State Law Provides Insight Into North Judson Grave Situation

Highland Cemetery North JudsonThe party carrying liability when an individual is buried in the wrong grave may be solved by the Indiana Code.

North Judson Town Council members informed Norman and Marilyn Derrickson – who own several grave plots in Highland Cemetery – that they did not plan to remove the individual who happens to be buried in a plot they currently own.

Reasons such as protecting the sanctity of the dead were cited in a letter from the Town to the family in May of this year. The Derricksons have not expressed an interest in alternative options provided to them by the Town, such as: finding other graves in the cemetery free of cost.

Indiana Code states that a cemetery owner is not liable for a wrongful burial. However, it also says that there are certain responsibilities if such a mistake is made.

One section says that the cemetery owner “…shall… correct the wrongful burial…” as soon as possible, and notify the individuals or organizations responsible for the burial of the correction. No definition is provided for “correct.”

The statute, however, does say that the cemetery owner is not necessarily liable for a burial in the wrong grave, either.

The Derrickson family has stated that they are prepared to move forward with legal action if necessary.