(a) The county board of any county may appropriate funds from the county treasury to be used for the purpose of putting any old, neglected graves and cemeteries in the county in a cleaner and more respectable condition.
     (b) A county that has within its territory an abandoned cemetery may enter the cemetery grounds and cause the grounds to be cleared and made orderly. Provided, in no event shall a county enter an abandoned cemetery under this subsection if the owner of the property or the legally responsible cemetery authority provides written notification to the county, prior to the county’s entry (1) demonstrating the ownership or authority to control or manage the cemetery and (2) declining the county authorization to enter the property. In making a cemetery orderly under this Section, the county may take necessary measures to correct dangerous conditions that exist in regard to markers, memorials, or other cemetery artifacts but may not permanently remove those items from their location on the cemetery grounds. If an abandoned cemetery is dedicated as an Illinois nature preserve under the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act, any actions to cause the grounds to be cleared and kept orderly shall be consistent with the rules and master plan governing the dedicated nature preserve.

Terms Used In Illinois Compiled Statutes 55 ILCS 70/1

  • County board: means the board of county commissioners in counties not under township organization, and the board of supervisors in counties under township organization, and the board of commissioners of Cook County. See Illinois Compiled Statutes 5 ILCS 70/1.07

     (c) For the purposes of this Section:
     “Abandoned cemetery” means an area of land containing more than 6 places of interment for which, after diligent search, no owner of the land or currently functioning cemetery authority objects to entry sought pursuant to this Section, and (1) at which no interments have taken place in at least 3 years; or (2) for which there has been inadequate maintenance for at least 6 months.
     “Diligent search” includes, but is not limited to, publication of a notice in a newspaper of local circulation not more than 45 but at least 30 days prior to a county’s entry and cleanup of cemetery grounds. The notice shall provide (1) notice of the county’s intended entry and cleanup of the cemetery; (2) the name, if known, and geographic location of the cemetery; (3) the right of the cemetery authority or owner of the property to deny entry to the county upon written notice to the county; and (4) the date or dates of the intended cleanup.
     “Inadequate maintenance” includes, but is not limited to, the failure to cut the lawn throughout a cemetery to prevent an overgrowth of grass and weeds; the failure to trim shrubs to prevent excessive overgrowth; the failure to trim trees so as to remove dead limbs; the failure to keep in repair the drains, water lines, roads, buildings, fences, and other structures of the cemetery premises; or the failure to keep the cemetery premises free of trash and debris.