February 14, 2013 at 1 p.m.
Regulation - Cemeteries - Prohibited Acts and Penalties
HOUSE BILL 410
Destroying Funerary Objects - Revisions
Synopsis: Repealing the element of
prohibitions relating to the destruction of funerary objects; and
that prohibitions relating to the destruction of funerary objects do
prohibit specified repair, replacement, or maintenance activities.
Delegate K. Bennett Bozman, District 38B
Delegate Norman H. Conway, District 38B
Delegate Samuel I. Rosenberg, District 41
Bill 410 as introduced
proposed 2 amendments to the Criminal Law-Article, Title 10, Section
pertaining to cemeteries. The first amendment provided that it is not
to remove, repair, or replace a funerary object, building, wall, fence,
railing, or other object installed in a cemetery or burial site for the
of repair or replacement, either at the request of or with the
heirs or descendants of the deceased or the owner or manager of the
burial site. The second amendment states
the subsection does not prohibit normal horticultural maintenance of a
site such as trimming trees and shrubs, removal of weeds or noxious
grass cutting, or other routine care and maintenance.
The bill was passed by the Legislature,
signed by the Governor on April 26th, and becomes effective
Fall 2004, Volume 12, Number 3, Coalition Courier
Proposed 2005 Legislative Program
Winter 2001 - 2002, Volume 9, Number 4, Coalition Courier
Lacking a quorum at the last meeting, the Board discussed at the January 20, 2001 meeting, three revised draft bills of the Legislative Committee as outlined by Chairman James Trader and voted to seek passage in the next legislative session. The bills sent to Delegate Carol S. Petzold (D), District 19, Montgomery County, were too late for introduction. Copies of the draft bills were sent to Del. Petzold on July 10th with a request for sponsorship and a meeting to review the proposals. Copies were also sent to Delegate David D. Rudolph (D) District 35B, Cecil County.
Mr. Trader met with Del. Petzold in her office in Annapolis on November 6th and discussed the revised bill content, particularly H.B 358 on removal of human remains and amendments, also H.B. 364 on accidental discovery withdrawn in the 2000 session, and proposed amendments to Health-General Article 4-215 on permits for disinterment and reinterment of human remains. Del. Petzold agreed to sponsor the first two bills and indicated a sponsor would be needed for the third bill. Copies were also sent to Delegate Elizabeth Bobo (D), District 12B, Howard County, with a request for sponsorship and discussed with Delegate K. Bennett Bozman (D), District 38, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties, who agreed to be a sponsor on the first two bills.
A copy of the Health Department bill was sent to Senator Martin G. Madden (R), District 13, Howard and Prince George’s Counties, with whom we discussed this proposal in 1998 and request for sponsorship. His office was contacted on December 12th, the Secretary advising he will resign and not be a Senator when the session opens, would be in his office the next day to review the submittal and possible sponsors to contact on the legislation. Chairman Trader notified Del. Petzold of his contacts and requested copies of the draft bills to be introduced without changes in our proposed text for review before introduction. The legislative session convenes on January 9th, 2002.
12/12/2001 James R. Trader, Chairman
Summer 2000, Volume 8, Number 2, Coalition Courier
At the 1999 Legislative session, Coalition bills SB 451 and SB 452, sponsored by Senator Christopher McCabe, Senator John Hafer, and Delegate Carol Petzold, did not receive a favorable report following hearings in the House and Senate. Based on comments made about the proposals and suggestions regarding content, our Legislative Committee Chairman, Jim Trader, revised the text and submitted draft copies to Delegate Bennett Bozman of Worcester County, who was asked to sponsor the bills. Copies were also forwarded to Senator J. Lowell Stoltzfus, Delegate Norman H. Conway, Senator Martin Madden, and Delegate Elizabeth Bobo, who also agreed to be a sponsor with Delegate Bozman.
Delegate Bozman provided copies to Delegate Carol Petzold, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, who agreed to be chief sponsor. HB 358 Human Remains – Removal from Burial Sites – Authorization and Procedures, and HB 364 Graveyard Desecration – Discovered Human Remains and Disturbed Burial Sites, as drafted by the Department of Legislative Services, differed greatly in many areas from the Coalition proposal. Chairman Trader received them on February 2, 2000, and wrote to Delegate Petzold about the problem; however, the bills had already been filed. Both bills were heard on February 15 in the House Judiciary Committee hearing, during which Chairman Trader offered testimony and written comments to members. HB 358 with amendments was approved on February 25; however HB 364 was withdrawn by Delegate Petzold for reasons unknown at this time. Only Delegate Petzold could speak at the March 28 hearing before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee; however, Chairman Trader provided written comments on HB 358 to committee members.
HB 358 was signed by the Governor on May 18, 2000, as Chapter 591, effective October 1, 2000. It provides for a one-time public notice on application to a State’s Attorney to disinter and re-inter human remains before approval is granted, and it increases the penalty for convicted violation of Article 27, Section 265 from $5,000 to $10,000. However it reduces imprisonment from 5-to-15 years to a maximum sentence of 5 years.
Section 267 requires the State’s Attorney to give written
approval to remove or replace an “associated funerary object”
(gravestone, monument, etc.), restricting rights of burial space owners
to repair or replace monuments, etc. The Coalition was unable to
have the reference to “abandoned” cemetery deleted and will again next
year have to return to the Legislation to seek correction of problems
in the legislation.