Rules & Regulations


Rules and Regulations

                 The following rules have been formulated with the fixed purpose of protecting the rights and interests of all the lot owners, of securing good order within the Cemetery, and of preserving and insuring the permanent beauty of the Cemetery grounds. By safeguarding the interests of the Cemetery as a whole, the interests of each lot owner are also safeguarded. All persons are required to comply with these rules, copies of which, revised and corrected to date, may be obtained at any time upon application to the Office Administrator.

                Special cases may arise in which the literal enforcement of a rule may impose unnecessary hardship. The Cemetery, therefore, reserves the right, without notice, to make exceptions, suspensions, or modifications of any of the rules and regulations when, in its judgement, the same appears advisable; however, such temporary exceptions, suspensions, or modifications shall in no way be construed as affecting the general application of such rule.

               As used in these regulations, the “lot” means one or more grave sites; the term “City Manager or Designee” means the persons in active control of Cemetery operations; and the term “Cemetery”, where authority is implied, means the City Council of Bridgeport, West Virginia, or any commission, committee, board or other agency that may be authorized by the City Council to exercise its powers, privileges, and duties with respect to the Cemetery.

1.No lot shall be used for any purpose other than the burial of the human dead.

2.The name and address of every lot owner shall be on record of the Office Administrator at the Cemetery. Such records shall be sufficient warrant to the Cemetery in all matters pertaining to the ownership of a lot. In the event of a change of address, the Office Administrator at The Bridgeport Cemetery, Bridgeport, West Virginia, should be notified at once.

3.Upon the decease of a lot owner, his heirs or devisees should immediately file with the Office Administrator proof of the new ownership. This is important as no interments can be permitted until such proof is given. Because of the difficulties in determining the persons who may inherit the rights of a lot owner in his lot and in order to avoid serious disputes and inconveniences that may arise subsequent to the decease  of a lot owner, it is recommended that the lot owner make provision for the definite disposition of his lot during his lifetime. He may, by will, devise the lot to a named person or persons, or he may, by will or by deed, convey the lot to the City of Bridgeport in trust, designating the person or persons who may be buried therein.

4.No transfer or assignment of any lots or interest therein shall be valid without the prior written consent of the Cemetery, endorsed upon the conveyance and entered upon the Cemetery records.

5.The Cemetery reserves the right to refuse interment in any lot except on the written authority of the lot owner. In case the lot is jointly owned, the interment of any member of the immediate family of any one of the owners may be made upon his sole written authorization. No person outside the immediate family of the lot owner may be interred in a lot without the written consent of the lot owner or owners who, under no circumstances, shall allow interments to be made on any lot for remuneration. No protest of interment will be recognized by the Cemetery unless it is in writing and files with the Office Administrator of the Cemetery, and the Cemetery shall in no way be liable for any delay in any interment resulting from such protest or from non-compliance with these rules.

6.Whenever instructions regarding the location of an interment space cannot be obtained or are indefinite or if, for any reason, the grave cannot be opened in the location specified, the City Manager or Designee may open it at such location as may seem best under the circumstances so as not to delay the funeral services. In order to avoid misunderstandings, it is urged that the lot owner or some member of the family come to the Cemetery and locate the grave and orders for location of graves or for any other work be made in writing. The Cemetery cannot be held responsible for mistakes made when such orders are given by telephone.

7.All interment spaces shall be opened and closed only by Cemetery employees for which charges fixed by the Cemetery will be made and shall either be paid for in advance or assumed by a funeral director. Notice for opening an interment space must be given at least twenty-four hours in advance of the funeral service.

8.No disinterment, except as provided under Rule 9, shall be made without a permit issued by the State of West Virginia, in accordance to WV Code 16-5-23 and written consent of all of the next of kin.

9.No interment shall be permitted until the purchase price of the lot has been fully paid.

10.Tents, artificial grass, lowering devices, and other equipment owned by the Cemetery shall be used in making interments. The charge for preparing interment spaces includes the use of such equipment.

11.All grading, landscape, and maintenance work, and improvements on lots shall be done under the direction of the City Manager or Designee and only by employees of the Cemetery. Visitors and lot owners are requested not to offer money to Cemetery employees since they are forbidden to accept any fee or gratuity except from the Cemetery and may be dismissed for violation of this rule.

12.No work is permitted on Sunday except as required by Sunday funeral or emergencies.

13.No fences, copings, hedges, ditches, flower borders, trellises, or other enclosures of any kind, and no unapproved benches, settees, urns, boxes, shells, toys or other similar articles shall be placed upon any lot, and if so placed, or in the event present ones become unsightly or detrimental to the uniform beauty of the Cemetery, then the City Manager or Designee shall have the right to remove them with or without the permission or notice of the lot owner.

14.No trees, shrubs, plants, vines, or flowers shall be planted on or removed from any lot. However, there will be allotted times available. Please see the Office Administer for designated times.

15.Only metal flower receptacles set wholly beneath the surface of the ground may be placed on any lot. All baskets, potted plants, cut flowers, perishable plants, emblems, etc., placed on lots shall be removed as soon as they become unsightly or faded.

16.No grave mounds will be permitted and the established grade of any lot cannot be changed without permission of the City Manager or Designee.

17.Although the Cemetery has no desire to interfere with the individual taste of lot owners concerning monumental objects, in the interest of the Cemetery as a whole the City Manager or Designee reserves the right to regulate the erection of any monument, memorial, marker, or other structure which would detract from the dignity or appearance of the Cemetery.  It also reserves the right to refuse to permit the erection of any monumental object on a lot whose owner is in arrears in the payment of any indebtedness to the Cemetery. In certain sections the lots are sold subject to restrictions (summarized in the appendix to these Rules and Regulations) as to size, type, number and location of monumental objects. Therefore, in order to avoid misunderstandings, no monument shall be erected without the written consent of the City Manager or Designee. It is very important that lot owners consult with the City Manager or Designee before selecting monuments or closing a purchase of the same so as to avoid expensive mistakes or serious disappointments.

18.Granite is the only kind of stone permitted for monumental objects. Marble, limestone, sandstone, terra cotta, and others composed of soft material are not durable in this climate.

19.No mausoleum, tomb, or vault built partially or entirely above ground shall be permitted on any lot unless the plans therefor have been approved by the City Manager or Designee, and unless there has been deposited in The Bridgeport Cemetery Trust by the person erecting such structure a sum of money, the income from which will, in the judgement of the Cemetery authority, be sufficient for the permanent maintenance of such structure.

20.Foundations for all monumental objects must be prepared by the Cemetery and must be paid for in advance at charge fixed by the Cemetery. The setting and erection of all monumental objects shall be under the supervision of the City Manager or Designee.

21.The Cemetery reserves the right to care for and repair or to remove any monument or structure which has, through decay, dilapidation, or for any other reason, become unsightly or dangerous.

22.All work in the Cemetery in the neighborhood of a funeral must be stopped during the interment services. No traffic of any kind shall pass the section where services are being held. No strangers will be permitted to gather at a grave where an interment is being held.

23.The Cemetery will take every reasonable precaution to protect all private property of lot owners in the Cemetery from loss or damage, but it distinctly disclaims all responsibility for loss or damage from causes beyond its reasonable control and especially from the acts of thieves, vandals, rioters, and malicious mischief-makers.

24.The Cemetery reserves the right to enlarge, reduce, replant, and change the boundaries or grading of the Cemetery or a section, including the right to modify and change the location of, or remove and regrade, roads, walks, paths, or drives. The right to lay, maintain, operate, or change water lines, sanitary or storm water drains, sprinkling systems, gutters, lakes, etc., is also reserved, as well as the right to use Cemetery property sold to individual lot owners for Cemetery purposes or for anything necessary or incidental thereto. The Cemetery reserves to itself a perpetual right of ingress and egress over lots for the purpose of passing to or from other lots.

25.The Cemetery reserves the right to change these rules and regulations from time to time without notice.

26.All persons are reminded that the Cemetery grounds are sacredly devoted to the interment of the dead and that strict observance of the proprieties due such a place is required whether or not they are specifically embraced in these rules. The City Manager or Designee is charged with the enforcement of these rules and with the general welfare of the Cemetery, and he is authorized to take such steps as may be necessary to preserve the peace and dignity thereof.

27.No alcoholic beverages and smoking is permitted within the Cemetery. Please see City of Bridgeport codified ordinance 521.06 (Drinking in Public Places) and 509.06 (Tobacco Prohibited in Parks and Recreational Areas).

28.Only pets on a leash and under the control of the owner shall be permitted in the Cemetery.

29.The Cemetery closes at dusk. Any person found within the Cemetery boundaries after dark is considered a trespasser.

30.To maintain the dignity of the cemetery, no glass items (i.e. containers vases, knickknacks) or balloons are not permitted in the cemetery (whether or not they are part of a flower arrangement or tied to a vase).

31.The second full week of March, every year, all flowers and decorations (if it is not a granite upright, granite or bronze flat marker or a granite bench) must be removed for one full week. No exceptions.

32.Open flames are prohibited in the Cemetery. This includes candles, lanterns, fires or barbeques. Items placed in violation of this rule will be removed and disposed of without notice or compensation.

33.The length of a marker or monument may not exceed 75% of the width of a single grave or when two (2) or more adjoining grave spaces are used, the length may not exceed 75% of the total width of those spaces.

34.The height of a marker or monument may not exceed 60% of the total length of the base.

New sections will be governed by these same rules and regulations.