Health and Safety


SECTION 23-18-11.2

§ 23-18-11.2. Regulation of excavation – Removal and transfer of graves and cemeteries – Penalties.

(a) The city or town council of any municipality may by ordinance prescribe standards, in addition to those required by § 23-18-10, regulating the excavation, removal, and transfer of any graves, grave sites, and cemeteries in the municipality so as to provide an accurate record of any activity and to insure that any remains removed are properly re-interred and the location of the new interment is recorded. In the absence of a local ordinance establishing standards, regulations adopted by the historical preservation and heritage commission shall govern. A report of any grave removal and relocation from one cemetery or burial ground to another shall be filed in the clerk's office for each municipality and shall, to the extent permitted by law, be available for public inspection. In instances where there is a headstone or other burial marker identifying the original grave, the headstone or burial marker shall be erected on the site to which any remains are transferred.

(b) To the extent not promulgated pursuant to § 23-3-5.1, the state registrar of vital records shall promulgate regulations to establish a system of record-keeping to allow descendants to locate their ancestors' graves in Rhode Island.

(c) Any person convicted of violating this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) and such fine shall be deemed civil in nature and not a criminal penalty.

(d) The provisions of this section shall be considered to be in addition to any other penalties provided for desecration or vandalism to cemeteries.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1996, ch. 148, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 117, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 126, § 1.)