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Suggested Cemetery Minimum Maintenance Guidelines

Suggested Cemetery Minimum Maintenance Guidelines

Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission

These guidelines are issued by the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission and are reviewed annually. The Commission provides advice on minimum maintenance for registered cemeteries in Ohio. If you have concerns about the maintenance of a registered cemetery, you may file a complaint with the Division or contact us directly at 614-466-4100.

Suggested minimum maintenance guidelines for all cemeteries registered in the State of Ohio.

Ohio Revised Code (O.R.C.) Section 4767.06(H) Adopt and publish suggested maintenance 
guidelines for all cemeteries registered in the state of Ohio under O.R.C. Chapter 4767


  • Person” means any corporation, company, partnership, individual or other entity owning or operating a cemetery for the disposition of human remains.
  • Cemetery” means any one or a combination of more than one of the following: a burial ground for earth interments, a mausoleum for crypt entombments, a columbarium for the deposit of cremated remains, a scattering ground for the spreading of cremated remains.
  • Human remains” means any part of the body of a deceased human being, in any stage of decomposition or state of preservation, or the remaining bone fragments from the body of a deceased human being that has been reduced by cremation or alternative disposition.
  • Interment” means the disposition of human remains by earth burial, entombment or inurnment. 
  • Burial Right” means the right of earth interment.
  • Entombment right” means the right of entombment in a mausoleum.
  • Columbarium right” means the right of inurnment in a columbarium for cremated remains.

Grounds and Structure

  • Cut grass and trim around markers and/or monuments once per month during the growing season.
  • Have a plan in place to remove underbrush, leaves, tree seedlings, and dead trees and flowers.
  • Remove trash and funeral flowers once a month (artificial flowers once a year).
  • Sod or seed graves as necessary within one year of interment.
  • Foundations for new markers that have been ordered should be set within one calendar year.
  • Roads, buildings, structures, and fencing should be maintained and repaired as needed.
  • Cemetery perimeter should be marked either physically or recorded at the County.

Management/Maintenance of Rules, Regulations, and Records

  • Electronic or paper cemetery records pertaining to interment, entombment or inurnment right owners and interment, entombment or inurnment records indicating the deceased name, place of death, date and location of the interment, entombment or inurnment should be maintained in the cemetery's office. Paper copies of records required for the verification of interment, entombment or inurnment rights and cemetery interment, entombment or inurnment records as indicated above should be maintained in a fireproof container within the cemetery office. If possible duplicate copies of all cemetery records should be maintained off-site. It is permissible to maintain records in an electronic format so long as the electronic copies are true copies of all the original documents. 
  • All graves or lots should be identified by a map that is stored in the office of the cemetery per ORC Section 1721.09.
  • Effective March 19, 2015, newly developed lots should be pinned and owners’ names should be recorded so that family lot positions are clearly identifiable and able to be located.
  • Cemeteries should conduct all interments within seven days of the date of the order unless waived by the next of kin or other responsible party.
  • Rules regarding flowers and decorations should be posted at the cemetery.
  • The vault or any other burial container should be placed at least twelve inches below grade.
  • The cemetery’s rules and regulations should be provided upon request.
  • Cemetery management contact information should be posted at the main public entrance of the cemetery and at the onsite office, if one exists.