HERITAGE MEMORIAL GARDENS RULES AND REGULATIONS
Section I: DEFINITIONS
A. OWNERSHIP: Ownership is defined as rights to burial in a deeded plot. A cemetery lot/plot owner’s rights are contractual and subject to the ordinary rules of this contract. One who is granted or deeded a lot in the Heritage Memorial Gardens does not acquire ownership of the soil. He/she acquires only a right of burial therein which has been designated as an easement or as a license or privilege. When a lot is deeded, the rights of the Grantee are expressed or deemed to be subject to the rules and regulations or bylaws/policies of Heritage Memorial Gardens.
B. PROPERTY MANAGEMENT/PROPERTY OWNERSHIP: Heritage Memorial Gardens is the, non-perpetual care, church cemetery of New Birth Community and is governed by New Birth Community Church Board of Trustees.
C. CEMETERY PLOT: The term “plot”, is an area of sufficient size to accommodate one adult interment; five feet by ten feet.
D. CEMETERY LOT: The term “lot” shall apply to numbered divisions as shown on the record plat which consists of two plots.
E. INTERMENT: The term “interment” shall mean the permanent disposition of the remains of a deceased person by cremation and inurnment, entombment, or burial.
F. LOT MARKER: The term “lot marker” refers to any means used by the cemetery to locate corners of the lot or plot.
G. MARKER/HEADSTONE: A marker/headstone is a granite stone or flat bronze plaque either flush or above ground that is inscribed with the name, date of birth, and date of death of the person that is buried in said plot. (minimum size is 8” x 16”)
H. MONUMENT: A monument is a stone extending above ground, usually inscribed with the family name only.
I. MAUSOLEUM: A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons.
J. MANAGEMENT: The term “management” shall mean the person or persons duly appointed by New Birth Community Church for the purpose of conducting and administering Heritage Memorial Gardens.
K. MEMBER: Member shall mean an individual that is a member of New Birth Community Church.
L. IMMEDIATE FAMILY: The immediate family is described as follows: spouse, parent, grandparent, children, stepchildren, and grandchildren of the original lot owner(s). The term is also to include “great” to the above where applicable.
Section II: CEMETERY POLICY
1. A member or non-member of New Birth Community Church may be issued the right to use a lot of two and not more than twelve plots in the cemetery.
2. The cost of the use of a plot issued to members of Heritage Memorial Gardens for the purpose of full body burials shall be $500.00
3. The cost of the use of a plot issued to non-members of Heritage Memorial Gardens for the purpose of full body burials shall be $500.00.
4. The cost of the use of a lot issued to members or non-members of New Birth Community Church for the purpose of interment of inurned cremated remains shall be $600 and placement in the Columbaria Niche is $500 and governed by Section II – Policy No. 20.
5. In the event there is a need to purchase the right of burial of (1) grave space only, whether it be for full body burial or interment of cremated remains, these single grave space burial rights will be granted from an area within the cemetery that is designated as single grave plots.
6. The cost of these single plot burial sites, whether for full body burial or for interment of cremated remains, shall be one half the cost of a lot as described in Section II, #3 or #4.
7. In the event a family decides to inter the cremated remains of a loved one in any plot not already designated as, or planned for such interment, the cost for the burial right shall be one third the cost of a plot as described in Section II, #5 rounded to the nearest $50.00 increment.
8. Issuance of burial rights shall be made by the cemetery chairman or designated staff.
9. Interment shall not take place until the cost of use of the plot has been paid in full.
10. At no time may grave spaces (lots) be sold by the person to whom the lot has been issued. Rather the lots remaining shall be returned to Heritage Memorial Gardens for a reimbursement of 50% of the current cost of a cemetery lot. However, grave spaces can be transferred or donated to another family member.
11. It is your right as the burial right owner to place coping around your lot(s). It is however required that you contact the cemetery chairman before having this done. (give ample notice) The cemetery chairman will mark the corners of your lot(s)/plot(s). In the case that the new coping joins a lot that already has coping around it, the space between the two shall be no more than six inches (6”) and must be cemented at the expense of party placing the new coping.
12. It is required that every plot have a minimum of a marker/headstone (see definition “F”) that is inscribed with the name, date of birth and date of death of the person that is buried in said plot. ONLY FLAT HEADSTONES ARE ALLOWED.
13. No monument may be installed in such a fashion that it extends beyond the boundaries of the designated lot or grave, or that will interfere with future grave openings or the movement of the Cemetery maintenance equipment. In the event a memorial or monument is placed or constructed in the cemetery without the authorization of New Birth Community Church, New Birth Community Church reserves the right, at the plot owner's and/or families expense, to remove any unauthorized monument or memorial.
All monuments or memorials must be placed on a concrete foundation, poured or dry mixed. All memorials or monuments must be installed by a licensed memorial/monument representative or by an approved contractor of New Birth Community Church. Installation fees are $85.00.
14. No improper effigies or markers or monuments bearing offensive inscriptions shall be permitted to be placed in or upon any part of the Cemetery. And if any such monument, effigy, or any structure whatsoever, or any inscription be placed in or upon any plot, the cemetery committee shall have the right, and it shall be their duty, to enter upon such plot and remove the offensive or improper object. If the removal of such objects incurs any costs, the burial right owner shall be liable for any and all costs.
15. Mausoleums are permitted. They shall be no taller than enough to entomb (1) body so as no more than (1) body is entombed per plot. The mausoleum shall be no closer than six inches (6”) to the edge of the plot on which it sits.
16. No interments of a body other than that of a human being will be permitted.
17. Cremated remains must be inurned and interred and may not be distributed into the atmosphere.
18. Each plot is limited to a maximum of three (3) cremated remains each, and only if planned for in advance.
19. All non-cremain interments shall be enclosed in a cemetery outer burial container.
20. New gravesites shall be cleaned of dead flowers, wreaths, etc. within fourteen (14) days of the burial. Debris should be hauled away or placed in the cemetery trash cans.
21. RESPECT: It is of utmost importance that there should be strict observance of standards of honorable conduct in the cemetery. Therefore, all persons within the cemetery should avoid conduct unbecoming a sacred place, such as:
i. Loud or boisterous or profane talking
ii. Idling or loafing on the grounds
iii. Peddling or soliciting the sale of any commodity within the cemetery
iv. Consuming of or possessing alcoholic beverages or other drugs on the grounds
v. Placing of signs or notices or advertisements of any kind within the cemetery
vi. Bringing firearms into the cemetery; except by military escort, accompanying a veteran’s funeral, or attending memorial services.
Section III: MAINTENANCE PRACTICES, RESPONSIBILITY & LIABILITY
1. Landscaping and maintenance of the Cemetery shall be under the direction of the New Birth Community Church Cemetery committee. Heritage Memorial Gardens, the church cemetery of New Birth Community Church, is a non perpetual care cemetery. New Birth Community Church is under no obligation to maintain any set standard for the care of and upkeep of the cemetery.
It is however expected of family members to maintain inside the lot in which their loved one is buried.
2. Maintenance contracts and schedules shall be set forth by Heritage Memorial Gardens committee and the New Birth Community Church Trustee Board.
3. Heritage Memorial Gardens (New Birth Community Church) assumes no responsibility for damages to gravesites, copings, monuments, markers, etc. that may occur while preparing for a burial in another plot or while work is being done to another plot/lot or from any act of God that may occur.
4. It shall be the responsibility and liability of the funeral home, grave digger, monument company, or any other such company or person who is working in the Heritage Memorial Gardens, to repair, replace or make good any damages to any other lot/plot that may occur as a result of a mistake or oversight on said person’s part.
5. Bottles, toys, figurines, wired flowers, and other objects that might create a mowing hazard will not be permitted during the mowing season except as designated and, when used, will be removed and disposed of by the Cemetery staff without notice.
6. Flowers are welcomed at any time of the year in the cemetery. It is however the responsibility of the family member or whomever placed the flowers to remove them before they become unpleasant or offensive to view. (an eyesore)
7. Glass containers or glass vases are not acceptable as flower holders.
8. There shall be no planting of shrubbery, trees, flowers, etc. in the ground of the cemetery except that of a live plant in a pot that is placed on a gravesite.
9. Cemetery visiting hours shall be from daylight until dark. Any person entering the cemetery after the visiting hours, without prior authorization from New Birth Community Church will be considered a trespasser.
10. New Birth Community Church, or its agents, Trustees, members, or affiliates, shall not be liable for errors to damages, which may occur as a result of improper, or misinterpretation of, telephone instructions (including text messaging) from plot owners, their representatives, or funeral directors acting on behalf of the plot owner, or their heirs.
11. New Birth Community Church does not insure personal property of the plot owners. Grave markers, monuments, benches, contents of niches and similar items are deemed to be the personal property of individual plot owners and/or their families. They are not the property of New Birth Community Church. Therefore, plot owners and/or their families are encouraged to speak to their personal insurer if they wish to insure their personal property which is located in the cemetery.
12. New Birth Community Church is not liable for any interment permits (if applicable), the identity of the remains brought to the cemetery for internment, embalming of the body, outer burial container, or outer burial container placement and/or warranty.
13. Outer burial containers used in Heritage Memorial Gardens must be below ground.
13. Funeral processions entering the cemetery shall be under the control of New Birth Community Church. Funeral directors must be present and conduct services as provided by local and state law.
Section IV: REMOVAL
Removals of bodies from graves in Heritage Memorial Gardens whether for the purpose of relocation or for any other reason shall be arranged by a licensed funeral home director and shall be done in accordance with the requirements or the statutes of the State of Alabama and the rules of the State Board of Health. Fees for such services, as well as any damages that might occur to adjacent lots, will be the sole responsibility of the lot owner or lot owner’s heirs. A ten (10) day advance notice must be given to New Birth Community Church.
Caskets or urns containing the remains once interred, will not be opened or removed without the written consent of legal representatives of the deceased and/or an order from the court of competent jurisdiction. New Birth Community Church will not be liable for any damages that may result from a removal. New Birth Community Church reserves there right to make adjustments to the placements of casts in the cemetery.
New Birth Community Church shall exercise due care in making disinterment requests, but shall assume no liability for the damage to human remains, caskets, urns, outer burial containers during the process.
Section V: SACRED DUTY
The Bible, common sense, common decency, and respect for our loved ones and our fellow man, lead us to conclude that it is a “sacred duty” to respect and maintain the burial place of those that have gone on before us. “If only you would hide me in the grave…and then remember me.” Job 14:13 As a priority to New Birth Community Church, it is our wish to provide a well-kept, reverent resting place for your loved ones and for ours. The maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery are funded entirely by donations and love gifts. We invite every family with ties to Heritage Memorial Gardens (New Birth Community Church) to help with its upkeep, and we offer you an opportunity to give your love gift or donation. You may even choose to do so on an annual or monthly basis. Please mail your gift to:
NEW BIRTH COMMUNITY CHURCH
1329 Forest Ridge Road West
Mobile, AL 36618
Section VI: FINANCE FOR MAINTENANCE
1. Free will donations by concerned members and friends. These donations do not give a person burial rights.
2. Additional support from the church budget, upon church approval, if amounts in 1. and 2. are not adequate.
3. This money shall be kept in a special Cemetery Fund and a monthly report of receipts and expenditures shall be made.
4. All gifts and receipts received in the Cemetery Fund shall be used for maintenance of the cemetery.
Section VII: RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES
Any dispute arising out of or relating to the New Birth Community Church's contract for burial in Heritage Memorial Gardens, performance under the contract, or the breach thereof, including but not limited to the threshold questions of arbitrability and the formation of this arbitration agreement, or matters relating to any interment shall be finally resolved by binding arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association under its rules, and judgement upon the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. The arbitration shall be conducted in the English language in the City of Mobile, Alabama, applying the laws of the State of Alabama. There shall be one arbitrator who shall be selected in accordance with the procedures of the American Arbitration Association. Each party shall pay one half the cost of the arbitrator. In no event shall punitive damages be awarded by the arbitrator in favor of either party, unless specifically authorized by applicable statue. Each party waives its right to jury trial.
Section VIII: AUTHORIZING AGENT RELEASE STATEMENT
All internment orders must be signed by the legal next to kin or authorizing agent of the deceased. A complete internment authorization form is required and all fees paid in full for internments. The statement of release for Heritage Memorial Gardens is as follows: "I hereby certify that I have full authority to make these arrangements in the cemetery plot and grave space above described, and this is your authority to make interment or entombment as above described. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Senior Pastor of New Birth Community Church, his/her successors, New Birth Community Church, it’s Directors, Members, Cemetery Volunteers/Staff, Sexton or Personnel from any and all liability, any and all claims, suits, or cause of action, including reasonable attorney’s fee for the defense, and against any loss that may lead to the result in mental or physical distress or anguish or harm or financial loss to themselves or others in connection with the interment or inurnment authorized hereunder. I further agree to pay all charges and fees assessed by New Birth Community Church for this interment or entombment which fees and or charges are set forth above. I further agree to comply fully with all rules and regulations of Heritage Memorial Gardens approved by New Birth Community Church as they may from time to time be instituted or amended. And I acknowledge receipt of the rules and regulations. The undersigned agrees that Heritage Memorial Gardens/New Birth Community Church have the right to correct any error in this interment, at its own expense, without any liability for such error. Furthermore, the undersigned acknowledges and understands that Heritage Memorial Gardens/New Birth Community Church has disclaimed all warranties with regard to caskets, outer burial containers, and other merchandise sold by the funeral home, Heritage Memorial Gardens/New Birth Community Church, or other death care companies/individuals. The undersigned further understands that the only warranties, expressed or implied, granted in connection with the goods sold by the funeral home, Heritage Memorial Gardens/New Birth Community Church, or other death care companies/individuals are the express written warranties, if any, which are extended by the manufacturers of the goods. No other warranties, including the implied warranties of the merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose are extended by Heritage Memorial Gardens/New Birth Community Church."
NOTE! Any changes or new adoptions to these cemetery rules and regulations can be found on the church website and cemetery website and they will always be considered as the official document.