Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cemetery Maintenance Lawsuit

Lawsuit Filed to Compel Town of Brookhaven, NY to Provide Cemetery Maintenance as Required By NYS Law
July 16, 2009

Marty van Lith of the Fire Place History Club reported on July 16, 2009:  "It's past the middle of July and most of our historic cemeteries are now again overgrown with vegetation. I feel that we've been patient and tried everything we could do for the past three years to get the Town of Brookhaven to do its duty and maintain these cemeteries. This morning our lawyer, Reggie Seltzer, and I created the legal documents to initiate an article 78 lawsuit against the Town, which Reggie will file with the County Clerk this afternoon. The actual court hearing may be months away."

To view the court filing, click here.

Article 78  is a provision in New York State Law which, among other things,  seeks to determine whether a governmental body or officer failed to perform a duty enjoined upon it by law, and direct a remedy -- in this case, a provision of New York State Town Law section 291 which in relevant part states:  "It shall be the duty of the Town Board to remove the grass and weeds from any such [abandoned] cemetery or burial ground  in such town at least three times in each year, and to erect and maintain suitable fences around such cemetery or burial ground."

The Town has requested and received an adjournment for a hearing later this fall.

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