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Sec. 711.001

Sec. 711.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) “Abandoned cemetery” means a cemetery, regardless of whether it appears on a map or in deed records, that is not owned or operated by a cemetery organization, does not have another person legally responsible for its care, and is not maintained by any person.

(2) “Burial park” means a tract of land that is used or intended to be used for interment in graves.

(3) “Campus” means the area:

(A) within the boundaries of one or more adjacent tracts, parcels, or lots under common ownership;

(B) on which the principal church building and related structures and facilities of an organized religious society or sect are located; and

(C) that may be subject to one or more easements for street, utility, or pipeline purposes.

(4) “Cemetery” means a place that is used or intended to be used for interment, and includes a graveyard, burial park, mausoleum, or any other area containing one or more graves.

(5) “Cemetery element” means a grave, memorial, crypt, mausoleum, columbarium, or other item that is associated with the cemetery, including a fence, road, curb, wall, path, gate, or bench and the lighting and landscaping.

(6) “Cemetery broker” means a person who sells the exclusive right of sepulture for another person. The term does not include a person who:

(A) is an officer, agent, or employee of the cemetery organization in which the plot is located, acting at the direction or under the control of the cemetery organization; or

(B) originally purchased the exclusive right of sepulture for personal use.

(7) “Cemetery organization” means:

(A) an unincorporated association of plot owners not operated for profit that is authorized by its articles of association to conduct a business for cemetery purposes; or

(B) a corporation, as defined by Section 712.001(b)(3), that is authorized by its certificate of formation or its registration to conduct a business for cemetery purposes.

(8) “Cemetery purpose” means a purpose necessary or incidental to establishing, maintaining, managing, operating, improving, or conducting a cemetery, interring remains, or caring for, preserving, and embellishing cemetery property.

(9) “Columbarium” means a durable, fireproof structure, or a room or other space in a durable, fireproof structure, containing niches and used or intended to be used to contain cremated remains.

(10) “Cremains receptacle” means a marker, boulder, bench, pedestal, pillar, or other aboveground vessel that contains niches for cremated remains.

(11) “Cremated remains” or “cremains” means the bone fragments remaining after the cremation process, which may include the residue of any foreign materials that were cremated with the human remains.

(12) “Cremation” means the irreversible process of reducing human remains to bone fragments through extreme heat and evaporation, which may include the processing or the pulverization of bone fragments.

(13) “Crematory” means a structure containing a furnace used or intended to be used for the cremation of human remains.

(14) “Crematory and columbarium” means a durable, fireproof structure containing both a crematory and columbarium.

(15) “Crypt” means a chamber in a mausoleum of sufficient size to inter human remains.

(16) “Directors” means the governing body of a cemetery organization.

(17) “Entombment” means interment in a crypt.

(18) “Funeral establishment” means a place of business used in the care and preparation for interment or transportation of human remains, or any place where one or more persons, either as sole owner, in copartnership, or through corporate status, are engaged or represent themselves to be engaged in the business of embalming or funeral directing.

(19) “Grave” means a space of ground that contains interred human remains or is in a burial park and that is used or intended to be used for interment of human remains in the ground.

(20) “Human remains” means the body of a decedent.

(21) “Interment” means the permanent disposition of remains by entombment, burial, or placement in a niche.

(22) “Interment right” means the right to inter the remains of one decedent in a plot.

(23) “Inurnment” means the placement of cremated remains in an urn.

(24) “Lawn crypt” means a subsurface receptacle installed in multiple units for ground burial of human remains.

(25) “Mausoleum” means a durable, fireproof structure used or intended to be used for entombment.

(26) “Memorial” means a headstone, tombstone, gravestone, monument, or other marker denoting a grave.

(27) “Niche” means a space in a columbarium or cremains receptacle used or intended to be used for the placement of cremated remains in an urn or other container.

(28) “Nonperpetual care cemetery” means a cemetery that is not a perpetual care cemetery.

(29) “Perpetual care” or “endowment care” means the maintenance, repair, and care of all places in the cemetery.

(30) “Perpetual care cemetery” or “endowment care cemetery” means a cemetery for the benefit of which a perpetual care trust fund is established as provided by Chapter 712.

(31) “Plot” means space in a cemetery owned by an individual or organization that is used or intended to be used for interment, including a grave or adjoining graves, a crypt or adjoining crypts, a lawn crypt or adjoining lawn crypts, or a niche or adjoining niches.

(32) “Plot owner” means a person:

(A) in whose name a plot is listed in a cemetery organization’s office as the owner of the exclusive right of sepulture; or

(B) who holds, from a cemetery organization, a certificate of ownership or other instrument of conveyance of the exclusive right of sepulture in a particular plot in the organization’s cemetery.

(33) “Prepaid funeral contract” means a written contract providing for prearranged or prepaid funeral services or funeral merchandise.

(34) “Remains” means either human remains or cremated remains.

(35) “Unidentified grave” means a grave that is not marked in a manner that provides the identity of the interment.

(36) “Unknown cemetery” means an abandoned cemetery evidenced by the presence of marked or unmarked graves that does not appear on a map or in deed records.

(37) “Unmarked grave” means the immediate area where one or more human interments are found that:

(A) is not in a recognized and maintained cemetery;

(B) is not owned or operated by a cemetery organization;

(C) is not marked by a tomb, monument, gravestone, or other structure or thing placed or designated as a memorial of the dead; or

(D) is located on land designated as agricultural, timber, recreational, park, or scenic land under Chapter 23, Tax Code.

(38) “Unverified cemetery” means a location having some evidence of interment but in which the presence of one or more unmarked graves has not been verified by a person described by Section 711.0105(a) or by the Texas Historical Commission.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 212, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 634, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1389, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 106 (S.B. 350), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 914 (H.B. 2927), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 532 (H.B. 2495), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1336 (S.B. 1167), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 123 (S.B. 661), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 220 (H.B. 52), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 110 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 20 (S.B. 614), Sec. 38, eff. September 1, 2019.

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