Bill Text: NY A01605 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended

Bill Title: Relates to the abandonment of cemeteries; notification and assistance.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-05-16 - advanced to third reading cal.327 [A01605 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A01605-Amended.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 15, 2019
        Introduced  by  M.  of A. PAULIN, JONES -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Corporations, Authorities and  Commissions  --  committee
          discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
          to said committee
        AN  ACT to amend the not-for-profit corporation law and the town law, in
          relation to the abandonment of cemeteries
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  The not-for-profit corporation law is amended by adding a
     2  new section 1506-d to read as follows:
     3  § 1506-d. Cemetery abandonment notification and assistance.
     4    Any cemetery corporation that shall have insufficient general  operat-
     5  ing  funds  with  which  to  continue operations or that does not have a
     6  board sufficient to carry on operations of the cemetery,  shall  provide
     7  notice  to the state cemetery board and the governing board of the muni-
     8  cipality or municipalities in which the cemetery is located at least one
     9  hundred and eighty days in advance of the date of  expected  abandonment
    10  to  a municipality.  Upon notification by the cemetery corporation or as
    11  a result of a review of the financial and corporate status of a cemetery
    12  corporation, the state cemetery board shall notify the  governing  board
    13  of  the municipality where such cemetery corporation is located at least
    14  one hundred and twenty days in advance of the date of expected  abandon-
    15  ment. Prior to abandonment, the state cemetery board shall work with the
    16  cemetery  corporation  and  the governing board or boards of the munici-
    17  pality or municipalities in which the cemetery corporation is located to
    18  assist in reconstituting the board of the cemetery  corporation;  or  to
    19  arrange to provide the cemetery corporation with temporary assistance in
    20  operating  the  cemetery;  or  to locate another cemetery corporation to
    21  take over the cemetery corporation  seeking  abandonment  or  any  other
    22  lawful  measure  that might prevent abandonment.  In the event the ceme-
    23  tery corporation board is not reconstituted or if the condition of  such
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 1605--A                          2
     1  abandoned  cemetery  prevents effective municipal takeover within ninety
     2  days of abandonment, the state cemetery board shall, with the consent of
     3  the governing board of the municipality, request  the  attorney  general
     4  seek  court appointment of a temporary receiver to manage cemetery oper-
     5  ations until such time that the cemetery is in a condition to  be  main-
     6  tained  or  operated  by  the  municipality.  Notwithstanding  any other
     7  provision of law, such funds and expense for the temporary receiver  and
     8  repairs  of the cemetery shall be a state expense allocated and approved
     9  as outlined in paragraph (h) of section fifteen hundred  seven  of  this
    10  chapter.
    11    §  2.  Subparagraph 4 of paragraph (h) of section 1507 of the not-for-
    12  profit corporation law, as amended by chapter 363 of the laws  of  2009,
    13  is amended to read as follows:
    14    (4) Authorization for payments by the fund for maintenance of an aban-
    15  doned  cemetery  shall  be  made  by  the  secretary  of state only upon
    16  approval by the cemetery board of an application by  a  municipality  or
    17  other  solvent  not-for-profit cemetery corporation for fair and reason-
    18  able expenses required to be made by the municipality or  other  solvent
    19  not-for-profit  cemetery  corporation  for  maintenance  of an abandoned
    20  cemetery; provided, however, that the cemetery board shall  not  approve
    21  any  such  application unless the municipality or other solvent not-for-
    22  profit cemetery corporation acknowledges  that  the  responsibility  for
    23  restoration and future care, preservation, and maintenance of such ceme-
    24  tery  has been assumed by the municipality or other solvent not-for-pro-
    25  fit cemetery corporation.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a
    26  municipality or other solvent not-for-profit cemetery corporation having
    27  assumed management or responsibility for an abandoned cemetery under the
    28  provisions of this section after January  first,  two  thousand  fifteen
    29  shall  be  permitted  to  file an additional application for funds under
    30  this section, twenty-five years following the date of the initial appli-
    31  cation for the repair and maintenance of any structures on the  cemetery
    32  grounds  only  where such structures were constructed preceding the date
    33  of abandonment of the cemetery corporation. For  the  purposes  of  this
    34  paragraph, such cemetery shall always be deemed an abandoned cemetery.
    35    §  3.  Section 291 of the town law is amended by adding a new subdivi-
    36  sion 5 to read as follows:
    37    5. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no town shall be liable
    38  for any damages or injuries sustained by any person or property  associ-
    39  ated  with a cemetery abandoned to the town for any cause of action that
    40  occurred prior to the takeover of said cemetery by the town and in addi-
    41  tion, no cause of action for such damages shall be maintained and  adju-
    42  dicated  by any court in this state which would otherwise have jurisdic-
    43  tion to adjudicate such claim.
    44    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.