157.50(5) (5)The town meeting may authorize the town board to appropriate up to $500 in any year for the improvement of the town cemetery, under supervision of the town board.
157.50(6) (6)Any municipality that creates a care fund shall invest the money received for care as provided by ch. 881. The municipality may terminate the care fund, transferring the money to its general fund, if the municipality owns the cemetery and provides all maintenance expenses in perpetuity for those graves in the cemetery at the time of termination.
157.50 History History: 1971 c. 41 s. 12; 1979 c. 254; 1983 a. 532; 1989 a. 307.
157.60 157.60 Public easement in cemetery. Any person who opens or makes any highway, town way, or private way or constructs any railroad, turnpike, or canal or anything in the nature of a public easement over, through, in, or upon such part of any enclosure, being the property of any municipality, religious association, or private proprietor, as may be used for burial, unless an authority for that purpose is specially granted by law or unless the consent of such municipality, religious association, or private proprietor is first obtained by the person, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not more than one year and by fine not exceeding $3,000.
157.60 History History: 2015 a. 237.
157.62 157.62 Reporting; record keeping; audits.
157.62(1)(1)Cemetery associations.
157.62(1)(a) (a) Except as provided in par. (b) and s. 157.625, every cemetery association shall file an annual report with the cemetery board. The report shall be made on a calendar-year basis unless the cemetery board, by rule, provides for other reporting periods. The report is due on the 60th day after the last day of the reporting period. The annual report shall include all of the following:
157.62(1)(a)1. 1. The name of the cemetery association and the address of its principal office.
157.62(1)(a)2. 2. The name, residence address and business address of each officer, director and trustee of the cemetery association.
157.62(1)(a)3. 3. The name, residence address and business address of each shareholder who beneficially owns, holds or has the power to vote 5 percent or more of any class of securities issued by the cemetery association.
157.62(1)(a)4. 4. The dates and places of all meetings and elections.
157.62(1)(a)5. 5. A statement of whether the cemetery association engaged in the operation of a cemetery during the previous calendar year.
157.62(1)(b) (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to any person required to file a report under s. 180.1622 or 181.1622.
157.62(1)(c) (c) The cemetery board may prescribe and furnish forms for reports required under this subsection. If the cemetery board prescribes forms under this paragraph, the cemetery board shall mail the forms to cemetery associations required to file under par. (a) no later than 60 days before the reports are due.
157.62(2) (2) Cemetery authorities.
157.62(2)(a)(a) Except as provided in ss. 157.625 and 157.63 (1), every cemetery authority shall file an annual report with the cemetery board. The report shall be made on a form prescribed and furnished by the cemetery board. The report shall be made on a calendar-year basis unless the cemetery board, by rule, provides for other reporting periods. The report is due on the 60th day after the last day of the reporting period.
157.62(2)(b) (b) The cemetery authority shall include all of the following in the annual report required under par. (a):
157.62(2)(b)1. 1. A copy of any report required under sub. (1) (a) or s. 180.1622 or 181.1622.
157.62(2)(b)2. 2. If the cemetery authority is required to file a report under s. 180.1622 or 181.1622, the information specified in sub. (1) (a) 3.
157.62(2)(b)3. 3. An accounting of amounts deposited in, amounts withdrawn from, income accruing to and the balance at the close of the reporting period of any preneed trust funds of the cemetery.
157.62(2)(b)4. 4. An accounting of amounts deposited in, amounts withdrawn from, other income accruing to and the balance at the end of the reporting period of care funds of the cemetery, including the funds in ss. 157.11 (9g) (a), 157.12 (3) and 157.125.
157.62(2)(b)5. 5. An accounting of all gifts received, income from gifts deposited in accounts not accounted for under subd. 4., amounts expended from those accounts and the balance of those accounts at the end of the reporting period.
157.62(2)(b)6. 6. The name and address of each trustee for the funds under subds. 3. to 5. and of the financial institution holding those accounts at the close of the reporting period.
157.62(2)(b)6m. 6m. The names of the officers of the cemetery authority.
157.62(2)(b)7. 7. The information specified in sub. (1) (a), to the extent applicable, if the cemetery is not required to file a report under sub. (1) (a) or s. 180.1622 or 181.1622.
157.62(2)(c) (c) All records relating to accountings of trust funds described under par. (b) 3. to 7. and maintained by the department and by the cemetery board are confidential and are not available for inspection or copying under s. 19.35 (1).
157.62(2)(d) (d) The board shall review each report filed under par. (a) to determine whether the cemetery authority is complying with this subchapter.
157.62(3) (3) Records; inspection.
157.62(3)(a)(a) Every cemetery authority shall keep a copy of the report required under sub. (2) (a) at its principal place of business and, except for those records relating to accountings of trust funds described under sub. (2) (b) 3. to 7., shall make the report available for inspection, upon reasonable notice, by any person with an interest in a cemetery lot or a mausoleum space in a cemetery owned or operated by the cemetery authority.
157.62(3)(b) (b) Every cemetery authority shall maintain all of the following:
157.62(3)(b)1. 1. The records needed to prepare the reports required under sub. (2) (a).
157.62(3)(b)2g. 2g. All records supporting the accounting under sub. (2) (b) 3., including records that show, for each deposit, the name of the purchaser or beneficiary of the contract relating to the deposit and the item purchased.
157.62(3)(b)2r. 2r. All records supporting the accounting under sub. (2) (b) 4., including records that show, for each deposit, the name of the purchaser or beneficiary of the contract relating to the deposit and the item purchased.
157.62(3)(b)3. 3. A copy of each contract for the sale of a cemetery lot, mausoleum space or cemetery merchandise.
157.62(4) (4) Records maintenance. The records under sub. (3) (b) 1. shall be permanently maintained by the cemetery authority or licensee. Each record under sub. (3) (b) 2g. shall be maintained for not less than 15 years after the date of the deposit. Each record under sub. (3) (b) 2r. shall be permanently maintained by the cemetery authority or licensee. Each copy of a contract under sub. (3) (b) 3. shall be maintained for not less than 3 years after all of the obligations of the contract have been fulfilled. The cemetery board may promulgate rules to establish longer time periods for maintaining records under sub. (3) (b) 2g. and 3.
157.62(5) (5) Rules; records. The cemetery board shall promulgate rules requiring cemetery authorities and licensees to maintain other records and establishing minimum time periods for the maintenance of those records. The records shall include detailed information for each deceased person buried in a cemetery, including all of the following:
157.62(5)(a) (a) The name of the deceased.
157.62(5)(b) (b) The last-known address of the deceased.
157.62(5)(c) (c) The date of birth of the deceased.
157.62(5)(d) (d) The date of death.
157.62(5)(e) (e) The date of burial.
157.62(5)(f) (f) The exact location in the cemetery where the deceased is buried.
157.62(5)(g) (g) The name of the person authorizing the burial and his or her relationship to the deceased.
157.62(5)(h) (h) The name of the funeral establishment, as defined in s. 445.01 (6).
157.62(5)(i) (i) The type of burial vault used, if any.
157.62(5)(j) (j) The type and style of the grave marker, monument, or other memorial used.
157.62(6) (6) Audit. Except as provided in ss. 157.625, 157.63 (5), and 440.92 (9) (e), the cemetery board may audit, at reasonable times and frequency, the records, trust funds, and accounts of any cemetery authority, including records, trust funds, and accounts pertaining to services provided by a cemetery authority that are not otherwise subject to the requirements under this chapter. The cemetery board may conduct audits under this subsection on a random basis, and shall conduct all audits under this subsection without providing prior notice to the cemetery authority.
157.62(7) (7) Rules; filing fee. The cemetery board may promulgate rules establishing a filing fee to accompany the report required under sub. (2) (a). The filing fee shall be based on the approximate cost of regulating cemetery authorities.
157.62 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. CB 2, Wis. adm. code.
157.625 157.625 Reporting exemption for certain cemeteries.
157.625(1)(1)A cemetery authority that is not required under this chapter or under s. 440.92 to maintain any care funds or preneed trust funds is not required to file an annual report under s. 157.62 (2).
157.625(3) (3)Section 157.62 does not apply to a cemetery authority that is not required to be licensed under s. 440.91 (1) or registered under s. 440.91 (1m).
157.625 History History: 1991 a. 269; 2005 a. 25; 2007 a. 174; 2015 a. 237.
157.63 157.63 Reporting and auditing exemptions; certification of compliance of cemetery organized and operated by, or affiliated with, a religious association.
157.63(1)(1)In lieu of filing an annual report under s. 157.62 (2), a religious association or a cemetery authority of a cemetery that is affiliated with a religious association, or that religious association, may file an annual certification with the cemetery board as provided in this section.
157.63(2) (2)A certification under this section shall be made on a form prescribed and furnished by the cemetery board and include all of the following:
157.63(2)(a) (a) The name and address of each cemetery to which the certification applies.
157.63(2)(b) (b) A statement of a person who is legally authorized to act on behalf of the religious association under this section that, during the reporting period under s. 157.62, each cemetery and the cemetery authority of each cemetery specified under par. (a) have either fully complied or have substantially complied with ss. 157.11 (9g) (c) and 157.12 (3).
157.63(3) (3)If the statement under sub. (2) (b) includes a statement of substantial compliance, the statement under sub. (2) (b) must also specify those instances when the cemetery or cemetery authority did not fully comply with s. 157.11 (9g) or 157.12 (3).
157.63(4) (4)A certification under this section is effective for the 12-month period immediately following the reporting period under s. 157.62 (2) for which the cemetery authority is certified under this section to have fully or substantially complied with ss. 157.11 (9g) and 157.12 (3).
157.63(5) (5)During the effective period specified under sub. (4), the cemetery board may not audit the care funds or any records or accounts relating to the care funds of a cemetery to which a certification under this section applies.
157.63(6) (6)The religious society that is affiliated with a cemetery to which a certification under this section applies is liable for the damages of any person that result from the failure of the cemetery or cemetery authority to fully comply with s. 157.11 (9g) or 157.12 (3) during the reporting period under s. 157.62 (2) for which such compliance has been certified under this section.
157.63 History History: 1989 a. 307; 1991 a. 269; 2015 a. 237; 2017 a. 329.
157.63 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. CB 2, Wis. adm. code.
157.635 157.635 Regulations of cemetery organized and operated by, or affiliated with, a religious association. Nothing in this subchapter prohibits a religious association or a cemetery authority of a cemetery that is affiliated with a religious association from prohibiting the burial of the human remains of an individual in the cemetery if the individual was in a class of individuals who are prohibited under regulations adopted by the cemetery authority or religious association from being buried in the cemetery.
157.635 History History: 1989 a. 307; 2015 a. 237.
157.637 157.637 Veteran burials. A cemetery authority of a cemetery, other than a cemetery that is organized and operated by, or affiliated with, a religious association, may not prohibit the burial of the human remains of a person specified in s. 45.61 (2) at the cemetery if the cemetery authority is paid in its usual and customary manner for the burial.
157.637 History History: 2003 a. 70; 2005 a. 22; 2015 a. 237.
157.64 157.64 Penalties.
157.64(1)(1)In addition to or in lieu of other remedies provided by law, any person who violates this subchapter or any rule promulgated under this subchapter may be required to forfeit not more than $200 for each separate offense. Each day of continued violation constitutes a separate offense.
157.64(2) (2)Any person who intentionally does any of the following may be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both, for the first offense and may be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9 months, or both, for each subsequent offense:
157.64(2)(b) (b) Fails to handle funds for the improvement and care of a cemetery as required in s. 157.11 or 157.125.
157.64(2)(c) (c) Fails to deposit or invest care funds or preneed trust funds as required in s. 157.19.
157.64(2)(d) (d) Fails to file a report or files an incomplete, false or misleading report under s. 157.62 (1) or (2).
157.64(2)(e) (e) Fails to maintain records as required in s. 157.62 (3) and (4).
157.64(2)(f) (f) Files a false or misleading certification under s. 157.63.
157.64(2)(g) (g) Violates s. 157.111.
157.64(3) (3)Any person who intentionally commits an act specified under sub. (2) (a) to (f) with intent to defraud may be punished for theft under s. 943.20.
157.64 History History: 1989 a. 307; 1991 a. 269; 1993 a. 386; 2015 a. 237.
157.65 157.65 Enforcement.
157.65(1)(1)
157.65(1)(a) (a) If the cemetery board has reason to believe that any person is violating or has violated this subchapter or any rule promulgated under this subchapter and that the continuation of that activity might cause injury to the public interest, the cemetery board may investigate.
157.65(1)(b) (b) If the cemetery board has reason to believe that any person is violating s. 157.12 or any rule promulgated under s. 157.12 and that the continuation of that activity might cause injury to the public interest, the cemetery board may investigate.
157.65(2) (2)The department of justice or any district attorney, upon informing the department of justice, may commence an action in circuit court in the name of the state to restrain by temporary or permanent injunction any violation of this subchapter. The court may, prior to entry of final judgment, make such orders or judgments as may be necessary to restore to any person any pecuniary loss suffered because of the acts or practices involved in the action, if proof of such loss is submitted to the satisfaction of the court. The department of justice may subpoena persons and require the production of books and other documents, and may request the cemetery board to exercise its authority under sub. (1) to aid in the investigation of alleged violations of this subchapter.
157.65(3) (3)In lieu of instituting or continuing an action under this section, the department of justice may accept a written assurance of discontinuance of any act or practice alleged to be a violation of this subchapter from the person who has engaged in the act or practice. An assurance entered into under this subsection shall not be considered evidence of a violation of this subchapter, but a violation of the assurance shall be treated as a violation of this subchapter.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 50 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on December 6, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after December 6, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 12-6-19)