For purposes of this article the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) “Lot Owner” shall mean the purchaser of a cemetery lot or the heirs, administrators, trustees, legatees, devisees or assigns of such purchaser.
(b) “Grave Space Owner” shall mean the purchaser of one or more grave spaces constituting less than a full lot, or the heirs, administrators, trustees, legatees, devisees or assigns of such purchaser.
(Ord. 3593, Sec. 1)
This article shall not apply to any lot or grave space in the city cemetery where a perpetual care contract has been entered into between the city and the owner of such lot or grave space.
(Ord. 3593, Sec. 4)
When there has been no interment in a lot or grave space and title to such lot or grave space has been vested in the present owner for a period of at least 50 years, the city clerk shall commence proceedings to revest such title in the city in the manner prescribed by this article.
(Ord. 3593, Sec. 2)
(a) Notice to County Resident. If the lot owner or grave space owner shall be a resident of Harvey County, Kansas, the city clerk shall cause to be served upon such owner in the manner prescribed by law for service of summons in a civil case a notice that proceedings have been initiated to revest the title of such lot in the city. stating the lot or grave space description, name of owner or owners, and notifying said owner that such owner may within 30 days from the date the notice is served upon them file with the city clerk a statement in writing explaining how rights in a cemetery lot were acquired and such persons desire to claim such rights in such lot or grave space. In the event such a statement is so filed and it is ascertained to be correct by the governing body and that such statement contains a claim asserting the rights of the lot owner or grave space owner, all proceedings to revest title to such lot or grave space in the city shall be null and void and such proceedings shall be summarily terminated by the governing body as to the lots or grave space identified in the statement so filed.
(b) Notice to Nonresident or Absentee. Whenever the Sheriff of Harvey County, Kansas, is unable to find a lot owner or grave space owner in Harvey County or ascertains that such an owner is a nonresident of that county, then the governing body may cause such notice to be published once each week for three consecutive weeks in the official city newspaper and shall cause a copy of such notice to be served on the lot owner by certified mail addressed to the lot owner’s last known address, if any. The notice shall be in the form and contain the information as set forth in section 7-304(a), except that the period in which the lot owner or grave space owner may file a written statement shall be 30 days following the last publication of said notice. In the event the statement by the lot owner or grave space owner as filed with the city clerk is ascertained to be correct by the governing body, and said statement contains a claim asserting the rights of the lot owner or grave space owner in said lot or grave space, all proceedings by the governing body to revest title to the lot or grave space in said city shall be null and void and such proceedings shall be summarily terminated by the governing body as to such lots or grave spaces identified in the statement.
(c) Records. All notices with proofs of service, mailing and publication thereof, and all resolutions adopted by the governing body relative to the revestment proceedings shall be made a part of the permanent records of the city.
(Ord. 3593, Sec. 3)
Upon expiration of the period of time allowed for filing the statements by lot owners or grave space owners as contained in the notice served personally by mail or published, all parties who fail to file with the city clerk their statement asserting their rights in cemetery lots or grave spaces shall be deemed to have abandoned their right and claims in the lots or grave spaces and thereupon the governing body may bring an action in the District Court of Harvey County, Kansas, against all lot or grave space owners in default, uniting as many parties so in default as it may desire in one action, to have the rights of the parties in the lots or grave spaces terminated and the property restored to the city free of any right, title or interest of all such defaulting parties, their heirs, administrators, trustees, legatees, devisees or assigns. Such action in all other respects shall be brought and determined in the same manner as ordinary actions to determine title to real estate.
(Ord. 3593, Sec. 3)
The fact that a lot owner or grave space owner has not for a term of 50 successive years had occasion to make an interment in a cemetery lot or grave space and the fact that the owner did not upon notification assert a claim in the lot or grave space as hereinbefore provided, shall be prima facie evidence that the party has abandoned any rights such party may have had in such lot or grave space.
(Ord. 3593, Sec. 3)
A certified copy of the judgments in actions quieting title shall be filed by the city clerk with the cemetery records of the city.
Compliance with the terms of this article shall as fully revest the city with, and divest the lot owner or grave space owner of record of the title to such lot or grave space unused for burial purposes as though the same had never been conveyed to any person and the city shall have, hold and enjoy such lot or grave space for its own uses and purposes subject to the laws of the State of Kansas and to the ordinances, rules and regulations governing the city cemetery.
(Ord. 3593, Sec. 5)