Parishes that have cemeteries, columbaria or memorial gardens must fill out a Cemetery Renewal Application with the State of Ohio (https://www.com.ohio.gov/documents/real_COM3662CemeteryRegistrationForm.pdf) annually by the September 30 deadline. Failure to do so can result in a violation handled by local prosecutors.
Ohio Revised Code (ORC 1721.21 (A) (2) states: “Cemetery” means any one or a combination of more than one of the following:
A burial ground for earth interments.
A mausoleum for crypt entombments.
A columbarium for the deposit of cremated remains.
A scattering ground for the spreading of cremated remains.
All parishes that have any one of these needs to be in touch with the State of Ohio Department of Real Estate and Professional Licensing to register their cemetery.
If a parish has a columbarium inside or outside of the church, they need to register it as a cemetery with the State of Ohio. If the parish moves any of those remains, that is considered a disinterment and they need a court order. If a parish has a memorial garden, it also needs to be registered with the State of Ohio. If the parish digs up any of those remains and moves them to a new section, they also need a disinterment order.
Finally, if a parish sells niche spaces or charges to put remains in a memorial garden, they also must submit a list of persons authorized to sell interment rights. (https://www.com.ohio.gov/documents/real_COM3663CemeteryListOfPersonsAuthorizedToSellIntermentRights.pdf)
According to Ohio law, since 1993, no person, church, religious society, established fraternal organization, or political subdivision of the state shall own, operate, or maintain a cemetery unless the cemetery is registered with the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing. Cemetery registration does not apply to or affect a family cemetery or a cemetery in which no interments have occurred during the previous 25 years.
Learn more at https://www.com.ohio.gov/documents/real_CemeteryRegistration.pdf