERIES and private family cemeteries regardless of the date
of burial or acquisition of title to the cemetery, PRIVATE
CEMETERY or private family cemetery.
Section 5 4. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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