Missouri Law Enacted into Cemetery Preservation Legislation


Relating to certain cemeteries, with penalty provisions. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri, as follows:

SECTION 1. Every person who shall knowingly destroy, mutilate, disfigure, deface, injure or remove any tomb, monument or gravestone, or other structure placed in any abandoned family cemetery or private burying ground, or any fence, railing, or other work for the protection or ornamentation of any such cemetery or place of burial of any human being, or tomb, monument or gravestone, memento, or memorial, or other structure aforesaid, or of any lot within such cemetery is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. For the purposes of this section and section 2 of this act, an abandoned family cemetery or private burying ground shall include those cemeteries or burying grounds which have not been deeded to the public as provided in chapter 214, RSMo, and in which no body has been interred for at least twenty-five years.

SECTION 2. Any person who wishes to visit an abandoned family cemetery or private burying ground which is completely surrounded by privately owned land, for which no public ingress or egress is available, shall have the right to reasonable ingress or egress for the purpose of visiting such cemetery. This right of access to such cemeteries extends only to visitation during reasonable hours and only for purposes usually associated with cemetery visits.

SECTION 3. Nothing in this act shall be construed to limit or modify the power or authority of a court in any action of law or equity to order the disinterment and removal of the remains form a cemetery and interment in a suitable location.