In charge of the cemetery shall be the Director who shall conduct and administer the cemetery, subject to the rules and regulations established by the Pastor of Saint Mary Parish and contained in this document. These rules may be amended from time to time.
The term “Cemetery Authorities” shall mean such Director and shall be extended to mean his appointees, including, but not limited to the superintendent/caretaker(s) in charge.
- The term “Cemetery” as used herein shall mean all property for earth burials; niche spaces for cremation inurnments and mausoleums for crypt entombments.
- The term “Plot Holder” shall include person or persons who have purchased interment, inurnment or entombment rights or who hold same by right of inheritance or transfer.
- By the term “Interment” is meant earth burial, inurnment or entombment.
- “Grave” shall mean a space of ground in the cemetery used, or intended to be used for the burial of human remains.
- “Niche” shall mean a space in a columbarium (whether it is a private columbarium or the Saint Mary Garden Columbarium) used, or intended to be used, to inurn human cremains.
- “Crypt” shall mean that part of a mausoleum or underground vault of sufficient size used, or intended to be used, to entomb human remains.
- “Entombment” shall herein mean burial in a mausoleum crypt or underground vault.
- The term “Plot” shall include and apply to one or more than one adjoining grave.
- The term “Deed” shall mean only a grant of the privilege of burial or inurnment and not a conveyance of any ownership or tenancy. It does not convey any ownership or other interest in the grave or graves to which it refers.
- The term “Memorial” shall include monument, tombstone, headstone, grave marker or tablets, or inscriptions on crypt or niche fronts, for one or more deceased persons.
- The term “Care” shall mean that general care of the cemetery as herein described.
III. Arrangements for Funerals and Interments
- The Cemetery Authorities shall have the right to request those wishing to make a selection of a plot, or to arrange for a funeral, to call at the cemetery office in ample time to complete arrangements before closing time.
- All arrangements for burials and purchase of burial privileges shall be completed at the cemetery or Parish office.
- All arrangements for burial or purchase of interment privileges made by a plot holder through a funeral director or other agent shall be binding on said plot holder.
- The Cemetery Authorities may accept a request for an interment or opening of a plot for any purpose on proper written authorization from any plot holder of record, unless there are written instructions to the contrary on file in the cemetery office. To avoid serious inconvenience the Cemetery Authorities may accept from the plot holder a fax or email interment authorization.
- The Cemetery Authorities shall not be responsible for any order given by telephone or any mistake occurring from the lack of proper instructions as to the size of casket, or as to the particular grave or crypt location where interment is to be made. The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to make an equitable charge whenever additional labor costs result from such mistakes.
- The Cemetery Authorities shall be in no way liable for any delay in the interment of a body where a protest to the interment has been made, or where the rules and regulations have not been complied with, or where said rules and regulations shall forbid such interment; and, further, said Cemetery Authorities reserve the right under such circumstances to place the body in a receiving vault until full rights have been determined. The rental cost for the receiving vault and transportation to and from the vault location will be the responsibility of the family/responsible party for the deceased. Any protest is required to be in writing and filed in the office of the Cemetery.
- All funerals on entering the cemetery shall be under the exclusive charge and sole direction of the Cemetery Authorities.
- A burial permit for each funeral as required by the Town of Ridgefield , State of Connecticut must be presented to the Cemetery Authorities before interment is completed.
- The Cemetery Authorities shall not be liable for the burial permit or responsible for the accuracy of the data contained in said permit or for the identity of the person to be interred, inurned or entombed.
- The casket may not be opened at any time within the cemetery without the express permission (and in the presence) of the Cemetery Authorities. The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to refuse permission to anyone without the consent of the legal representative of the deceased or without a court order. In the event necessity requires, the Cemetery Authorities may take appropriate steps to correct any obnoxious or improper condition.
- The Cemetery Authorities shall have the right to designate the hour and manner in which interments will or will not be permitted. All interments shall be subject to the payment of such charges as shall be fixed by the Cemetery Authorities.
- The funeral party must vacate the gravesite prior to the closing of the grave. The gravesite will not be closed until the site has been vacated by the funeral party. However, the funeral party may return to the gravesite once the site has been completely closed.
- All interments are subject to these rules and regulations shall also be subject to the orders and laws of the properly constituted authorities of the city, county and state.
V. Disinterment Procedure
- Disinterment is generally forbidden and will be permitted only in unusual circumstances and for the most serious reasons with written approval of certain holder or court order.
- The Cemetery Authorities shall exercise due caution in making a disinterment and removal, but they shall assume no liability for the damage to any casket or burial case incurred in making the disinterment and removal.
- The Cemetery Authorities shall have the right to designate the hour and manner in which disinterment and removals will be permitted. All disinterment and removals shall be subject to the payment of such charges as shall be fixed by the Cemetery Authorities.
- All removals are subject to these rules and regulations shall also be subject to the orders and laws of the properly constituted authorities of the city, county and state.
The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to correct errors made by them in the sale of description of interment rights or plots, or in making interments or disinterment. The Cemetery Authorities may either cancel such transfer and substitute in lieu thereof other interment rights or plot selection by them in their discretion in a similar location, so far as is possible, or in their discretion they may refund any monies paid for the purchase or interment privileges. If such error also involves the interment of the remains of any person, the Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to reinter the remains in another lot of equal value in a new location selected as above provided.
VII. Instruction to Plot Holder and Plot Holders’ Rights
- The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to specify the terms of purchase of all interments allocated to a grave or lot.
- If a purchaser fails to carry out the terms of the purchase agreement, the Cemetery Authorities may declare said agreement cancelled and all rights of the purchaser in and to the plot forfeited.
- No coping, curbing, fencing, hedging, shrubs, borders, statuary or enclosures of any kind shall be allowed around or in the plot boundaries. The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right without prior notice to remove same if so erected, planted or placed.
- The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to remove without prior notice previously erected items or shrubberies which have become unsightly or dangerous.
- If the deed of the lot or grave has been lost or mislaid, an affidavit sworn to before a Notary Public must be presented in which the person claiming rights to interment privileges in said plot, and state that no other party has prior or equal rights to said plot. Upon presentation of the affidavit, the Cemetery Authorities shall have the right to rely on the statements contained therein, and the person(s) making the affidavit shall be responsible for any errors or omissions of the affidavit.
- In case of loss of a Certificate of Exclusive Right of Burial to a lot or grave a substitute Certificate may be issued to the person who has established legal right to it after satisfactory proof of said loss and ownership has been presented to the Cemetery Authorities, together with an affidavit, reasonably satisfactory in form and substance to the Cemetery office, by a person having personal knowledge of the facts which may be conclusively relied upon by the Cemetery to permit the use of unoccupied portions of any Interment Space referred to in such affidavit.
- The use of a plot is for the plot holder or plot holder’s relatives for interment purposes only, not for resale or profit. By special permission of the Cemetery Authorities a person not a member of the plot holder’s family may be interred in said plot, but in no case shall a plot holder have any right to sell, transfer, exchange, or in any manner dispose of said plot or any part thereof or any right of interest therein or any use of said plot without written permission of the Cemetery Authorities.
Ownership and Transfer of Interment Rights – Descent of Ownership: Interment, Entombment, and Inurnment rights in the Cemetery can be acquired only with the written approval of the Cemetery office, and such rights are subject to the Rules and Regulations as are promulgated by the Cemetery as they may be amended from time to time. Owners of Interment rights may not sell, assign, or otherwise transfer, pledge, or hypothecate interment rights to any other person without the prior written approval of the Cemetery office. The Cemetery office may refuse to approve the transfer, as long as any indebtedness with respect to the Interment rights sought to be transferred is owed the Cemetery. In addition, any transfer is subject to these Rules and Regulations and to the payment of the transfer fee, established by the Cemetery office in advance of the recording of the transfer with and issuance of the new evidence of ownership by the Cemetery office. No transfer of Interment rights shall be valid or effective until recorded in the records of the Cemetery office.
- An Owner of Interment rights, with the prior approval of the Cemetery office, may exchange such Interment rights for rights with respect to any other Interment space of at least equal value when available. When such an exchange of rights is approved, the Certificate of Ownership, with respect to the rights to be surrendered, must be delivered to the Cemetery office by the Owner, the Owner must execute any additional documents the Cemetery office may reasonably require, and the owner must pay any applicable transfer fee established by the Cemetery office prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Ownership or Purchase Agreement, with respect to the rights acquired or to be acquired.
- All interment rights are presumed to be the sole and separate property of the Owner(s) named in the Certificate of Ownership or Purchase Agreement.
- The legal spouse of an Owner of Interment rights, with respect to any Plot, Crypt, or Niche containing more than one Interment Space, has a vested right of Interment in such Plot, Crypt, or Niche as long as the legal marriage relationship exists, provided at least one Interment Space (other than any space allocated to the surviving Owner) is unoccupied at the time of death of such spouse.
- If two or more persons are named in any Certificate of Ownership as co-tenants, joint tenants, or tenants by the entirety, each such person has a vested right of interment in the Interment Space(s) designated in the Certificate of Ownership.
- A vested right of Interment may be waived by the person in whom such right is vested, and is terminated upon the Interment elsewhere of the person in whom such right is vested upon written proof, reasonably satisfactory in substance and form to the Cemetery office, of the Interment of such person in a place other than the Cemetery. No vested right of Interment gives to any person the right to be Interred in any Interment Space in which the remains of any deceased person have already been Interred, nor does it give any person the right to have more than one deceased interred in a single Interment Space, except as otherwise specifically provided in these Rules and Regulations.
- An affidavit reasonably satisfactory in form and substance to the Cemetery office, by a person having personal knowledge of the facts, setting forth the fact of the death of the Owner or a Joint Owner, the place of interment of such Owner, and the name(s) of the surviving joint Owner(s) or person(s) entitled to the Interment rights referred to in subsection c, d, e and f, above, may be conclusively relied upon by the Cemetery to permit the use of unoccupied portions of any Interment Space referred to in such affidavit.
- The Purchase Agreement or the Certificate of Ownership, with respect to any Interment rights, and these Rules and Regulations set forth all of the rights and duties of the Cemetery, the Owner, and any other person claiming any interest in such Interment rights.
- Records shall be kept by the Cemetery office showing the name of the purchaser or Owner of the rights with respect to each Grave, Crypt, or Niche and the locations of such Interment Space. Except as otherwise expressly provided herein, any notice or other communication to any Owner shall be deemed to be properly given, if sent by ordinary mail addressed to the Owner at the last address shown on the records of the Cemetery office.
Family Interment Space Inalienable
- When an interment of an Owner of Relative is made and the Owner or any joint Owner dies without making disposition of the remaining Interment Space, either by specific bequest or written declaration filed and recorded in the Cemetery office, the Interment Space thereby and thereupon becomes inalienable and shall be held and reserved as the family Interment Space of the Original Owner.
- In a family Interment Space, one Plot, Crypt, or Niche place may be used for the Owner’s Interment, one for the Owner’s spouse, if any, who has a vested right of Interment, and the children and the parents of the deceased Owner acquire vested rights of Interment in any remaining Interment Space and may be interred in order of death without the consent of any other person claiming any interest in such Interment Space. If no child or parent survives, the vested rights of Interment go in order of death, first to the spouse of any child of the Owner and, second, in order of death to the nearest heirs at law of the Owner.
- Any person who has a vested right of Interment in a family Interment Space may waive in writing such right in favor of any other Relative or spouse of a relative of either the deceased Owner or such Owner’s spouse, and upon such waiver and the similar written waiver of all other persons having prior vested rights in the Interment Space, the person in whose favor the rights were waived thereby has a vested right to interment in that space.
- The Cemetery may take and hold rights transferred to it by the Owner with respect to any Interment Space so that such is restricted to the persons designated in the instrument of devise or transfer.
The following rights and privileges are hereby expressly reserved to the Cemetery Authorities to be exercised at any time or from time to time for the erection of buildings, or for any purpose or use connected with, incident to, or convenient for, the care of, preservation of, or preparation for the disposal or interment of, human dead bodies or other cemetery purposes:
- To survey, enlarge, diminish, replat, alter, in shape or size, or otherwise to change all or any part of the cemetery.
- Easements and rights of way over and through all of the said cemetery premises for the purpose of installing and operating, pipelines, conduits or drains for sprinklers, drainage, electric or communication lines or for any other cemetery purpose.
No easement or right of interment is granted to any plot holder in any road, drive, or walk within the cemetery, but such road, drive or walk may be used as means of access to the cemetery and the buildings as long as the Cemetery Authorities devote such road, drive or walk to that purpose.
XI. Use of Cemetery
- Visitors are permitted within the cemetery during daylight hours and shall use only the avenues, roads, and walks designated, unless it be necessary to walk on the grass to gain access to one’s own plot. The Cemetery Authorities expressly disclaim liability for any injuries sustained by anyone violating this rule.
- Only the plot holder and his/her relatives or friends shall be permitted on the cemetery plot. Any other person thereon shall be considered a trespasser.
- Pet, other than service animals shall not be allowed in the cemetery or in any building in the cemetery at any time.
- Lawns shall not be disturbed for any purpose except under the supervision of the Cemetery Authorities. Placing of trees, shrubs, and plants is forbidden.
- The right is reserved to regulate the method of decorations of plots so that uniform beauty may be maintained. The use of boxes, shells, toys, metal designs, ornaments, artificial decorations, vases, glass or crockery jars and containers, wood or metal cases, barriers, wooden crosses, iron furniture, arbors, concrete urns, pedestals, images or statuary shall not be permitted on any plot and such articles shall be removed by the Cemetery Authorities, without notice.
- The Cemetery Authorities shall not be liable for vases, floral pieces, baskets or flowers in which or to which such floral pieces are attached, beyond the acceptance of such floral pieces for funeral services held in the cemetery.
- The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to remove or prune any trees or shrubbery previously planted in the cemetery which in the Cemetery Authorities sole opinion, may mar the beauty of the cemetery or may encroach upon or interfere with other lots or graves, or which has been previously placed without written permission. Wooden crosses, footstones, iron furniture, arbors, concrete urns, pedestals, statuary, images, etc., shall not be permitted on any plot and such articles shall be removed by the Cemetery Authorities.
- With the express permission of the Cemetery Authorities, plants, flowers, wreaths or artificial decorations may be permitted on a particular plot but in no case may the lawn be disturbed, and such decorations may be removed within the reasonable discretion of the Cemetery Authorities.
- Automobiles, funeral coaches, and trucks must be kept under control at all times and at no time shall such vehicles drive through or within the cemetery at a speed in excess of 10 miles per hour. Automobiles are not allowed to park or to come to a full stop in front of an open grave unless such automobiles are in attendance at the funeral. It is prohibited to park or leave any motor vehicle on any road or driveway within the cemetery at such location or in such position as to prevent any other vehicle from passing, and if so parked or left, the Cemetery Authorities may remove said vehicle.
- The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to refuse admission to the cemetery of bicycles or motorcycles and motorized vehicles of any kind.
- Idling, loafing, loitering or any boisterous demonstrations with the cemetery or any of the buildings is prohibited.
- Throwing of rubbish or trash on roads, driveways, paths, walks, or any part of the grounds or in the buildings is prohibited.
- Picnicking or partaking of any refreshments by visitors within the cemetery is prohibited.
- No one shall pluck any flowers or break any branches, or remove, injure, or cut any tree or shrub without specific permission of the Cemetery Authorities.
- No one shall be permitted to peddle flowers, plants, or any other article or item, or to solicit the sale of any commodity whatsoever within the cemetery.
- No signs, notices, or advertising of any kind shall be allowed within the cemetery except those placed by the Cemetery Authorities.
- The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to forbid and prevent assemblages which they deem improper.
- Unauthorized Hunting, Fishing or Trapping of any kind on Cemetery Property is prohibited.
All grading, landscape work, and improvements of any kind, and all care of plots shall be done, and all trees, shrubs, and herbage of any kind shall be planted, trimmed, cut or removed solely by the Cemetery Authorities.
All improvements or alterations of plots shall be under the direction of, and subject to the approval of, the Cemetery Authorities; and should they be made without written consent, said Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to remove, alter, or change such improvements or alterations at the expense of the plot holder.
XIV. Cemetery Hours
The Cemetery Authorities shall have the right to fix the opening and closing hours of the cemetery, office and buildings.
No workmen other than employees of the cemetery will be permitted to work in the cemetery unless authorized by the Cemetery Authorities. However, plot holders may have certain work done in accordance with the cemetery rules and regulations at their own expense upon application to the Cemetery Authorities.
Cemetery employees are not permitted to do any work for plot holders except upon the order of the Cemetery Authorities, but are required to be civil and courteous to all visitors.
Under penalty of immediate dismissal no cemetery employee shall receive any fee, gratuity or commission, directly or indirectly except from the Cemetery Authorities.
The Cemetery Authorities shall have the right to maintain guard, if in their discretion they deem it necessary, but are under no legal obligation to do so.
XVII. Loss or Damage
The Cemetery Authorities disclaim all responsibility for loss or damage from cause beyond their reasonable control, and especially from damage by an act of nature, the elements, earthquakes, war, common enemy, air raids, invasions, insurrections, riots, order of any military or civil authorities, thieves, vandals, strikers, malicious mischief makers, explosions, unavoidable accidents, or any cause similar or dissimilar beyond the control of the Cemetery Authorities whether the damage be direct or collateral.
In the event it becomes necessary to reconstruct or repair any section or plot including graves, crypts, niches or any portions thereof in the cemetery, which have been damaged by such causes, the Cemetery Authorities shall give a ten-day written notice of the necessity for such repair to the plot holder of record. The notice shall be given by depositing the same in the United States mail with postage thereon duly prepaid, addressed to the plot holder of record at his or her address stated on the books at the Cemetery office. In the event that the plot holder fails to repair the damage within a reasonable time the Cemetery Authorities may direct that the repairs be made and charge the expense against the plot and to the plot holder of record.
It shall be the duty of the plot holder to notify the Cemetery office of any change in his/her post office address. Notice sent to a plot holder at the last address in the Cemetery office records shall be considered sufficient and proper legal notice.
Care is to be understood as that care and maintenance of plots necessitated by natural growth and ordinary wear, the cleaning and maintenance of roadways and walks, provided there are sufficient cemetery funds for the purpose.
The term “Care” shall in no way mean the maintenance repair or replacement of any memorial placed or erected upon any plot; nor the planting of flowers or ornamental plants; nor the doing of any special or unusual work in the cemetery including work caused by impoverishment of the soil or disruption of water supply or facilities; nor does it mean the reconstruction of any marker, granite, bronze or concrete work on any section of plot, or any portion or portions thereof in the cemetery injured or damaged by any cause direct or indirect beyond the Cemetery Authorities reasonable control.
XX. Memorials and Rules for Memorial Work
- Memorial dealers shall abide by all the rules and regulations of the cemetery.
- The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right at all times to approve and prescribe the kind, size, design, symbolism, craftsmanship, quality and material of memorials, inscriptions, monuments, or markers placed or to be placed in the cemetery. All memorials are subject to the approval of the Cemetery Authorities prior to the placement, and acceptance or rejection for placement shall be based upon such approval.
- In order for the monument application to be approved, all outstanding fees, if any, are to be paid prior to the approval of the monument application. This includes, but is not limited to, grave prices and interment fees.
- The Cemetery Authorities also reserve the right to issue under separate cover detailed regulations and instructions pertaining to the kind, size, design, symbolism, craftsmanship, quality and material of memorials, inscriptions, monuments, or markers to be placed in the cemetery. Said detailed regulations and instructions and all amendments thereto are hereby made a part of these rules and regulations.
- The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to fix the days and hours when any memorial may be delivered to the cemetery and placed on a plot.
- All memorial work, or placement, or removal of any memorial, shall be on written order of the plot holder, and with the approval of the Cemetery Authorities.
- The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to prepare foundations and fix charges for memorial foundations, placements or removals, and the right to demand that said charges be paid in advance. The Cemetery Authorities also reserve the right to set and charge a fee for any memorial left at the cemetery.
- A detailed plan and design of all memorials must be submitted to the Cemetery Authorities for approval, and no memorial shall be erected or placed until checked, approved, and accepted by Cemetery Authorities. If the memorial does not conform in every detail to the approved design, it shall be the sole responsibility of the owner and dealer to correct any errors or deficiencies in workmanship and material.
- The location and position in which a memorial is to be placed or erected on a plot shall be entirely subject to the approval and under supervision of the Cemetery Authorities.
- No monument extending above the surface of the ground shall be erected on plots not specifically set apart for such monument privilege.
- Non-cemetery employees in placing or erecting monuments or other structures, or bringing in materials in regard to such work, shall operate as independent contractors, but must do so under permission from the Cemetery Authorities and under their supervision.
- Non-cemetery workers engaged in placing or erecting monuments or other structures are prohibited from scattering their material over adjoining plots, or from blocking roads or walks, or from leaving their material on the grounds longer than is absolutely necessary.
- Damage done to plots, walks, drives, trees, shrubs or other property by non-cemetery worker’s, dealers or contractors, or their agents shall be repaired by the Cemetery Authorities, and cost of such repair shall be charged to the dealer or contractor or to his principal.
- The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to stop all work of any nature whenever in their opinion proper preparations therefore have not been made; or when work is being done in such a manner as to endanger life or property; or when there is evidence of misrepresentations, or when any reasonable request on the part of the Cemetery Authorities is disregarded, or when any person employed on the work violates any rules of the Cemetery Authorities.
- While the Cemetery Authorities will exercise care to protect raised lettering, carving, or ornaments on any memorial or other structure on any plots, they disclaim responsibility for damage or injury thereto.
- The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to correct any error that may be made by their employees or by any other person or persons in the location or placing of a memorial in the cemetery.
- Should any memorial, mausoleum, or tomb become unsightly, dilapidated, or a menace to the safety of persons within the cemetery, The Cemetery Authorities shall have the right either to correct the condition or to remove same without notice in either case at the expense of the plot holder.
- Soliciting memorial sales or memorial work within the cemetery is not permitted.
- No free standing statuary of any kind is permitted. All forms of decoration not specifically permitted above will be removed without notice. This includes jars, bottles, styrofoam, crockery, statuary, cans, vigil lights, ornaments, paper-maché, marble chips, coping, edging and any other objectionable items.
Mausoleum or tombs either wholly or partially above ground shall be constructed only in plots so designated. Plan, specifications, material, and location in the plot of such mausoleum or tomb shall be subject to the approval of the Cemetery Authorities.
When interment is made in a private mausoleum the crypt shall be properly sealed as directed by the Cemetery Authorities.
XXII. Saint Mary Garden Columbarium
No flowers, vases, statuary are permitted within the Columbarium.
Inscriptions are ordered by the Cemetery Authorities and no modification to the niche engraving is permitted.
The statement of any employee of the cemetery shall not be binding upon the Cemetery Authorities except as such statement coincides with documents conveying the right of interment and these rules and regulations.
- These rules and regulations shall apply to any mausoleum, grave, tomb or plot now in existence or which may hereafter be erected in the cemetery.
- The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right without notice to make temporary exceptions, suspensions or modification in any of these rules and regulations when in their judgment the same appear advisable; and such temporary exception, suspension, or modification shall in no way be considered as affecting the general application of such rule.
- In all matters not specifically covered by these rules and regulations the Cemetery Authorities reserve the right to do anything which in their judgment is deemed reasonable under the circumstances and such decision shall be binding upon the plot holders and all parties concerned.
- The Cemetery Authorities reserve the right at any time and from time to time to change, amend, alter, repeal, rescind, or add to these rules and regulations or any part thereof, or to adopt any new rule or regulation with respect to said cemetery or anything pertaining thereto.
- New or changed rules will be posted in the Cemetery office for a period of thirty days prior to their adoption and such notice shall be considered complete and sufficient announcement of the said change.
Adapted from the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation Rules and Regulations of Catholic Cemeteries.