Sometimes a cemetery is built on an area of land that falls under some one else’s ownership in the course of its existence. Those cemeteries can even be forgotten about until family members, years later, wish to have access to them. HB 281 would allow for people to visit their loved ones without the permission of the land owners.

The bill reads: 

“Any person who desires to enter or exit property for the purpose of visiting a grave or abandoned public cemetery, but is unable to obtain the consent of the landowner upon which the grave is located, may petition the chancery court of the county in which the petitioner has reasonable grounds to believe the deceased is buried, or in the case of an abandoned public cemetery, in the county in which the abandoned public cemetery is located for an order to allow the petitioner to enter and exit the property to discover, restore, maintain, or visit the grave or abandoned public cemetery.”

Rep. Manly Barton

The petition would be filed with the local chancery court to allow access for the family members of those buried in the cemetery. This can include the restoration, discovery, or visiting of what is otherwise deemed as an abandoned public cemetery.

The bill was authored by Rep. Barton and referred to the Judiciary A committee.