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Legal Concerns for Historic Cemeteries

Many laws and regulations apply to historic cemeteries. From hunting and trapping to the operation of cemeteries, rules are spread throughout various State laws. Counties and cities may also have laws and regulations for historic cemeteries.
The Historic Cemeteries Programs provides some resources, but they are not comprehensive. Please be sure to contact other State, County and City offices for more information. If it is possible seek professional counsel.

Who Owns the Cemetery?
It seems that frequently no one owns the cemetery. The best way to address this problem is communicate with the County where the cemetery is located. The County offices are in charge of maintaining records for property ownership and may have a process for acquiring the property. The Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries is currently researching issues of cemetery ownership and will work to find resolutions for those in the future.

Non-Profits, Corporations and the Business of Cemeteries
Often organizations supporting cemeteries are corporations or associations. Both have rules for registering and operating. Cemeteries still performing burials must be certified and follow certain regulations. See these resources for more.
Secretary of State Corporation Division  http://sos.oregon.gov/business/Pages/nonprofit.aspx

To find your organization’s current status, click on Business name search at http://sos.oregon.gov/business/Pages/default.aspx  
Oregon Cemetery and Mortuary Board http://www.oregon.gov/MortCem/

Some Answers to Legal Questions

State Laws Pertaining to Historic Cemeteries

Major State Cemetery Laws


Chapter 97 Rights and Duties Relating to

Cemeteries, etc.

Chapter 692 Funeral Service Practioners, etc.

Chapter 166 - Offences Against Public Order, etc.

To look up more