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A02741
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, SAYLOR AND
DAWKINS, MARCH 30, 2017
AS AMENDED ON SECOND CONSIDERATION, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
JUNE 30, 2017
AN ACT
Amending Titles Title 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; AND providing for transfer of
ownership of cemeteries and for reasonable access to burial
grounds; 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 definitions to read:
SECTION 1. THE DEFINITION OF "CEMETERY" IN SECTION 101 OF
TITLE 9 OF THE PENNSYLVANIA CONSOLIDATED STATUTES IS AMENDED AND
THE SECTION IS AMENDED BY ADDING DEFINITIONS TO READ:
§ 101. Definitions.
Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent
provisions of this title which are applicable to specific
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chapters or other provisions of this title, the following words
and phrases when used in this title shall have, unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them
in this section:
"Burial plot." Real property where an individual has 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.
"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 TERM DOES NOT INCLUDE A
PRIVATE CEMETERY OR A PRIVATE FAMILY CEMETERY.
* * *
"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
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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
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
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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).
CHAPTER 7
REASONABLE ACCESS TO
BURIAL GROUNDS
Sec.
701. Definitions.
702 . Declaration of policy.
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.
§ 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.
§ 703 . Reasonable access for visitation.
(a) Cemetery companies.--A cemetery company shall grant an
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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
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) Access standards .--The cemetery company or owner THE
OWNER OF REAL PROPERTY WHERE A CEMETERY, PRIVATE CEMETERY,
PRIVATE FAMILY CEMETERY OR BURIAL PLOT IS LOCATED may designate
the frequency, hours and duration of visitation and the route of
ingress and egress.
(f) Immunity.--The cemetery company or owner THE OWNER OF
REAL PROPERTY WHERE A CEMETERY, PRIVATE CEMETERY, PRIVATE FAMILY
CEMETERY OR BURIAL PLOT IS LOCATED 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.
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(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.
* * *
(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 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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