157.11(9g)(b) (b) Anyone having in custody or control any cemetery care trust fund received other than by testament shall, upon demand, deliver it to the cemetery authority to be handled as provided in this subsection.
157.11(9g)(c) (c) Except as provided in sub. (11), any cemetery authority that sells a cemetery lot on or after November 1, 1991, shall deposit 15 percent of each payment of principal into a care fund under par. (a) within 30 business days after the last day of the month in which the payment is received, except as provided in sub. (7) (d) and s. 157.115 (2) (f). The total amount deposited must equal 15 percent of the total amount of all payments of principal that have been received, but not less than $25.
157.11(9m) (9m)Action by district attorney. If any money or property is not turned over when required by this section, or default occurs under a bond, the district attorney, upon the request of the cemetery board, shall bring action to recover.
157.11(9r) (9r)Tax and other exemptions. Gifts and trusts under this section shall be exempt from taxation and the law against perpetuities, accumulations and mortmain.
157.11(10) (10)Exemption for religious associations. Subsections (1) to (9), (9g) (a) and (b), (9m) and (9r) do not apply, but sub. (9g) (c) does apply, to a religious association or a cemetery authority of a cemetery that is affiliated with a religious association, for that cemetery.
157.11(11) (11)Exemption for certain nonprofit cemeteries. Subsection (9g) does not apply to a cemetery authority that is not required to be licensed under s. 440.91 (1) and that is not organized or conducted for pecuniary profit.
157.11 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See s. 863.09 (2) for court order concerning care of graves.
157.11 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also chs. CB 4 and 5, Wis. adm. code.
157.11 Annotation Sub. (9) (e) [now sub. (9g) (b)] neither requires nor authorizes payment to entities other than ch. 157 cemetery associations. Krawczyk v. Bank of Sun Prairie, 161 Wis. 2d 792, 468 N.W.2d 773 (Ct. App. 1991).
157.111 157.111 Opening and closing of burial places. If a grave, mausoleum space or other place used or intended to be used for the burial of human remains is located in a cemetery owned or operated by a cemetery authority, only the cemetery authority or a person designated by the cemetery authority may open or close the grave, mausoleum space or other place used or intended to be used for the burial of human remains.
157.111 History History: 1993 a. 386.
157.112 157.112 Reburial of human remains by a cemetery authority.
157.112(1)(1)In this section, “rebury" means to disentomb, disinurn or disinter human remains that are buried in a cemetery and reentomb, reinurn or reinter the human remains in another grave, mausoleum space or other place used or intended to be used for the burial of human remains that is located in the same cemetery.
157.112(2) (2)A cemetery authority may rebury human remains that are buried in a cemetery owned or operated by the cemetery authority for the purpose of correcting an error made by the cemetery authority in the burial of those human remains.
157.112(3) (3)A cemetery authority may rebury human remains under sub. (2) without first obtaining an authorization under s. 69.18 (4), but the cemetery authority shall do all of the following:
157.112(3)(a) (a) No later than 30 days after reburying human remains under sub. (2), provide written notice of the reburial to the coroner or medical examiner of the county in which the reburial occurs.
157.112(3)(b) (b) Notify one of the following by registered mail of the reburial:
157.112(3)(b)1. 1. The decedent's spouse.
157.112(3)(b)2. 2. If the person specified in subd. 1. is not available, an adult son or daughter of the decedent.
157.112(3)(b)3. 3. If the persons specified in subds. 1. and 2. are not available, either parent of the decedent.
157.112(3)(b)4. 4. If the persons specified in subds. 1., 2. and 3. are not available, an adult brother or sister of the decedent.
157.112(3m) (3m)If none of the persons specified in sub. (3) (b) 1. to 4. are available for notification under sub. (3) (b), the cemetery authority shall maintain a record of its attempt to provide notification under sub. (3) (b) as a part of the cemetery authority's permanent records.
157.112(4) (4)
157.112(4)(a)(a) A cemetery authority is immune from civil liability for an error that is corrected by a reburial of human remains under sub. (2).
157.112(4)(b) (b) The immunity under par. (a) does not apply if the error was the result of reckless, wanton or intentional misconduct.
157.112 History History: 1995 a. 357; 2015 a. 237.
157.113 157.113 Permission to place cremated human remains in a cemetery. No person may deposit any cremated human remains in a cemetery, including in the casket of another person, without the permission of the cemetery authority.
157.113 History History: 2015 a. 237 s. 125; 2015 Stats. s. 157.113.
157.114 157.114 Duty to provide for burials.
157.114(1)(1)In this section, “cemetery authority" does not include a municipality that takes control of a cemetery under s. 157.115 (1) (b).
157.114(2) (2)A cemetery authority shall, insofar as practicable, provide for burials during each season, including winter. Nothing in this subsection may be construed to prohibit a cemetery authority from charging a reasonable fee to recover the costs related to providing for a burial during difficult weather conditions.
157.114 History History: 2001 a. 16.
157.115 157.115 Abandonment of cemeteries and cemetery lots.
157.115(1)(1)Abandonment of cemeteries.
157.115(1)(a) (a) If any cemetery located on property not subject to condemnation under ch. 32 is abandoned, the circuit court for the county in which the cemetery is located may authorize the removal of bodies from the cemetery to another cemetery upon the petition of 6 or more residents of the municipality in which the cemetery is located. Prior to authorizing the removal, the court shall publish a notice to all interested parties as provided in s. 879.05 (4). The court may not authorize the removal unless suitable arrangements have been made to reinter the bodies.
157.115(1)(b)1.1. When a cemetery authority fails to care for the cemetery for a period of one or more years, the municipality in which the cemetery is located may take control of the cemetery, manage and care for the cemetery and collect and manage all trust funds connected with the cemetery other than trust funds received by a will.
157.115(1)(b)2. 2. When a cemetery authority abandons or fails to manage or care for the cemetery for a period of 5 or more years, the municipality in which the cemetery is located shall take control of the cemetery, manage and care for the cemetery and collect and manage all trust funds connected with the cemetery other than trust funds received by a will.
157.115(1)(c) (c) Whenever any cemetery in a town is falling into disuse, or is abandoned or neglected, and by reason of the removal or death of the persons interested in its upkeep there exists no association or group with authority to transfer ownership and operation of the cemetery to the town, the town board, at the expense of the town, shall take charge of the cemetery and manage and care for it, and if the town board fails to take charge of the cemetery, the circuit judge may upon petition by 6 or more persons interested in the upkeep of the cemetery order its transfer to the town, including the transfer of all assets. Cemeteries so transferred shall be managed as provided for other town cemeteries.
157.115(2) (2)Abandonment of cemetery lots.
157.115(2)(a) (a) In this subsection:
157.115(2)(a)1. 1. “Abandoned lot" means any grave or mausoleum space of a cemetery lot that is not owned by the cemetery authority of the cemetery in which the cemetery lot is located if that grave or that mausoleum space has not been used for the burial of human remains and if, according to the records of the cemetery authority, all of the following apply during the 50-year period immediately preceding the date on which the notice requirement under par. (c) is satisfied:
157.115(2)(a)1.a. a. No owner has transferred any ownership interest in the cemetery lot to any other person.
157.115(2)(a)1.b. b. No owner has purchased or sold another cemetery lot or a mausoleum space in the cemetery.
157.115(2)(a)1.c. c. No other grave in that cemetery lot or adjoining cemetery lot or adjoining mausoleum space that is owned or partially owned by an owner has been used for the burial of human remains.
157.115(2)(a)1.d. d. No grave marker, monument or other memorial has been installed on the cemetery lot.
157.115(2)(a)1.e. e. No grave marker, monument or other memorial has been installed on any other cemetery lot, in the same cemetery, that is owned or partially owned by an owner.
157.115(2)(a)1.f. f. No nameplate, monument or other memorial has been installed to identify the human remains that are buried within a mausoleum space, in the same cemetery, that is owned or partially owned by an owner.
157.115(2)(a)1.g. g. The cemetery authority has not been contacted by an owner or assignee or received any other notice or evidence to suggest that an owner or assignee intends to use the cemetery lot for a future burial of human remains.
157.115(2)(a)2. 2. “Assignee" means a person who has been assigned in the deceased owner's will or in any other legally binding written agreement, or who is entitled to receive under ch. 852, an ownership interest in the abandoned cemetery lot.
157.115(2)(a)3. 3. “Owner" has the meaning given in s. 157.10 (1).
157.115(2)(b) (b) No cemetery authority may resell an abandoned lot unless the cemetery authority complies with the requirements in this subsection.
157.115(2)(c) (c) The cemetery authority shall mail to each owner, at each owner's last-known address, a notice of the cemetery authority's intent to resell the abandoned lot as provided in this subsection. If an owner is buried in the cemetery in which the abandoned lot is located or if the cemetery authority has any other evidence that reasonably supports a determination by the cemetery authority that the owner is deceased, no notice is required under this paragraph.
157.115(2)(d) (d) If no notice is required under par. (c) or if, within 60 days after notice is mailed under par. (c), no owner or assignee contacts the cemetery authority to express an intent to use the abandoned lot for a future burial of human remains, the cemetery authority shall publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the abandoned lot is located, a class 3 notice under ch. 985 that includes all of the following:
157.115(2)(d)1. 1. The location of the abandoned lot.
157.115(2)(d)2. 2. The name and last-known address of each owner.
157.115(2)(d)3. 3. A statement that, unless an owner or assignee contacts the cemetery authority within the period specified in par. (e), the cemetery authority intends to resell the abandoned lot as provided in this subsection.
157.115(2)(e) (e) If within 60 days after notice is published under par. (d) no owner or assignee contacts the cemetery authority to express an intent to use the abandoned lot for a future burial of human remains, the cemetery authority shall bring an action in the circuit court of the county in which the abandoned lot is located for a judgment that the cemetery lot is an abandoned lot and an order transferring ownership of the abandoned lot to the cemetery authority.
157.115(2)(f) (f) If within one year after the circuit court enters a judgment and order under par. (e) no owner or assignee contacts the cemetery authority to express an intent to use the abandoned lot for a future burial of human remains, the cemetery authority may resell the abandoned lot, except as provided in par. (g). The payment of principal shall be deposited into the care fund. Before depositing the payment of principal into the care fund, the cemetery authority may retain an amount necessary to cover the cemetery authority's administrative and other expenses related to the sale, but the amount retained may not exceed 50 percent of the proceeds.
157.115(2)(g) (g) If at any time before an abandoned lot is resold under par. (f) an owner or assignee contacts the cemetery authority to express an intent to use the abandoned lot for a future burial of human remains, the authority may not resell the abandoned lot, and ownership of the abandoned lot shall be transferred to the owner or assignee. The cemetery authority shall pay all costs of transferring ownership under this paragraph.
157.115(2)(h) (h) Nothing in this subsection prohibits a cemetery authority from seeking the authority to resell more than one abandoned lot by publishing a single class 3 notice under par. (d) or bringing a single action under par. (e) that applies to all of the abandoned lots for which such authority is sought.
157.115 History History: 1989 a. 307 ss. 18m, 20, 28, 45; 2013 a. 151; 2015 a. 237.
157.12 157.12 Mausoleums.
157.12(2)(2)Construction of mausoleums.
157.12(2)(a)(a) Any person who constructs a mausoleum or converts a building or other structure to a mausoleum shall comply with the rules of the cemetery board and shall receive the cemetery board's approval in writing of the plans and specifications prior to construction or conversion. No person may modify plans or specifications that have been approved under this paragraph without approval in writing from the cemetery board, unless such modifications are cosmetic in nature. The cemetery board shall promulgate rules providing reasonable requirements governing the location, material, and construction of a mausoleum, in accordance with the requirements in par. (d). Any municipality may enact ordinances governing mausoleums at least as stringent as this section.
157.12(2)(b) (b) The cemetery board shall supervise construction of any public mausoleum and conversion of any building to a public mausoleum. Within 30 days after receiving written notice from the cemetery authority that the construction or conversion has been completed, the cemetery board shall inspect the public mausoleum and provide the cemetery authority with a written certification as to whether the construction or conversion complies with approved plans. If the cemetery board determines that, except for certain minor defects, the construction or conversion complies with the approved plans, the cemetery board may provide the cemetery authority with a written temporary certification of compliance that is contingent on the correction of those minor defects. A temporary certification is valid for a period designated by the cemetery board, not to exceed 6 months. No person may sell a mausoleum space, except an undeveloped space that is sold in accordance with s. 440.92, or bury human remains in a public mausoleum unless a care fund has been established for the mausoleum under sub. (3) and the cemetery board has provided the cemetery authority with a certification or a temporary certification under this paragraph. If a cemetery authority that has been provided with a temporary certification notifies the cemetery board in writing before the date on which the temporary certification expires that the defects in the construction or conversion of the public mausoleum have been corrected, the cemetery board shall, within 30 days after receiving the notice, reinspect the public mausoleum and provide the cemetery authority with a written certification as to whether the construction or conversion complies with the approved plans. If a cemetery authority that has been provided with a temporary certification does not receive a written certification from the cemetery board before the date on which the temporary certification expires that the construction or conversion complies with the approved plans, then, beginning on the date on which the certification expires, no person may sell a mausoleum space, except an undeveloped space that is sold in accordance with s. 440.92, or bury human remains in the public mausoleum until the defects are corrected and the cemetery board subsequently inspects the public mausoleum and provides the cemetery authority with a certification that the construction or conversion complies with the approved plans. The cemetery board may charge a reasonable fee to the cemetery authority for each inspection and certification provided under this paragraph if the inspection and certification are provided within the applicable 30-day period prescribed under this paragraph.
157.12(2)(bm) (bm) If a municipality in which a mausoleum is located requires the owner or operator of the mausoleum to obtain from the municipality a permit for the use or occupancy of the mausoleum, the municipality shall issue that permit to the owner or operator if the owner or operator has been provided with a certification or temporary certification for the mausoleum under par. (b). The permit shall be valid for a period equal to or longer than the period for which the certification or temporary certification under par. (b) is valid.
157.12(2)(c)1.1. Except as provided in subd. 2., no person may establish or use a public mausoleum unless the mausoleum is located inside a cemetery of 20 acres or more that has been in existence for 10 years or more.
157.12(2)(c)2. 2. A person may establish or use a public mausoleum in a cemetery consisting of less than 20 acres in a municipality that has enacted an ordinance under s. 157.129 (2) if the cemetery meets the minimum acreage requirement specified in that ordinance.
157.12(2)(d) (d) A mausoleum shall be constructed to last as long as possible, taking into consideration the technology and economics applicable to mausoleum construction at the time of construction.
157.12(3) (3)Care fund for mausoleums.
157.12(3)(a) (a) Any person who operates a public mausoleum shall establish a care fund as follows:
157.12(3)(a)1. 1. If the mausoleum has been in existence since June 15, 1933, and is covered by the care fund of the cemetery in which the mausoleum is located, the cemetery shall deposit at least 15 percent of each payment of principal received from the sale of a mausoleum space into the care fund, until the care fund equals 10 percent of the cost of constructing the mausoleum.
157.12(3)(a)2. 2. Except as provided in subd. 1., the operator of the mausoleum shall deposit at least 25 percent of each payment of principal received from the sale of a mausoleum space into the care fund, until the care fund equals 25 percent of the cost of constructing the mausoleum.
157.12(3)(a)3. 3. The operator shall make deposits required under subds. 1. and 2. within 30 days after the last day of the month in which the payment is received. The municipality in which the mausoleum is located may, by ordinance, require a larger fund, but only if the cemetery board notifies the municipality in writing that the cemetery board approves of the requirement. The cemetery board may promulgate rules establishing uniform standards for approvals under this subdivision.
157.12(3)(b) (b) The cemetery's treasurer is the custodian of the fund. The treasurer shall file with the cemetery, at the cemetery's expense, a bond with sureties approved by the cemetery board to indemnify the cemetery against loss if the treasurer fails to maintain the fund. No indemnity is required if the terms of sale of a mausoleum space require the purchaser to pay directly to a trust company in the state, designated by the cemetery as custodian of the fund. The fund shall be invested as provided in s. 157.19. Income from investment may be used only to maintain the mausoleum, except that if the amount of income exceeds the amount necessary to properly maintain the mausoleum the excess amount may be used to maintain any portion of the cemetery.
157.123 157.123 Columbaria maintained by religious associations.
157.123(1)(1)Definition. In this section, “columbarium" has the meaning given in s. 440.70 (4).
157.123(2) (2)Exemption. A columbarium that is established and used by a religious association is not subject to any requirement under this subchapter applicable to a mausoleum or cemetery if all of the following requirements are satisfied:
157.123(2)(a) (a) The columbarium shall be located on property owned by the religious association and on which is located the religious association's church building or other place of worship.
157.123(2)(b) (b) The religious association shall ensure that the columbarium is perpetually kept and maintained in a manner consistent with the intent of this chapter.
157.123(2)(c) (c) If the religious association ceases to use or occupy the church building or other place of worship where the columbarium is located, the religious association shall relocate all of the urns in the columbarium containing cremated remains.
157.123(2)(d) (d) The religious association shall deposit, within 30 days after receipt of the payment, at least 25 percent of each payment of principal received from the sale of a niche in the columbarium into a care fund, until the care fund equals 25 percent of the cost of constructing the columbarium. The care fund and any income from investment of the care fund may be used only to maintain the columbarium.
157.123(2)(e)1.1. Annually, the religious association shall file a certification with the department on a form prescribed and furnished by the department that includes all of the following:
157.123(2)(e)1.a. a. The name and address of the religious association and the address where the columbarium is located.
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2015-16 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2017 Wis. Act 367 and all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders effective on or before October 15, 2018. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after October 15, 2018 are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-15-18)