Tennessee Code Title 46 Chapter 4 :: Tennessee Cemetery Statutes :: Tennessee Archaeology Network

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Section

46-4-101. Ground Affected -- Facts which justify termination of use.

46-4-102. "Interested Persons" defined.

46-4-103. Suits for termination of use of land, removal and reinterment and for disposal of land -- Municipal authority extended.

46-4-104. Granting of Relief -- Provisions for reinterment.

Tennessee Cemetery Statutes

Tennessee Code
Title 46 Cemeteries
Chapter 4 Termination of Land Use as Cemetery


46-4-101. Ground affected -- Facts which justify termination of use.

This chapter, which is enacted for the public welfare in the exercise of the police powers of the state of Tennnessee, applies to any burial ground in the state of Tennessee, including any land owned or controlled by cemetery companies, which the court to which jurisdiction is given by this chapter finds, for any of the reasons hereinafter stated, is unsuitable for its use as such and as a resting place for the dead whose remains are buried therein, or the further use of which for such purposes the court finds, for any of such reasons, is inconsistent with due and proper reverence or respect for the memory of the dead or otherwise unsuitable for such purposes, the reasons being:

  1. The burial ground having been abandoned; or
  2. The burial ground being in a neglected or abandoned condition; or
  3. The existence of any conditions or activities about or near the burial ground which the court finds render the further use of same for the purposes aforementioned inconsistent with due and proper respect for the memory of the dead, or for any other reason unsuitable for such purposes.

[Acts 1949, ch. 15, 1; C. Supp. 1950, 3936.1, 5379.1 (Williams, 9720.1); modified; T.C.A. (orig. ed.); 46-401.]


46-4-102. "Interested Persons" defined.

"Interested persons," as used in this chapter, means any and all persons who have any right or easement or other right in, or incident or appurtenant to, a burial ground as such, including the surviving husband, wife and children, or if no surviving husband, wife or children, the nearest relative or relatives by consanguinity of any one or more deceased whose remains are buried in any burial ground.

[Acts 1949, ch. 15, 2; C. Supp. 1950, 5379.2 (Williams, 9720.2); modified; T.C.A. (orig. ed.); 46-402.]


46-4-103. Suits for termination of use of land, removal and reinterment and for disposal of land -- Municipal authority extended.

(a)Any interested person or persons, and/or any county in this state in which any such burial ground is situated, and/or any municipality in this state if any such burial ground is situated in such municipality or within one (1) mile of the lawful corporate limits thereof and not beyond the limits of the county in which any part of such municipality is situated and not within the lawful corporate limits of any other municipality in Tennessee, may bring or join in a suit in the chancery court of the county in which any such burial ground is situated, for the following purpose or purposes:

  1. To have the remains of all deceased persons buried in such ground removed therefrom and reburied in a suitable repository to be obtained for that purpose before their removal from such burial ground;
  2. To terminate the use of, and all rights and easements to use, such ground as a burial ground, and all rights and easements incident or appurtenant to the ground as a burial ground; and
  3. Thereupon to partition or sell for partition the ground if the court finds that it belongs to two (2) or more persons and if any one (1) or more of the owners thereof shall apply for such partition. The authority of all municipalities in the state of Tennessee is extended, for the sole purpose of bringing or joining in any such suit by any such municipality, but for no other purpose, to a distance of one (1) mile from the lawful corporate limits thereof but not beyond the limits of the county in which any part of any such municipality is situated and not so as to come within the lawful corporate limits of any other municipality of the state of Tennessee.

In any such suit all interested persons who are not complainants shall be made defendants, and the owner or owners of the land or of any right of reversion or other right or interest therein, if such owner or owners shall be or include other than the interested persons, shall also be made defendants. Interested persons who are minors or otherwise incompetent or under disability may become complainants by guardian or next friend. All known defendants who are minors or otherwise incompetent or under disability shall be represented by guardian ad litem. Nonresident and unknown defendants may be proceeded against by order of publication, and publication, in the manner provided by law.

[Acts 1949, ch. 15, 3; mod. C. Supp. 1950, 5379.3 (Williams, 9720.3); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), 46-403.]


46-4-104. Granting of Relief -- Provisions for reinterment.

Such removal and reinterment, and other relief described in 46-4-103, including partition or sale for partition if prayed for and if the court finds the conditions for partition exist as provided in 46-4-103, shall be granted, authorized, decreed and ordered by the court upon the court finding, upon the hearing of the cause upon the entire record, including the pleadings and proof, that any one (1) or more of the reasons specified in 46-4-101 exist, and that due to the same the burial ground is unsuitable for use as a burial ground as and as a resting place for the dead whose remains are buried therein, or that the further use thereof for those purposes is inconsistent with due and proper reverence or respect for the memory of the dead, or for any other reason unsuitable for those purposes; but the removal and reinterment and such other relief shall be granted, authorized, ordered and decreed only upon it being shown to the satisfaction of the court that definite arrangements have been made, or before the removal will be made, for reinterment of all of the remains in a place found by the court to be suitable for such reinterment; that for such purpose there have been obtained or before the removal there will be obtained, either the fee simple title to the place of reinterment or adequate permanent right and easement to use the same for such reinterment, and adequate permanent right and easement of access thereto for visitation; that the removal and reinterment of all the remains will be done with due care and decency, and that suitable memorial or memorials will be erected at the place of reinterment.

[Acts 1949, ch. 15, 4; C. Supp. 1950, 5379.4 (Williams, 9720.4); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), 46-404.]

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