RULES AND REGULATIONS
DEFINITIONS – As used in these regulations the following terms shall have the followings meanings:
- “Board” shall mean the Board of Trustees of the Twentynine Palms Public Cemetery District
- “District” shall mean the Twentynine Palms Public Cemetery District
- “Supervisor” shall mean the Manager of the Twentynine Palms Public Cemetery District.
- “Lot Owner” shall mean one who has purchased burial rights.
- “Interment” means the disposition of human remains by burial in a cemetery or, in the case of cremated remains, by inurnment, placement, or burial in a cemetery.
- “Commingling” means to “mix together with” or in other words to place the cremains with other cremains in the same place.
- “Interment Right” means the authorization purchased from the District to inter human remains in the ground or niches, urns or other disposition. Throughout these “Rules and Regulations” the terms Interment Right and Burial Right are interchangeable.
- “Plot” as used herein means the in ground burial space for the interment of human remains.
- “Owner” shall mean one who has purchased Interment Rights.
- “Markers” as used herein means any plaque, stone or other item used to mark the location of an interment or memorialize a person interred in the Cemetery, and shall include flat, pillow, upright, and monument grave markers, as well as any plaque affixed to any post, niche, plate or elsewhere.
- “Niche” shall mean the receptacle or space in a wall or bank of spaces for the purpose of inurnment of cremated human remains.
- “Niche Fascia or Niche Front” means the cover plate over the space that the cremated remains reside within.
- “Niche Plate, Scroll Plate, or Staff Bar” shall mean the bronze marker on the fascia that designates the person who resides within the space.
CARE OF GRAVES AND CEMETERY GROUNDS – The absolute control of the cemetery grounds in every particular is vested in the Board. Lot owners and others are entitled only to such privileges within the grounds as are provided by these rules and regulations. Subject to the control of the Board, following are the rules regulating the general care of the graves, niches, and cemetery grounds.
- Interment Rights in the Cemetery are conveyed for interment purposes only.
- The cemetery visiting hours shall be sunrise to sunset daily.
- Every person entering onto the Cemetery shall be responsible for his or her own safety, and shall exercise due caution and care. The District, its Board, all individual members of said Board, the Manager and all other personnel of the District shall not be responsible for injury or damage suffered by any persons, including children, in their use of the cemetery grounds. Any person visiting the cemetery shall do so at his/her own risk.
- All children must be accompanied by and under the control of an adult.
- No person not employed by the District shall plant, maintain, or adorn any trees, shrubs, or flowers on the Cemetery grounds. If any tree, shrub, plant or vine situated on any plot shall by reason of roots, branches, height, shade or otherwise become detrimental or unsightly to adjacent plots, paths, streets or the Cemetery grounds, the Manager or any authorized District personnel may enter upon such plot and remove or trim such trees, shrubs, plants or vines as deemed necessary. Donations of trees and rose bushes are acceptable, but must be selected and planted by and under the direction of the Board.
- No person not employed by the District shall gather flowers nor disturb growing plants or trespass on any plot of which he or she does not hold the Interment Right. All persons shall confine themselves to the roadways, paths and other public places provided for public use within the Cemetery grounds, except when accessing a particular Plot or Niche.
- Flowers may be placed only in the vases provided in the ground or if not available, in appropriate containers (vases) placed on the grave. Unauthorized containers will be removed and disposed of by District personnel. Jars and tin cans are not to be used as vases on a grave.
- No animals, with the exception of guide or service dogs that must accompany their owners are allowed in the Cemetery without permission from the Manager.
- Feeding animals on cemetery property is prohibited.
- All Christmas decorations will be removed and disposed of by District personnel after January 31st each year.
- Items allowed on each grave shall be limited to twelve (12) in number, be no more than 30″ high, have no electrical components (except solar figurines – maximum allowable height is 24”), no flames (i.e. candles), and no balloons of any kind. All items must be placed on the back two-thirds of the grave (away from the sidewalk/street). The District is not responsible for the damage, loss, or upkeep of any personal items.
- No decorations will be placed in the openings or spaces of Niche Fascia. Nothing shall be glued or attached to Niche Fascia other than the Scroll Plate, unless previously approved by the Board.
- The Board reserves the right to remove from any Plot, Marker, Headstone, Monument or other structure, trees, flowers or plants (plastic or real), or other objects which may conflict with the Rules and Regulations, or which may be considered a safety hazard or maintenance obstruction to the grounds, plots, or person. Such items removed by the District will be held for thirty (30) days and thereafter destroyed.
- No person not employed by the District shall remove any earth or in any way damage the Cemetery grounds or place or pour sand, gravel, rocks, cement, or any metal of any kind in the vases, around the markers, the Plot or on the Cemetery property. It is acceptable for a reasonable amount of colored glass “pebbles” to be scattered on the rock cover. Dead flowers and other rubbish must be placed in containers provided for that purpose.
- If any tree, shrub, plant situated on any plot shall by reason of roots, branches or heights become detrimental or unsightly to adjacent plots, paths, streets or the cemetery grounds, the Manager or any other person authorized by the Board may enter upon such plot and remove or trim such tree, shrub or plant as deemed necessary.
- No person shall burn any combustible material within the cemetery grounds.
- The Board reserves the right to make improvements to any Plot, Niche, or to any public portion of the Cemetery grounds at any time at the cost of the District.
GRAVE MARKERS –Markers, as well as their placement and installation, must conform to the Rules and Regulations of the District, the District does not own or control any such Marker. Accordingly, the District, its Trustees, Officers, Manager, and Employees are not responsible for the loss or damage to any Marker, unless such loss or damage is the result of the negligence or misconduct of a Trustee, Officer, Manager, or Employee of the District.
If a damaged Marker has been in place in the Cemetery for 25 years, and if the District is unable to locate a family member responsible for the care and upkeep of the Marker the District may, at its sole discretion, elect to either repair or replace a damaged Marker. Any variation to this policy must be approved by the Board of Trustees. Variance requests must be submitted to the Cemetery office in writing.
The following regulations govern Markers in the Cemetery:
- Markers must be made only of granite, marble, or standard bronze. Markers made of other materials are not permitted.
- Memorial markers hereafter shall be limited to the following sizes:
|Single||12″ x 24″|
|Double||14″ x 36″|
|Infant/Child||10″ x 20″|
|Cremation section||12″ x 24″|
- The next of kin or person responsible for the remains of a deceased must obtain a flat permanent type marker for the deceased’s grave and make the marker available for placement by cemetery personnel within one year from the interment date.
- All memorial markers shall be installed by cemetery personnel. By prior approval through the cemetery office, a full-size gravestone may be set in place by a monument company or its representative. It must be flat and measure 6′ x 3′.
- Setting of a full-size gravestone on a grave prior to interment is prohibited.
- The setting of a grave marker prior to interment is permitted subject to an additional setting fee.
- A charge to remove and reset a grave marker will be made to the next of kin or respective agent, and the Cemetery District disclaims all responsibility for breakage should such occur.
- Only bronze markers provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs are permitted in the Veterans Section (7B).
- No items other than Veterans Flags will be allowed on unmarked gravesites
INTERMENTS – Lot owners, niche owners, morticians and other authorized persons shall comply with the following regulations in the use of niches and plots for interment purposes.
- Interments will not be scheduled on a Sunday or a Holiday.
- Interments will normally be made after 9:00 a.m., and prior to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
- The scheduling of a date and time for an interment must be made through the cemetery office at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the desired interment time.
- An ORDER FOR INTERMENT form must be signed by a member of the family of the deceased or the respective authorized agent at least 24 hours prior to the time of service. A grave will not be opened until the ORDER FOR INTERMENT is signed.
- No services in connection with an interment will be made until charges for such services, as fixed by the Board, have been paid in advance to an authorized employee of the District.
- No interment right holder shall allow any interment to be made in his/her plot or niche for remuneration.
- Visitors desiring to watch the process of closing the grave must remain a distance of 30 feet from the gravesite for their own safety. Cemetery workers are to discontinue operating equipment anytime this distance is not maintained or anytime, in their judgment, the safety of a visitor is in jeopardy.
- Three cremains or two cremains and one full burial may be interred in one adult grave – MUST be family members or registered domestic partners (as defined in California Family Code Section 297).
- A white rock grave cover must be placed on a grave following the closing of the grave. The ‘cover’ is to be installed by cemetery personnel. A ‘cover’ is not to be installed on any grave prior to burial in the grave.
- Except when ordered by a Court, disinterments will be at the discretion of the Board. When allowed, District personnel will open the grave and remove or open the vault. The District shall not be responsible for any damage to the urn, vault, liner, casket, or remains.
- Cemetery personnel are not permitted to open an urn or casket under any circumstances unless directed to do so by Court action.
- The District shall not set aside a designated “indigent” interment section in the cemetery.
- Due to possible contaminants present, a liner or vault removed during a disinterment must be destroyed and disposed of as soon as possible. EXCEPTION: 1) The legal owner of the container may transport the container off cemetery property within 24 hours of the disinterment time. 2) Funeral personnel may transport the container for reuse in the reinterment of the remains. Under no other conditions will the vault or liner be released to an individual for reuse.
- When family of deceased desires to watch the casket lowered, as is sometimes a tradition, the casket shall be lowered only to the level of the greens covering the grave (Top of the grave).
- Food, beverages, balloons, banners, candles, lights, or any other items or objects that management considers unsafe or inappropriate for a cemetery will be removed by staff and disposed of.
- Section 7B is designated as the Veterans Section. Burials therein are limited to bona fide U.S. Veterans and their spouses.
- All niche compartments will accommodate up to two (2) Cremated remains. No more than two (2) sets of cremated remains are allowed in a single niche – MUST be family members or registered domestic partners (as defined in California Family Code Section 297). Niche compartments measure approximately 9.5″ x 9.5″ x 9.5″.
- All Cremation Urns must meet Cemetery size requirements to be placed in our niche compartments.
- Urns are not to be opened on cemetery grounds.
- All Niche Plates will be provided and installed by the District, will be cast from standard bronze, and will be 8″ wide by 4″ high. Two plates will be provided for a double, each being 8″ wide by 4″ high. Inscriptions on Niche Plates will consist of first name, middle initial, last name, date of birth, and date of death. The typeface will be Times New Roman with a single line border, dark oxidized background finish and a leatherette background texture. The top (name and title) line cannot exceed 24 characters and spaces, the date line will be limited to the dates of birth and death in one of the following formats:
January 1, 1900 – December 1, 2000
1900 – 2000
- No items other than the memorial marker (niche plate) may be affixed, either temporarily or permanently, to the niche face (shutter) without prior Board approval. Any items found so affixed will be immediately removed by staff and disposed of.
- On the day of inurnment, Memorial Day, and the occupant’s birthday flowers may be placed on the concrete sidewalk in front of the niche. Such flowers shall be removed by the cemetery staff by the close of business the following day.
- No items (including flowers) are to be placed on top of niche feature. Flowers, or any items placed on top of niche feature will be immediately removed by staff and disposed of.
- Flowers are not to be affixed in any fashion to the niche face (shutter). Flowers so affixed will be immediately removed by staff.
- All Memorial Wall Plates will be provided and installed by the District, will be cast from standard bronze, and will be 10″ wide by 2″ high. Inscriptions on Memorial Wall Plates will consist of first name, middle name or initial, last name, titles, date of birth, and date of death. The typeface will be Times New Roman with a single line border, dark oxidized background finish and a leatherette background texture. The top (name and title) line cannot exceed 32 characters and spaces, the date line will be limited to the dates of birth and death in one of the following formats:
January 1, 1900 – December 1, 2000
1900 – 2000
FEES AND CHARGES – From time to time the Board shall establish the prices at which interment rights shall be sold, the fees for the opening and closing of graves, and the fees for all other services performed by the District in connection with the use of the cemetery grounds.
The Board shall also adopt a schedule of fees for nonresidents. The Board shall set these fees at an amount that at least equals the amount of fees charged to residents or taxpayers and shall include a nonresident fee of at least the amount required by Section 9068.b of the California Health and Safety Code.
A schedule of the current fees is at Appendix A and a copy shall be available for inspection at all reasonable hours in the cemetery office.
- In addition to the above fees and charges the Board shall establish the amount to be paid by purchasers for deposit into the Endowment Care Fund in accordance with Section 8738 of the California Health and Safety Code. Such amount paid into the Endowment Care Fund is not refundable.
- Non-resident fees shall be charged for interment of the person who is not living or paying taxes in the District at the time of death and who is eligible for interment in the District cemetery by Sections 9002 and 9061 of the California Health and Safety Code.
- An administrative fee will be charged to transfer the interment rights ownership from one individual to another eligible individual. All transfers must be handled through the cemetery office.
- Arrangements to reserve a grave or niche for up to 30 days may be made in writing through the cemetery office.
- There shall be a charge made to the writer of any check should the respective check be returned by the bank for non-payment
- Out of State checks may be accepted; a photo copy must be made of the check and a copy of the driver’s license
- All costs pertinent to interment may be paid in advance (PRENEED). 12, 18, or 24 monthly payment plans are available to the customer with the requirement that all costs must be paid-in-full prior to opening the niche or grave for interment. A minimum down payment equal to the Endowment Care Fund fee shall be collected to open the account and is not refundable. A monthly service charge shall be made for each month the respective plan is in force unless said payment is made by cash or check.
- Preneed accounts in default six (6) months: Written notification shall be made to the customer, signed by a Board member, mailed receipt requested, restating the terms of the contract (BUYER/SELLER AGREEMENT). The account must be brought current within 30 days of written notification date or the contract will be cancelled and all amounts previously paid forfeited.
- The opening/closing fee shall be waived for anyone who has served or is serving as a Cemetery District Board Member and for any regular status employee.
- All arrivals by funeral home personnel, who utilize this cemetery for interment purposes, must be prior to 2:00 p.m. on a normal cemetery workday. Arrivals subsequent to this time will result in a late charge to the respective funeral home.
- Vaults or liners: Outer burial containers will be sold by the District. A handling fee will be charged for each container used whether purchased from the District or provided by a funeral director. If the container is provided by a funeral director, it must be on the grounds no more than two (2) working days or no later than one (1) working day prior to date of use and must be of a type (size/weight) that can be readily handled with District equipment. Also, the container is subject to inspection for defects and may be refused should defects be present.
- Vaults of steel or concrete must be used for all full-body casket interments. Please be advised that standard full-body caskets cannot exceed dimensions of 29” wide by 84” long by 25” high, including all handles, attachments and other decorative elements. If a casket exceeds these dimensions, The Twentynine Palms Public Cemetery District must have no less than 72 hours notice to install a vault that will accommodate larger caskets. There will also be an additional charge for larger vaults.
Failure to provide at least 72 hours notice of oversized caskets will result in the burial service being delayed.
- Regarding eligible “indigents” interment, the County will pay for a grave provided at current cost and a liner at cemetery cost. Opening and closing fees will be waived.
- An Endowment fee will be collected prior to opening a grave for burial that was purchased prior to the Cemetery having an established Endowment Care Fund (30 July 1981).
LEGAL PROVISIONS – In addition to the provisions established by law for the operation of the District’s cemetery, the following rules and regulations shall apply:
- Interment in the District’s cemetery shall be limited in accordance with Section 9060 of the California Health and Safety Code as the same now exists or may be hereafter amended. For the purpose of these Rules and Regulations, members of the family of a resident who purchases a Family Interment Right are defined as grandparents, parents, spouse, brothers/sisters and their families, children or grandchildren, adopted children, stepchildren and stepparents or a registered domestic partner (as defined in California Family Code Section 297).
- Each purchaser of niches, burial lots, or plots shall be issued a Certificate of Burial Rights. The interest acquired by such purchaser shall not be an interest in real property but shall be simply the revocable right granted to the Certificate holder to use said niche, lot, or plot for interment purposes in accordance with these Rules and Regulations. Members of purchaser’s family as defined in the California Health & Safety Code would be recognized by the Board, whether said assignment is made during their lifetime or is made by will or acquired by inheritance. Should they be nonresidents or otherwise ineligible, they may sell their acquired rights to the Cemetery District for the original purchase price. If a Certificate holder has no further need for the Interment Rights, he/she may by written application to the District sell their Certificate to the District for the original purchase price, less the Endowment Care fee, if paid. ENDOWMENT CARE FEES ARE ALWAYS NON-REFUNDABLE.
LIABILITY – The District, its Board, all individual members of said Board, the Manager and all other personnel of the District shall not be responsible for injury or damage suffered by any person, including children, in their use of the cemetery grounds. Any person visiting the cemetery shall do so at his/her own risk.
EMPLOYEES – The Board shall employ such employees as it may determine to be necessary or useful in the operation of the District Cemetery.
STATEMENT: RULES and REGULATIONS – All Rules and Regulations previously adopted inconsistent with the foregoing are hereby repealed.
PASSED, APPROVED, and ADOPTED, by the BOARD OF TRUSTEES of the TWENTYNINE PALMS PUBLIC CEMETERY DISTRICT in regular meeting held at the cemetery office on 1/17/2017.