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Erie County Court to help relocate 200+ graves moved by St. Matthew's Cemetery

Posted at 6:29 AM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 06:29:29-04

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WKBW) — St. Matthew's Cemetery is scheduled to appear back in court on Wednesday. They look to bring a resolution to the relocation of 215 graves as a result of the deterioration of the bank along Cayuga Creek.

This all comes from April of 2019, where the cemetery was forced to excavate the graves due to unsafe ground conditions. The cemetery did not notify any family members before doing so.

During court proceedings since the grave movements, St. Matthew's asked the judge to grant them retroactive approval, which would basically allow them to dig up the graves months after it actually happened. The judge denied that, while admitting that the graves were moved due to "an emergency situation".

The Cemetery saw this as a win, as the judge did not say that retroactive approval could not be approved in the future.

"Though the Court denied the Cemetery’s request for retroactive approval of its actions “at this time,” it established the process through which the Cemetery can gain this approval. In this regard, the Court intends to appoint two referees to assist the Court in either settling or judicially determining the final resting place of each decedent."

On Wednesday, St. Matthew's is expected back in court where, according to Attorney Barry Colvert, who represents the families, the reburial process will begin. The judge did say that they will discuss what the families desire before anything is done.