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In re Doyle

Supreme Court, Kings County

February 27, 2017

In the Matter of Dorothy Doyle

          Attorney for Petitioner JoAnn S. Voich

          Francois A. Rivera, J.

         Recitation in accordance with CPLR 2219 (a) of the papers considered on the petition of Dorothy Doyle (petitioner) for an order pursuant to Religious Corporations Law § 9 allowing the removal of the remains of Bessie Murray (decedent) from Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, for re-interment in Mount St. Mary's Cemetery in Flushing, New York:

         BACKGROUND

         On November 14, 2016, Doyle commenced the instant action for the disinterment and re-internment of the body of decedent, by filing an order to show cause and verified petition with the Kings County Clerk's Office. There is no opposition to the instant application.

         MOTION PAPERS

         Doyle's motion papers consist of an order to show cause, an affirmation of counsel, a petition verified by Doyle, affidavit of Mary Murray (hereinafter Murray), a proposed order, and a notice of appearance and consent of Saint John's Cemetery.

         LAW AND APPLICATION

         The petition is brought under Religious Corporations Law (RCL) § 9, which is entitled "Removal of human remains from one cemetery of a religious corporation to another cemetery owned by it." As a threshold matter, courts are reluctant to require disturbance and removal of bodies that have once been buried because courts are sensitive to all those emotions that men and women hold for sacred in the disposition of their dead (see Yome v Gorman, 242 NY 395, 402 [1926]). "The aversion to disturbance of [one's] remains - it being an ordinary practice of the times to transfer bones from graves to the charnel-house - doubtless originated the choice by Shakespeare of his own epitaph:

'Good frend, for Jesus sake forbeare
To digg the dust encloased heare;
Bleste be the man that spares thes stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.'"

(Brunton v Roberts, 97 S.W.2d 413, 416 [Ky App 1936] [original ...


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