Maine Revised Statutes

§1371. Approval for repair, maintenance and removal

1. Prior authorization or approval for repair, maintenance or removal.  Any person may repair, maintain or remove, subject to the restrictions of subsection 2 or 3, any tomb, monument, gravestone, marker or other structure placed or designed as a memorial to the dead, or any portion or fragment of any such memorial, or any fence, railing, curb or other enclosure for the burial of the dead, after obtaining written approval of the owner or operator of the cemetery or burial ground, if an owner or operator exists, and one of the following, in the following order of priority.
A. The person must first seek the authorization of the owner of the burial lot or a lineal descendant of the deceased buried there, if the owner or a lineal descendant is reasonable to locate and notify. [2015, c. 294, §1 (AMD).]
A-1. If an owner or lineal descendant listed in paragraph A cannot reasonably be located and notified, the person shall seek the authorization of a next of kin, if reasonable to locate and notify, of the deceased buried there. [2015, c. 294, §1 (NEW).]
B. If none of the persons listed in paragraph A or A-1 can reasonably be located and notified, the person shall obtain the written approval of the municipality or, in the case of unorganized territory, the county in which the cemetery or burial ground is located. [2015, c. 294, §1 (AMD).]
[ 2015, c. 294, §1 (AMD) .]
2. Conditions on removal for repair, restoration or preservation.  Removal of a tomb, monument, gravestone, marker or other structure placed or designed as a memorial to the dead, or a portion or fragment of a memorial, is permitted only for the purpose of preservation. A tomb, monument, gravestone, marker or other structure placed or designed as a memorial to the dead, or a portion or fragment of a memorial, may not be removed from the confines of the cemetery or burial ground, except that a person who has obtained authorization or approval described in subsection 1 may remove all or a portion of a memorial for a period of no longer than 6 months for the purpose of repair, restoration or preservation, but only when repair, restoration or preservation can not reasonably be accomplished on the site of the cemetery or burial ground. Prior to removal of the memorial, a notice must be submitted to the municipality, or to the county in the case of unorganized territory, stating the location of the burial ground, the identification of the memorial, the authority requesting the removal, the site to which the memorial will be temporarily removed, the proposed date of removal and the proposed date of replacement in the burial ground.
[ 2015, c. 294, §1 (AMD) .]
3. Permanent removal of memorial.   If a tomb, monument, gravestone, marker or other structure placed or designed as a memorial to the dead is in such poor condition that it cannot be preserved in its original location, that memorial may be removed by a person who has obtained authorization or approval described in subsection 1 to another location accessible to the public. Prior to removal of the memorial, a notice must be submitted to the municipality, or to the county in the case of a memorial in unorganized territory, stating the location and identification of the memorial, the authority requesting the removal and the site to which the memorial will be moved and providing documentation of the reason the memorial cannot be preserved in its original location.
When possible, a replacement or replica of the removed memorial must be placed in the original location along with information as to the location of the original memorial. If such placement is not possible, a sign must be placed recording the new location of the memorial.
[ 2015, c. 294, §1 (NEW) .]

All costs associated with actions taken pursuant to this section must be paid by the person or entity that requests the repair, maintenance or removal of a tomb, monument, gravestone, marker or other structure placed or designed as a memorial to the dead, or any portion or fragment of any such memorial, or any fence, railing, curb or other enclosure in the burial lot or cemetery. [2015, c. 294, §1 (NEW).]

The owner, operator or caretaker of a burial lot or a cemetery association that authorizes removal of a memorial pursuant to this section is not responsible or liable for the location or care of the memorial. [2015, c. 294, §1 (NEW).]

SECTION HISTORY
1987, c. 326, §1 (NEW). 1997, c. 193, §1 (AMD). 2015, c. 294, §1 (AMD).