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Louisiana Historic Cemetery Preservation 2010

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Louisiana Historic Cemetery Preservation 2010

Posted: 1291486260000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Louisiana, Louisiana Cemetery, Louisiana History, Louisiana Law,
Louisiana Historic Cemetery Preservation Act 2010

This act was signed by the Governor of Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal, on June 29, 2010. This Act. 707 (HB 527) can be downloaded as a PDF file from the Louisiana Legislature Web Portal at the following URL:

The Act covers cemeteries that are unknown in Louisiana that are 50 years of age or older and includes isolated graves or grave sites in addition to cemeteries no longer in active use which are governed under the Louisiana Cemetery Board and who are not currently under state jurisdiction. Also the Act defines an "abandoned cemetery" and "historic cemetery" and law pertaining to the discovery of a grave.

This webmaster is no lawyer and the following statement is no legal interpretation of the Act but my own personal interpretation (opinion) of the Act itself as I understand it read.

This Revised Statute would include cemeteries held on private property, not under any other jurisdiction where the internments are noted (headstones/tombstones/markers) or have unmarked burials (sunken areas, evidence or written historical proof of internment) determined by the coroner/LA DEPT ARCHEALOGY older than fifty years, and includes penalties for disturbing these historic sites which are now under the authority of the Louisiana Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism and require permit to disturb. Upon discovery, these sites should be reported to the aforementioned Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism, local Sheriff and the Attorney General immediately and no later than 72 hours after discovery.

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CODING: Words in struck through type are deletions from existing law; words underscored
are additions.
1 §932. Legislative declaration of intent
2 The legislature hereby finds the demolition, destruction, and damage of
3 historic cemeteries and isolated graves a disrespectful practice. The legislature
4 further finds that existing state laws do not provide for the adequate protection of
5 historic cemeteries that are not under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Cemetery
6 Board, are not on state lands, and are not solely comprised of unmarked graves.
7 Cemeteries are considered bymost cultures to be sacred spaces. In addition to being
8 resting places for our dead, many of Louisiana's cemeteries are repositories of
9 significant examples of art, architecture, and archaeology as well as containing the
10 history of their respective communities. The importance of cemeteries should not
11 be taken lightly, as these significant elements represent a substantial tourist attraction
12 for the state of Louisiana, and also present an endless source of data for historians,
13 taphologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, and genealogists that collectively lead
14 us to a better understanding of our own culture.

18 (1) "Abandoned cemetery" shall mean any cemetery which is no longer being
19 used for interments, is not being maintained in good condition, and has fallen into
20 a state of disrepair, including tombs and headstones that have collapsed or been
21 destroyed, walls and fences that have fallen apart, and trees and bushes that have
22 grown amongst and within grave spaces.

13 (11) "Historic cemetery" shall mean any abandoned cemetery located in the
14 state that is more than fifty years old and is not subject to the laws, rules, and
15 regulations of the board or Chapter 10-A of Title 8 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes
16 of 1950.

21 §939. Discovery of historic cemetery or isolated grave
22 A. Any person who has reason to believe he has discovered a historic
23 cemetery or an isolated grave shall notify the department through the division within
24 seventy-two hours of the discovery.
25 B. Any activity that may disturb the historic cemetery or isolated grave shall
26 immediately cease upon discovery. No activity which shall disturb the historic
27 cemetery or isolated grave shall resume until the department has issued a permit
28 governing the disposition of the historic cemetery or isolated grave. In no event shall
29 the department take longer than thirty days to decide on issuance of a permit without
30 the written agreement of all parties.

15 §943. Exclusions
16 The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to the following:
17 (1) A cemetery operated under the authority and regulation of the board.
18 (2) An unmarked burial site that is covered under the authority and
19 regulation of the division or Chapter 10-A of Title 8 of the Louisiana Revised
20 Statutes of 1950.
21 (3) Normal cleaning of grave spaces and grounds maintenance.
22 (4) Grave spaces within abandoned cemeteries that are less than fifty years
23 old.

24 §937. Unlawful acts
25 A. It is unlawful for any person, entity, or group, to whom the department
26 has not issued a permit, to knowingly:
27 (1) Disturb a historic cemetery or an isolated grave.
28 (2) Allow any person, entity, or group access to a historic cemetery or an
29 isolated grave for the purpose of disturbing any such cemetery or grave.

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CODING: Words in struck through type are deletions from existing law; words underscored
are additions.

Unlawful acts (continued)
1 (3) Provide funds to or for any person, entity, or group for the purpose of
2 disturbing any historic cemetery or isolated grave.
3 B. Each violation of this Section shall be punishable upon conviction of a
4 first offense by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or imprisonment for not
5 more than one year, or both. Upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense
6 each violation shall be punishable by imprisonment for not more than two years or
7 a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or both. Each disturbance of a historic
8 cemetery or isolated grave constitutes a separate offense.

AND [Excerpt]
This ACT to
...establish the Louisiana Historic Cemetery Preservation
5 Program within the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, office of
6 cultural development, division of archaeology
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
louisianagene... 1291486260000 
louisianagene... 1291705021000 
Marlon Ebey 1292719760000 
louisianagene... 1292872040000 
louisianagene... 1292872226000 
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