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Crematory corporations. 1885, 265, § 1.

may hold real estate. 1885, 265, § 2.

Towns to pro-
vide burial-
1855, 257, § 1.

Land for burial places, how taken. 1866, 112, § 1. 1877, 69, § 1. P. S. 82, § 10. 103 Mass. 106.

County commissioners to appoint time and place for

its cemetery which the state board of health determines is suitable 4 for that purpose, and such buildings and appliances shall be a part 5 of the cemetery and be dedicated to the burial of the dead, and shall 6 be held by said corporations subject to the duties, and with the 7 privileges and immunities, which they now have under general or 8 special laws.


By-laws and


SECTION 9. Cemetery and crematory corporations may, subject 1 1885, 265, §§ 2, 3. to the approval of said board, make by-laws and regulations con- 2

1898, 437, § 2.

sistent with law for the reception and cremation of bodies of the 3 dead and for the disposition of the ashes thereof, and shall conduct 4 their business in accordance with such regulations as said board 5 shall establish and furnish in writing to the clerk of the corporation. 6 For each violation of the regulations of said board they shall forfeit 7 not less than twenty nor more than five hundred dollars. Such cor- 8 porations shall not erect, occupy or use any building for the pur- 9 pose of cremation until the location and plans thereof with all details 10 of construction have been submitted to and approved by said board 11 or by some person designated by it. 12

SECTION 7. Five or more persons may form a corporation in the 1 manner provided in chapter one hundred and ten, with a capital of 2 not less than six thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars, 3 divided into shares of a par value of either ten or fifty dollars, for 4 the purpose of providing the necessary appliances for the disposal 5 by cremation of the bodies of the dead; and they shall have the 6 same powers and privileges, and be subject to the provisions of 7 said chapter, except as hereinafter provided.


SECTION 8. Such corporation may acquire by gift, devise or 1 purchase, and hold in fee simple to an amount not exceeding fifty 2 thousand dollars, land which is necessary and appropriate for its 3 purposes and situated in such place as the state board of health may 4 determine to be suitable.



SECTION 10. Each city and town shall provide one or more 1 suitable places for the interment of persons dying within its limits. 2

G. S. 28, § 4.

P. S. 82, § 9.

158 Mass. 520.

SECTION 11. If there is a necessity for a new cemetery in a 1 town, or for the enlargement of an existing cemetery in and belong- 2 ing to a town, and the owner or any person interested in the land 3 needed for either purpose refuses to sell the same, or demands there- 4 for a price which the selectmen consider unreasonable, or is unable 5 to convey it, the selectmen may, with the approval of the town, 6 make application therefor by written petition to the county com- 7 missioners of the county in which the land lies.


SECTION 12. The commissioners shall appoint a time and place 1 for a hearing, and shall cause notice thereof and a copy of the 2 petition to be served personally upon the owner, if known, or left 3 at his place of abode, fourteen days at least before the time

ap- 4

5 pointed for the hearing. If the land is held in trust or by a cor- hearing, etc. 6 poration, or if the ownership is uncertain, the commissioners shall 1877, 69, $2. 7 also give notice by public advertisement or otherwise.

1866, 112, § 2. P. S. 82, § 11.


judication, etc.

1877, 69, § 3.

103 Mass. 106.

SECTION 13. The commissioners shall hear the parties at the Hearing; ad. 2 time and place appointed, or at an adjournment thereof, shall 1866, 112, §§ 3, 5. 3 adjudicate upon the necessity of such taking, upon the quantity, P. S. 82, § 12. 4 boundaries and value of any land adjudged necessary to be taken, 5 award the damages occasioned thereby, and shall forthwith file a 6 description of such land and a plan thereof in the registry of deeds 7 for the county or district in which such land lies, and thereupon 8 such land shall be taken and held in fee by the town as a burial 9 ground.



of commis

Each commissioner shall be paid by the town three Compensation 2 dollars a day for each day spent in acting under the petition, and 3 five cents a mile for travel to and from the place of hearing.


1866, 112, § 4. 1877, 69, § 4. P. S. 82, § 13.




SECTION 15. Whoever is aggrieved by such award of damages Appeal to 2 may, on application to the commissioners within one year, have a 1866, 112, § 6. 3 jury to determine his damages as in the case of assessment of P. S. 82, § 14. 4 damages for the laying out of highways, and all proceedings shall 5 be conducted as in such cases. If the damages, including the value

6 of the land, are increased by the jury, the amount allowed by the 7 jury and all costs shall be paid by the town; otherwise, the costs 8 shall be paid by the applicant.

tions for im


G. §

P. S. 82, 15.

1 SECTION 16. Towns may appropriate money for enclosing any Appropria 2 cemetery provided by them according to law or for constructing provements, 3 paths and avenues and embellishing the grounds therein, and may 1828, 107. 4 establish all necessary rules relative thereto not repugnant to law. B. S. 15, 18. 5 They may lay out such cemetery into lots, and shall set apart a suit- 1877, 69, $7. 6 able portion as a public burial place for the use of the inhabitants, 103 Mass. 104. 7 free of charge. They may sell and convey to any persons, resident 8 or non-resident, the exclusive right of burial and of erecting tombs 9 and cenotaphs upon any lot and of ornamenting the same, upon 10 such terms and conditions and subject to such regulations as they 11 shall prescribe. The proceeds of such sales shall be paid into the 12 town treasuries, be kept separate from other funds and be appro13 priated to reimburse the towns for the cost of the land or of its 14 improvement and embellishment.


preserved. 1880, 153.

SECTION 17. A city or town shall not alienate or appropriate to Ancient burial 2 any other use than that of a burial ground, any tract of land which placer tod 3 has been for more than one hundred years used as a place of burial; P. S. 82, § 16. 4 and no portion of such burial ground shall be taken for any public 5 use without special authority from the general court.



P. S. 82, § 17.

SECTION 18. A city or town may receive, hold and apply any Deposits for 2 funds, money or securities deposited with the treasurer thereof for 1870, 225, §§ 1-3. 3 the preservation, care, improvement or embellishment of any public 4 or private burial place situated therein, or of burial lots situated in 153 Mass. 465. 5 such burial places, which funds, money or securities shall be entered 6 upon the books of the treasurer, and held in accordance with the

163 Mass. 513.

Cemetery com-
1890, 264, § 1.

Conveyance of lots. Record. 1890, 264, § 3.

Gifts for maintenance

Power and duties.

SECTION 20. Said board shall have the sole care, superintendence 1 1800, 264, §§ 1, 2. and management of all public burial grounds in its town, may lay 2 out any existing public burial grounds in its town or any land pur- 3 chased and set apart by said town for cemeteries and other public 4 burial grounds in lots or other suitable subdivisions with proper 5 paths and avenues, may plant, embellish, ornament and fence the 6 same and erect therein such suitable edifices and conveniences and 7 make such improvements as it considers convenient; and, subject 8 to the approval of the town, may make such regulations, not incon- 9 sistent with law, as it considers expedient. 10

of cemeteries. 153 Mass. 465.

1890, 264, § 4.

163 Mass. 513.

provisions of the ordinances or by-laws relative thereto. A city or 7 town may pass such ordinances or by-laws, not inconsistent with 8 law, as may be necessary for the purposes of this section, and may 9 allow interest on such funds at a rate not exceeding six per cent a 10 year.



SECTION 19. A town which accepts the provisions of this and the 1 four following sections or has accepted the corresponding provisions 2 of earlier laws may, at any town meeting, elect by ballot a board of 3 cemetery commissioners consisting of three persons, a majority 4 of whom shall, for at least one year previous to their election, have 5 been owners of a lot in a cemetery or other public burial ground 6 in said town. If such board is first chosen at a meeting other than 7 an annual town meeting, one member shall be elected for one year 8 from the day following that fixed by law for the last preceding 9 annual town meeting, one member for two years, and one member 10 for three years, from said day; and annually thereafter one member 11 so qualified shall, at the annual town meeting, be elected by ballot 12 for a term of three years. Such boards shall choose a chairman, 13 and a clerk who may be a member of the board.


SECTION 21. Said board may, by deed made and executed in 1 such manner and form as it may prescribe, convey to any person 2 the sole and exclusive right of burial in any lot in said cemetery 3 and of erecting tombs, cenotaphs and other monuments or struct- 4 ures thereon upon such terms and conditions as its regulations pre- 5 scribe. Such deeds and all subsequent deeds of such lots made by 6 the owners thereof shall be recorded by said board in suitable books 7 of record, which shall be open to the public at all reasonable times. 8

SECTION 22. A town in which cemetery commissioners are 1 chosen may receive gifts or bequests for maintaining cemeteries or 2 cemetery lots, which shall be paid into the town treasury of said 3 town and, with the accounts thereof, shall be kept separate from the 4 other money and accounts of said town. The town treasurer shall 5 invest all such funds in accordance with the stipulations, if any, 6 accompanying them; otherwise he shall invest them as ordered by 7 the selectmen and said commissioners and pay the income therefrom 8 upon their order or with their approval. The proceeds of sales of 9 lots or rights of burial in said cemetery shall be paid into the town 10 treasury and shall be subject to said orders. 11

1 SECTION 23. Said board shall not incur debts or liabilities for Debt limit. 1890, 264, § 5. 2 purposes other than aforesaid nor to an amount exceeding the 3 amount of the funds subject to their order; and it shall annually 4 make a report in writing to said town of its official acts, of the con5 dition of said cemetery and burial grounds, and render an account 6 of its receipts and expenditures for the same and of the funds sub7 ject to its order.



ible but

1841, 114, 5.

P. S. 82, 3, 4. 1892, 165, § 1.

SECTION 24. Lots in cemeteries incorporated under the provi- Lots indivis 2 sions of section one, tombs in public cemeteries in cities, and lots inheritable. 3 and tombs in public cemeteries in towns, shall be held indivisible, G. S. 28, §3. 4 and upon the decease of a proprietor of such lot, the title thereto 17, 182, $4. 5 shall vest in his heirs at law or devisees subject to the following 1885, 302. 6 limitations and conditions: If he leaves a widow and children 7 they shall have the possession, care and control of said lot or tomb 8 in common during her life. If he leaves a widow and no children, 9 she shall have such possession, care and control during her life. 10 If he leaves children and no widow, they shall have in common the 11 possession, care and control of such lots or tombs during their joint 12 lives, and the survivor of them during his life. The persons in pos13 session, care and control of such lots or tombs may erect a monument 14 and make other permanent improvements thereon. The widow shall 15 have a right of permanent interment for her own body in such lot or 16 tomb, but it may be removed therefrom to some other family lot or 17 tomb with the consent of her heirs. If two or more persons are 18 entitled to the possession, care and control of such lot or tomb, 19 they shall designate in writing to the clerk of the corporation, or if 20 it is a tomb or lot in a public cemetery, to the board of cemetery 21 commissioners, if any, or to the city or town clerk, which of their 22 number shall represent the lot; and in default of such designation, 23 the board of trustees or directors of the corporation, the board of 24 cemetery commissioners, if any, or the board of health if such lots 25 or tombs are in public cemeteries in cities or towns, shall enter of 26 record which of said persons shall represent the lot during such 27 default. The widow may at any time release her right in such lot, 28 but no conveyance or devise by any other person shall deprive her 29 of such right.



SECTION 25. Before entering of record the name of any person Hearing as to 2 to represent such lot or tomb, the board of health of a town shall 1892, 165, § 2. 3 hear the parties entitled to the control thereof at such time and 4 place as it shall have previously appointed by a notice published in

5 a newspaper, if any, of the town; otherwise, by posting a copy in 6 a public place therein.


SECTION 26. A wife shall be entitled to a right of interment for Wife's right 2 her own body in any burial lot or tomb of which her husband was 1883, 262.

of interment.

3 seised at any time during coverture, which right shall be exempt

4 from the operation of the laws regulating conveyance, descent and 5 devise, but which may be released by her in the same manner 6 as dower.


SECTION 27. A husband shall have the same rights in the tomb Husband's 2 or burial lot of his wife as a wife has in that of her husband and ment.

right of inter

1899, 479, § 12. 1900, 450, § 9.

Private land

not to be used for burial except, etc.

1835, 257, §§ 2-4.

G. S. 28, §§ 5, 11.

P. S. 82, 5$ 18,


99 Mass. 281.

1, 118 355.

109 Mass. 121.


by boards of

P. §§

F. S. 32,


SECTION 29. Boards of health may make regulations concerning 1 burial grounds and interments within their cities and towns; may 2 1855, 257, $$ 5, 6. impose penalties not exceeding one hundred dollars for a breach 3


R. S. 21, §§ 7, 8.


1885, 278, § 1. 16 Pick. 121.

8 Cush. 68.

13 Allen, 546.

may assert or release the same in the same manner as she may assert 3 or release her rights.


Notice of closing of tombs. 1855, 257, § 9. G. S. 28, § 8. P. S. 82, § 22.

SECTION 28. Except in the case of the erection or use of a tomb 1 on private land for the exclusive use of the family of the owner, no 2 land, other than that already so used or appropriated, shall be used 3 for the purpose of burial, unless by permission of the town or of 4 the mayor and aldermen of the city in which the same lies. For 5 every interment in violation of the provisions of this section in a 6 city or town in which the notice prescribed in the following sec- 7 tion has been given, the owner of the land so used shall forfeit not 8 less than twenty nor more than one hundred dollars.


of such regulations; may prohibit the use by undertakers, for the 4 purpose of speculation, of tombs as places of deposit for bodies 5 committed to them for burial; and may close any tomb, burial 6 ground, cemetery or other place of burial within the city or town 7 for such time as they consider necessary for the protection of the 8 public health. Notice of such regulations shall be given by pub- 9 lishing them in a newspaper, if any, of the city or town; otherwise, 10 by posting a copy in a public place therein. Such publication shall 11 be notice to all persons.


SECTION 30. Before a tomb, burial ground or cemetery is closed 1 by order of the board of health for more than one month, all per- 2 sons interested shall have an opportunity to be heard, and personal 3 notice of the time and place of hearing shall be given to at least 4 one owner of the tomb, and to three at least, if there are so many, 5 of the owners of such burial ground or cemetery, and notice shall 6 be published for at least two successive weeks preceding such 7 hearing in two newspapers if so many are published in the county. 8


The owner of a tomb who is aggrieved by the order 1 order of board. of the board of health closing a tomb, burial ground or cemetery 2

Appeal from

1855, 257, § 7. G. S. 28, § 9.

P. S. 82, § 23.

may, within six months after the date thereof, appeal therefrom to 3 the superior court, first giving written notice to the board fourteen 4 days before the entry of such appeal; but the order of the board 5 shall remain in force until the appeal has been determined.


Trial. Costs.

SECTION 32. Appeals shall be tried before a jury, and if the 1

1855, 257, § 7.

G. S. 2 10. jury find that the tomb, burial ground or cemetery so closed was 2


P. S. 82, § 24. 1885, 278, § 2.

not a nuisance or injurious to the public health at the time of the 3 order and that the closing thereof was not necessary for the protec- 4 tion of the public health, the court shall rescind such order so far as 5 it affects such tomb, burial ground or cemetery, and the appellant 6 may recover the costs of the appeal from the city or town in which 7 the tomb, burial ground or cemetery was situated. If the order is 8 sustained, the board of health shall recover double costs, to the use 9 of the city or town. 10

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