Cemetery Mischief



Definition of "burial ground"

Applicability of the statute


• A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally:

(1) damages a cemetery, a burial ground (as defined in IC 14-21-1-3), or a facility used for memorializing the dead;

(2) damages the grounds owned or rented by a cemetery or facility used for memorializing the dead; or

(3) disturbs, defaces, or damages a cemetery monument, grave marker, grave artifact, grave ornamentation, or cemetery enclosure;

commits cemetery mischief, a Class A misdemeanor.

IC 35-43-1-2.1(b)


• [T]he offense is a Level 6 felony if the pecuniary loss is at least two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500).

IC 35-43-1-2.1(b)

Definition of “burial ground”

• “[B]urial ground” means ground in which human remains are buried, including the surrounding area that is either:

(1) marked by a permanent visible boundary, including a fence or wall; or

(2) if there is not a permanent visible boundary, determined by the department based on records or surveys of the land containing the historic or prehistoric site in which human remains, mounds, or burial objects are reported to occur.

IC 14-21-1-3(a)

• [“Burial ground”] includes the following:

(1) The land associated with or incidental to the burial of human remains.

(2) Subject to section 1 of this chapter, historic cemeteries or land with human remains buried before January 1, 1940.

IC 14-21-1-3(b)

Applicability of the statute

• [IC 35-43-1-2.1] does not apply to the following:

(1) A person who acts in a proper and acceptable manner as authorized by IC 14-21 other than a person who disturbs the earth for an agricultural purpose under the exemption to IC 14-21 that is provided in IC 14-21-1-24.

(2) A person who acts in a proper and acceptable manner as authorized by IC 23-14.

IC 35-43-1-2.1(a)