Rochester Cemetery

Nature's beauty since 1850

Rules & Regulations

Rochester Cemetery Association
1200 NW Menninger Rd.
Topeka, KS 66618
Adopted 1897
Revised 1920, 1938, 1995, 2004, 2017, 2021, 2022

For the mutual protection of property owners and the cemetery as a whole, the Rochester Cemetery Association has adopted the following rules and regulations.  All property owners and visitors within the cemetery shall be subject to said rules and regulations, and to other rules, regulations, amendments or alterations as shall be adopted by the Cemetery Association.  The reference to these rules and regulations, in the deed of ownership to a property, shall have the same force and effect as if set forth in full therein.


Cemetery:  The term cemetery is hereby defined to include a burial park for earth interments, for vault or crypt interments and cremains inurnments.
Lot: The term lot shall apply to numbered divisions as shown on the record plat of the cemetery sections.
Grave Space: The term grave space is a burial space sufficient in size to accommodate one adult burial.
Interment: The term interment shall mean the permanent disposition of the remains of a deceased person.
Inurnment: The term inurnment refers to placement or burial of cremated remains.
Columbarium: The term columbarium applies to an above ground structure for the inurnment of cremains.
Memorial:  The term memorial shall include a monument, marker, tablet, headstone, private mausoleum or tomb for family or individual use.
Monument:  The term monument shall include a tombstone or memorial of granite or marble which shall extend above the surface of the ground.
Deed: The term deed shall apply to the original conveyance given by the cemetery to the original purchaser.
Perpetual Care: The term perpetual care refers to the money received for perpetual care included in each property sale.  These monies shall be held in trust as provided by the laws of the state of Kansas.
Permanent Maintenance:  The term permanent maintenance refers to a contractual agreement between the cemetery board and property owner for general care.
Management:  The term management shall mean the person or persons duly appointed by the cemetery board for the purpose of conducting and administering the cemetery.

Rule 1.  It is the duty of the management to see that all rules and regulations are complied with and it is their duty to see that order is maintained and to protect and promote the best interests of the cemetery.  To that end, management is authorized to make temporary additional rules which may be needed to meet emergencies which are not covered by these rules and regulations.

Rule 2.  Special cases may arise, in which the literal enforcement of a rule may impose unnecessary hardship.  The cemetery board reserves the right to make exceptions, suspensions, or modifications of any of the rules and regulations, without notice, when in the judgment of the management such action appears necessary.  Temporary suspension or modification shall in no way be construed as affecting the general application of the rules.

Rule 3.  The cemetery board hereby expressly reserves the right to adopt additional rules and regulations, to amend, alter or repeal any rule, regulation, article, section, paragraph or sentence in their rules and regulations, at any time and without notice.

Rule 1.  The cemetery is owned by the property owners and is operated under the laws of the state of Kansas.  The administration of the cemetery is controlled by a Board of Directors consisting of seven (7) persons owning property in Rochester Cemetery.  The board will have a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer whose duties are described in the Bylaws of the Rochester Cemetery.  This board will meet at least quarterly, or on call of the president to form policy for cemetery management who is under control of this board.

Rule 2. Cemetery employees are not expected to work on Sundays or holidays except when absolutely necessary.

Rule 3.  Cemetery employees are not permitted to do any work for property owners except upon orders of the board, but are required to be civil and courteous to all visitors.

Rule 4.  All fees or charges for services are payable at the cemetery office and patrons of the cemetery are requested not to pay any gratuity to cemetery employees.

Rule 5.  Persons visiting the cemetery or attending funerals are strictly prohibited from picking flowers, wild or cultivated.  Also prohibited are breaking or damaging any tree, shrub, or plant, or from writing upon, defacing or damaging any memorials, fence or other structure within the cemetery grounds.

Rule 6.  It is of the utmost importance that there should be strict observance of the proprieties in the cemetery.  All persons within the cemetery should avoid conduct unbecoming a sacred place.  The following is a list of unacceptable conduct.
a.  Loud or boisterous talking.
b.  Idling or loafing on the grounds or in any of the buildings.
c.  Littering of cans, bottles and other trash.
d.  Peddling or soliciting the sale of any commodity within the cemetery.
e.  Placing of signs or notices or advertisements of any kind within the cemetery.
f.   Bringing dogs not on a leash into the cemetery or into any cemetery building.
g.  Possession of firearms on cemetery grounds except by persons authorized by law.

Rule 1.  Persons desiring to purchase property should visit the cemetery where the management will aid them in making a selection and advise them of prices.  When property is purchased, the purchase price will be paid to the cemetery manager who will issue a receipt and deed of ownership.

Rule 2.  No property shall be used for any other purpose than for the interment or inurnment of the human dead, except in the pet section.

Rule 3.  Description of property will be in accordance with the cemetery plats which are kept in the office at the cemetery.

Rule 4.  Management will take all reasonable precautions to protect the property rights of property owners within the cemetery from loss or damage. The cemetery board distinctly disclaims all responsibility from loss or damage from causes beyond its reasonable control.  Disclaimed damages are those caused by the elements, an act of God, common enemy, thieves, vandals, strikers, protestors, malicious mischief makers, explosions, unavoidable accidents, invasions, insurrections, riots or order of any military or civil authority, whether the damage is directed or collateral.

Rule 5.  It is the duty of the property owner to notify the management of any change in post office address.

Rule 6.  The instrument of conveyance of these rules and regulations and any amendments thereto constitute the sole agreement between the cemetery board and the property owner.  The statement of any employee or agent, unless confirmed in writing by the management, shall in no way bind the cemetery board.

Rule 1.  The general care of the cemetery is assumed by the management and includes the cutting of grass at reasonable intervals, the raking and cleaning of the grounds, and the pruning of shrubs and trees that may be placed by management.

Rule 2. The general care by the management shall in no case mean the maintenance, repair or replacement of any memorial, tomb or mausoleum placed or erected upon property.  General care also does not apply to the disclaimed damages listed in Section 4, Rule 4.

Rule 3.  Permanent maintenance, whether applied to property, mausoleum, or to any space within the confines of the cemetery shall be limited absolutely to the income received from the investment of the permanent maintenance fund.  Written permission must be obtained from the Secretary of State before any portion of the principal can be expended.

Rule 1.  When a casket containing a body is within the confines of the cemetery, no funeral director nor his embalmer, assistant, employee, or agent shall be permitted to open the casket or to touch the body.  The exception is when consent of the legal representative of the deceased or an order signed by the court of competent jurisdiction has been obtained.

Rule 2.  The owner of the property or his legal representative must sign all orders for interments in graves for persons other than the property owner.

Rule 3.  When an interment is to be made in a grave, the property owner shall designate the location of such interment.  Should the property owner fail or neglect to make the designation, management reserves the right to determine the location of the interment.

Rule 4.  The cemetery management and employees are the only persons who will be permitted to open graves with the following exceptions:
a.  When management is directed to make a disinterment by the order of a court of competentjurisdiction and a certified copy of such order has been filed with the management.b.  When the coroner directs the disinterment for the purpose of holding an inquest and has filed with        the management his signed authorization to release the body to himself and his lawful agents.  The    cemetery employees will not be permitted to assist the coroner or his agents.

Rule 5.  In order to maintain a high standard of care and eliminate sunken graves, it is required that all burials be made in outside containers made of natural stone, metal, or reinforced concrete.  All containers below grade must be made and installed to meet specifications established by the management.

Rule 6.  All charges for interment or services shall be paid to the cemetery manager who will issue a receipt when requested.

Rule 7.  Arrangements for the payment of any and all indebtedness due must be made before interment will be made.

Rule 8.  The right is reserved by the management to insist upon at least a twenty-four hour notice prior to any interment and at least a one-week prior notice to any disinterment or removal.

Rule 9.  All interments, disinterments, and removals must be made at the time, and in the manner, and upon charges fixed by the management.

Rule 10.  Besides being subject to the rules and regulations, all interments, disinterments, and removals are made subject to the orders and laws of the properly constituted public authorities.

Rule 11.  Management will not be responsible for any order given by telephone or for any mistake occurring from the want of precise and proper instructions as to the particular space, size of grave, and property location where interment is desired.

Rule 12. Management will not be responsible or liable for the interment permit nor for the identity of the person to be interred.

Rule 1.  Two cremains can be placed in each niche purchased in the columbarium.

Rule 2.  Engraving on the columbarium niche will be limited to name, birth date and death date.  Name and birth date shall be done at time of purchase.

Rule 1.  Management will undertake to maintain, as may be practicable, the planting of trees and shrubs, to preserve and maintain landscape features, but will not undertake to maintain individual planting.

Rule 2.  There shall be no individual beds of shrubbery or flowers allowed.

Rule 3.  Management will remove cut bouquets and sprays left on graves at time of interment after one week has elapsed.

Rule 4.  There shall be no jars, glass, or other unapproved receptacle used on the premises for the holding of floral bouquets.  Management reserves the right to remove any unapproved receptacles or decorations of any type that impede the mowing and care of the cemetery grounds.

Rule 5.  Management shall have authority to remove all floral designs, flowers, weeds, trees, shrubs, plants or herbage, toys, flags, rocks, or decorations of any kind from the cemetery as soon as in the judgment of the management they become unsightly, dangerous, detrimental or diseased, or they do not conform to the standard maintained.

Rule 6.  Management shall not be liable for floral pieces, baskets or frames in which such floral pieces are attached beyond the acceptance of such floral pieces for services.

Rule 7.  Management shall not be responsible for frozen plants or herbage of any kind or for plantings damaged by the elements, thieves, vandals, or by other causes beyond its control.

Rule 8.  Management will conduct cemetery cleanups on or around April 1 and November 15 of each year.  These cleanups will be performed under the terms of Rule 4 and Rule 5 of this section.

The management is hereby empowered to enforce all rules and regulations and to exclude from the cemetery grounds any person violating the same.  The management shall have charge of the grounds and building including the conduct of funerals, traffic, employees, property owners and visitors and at all times shall have supervision and control of all persons in the cemetery.