Ever Been Denied Cemetery Access?


The Texas Historical Commission needs your help with a very important issue concerning access to historic cemeteries.


Under the existing Texas Health and Safety Code 711.041, access to cemeteries is granted to:

(a) Any person who wishes to visit a cemetery or private burial grounds for which no public ingress or egress is available shall have the right to reasonable ingress and egress for the purpose of visiting the cemetery or private burial grounds. This right of access extends only to visitation during reasonable hours and only for the purposes usually associated with cemetery visits; and (b) The owner or owners of the land surrounding the cemetery or private burial grounds may designate the routes of reasonable ingress and egress.


The Texas Funeral Service Commission has been given the authority to write rules under this section of the Health and Safety Code. We are asking if you know of any cases where access has been denied (locked gate, oral or written denied access by surrounding landowner, no response from surrounding landowner on route to the cemetery, law enforcement declines to get involved). Please provide a written description of the situation and send one copy to the Texas Historical Commission and one to the Texas Funeral Service Commission, O.C. Robbins, Executive Director, P. O. Box 12217, Austin, Texas 78711. This subject will be discussed at their next board meeting on June 17, 2008, so they need this information as soon as possible.

Other links for cemetery laws, etc.

Cemetery Law In Texas
Tombstones - Lost & Found
Preserving Historic Cemeteries
Cleaning Gravestones
How To Read A Graveyard
How To Do Tombstone Rubbings


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