Abandoned Cemeteries: Laws Governing Their Removal Are Being Reviewed

A state committee is looking at whether current laws need to be strengthened governing the removal of abandoned cemeteries across the state.

Currently, the laws require reasonable search to find the next of kin, which must include a newspaper ad shown for four weeks. The request to move the site must then go through the local city council or county commissioners, who will then hold a public hearing before granting the request.

A professional that specializes in cemetery removal out of Rocky Mount says county health departments should be required to be on site while the work is being done.

Currently it takes about 60 days to get final approval to remove an abandoned cemetery.