New law protects rights of loved ones to visit graves

Dispute in Caernarvon Twp. led to legislation

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation Thursday that will allow people visitation rights at privately owned cemeteries.

The bill was created in response to an ongoing dispute involving a cemetery in Berks County.

The owners of land that included Rock Cemetery in Caernarvon Township posted signs banning people from visiting their loved ones.

"This was a moral issue and we took action to correct something that was inherently wrong, said state Rep. Mark Gillen, a Berks County Republican, who wrote the measure.

The law, which will take effect in 60 days, will grant people "reasonable access" to visit grave sites.

"I'm so pleased to be able to tell these local families their right to visit their loved ones' final resting place is now cemented in state law," Gillen said. "It is unfortunate, but in some unique situations a law is necessary to compensate for a lack of human decency, morality or considerate behavior."

Cemetery owners are able to establish reasonable access procedures,a s well as designate the frequency, hours, and duration of cemetery visits, Gillen said.

DISCLAIMER FOR COMMENTS: The views expressed by public comments are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the TERMS OF USE  and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Your comments may be used on air. Be polite. Inappropriate posts or posts containing offsite links may be removed by the moderator.

This Week's Circulars

Berks Area News

Latest From The Newsroom