La. AG files action against cemetery

Bryan Cohen Oct. 11, 2011, 1:31pm


BATON ROUGE, La. (Legal Newsline) - Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced on Monday that his office is seeking a court order to prohibit the current overseer of Gilbert Memorial Park from operating the cemetery's business.

According to the petition, Lymus W. Washington, the cemetery's other agents and the cemetery itself have allegedly not held a valid certificate of authority from the Louisiana Cemetery Board since January 2003. Despite this, Washington has continued to conduct business transactions since 2003 at the Baton Rouge-based cemetery. According to Caldwell's office, Gilbert Memorial Park has been the subject of numerous consumer complains.

Gilbert Memorial Park has existed as a cemetery since the early 20th century, but since the lapse of its certificate of authority in 2003, the Louisiana Cemetery Board and Caldwell's office have received multiple complaints ranging from poor upkeep and mismanagement to the selling of spaces and cemetery merchandise without a license.

The petition, filed in Baton Rouge state court on Monday, asserts that state law requires all persons engaging in cemetery business to apply for and obtain a certificate of authority from the Louisiana Cemetery Board.

New legislation in the state of Louisiana has made the filing of these actions by Caldwell's office possible.

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