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Attorney General Opinions

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Attorney General Opinions

Welcome to the Louisiana Cemetery Board Attorney General Opinions Page

Opinions of the Attorney General are advisory only; they do not have the force and effect of the law; and they are limited to the facts presented by the official or officials requesting the opinion. Further, the opinions may be changed or recalled due to subsequent court decisions and/or legislative enactments.

Listed below are various Attorney General Opinions relating to the provisions of Title 8 and its Rules and Regulations as they relate to cemeteries in Louisiana.

Attorney General Opinion #14-0101 - Certain limited activities within an existing nonconforming use of a cemetery, while technically a violation of the dedication provisions of Title 8, are, under the facts provided, only subject to the Louisiana Unmarked Human Burial Sites Preservation Act.

Attorney General Opinion #13-0120 - The curation and possession of a grave marker that was not intentionally or criminally moved from a grave space does not constitute desecration. In addition, such possession and curation is not restricted by the Louisiana Cemetery Act. The law of possession and ownership of movable property applies to any such grave marker.

Attorney General Opinion #10-0280 - Act 707 of the 2010 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature does not change the conclusions reached by this office in La. Attorney General Opinion #08-0135.

Attorney General Opinion #10-0275 - The isolated scattering of cremated human remains on noncemetery property does not trigger the cemetery dedication provisions of La. R.S. 8:304-306.

Attorney General Opinion #10-0259 - Discusses whether certain memorials are permissible for use on cemetery property under the provisions of La. R.S. 8:304-306.

Attorney General Opinion #10-0258 - Discusses numerous questions related to the dedication of cemetery property under Louisiana law and the Louisiana Unmarked Human Burial Sites Preservation Act.

Attorney General Opinion #10-0234 - The 1957 judicial removal of the cemetery dedication on the Jackson Avenue Cemetery property remains valid today. Should human remains be encountered during demolition or construction operations on the property, the Louisiana Unmarked Human Burial Sites Act will be triggered.

Attorney General Opinion #10-0018 - There is no need to seek a judicial dededication of cemetery property when nonconforming uses are to be removed. However, any activity in or on property subject to the Louisiana Unmarked Human Burial Sites Act that may impact human burials is subject to the permitting and regulatory authority of the Louisiana Division of Archaeology. The Thomy Lafon School property is subject to the latter authority.

Attorney General Opinion #09-0144 - When a pauper dies within the City's legal limits, the City must bear the costs of the burial of those remains. In order to reduce the costs of the burial of paupers to the public, the provisions of cemetery spaces within City-owned cemeteries without cost is appropriate. Determining whether someone qualifies as a pauper is based upon the inclusion of the deceased of the parish list of paupers or those receiving assistance.

Attorney General Opinion #08-0186 - Free access to isolated cemeteries must be permitted under the jurisprudence of the State.

Attorney General Opinion #08-0135 - The Louisiana Cemetery Board does not have regulatory authority over those cemeteries that are subject to the Louisiana Unmarked Human Burial Sites Preservation Act.

Attorney General Opinion #08-0100 - Because no cemetery authority exists for the cemetery and because it is clear that the proposed project will not disturb any human remains, the Parish should initiate an expropriation proceeding in the Nineteenth Judicial District Court pursuant to the general rules for expropriation in Title 19. The Parish should also request that the court remove the cemetery dedication for that portion of Knox Cemetery that is implicated by the planned project.

Attorney General Opinion #07-0183 - Cemetery authorities cannot destroy cemetery spaces except in very limited situations. Preservation of historic cemetery spaces should always be favored.

Attorney General Opinion #05-0131 - If the Town of Arcadia has determined that the public's best interest is served thereby, and the Town of Acadia has aquired or aquires the cemetery property in question by expropriation, aquisitive prescription, purchase or otherwise, the Town can legally mow and maintain the cemetery property.

Attorney General Opinion #04-0243 - La. Const. Art. VII, Section 14 prohibits the Town of Arcadia from using public funds for the mowing of cemeteries that are privately owned, or that have not been dedicated for public purposes or dedicated and accepted by the Town. On the other hand, it is our opinion that LSA-R.S. 8:101, et seq., specifically at LSA-R.S. 8:104 authorizes the Town of Arcadia to maintain "any cemetery title to which is in the public and under the control and management" of the Town.

Attorney General Opinion #99-0376 - The Louisiana Unmarked Burial Sites Board, not the Parish Coroner, has jurisdiction and authority over an unmarked burial site that is over fifty years old and where there is no need for a criminal investigation. It is unlawful for any person or entity to knowingly disturb an unmarked burial site or any known skeletal remains without authorization from the Louisiana Unmarked Burial Sites Board. The Louisiana Unmarked Burial Sites Board has a duty to consult with a levee board and the Corps of Engineers to determine a proper course of action for the excavation of an unmarked burial site in order to ensure the integrity of a levee that may be in the vicinity of the unmarked burial site.

Attorney General Opinion #93-0346 - A cemetery has five years from the date of first sale to complete construction of a mausoleum.

Attorney General Opinion #90-0630 - A "public cemetery" is one established by a municipal or parochial governing authority; all other cemeteries are "private" cemeteries, which cannot legally be maintained by use of public funds.

Attorney General Opinion #89-0565 - Rules and regulations of the cemetery authority must not be contrary to state law and must be reasonable.

Attorney General Opinion #86-0560 - The recordation certificates for the annual accounting of a cemetery must be filed in the parish where the cemetery is located.

Attorney General Opinion #85-0234 - An individual who is not contracting with either a Cemetery Sales Organization or a Cemetery Management Organization may not represent owners of cemetery plots in the re-sale of said plots.

Attorney General Opinion #85-0133 - At Large members of the Louisiana Cemetery Board cannot directly or indirectly be involved in the cemetery or funeral business. LA. R.S. 8:61(B)

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