Chapter 712 of the Health and Safety Code governs the operation of perpetual care cemeteries, regulated by the Texas Department of Banking.
Municipal Cemeteries and County Resources
Type A general law municipalities may regulate burial of the dead and may purchase, establish, and regulate a cemetery. Home rule cities also have this authority. The municipal government may enclose, regulate, and improve cemeteries belonging to the city. (Health and Safety Code, Section 694.003 and Section 713.001)
It is generally provided that any city or town that owns or has control of any cemetery has the power to maintain the cemetery. (Health and Safety Code, Section 713.002)
A city with a cemetery within its boundaries or jurisdiction may take possession and control of the cemetery on behalf of the public health, safety, comfort, and welfare. Perpetual care cemeteries and private family cemeteries are exempt from this section. (Health and Safety Code, Section 713.009)
A municipality that operates or has jurisdiction over a public cemetery shall maintain the cemetery in a condition that does not endanger the public health, safety, comfort, or welfare. (Health and Safety Code, Section 713.011)
A (county) commissioners court by resolution may establish a perpetual trust fund to provide maintenance for a neglected or unkept public or private cemetery in the county. The commissioners court shall appoint the county judge as trustee for the fund. (Health and Safety Code, Section 713.021)
A commissioners court may use public funds, county employees, and county equipment for the maintenance of certain cemeteries for purposes of historic preservation (cemeteries with graves more than 50 years old) and protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. (Health and Safety Code, Section 713.028)
Cemetery Associations and Private Cemeteries
Cemetery organizations may adopt and enforce rules and that these rules must be made available for review. (Health and Safety Code, Section 711.031)
Consent of a cemetery organization is required prior to public utilities or thoroughfare placement through a cemetery. (Health and Safety Code, Section 711.035(d))
For general provisions relating to cemeteries, please see our State Statutes and Rules.