Guest Column: Restlawn Alliance seeking stronger cemetery protection measures in South Dakota

Restlawn Alliance Group seeking stronger cemetery protection measures in South Dakota

State Attorney General Marty Jackley was recently interviewed by KELO’s Angela Kennecke for a two-part story about Restlawn Memory Gardens, a cemetery south of Huron. The story focused on troubling issues at the cemetery including extraordinary delays in the delivery of pre-paid markers, failure to repair damaged markers, poor maintenance of the cemetery and mausoleum, and questions about the state of the cemetery’s endowed trust. Jackley noted as a priority the importance of examining situations like these for evidence of criminal activity or a violation in the use of the trust funds.

Here is a link to the first part of the story:
http://www.keloland.com/news/article/investigates/families-upset-by-cemetery-s-condition

Here is the link to the second:
http://www.keloland.com/news/article/investigates/grave-disgrace

Jackley also stated that, in light of this situation, he would encourage South Dakota legislators to look into cemetery laws to prevent situations like this from happening again. We, from the Restlawn Alliance of South Dakota, a group of citizens who are concerned about the cemetery, appreciate Jackley’s stand. We encourage other state officials to help enact laws and enforcement mechanisms to protect not just this cemetery, but all cemeteries across South Dakota.

You can read more about the Restlawn Alliance at restlawnalliance.com

3 Replies to “Guest Column: Restlawn Alliance seeking stronger cemetery protection measures in South Dakota”

  1. anono

    Am I the only one who thinks this is an odd post? With so much going on politically, it just seems this is a bit strange. I feel for the group and would be upset as well, but I don’t get their purpose of issuing this to a blog in particular? Is their purpose to insert themselves into the Gov’s race? Or was this a campaign idea to have them issue something? Puzzled on this one.

    Reply
  2. Michael Wyland

    I suppose it becomes political because the AG, who is currently running in the GOP gubernatorial primary, has taken it on in a public way.

    I’ll note in passing that, unlike Restlawn, which is a for-profit company, many cemeteries are nonprofits. Many of these nonprofit cemeteries are also suffering economic hardship. Almost always, this is not due to greed or criminal activity, but simply due to poor or unforeseen economic circumstances, such as fees insufficient to fund a large enough endowment to pay for ongoing expenses. If you care about a cemetery, regardless of its corporate form, check in and assess their financial stability.

    Reply
  3. Anon

    Isn’t this a civil matter which can be treated like any other breach of contract? Like buying a condo in a building which, later, isn’t properly maintained. We need new laws for this?

    Reply

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