This site is a narrative of our family's struggle to prove that St Raymond's cemetery made huge mistake by placing gravestone on wrong burial lot and insisting that our mother is on a different burial lot.
Our mother was buried at St. Raymond’s cemetery on December 2nd 2010, and she died in Florida on November 24, 2010. Our mother was brought over to Ortiz Funeral in NYC from Ocala, Fl.; our mom wanted to be buried in St Raymonds where her family is buried. The Ortiz funeral home notified our family that St. Raymond’s cemetery required that we purchase the burial lot before the funeral. The cemetery requested that funeral lot be purchased before funeral, since our insurance was not paying out complete amount policy amount. The funeral home told us that St. Raymond's Cemetery sells their burial lots in numerical order and that depending upon the burial lot section that the body was to be buried, the family would have to purchase either a smaller ground gravestone or a tall gravestone. Each section in new cemetery allows all gravestones to be uniform in size in the different sections, the headstones can't be different.
We were told that we had no real control over which section the body would be buried, unless the family had purchased a burial lot to be reopened. We gave the funeral home our credit card information, they contacted the cemetery and paid for the burial lot over the phone; and the funeral home told us which burial lot our mother would be buried in lot 36 186. The plot number is on the funeral home receipt on the very top corner it has CPU as 1-2010-693. On the cemeteries doctored documents submitted to court as 123293 and forged my sister's signature on this form.
According to the cemetery, the clerk at funeral home said that we would get the title to the burial deed and the receipt on the day of the funeral, they told us that the burial lot was row 36 Holy cross section lot 186.
The day of the funeral, was December 2nd 2010; and the second viewing at the funeral home was at 1pm. The family would be taken at 1:30 by limosine to St Raymond's cemetery for funeral. The funeral home had arranged for the parish priest from St. Raymond’s parish to say prayer at funeral, the priest was not scheduled even though we were charged 25.00 for this appearance. We were informed that since he was not scheduled that we could wait for the priest to arrive at 2:45 pm to proceed with the funeral or continue without the priest. The family waited a whole 45 minutes in the limos during a bitter cold day for the priest to arrive.
We were very upset and expressed our displeasure at Ortiz funeral home and the limo driver. Our family should have taken this as a sign of what was to come in the future. My sister, who is the title deed owner on certificate decided to go into the cemetery office to get the copy of the title deed and the paid credit card transaction receipt awhile waiting for the Priest. These were the only two documents she ever received, she never got a cemetery receipt from this office.
The family waited on the premises until 2:45 for the priest and until the cemetery employees could take our mothers body to burial plot. This was about two weeks before the big blizzard of 2010, that paralyzed the city. It was so bitter cold that the funeral was very short, the entire family heard the prayer of the priest and remained a few minutes to see the casket lowered into plot. The funeral director asked us, if we wanted to see the casket lowered into the lot; we said yes and we remained there until it was lowered.
Afterwards, our family members started towards the car, my sister, dad and I remained a few minutes longer. As we noted where our mother was laid to rest, we noticed that the cemetery had about six open graves covered with wood boards. There were concrete slabs thrown about, it looked like a pig sty more than a cemetery. I remember having the sense that it wasn't respectful towards the dead. There were no headstones; so we were looking for land mark markers to locate our mothers grave again. I noticed that our mother was buried towards the entrance of St Raymond’s cemetery Holy Cross section, which faces south. If you look north, the beautiful White stone bridge is seen, which faces the other row. Next to my mothers burial lot there was a concrete small slab where the headstones is supposed to be, placed on the marked slab with red orange numbers that read 185. Based on this number, we figured we could find the burial lot number, again until the gravestone marker is placed.
The entire family left and we thought nothing about the entire funeral experience; other than total incompetence by funeral home.
The following week, it was still cold but it was sunny; so my dad , my sister and I went to visit my mothers grave site. We went to row 36 Holy Cross section where there was a row sign in the very beginning of the row; and we followed the row facing the direction of Holy Cross entrance but could not find our mothers grave site. We were upset because there was concrete slabs over my mom’s closed grave site, there were no markers and the entire area looked like a construction site. I thought that it was disrespectful and disgusting, we went on a Sunday; their office was closed. We called the following Monday, and told the cemetery staff that there was no grave marker over my mother’s grave site and that there was concrete over this area. The secretary said that she would notify the grounds keepers and insure that they place a grave marker.
The following week, my cousin Hilda went to visit my mothers burial site and she couldn’t find it either, she said there was concrete and no marker.Hilda could not stay because it started to snow, but she called me and told us about it. Again, we called the secretary at the cemetery office and we told her that this was second time that we contacted the office to complain about construction material and no markers at the grave site.
During the month of December 2010, there was a big blizzard and we could not visit the cemetery. We were told that the cemetery was open but that the rows were filled with snow and were not cleared. We went a few weeks later in January.
My dad and I had to go back to Florida in January 2011, so we went to visit the grave site one last time. We went to visit the grave site, we went to row 36 but could not find exact gravestone because of no marker, so I went by the red number 185 that was next to mother’s grave site. This time construction materials were moved but the marker was not placed. My sister was waiting for the head stone to be placed, because of NY bureaucracy and the NYC blizzard, the gravestone could not be placed until March 2011.
March 2011, my sister went to visit the grave site to visit my mother’s grave to inspect the head stone that had been placed three weeks earlier. My sister went to row 36 burial lot 186 looking for my mother’s grave stone and she couldn’t find it. She called me frantically and said that she felt her chest beating hard, it was a Sunday and the cemetery office was closed. She had called me from her cell phone and was so upset, she was out of breathe, I told her to calm down. I asked her what happened, and she said she couldn’t find the gravestone in the cemetery. I told her to calm down and look around the area, she said she would call me back. A few minutes later, she called me and said that the gravestone was placed on the other row, facing towards the bridge. I couldn’t believe it. Our reaction was anger and shock, because I suspected that the way the cemetery staff had never marked my mothers gravestone had created this mistake. I told my sister that she needed to go directly to the cemetery office, and explain that a mistake was made. My sister snapped a camera phone photo and sent it to me showing the error, she told me she would go to the office on Monday.
Monday, March 21, 2011, the day after she found the mistake, she immediately notified the cemetery staff. My sister spoke with the receptionist/secretary and told her that a serious mistake was made because our mother’s burial lot was facing the entrance. The secretary did not want to hear my sister, she said that there was no error, that she was buried in burial lot 36 182 and that we were wrong because the cemetery does not make mistakes.
My sister kept arguing with this loud mouth secretary who was rude, dismissive and disrespectful. My sister had enough and asked to speak to the Manager, Frank Mangual. The manager insisted that the cemetery had a full proof system and that they buried 3000 people a year that they made no error. He explained that row 36 faces the bridge, so he doesn’t understand why we would say that the burial lot was facing the entrance. My sister did not accept it, he even suggested that we were distraught with grief and did not know where our Mother was buried. Really?
My sister did not buy his argument so he showed her a handwritten stub that was supposed to be attached to the original title deed and it had number 182. The manager offered to open the burial lot and wanted to have my sister identify a generic casket as our mother. There is no name or any markings that identify our mother and if there were, the manager said it would be on the side of the casket. The cemetery did not want to lift the casket out of the burial crypt so we could not identify it positively. We can’t see the name plate that they claim is there. We saw no such name plate during the funeral, it was a generic creamy white and brass casket. The manager wanted to take advantage of my sister who was emotionally distraught, so he made the appointment for the supposed id of the remains, on Friday of that week at 9:30 am. My sister had said she would have to discuss it with family, so she called me in Florida and my dad and I told her that isn't acceptable because we saw her lowered into a different plot facing a different direction. I said how would we ever know that she is there positively; because the cemetery claims that once they lower the casket into the burial lot that they do not remove the casket since its against NY health code law. The manager stated to my sister when she spoke to him.
If that were the case than our mother is in the grave site that is facing towards the cemetery entrance which is NOW labeled row 35 186; as I discovered in May 2011 when I visited NY and the site on Mother's Day.
My sister told me about the whole conversation and I asked her, if I could get the number to the cemetery. I wanted to explain our position and why there was a mistake made. In hopes and in good faith that we could get the cemetery to investigate and address the issue of our mothers burial grave stone lot facing the wrong direction. I got the phone number of the cemetery and called from Florida and asked to speak to the manager. I contacted the cemetery and I was met the secretary. The secretary was dismissive, condescending and sarcastic from the start when i told her that I was Elena Cruz's sister. I asked to speak to the manager and said I am calling from Florida, and she said he was in a meeting. I asked when would be a good time to call; she said I’m not sure, leave a message with her. I left a message, but I did not think I would get a call back. I went online and found the cemetery website and left an email addressed to Frank Mangual. I explained our position that we were sure she was not where they claim she is; and that we wanted to know if the casket would be opened on Friday to identify our mother.
I waited for a few hours because I thought that the cemetery would respond it was a simple question that needed to be answered before Friday. I contacted the cemetery again at 3 pm the same day, again I asked to speak to Frank Mangual. The secretary immediately said he’s in a meeting, I responded back he is still in a meeting, really? We need to know, if our mothers casket is going to be opened on Friday or not, because if not we are not identifying a generic casket as our mother. I further said that if we got no response that the cemetery would have to deal with not only my sister but my dad and me as we travel to NYC. She says wait a minute, and about two seconds later asks me what do I want to know; I said that if the casket would be opened on Friday. She said a flat NO, doesn’t explain anything; so I said that is not acceptable because how could we postively identify her. She tells me that Frank Mangual will not deal with anyone but Elena Cruz . I said "well your cemetery is going to have to deal with the whole family and we were getting an attorney if we don’t get this resolved." She said sarcastically, "that’s okay" and hung up.
As I learned from my research, this staff knows that the their cemetery and all religious cemeteries are unregulated by the State of NY Department of cemeteries. This means that all religious cemeteries in the State of NY can dismiss complaints, disrespect clients and not prove anything; even as proof is shown that an error has been made. There is no city or state agency to complain too and if the cemetery made the error, it is left to the family to fight in civil litigation. Due to lack of regulation, religious cemeteries do not answer to any government oversite or regulations; other than local health codes. They can charge any price and not list the costs; perfectly legal. This cemetery has mistreated other clients and gotten away with it; as I discovered online.
The Arch Diocese is supposed to be regulating all catholic cemeteries. I contacted the Arch Diocese of NY cemetery division office; and I was told that they only manage large catholic cemeteries in NY area. The local parishes run the smaller cemeteries; such as St. Raymond’s cemetery which is managed by St Raymond’s parish in the Bronx. St Raymond's Cemetery is the largest Bronx cemetery in NYC, NY.
I was really upset when I finished speaking to the cemetery, so I went online and found St Raymond's Parish website. I emailed the parish and told them of the horrible way we were treated by the cemetery staff; and that our mother was buried in one location and the gravestone was placed in another location.
I told him that the manager refused to speak to me and that I was prepared to come from Florida to take this to court if I had to. An hour later, around 5pm, I got an email from the cemetery manager stating that he did not speak to me; because I was not on the title deed, only my sister. He went on to say that he agreed to open the burial lot but not the casket, only due to my sister’s doubt. He was positive that there was no error, and that our grief probably overcame us all; therefore making us believe that she was buried in another location. He went on to write a lie that I later discovered through my own research of N.Y.S State Cemetery health code 13.3. According to the email, he wrote that the cemetery could not open the casket on their premises because it was prohibited by N.Y.S Health Code. The manager went on to state that the family would have to get a funeral director to exhume the body and remove the body from the cemetery to the funeral home for viewing at a cost of 2750. The family would have to incur the charge; even though it was their mistake. Again, no apologies, no empathy, no explanations and with the same cynicism says GOD Bless. Really?
I will post all of the documents to prove the dishonesty of this cemetery staff. I will detail my case against this institution and their horrible staff. The reason I state this is because the cemetery staff has done a lot of things to hide the truth and cover up the mistake. The staff has not considered the recent loss of our mother; and showed no compassion, no empathy and no remorse for error. Our family has never received any apology from this terrible institution.
I have evidence of a cover up that can go beyond my mother’s gravestone being placed in the wrong location.
After contacting the State Attorney General’s office, the N.Y.S state department of health, the N.Y.S department of cemeteries, the Arch Diocese, St. Raymond’s parish and a private law firm In Florida, Solomon Tropp and Associates. We tried everything to keep it going to a legal fight in NYC. We sent letters offering solutions that included identifying the body through photos of our mother’s clothing. Our family went beyond what others would do, we tried everything before suing in civil court.
Our family took the case to Bronx Supreme Civil Court in hopes of finding answers and solving the issue. Our family sued; not for money damages; only to be made whole to resolve the burial plot issue; and to cover the exhumation costs and legal fees. We wanted to know exactly where our mother is located; if we sued for damages it would have dragged on for years.
We want to know where our mother is really located; this cemetery staff which the parish believes and supports has engaged in unethical behavior and illegal fraudulent activity. The cemetery staff changed the original title deed from the original number plot number from 36 186 by whiting out the number 186 and typing in the number 182. This alteration of the title deed was done when my sister gave the cemetery monument place the original title deed to get the permit for my mother's gravestone to be placed in cemetery. The cemetery monument place had to bring the title deed back to cemetery office so the permit process could begin with the city. During this time the cemetery secretary changed the title deed from 186 to 182 and the white out can be shown as it is on the news report on News 1. The link is at the very top of this webpage, please see story. This was covered up because the cemetery monument place and the cemetery staff never contacted our family to report error.
| This is placed on burial lot 36 182, the numbers 186 were hidden with a cemetery sticker. This is the original information on the title deed before the cemetery staff changed it, fraudulently. |
The cemetery monument place was told by cemetery staff to place the grave stone with the etched number of row 36 186 on the burial plot row 36 182. This row faces Whitestone Bridge. The title deed originally had row 36 186 on it before it was changed; as I learned later I realized that the the cemetery changed and removed row sign 36 and marked in red numbers at the start of the rows. The row that my mother was buried was labelled as Row 36 in December 2010, but in May 2011 The same row was labelled as row 35 now.
The staff claims that our mother is in row 36 182 and after my sister confronted them, they admitted to a typo on the title deed.
No one from the monument place, and from the cemetery informed us of any mistake: we learned about error when my sister went to the grave site. There is a cover up of a bigger mistake, because there was a row pole sign that read Holy Cross Row 36 at the beginning of the row on December 2, 2010.
When I went on May 8, 2011 for Mother’s Day, we discovered that the row sign was missing; it was removed. As we went down the row marked in orange row 36 on the concrete marker, we immediately realized that the row was wrong because row 36, now faced the White Stone bridge. In December 2010, row 36 faced the Holy Cross entrance. As we got closer to the grave stone, we went and saw that it was facing the bridge and that it was in spot 182, next to a grave marker that read 36 181. As I examined the gravestone closer, I realized that it was dirty and that the bottom right hand corner of the stone had the row number and the burial lot number covered with a cemetery label. My sister has limited vision in her left eye; she was lead to believe by the staff that they had caught the mistake before the monument place engraved the gravestone, so it should have read 36 182. The cemetery staff had placed a cemetery monument sticker to hide the burial lot number, so I peeled it off and sure enough, it read 186. My sister began to cry and I was beyond disbelief. I thought to myself, don't these people have any shame nor remorse as human beings. What if it were their mother? I then decided here begins my crusade, I will expose this staff; if I have to go to every media outlet available and every politician in the Bronx .
I realized the cemetery mistake during my visit, since the cemetery removed the row 36 Holy Cross sign from the front, it was originally placed on row 35 in December 2010 when my mother was buried.
If that sign that has been removed was originally on row 35 in December 2010, then there potentially are many other gravestones not placed in the right row. I did not take a photo of the row sign 36, since it was a bitter cold day. I did not think I would have had to take a photo of a pole sign, who would ever imagine this mess? I think my cousin took a photo with her cell phone in front of her car since she parked where the row sign was.
I am writing to the Bronx public, for anyone that has had a loved one buried at St. Raymond’s holy cross section during December 2010. If there was a photo taken of the row sign 36, please post it online or contact me by email. If there are any other people that were victimized by this cemetery, please leave a comment or contact information. The cemetery staff is hiding this mistake; instead of doing the right thing in this matter.
During court case, the cemetery staff presented some more questionable cemetery records, including a fake cemetery receipt. On this receipt many of the details were incorrect, including the method of payment, the date paid, the site of funeral service at St Anselm's church. My mother did not have a funeral service there, but ANOTHER Maria Cruz had service there on October 15th 2010, of 930 Fox Street. I found the actual person that could be buried in the plot where my mothers gravestone is placed. IF THE FAMILY OF MARIA CRUZ of 930 FOX STREET, who died on October 7th 2010 and was buried on October 15th 2010 is looking for their loved one. PLEASE CONTACT ME AT THIS SITE BY EMAIL. This person's details were placed on the cemetery receipt that was given to the court as my mother's cemetery receipt that they claim they gave us which is a lie.
This is an example of the row sign that was placed in row 36, it was a single pole not a double sign like this one.
My mother’s gravestone cost 2000 and it has the wrong burial lot number, she is really in row 35 lot 186, so the stone should be fixed. We want a new title deed not a whited out one; and we want a resolution to this once and for all.
There is something not right at that cemetery, I am writing to NYS agencies and creating this blog to get the word out about this horrible institution. If it were a simple error that the cemetery would have acknowledged, we would have worked with the cemetery. The cemetery staff had no interest in finding the truth, they treated my family and my mother’s remains with disrescpect. This staff has had a history of treating other grieving Hispanic low income clients in the same way; unfortunately the staff is hispanic. I had found a consumer complaint against this cemetery that dates back to 2004.
I could not authenticate this complaint because there was no contact information, but the person was chastised; as if he were dumb because he did not follow their cemetery procedures. He probably had the pleasure of meeting the famous rude secretary. According to the post, this person could never get a head stone on his mother’s grave because the cemetery office lost the burial deed certificate and could not get it to the city for a gravestone permit. The cemetery office only issues one burial certificate deed, they claim that they issue only one; I don’t understand, what kind of record system do they have at that place. It must be nonexistent.
The Arch Diocese of NY should investigate the cemetery and regulate it as it’s supposed too, if they can’t do it, then let N.Y.S state department of cemeteries do it. This cemetery staff has no business dealing with grieving family. Fraud and larceny is being committed by this cemetery staff because the cemetery has not only altered an original title deed, to a burial land plot worth 6275.00; they deliberately submitted a fake cemetery receipt as evidence in a court case. In addition, unethically hid their mistake with cemetery labels on the grave stone. The gravestone clearly illustrates their mistake, because the plot number etched is 186 in a 182 burial plot. This would confuse the visitors of the cemetery, so the staff places cemetery labels instead of offering to fix the stone since it was their mistake. The gravestone costs 2000.
I and the reporter from NY1 were being intimidated by their security staff and asked to leave the premises when producing news report at my mother's gravestone. The cemetery said that they do not allow video taping on the premises, even though there are no signs prohibiting it.
I said it was my mother’s gravestone; the guard said that they do not allow video taping although it was not placed on their sign out side the cemetery. The security guard kept following us around until we left.
The anger my family and I feel are beyond words, this cemetery has done everything to delay and stall the judicial intervention that our attorney filed. Since June 15, 2011, we filed this case we have been back to court. The judge has not issued a court order yet because she wants both parties to come to an accord; the judge doesn't understand that the cemetery has said on numerous occasions that they will do nothing unless court ordered.
Despite all of the evidence of the fraud and the physical proof of my mothers gravestone. The Bronx Judge in this case, Norma Ruiz has refused to issue a decision in this case in a timely manner. I started to research the NYS Unified court system and found that all cases against St Raymonds cemetery in the Bronx has been recorded in the database in odd manner. If searching for cases against St Raymonds cemetery, only one case will appear on database under that name, to really locate all cases in database, the attorneys name representing St. Raymond's is the main method of locating cases against this cemetery. If the user searches for each year starting in 2008, until 2012 there will be aproximately 11 cases under the name Timothy Griffin, the attorney for St Raymonds cemetery where all the cases will appear. This is the primary method the user will find the cases against St Raymonds cemetery besides using the specific index number of the case. This is odd because if any user were conducting a generic search under the cemetery name; all of these cases would not appear, its as if the records are being hidden in plain sight. The Bronx court has to comply with a state law of reporting on their cases in a NYS state database, but they do not provide the scanned court documents or decisions on the same site. In order to find specific court documents or decisions online the court has a separate website, which is not mentioned on the NYS state database. In my research, I learned that in the 11 cases involved; not one case included a St Raymond's cemetery case where the cemetery actually paid out any money to a plaintiff. If St. Raymond's lost a lawsuit against a plaintiff, the plaintiff paid all cemetery expenses of exhumation and transport. If St. Raymond's won a case against a plaintiff, the person would be denied the case. St. Raymond's did not have any cases that involved where the cemetery had to pay for the exhumation and court costs. My sister's case does not even appear under the name of this attorney, it appears as Pro se, as if St Raymond's cemetery had no representation; the only method of finding this case is by index number 260500-2011. St. Raymond's cemetery and church is a historic institution in the Bronx.
I found earlier cases from 1989 throughout 2008 in the Bronx county clerk office website where the scanned documents show 18 additional cases against St. Raymonds cemetery under the keywords St. Raymond's cemetery. After 2007, there are no more St. Raymond's cases that show up under those keywords. If the user wants to find the latest scanned decisions or documents on this database, the user would need the specific index number to pull up the individual cases. This is a pattern of hiding the information within the database to make anyone searching for data more difficult. If the user does not have the index number; than no information on that specific case can be found.
The cemetery has continued to delay proceedings by not contacting our attorney to set up date for exhumation. My sister has been to court already three times, the fourth time was supposed to be final time as the judge was going to rule. On September 26, 2011, my dad and I went to court with my sister.
I presented evidence; such as a website that the same manager Frank Mangual created in 2003, a free site that listed the policies and procedures, and fees of the cemetery. Mr. Mangual wrote to me that the N.Y.S. health code prohibited that a casket be opened on the cemetery grounds, well on this same website, years before our case, the same manager clearly writes that the casket can be opened on the premises with the affidavits of all family members granting permission and with a funeral director on the cemetery premises. The website begins with the Mangual's name mang9019.tripod.lycos.com.
According to N.Y.S Department of Health and the funeral director I spoke to, the cemetery may open the casket on the premises as long as there is a licensed funeral director to handle the remains. The cemetery staff can not handle the remains by law but the casket can be opened on their premises.
In addition, to the discrepancy, the cemetery staff presented a fake cemetery receipt on the day of the court date. The attorney for St. Raymond’s cemetery had presented his court opposition papers on September 26th, the judge was supposed to rule. The staff presented only the cemetery receipt and not the cancelled check from the bank; as they claim my sister gave them.
This time, we caught them and we can prove it, this document that their attorney presented has the date as processed as December 2nd 2010 and it has a personal check number that my sister supposedly used to purchase a 6275.00 burial plot.
The only problem is that my sister used a credit card to purchase the plot instead of an insurance or personal check; as they claim. The date of purchase is wrong too because the funeral home made the arrangements and purchased the land burial plot with my sister's credit card on November 30th 2010. My sister got the receipt on December 2nd, but the transaction was actually processed on November 30th 2010. We immediately told our attorney and my sister remembered because she called the credit card company to inform them of a large purchase. In addition, the phony cemetery receipt listed St. Anselm's Church as the place where my mother had funeral services. My mother did not know anyone from this church and the pastor never gave a funeral service at the church or at the funeral home. My mother had a service at Ortiz funeral home with my aunt's pastor on December 1st, 2010. The phony cemetery receipt had the details of another Maria Cruz that died on October 7th 2010 and had funeral on October 15th 2010. The pastor wrote a letter stating that services were given to only this Maria Cruz, of 930 Fox Street.
The attorney for the cemetery presented this document In September 2011, during the third court date; because he knew that the judge was going to rule. The cemetery staff created a new phony document to delay case. Our attorney asked for an adjournment; until we could get the copy of the credit card statement and the receipt. We have another court date for October 31st 2011.
This goes beyond a mistake, the cemetery staff has altered one document and created a phony second document. The staff altered the original title deed and presented a phony cemetery receipt with another persons details, named Maria Cruz; who died on October 7th 2010 and lived at 930 Fox Street. As I get the copy of the receipt from my attorney, I have written to the state Attorney general’s office to try to get a criminal investigation started regarding fraud. There is proof of the altering and creating of new documents, as I will upload all court documents, photos, email correspondence and everything related to this case on this site.
The Attorney General Office says the office only handles fraud cases in which more than one person is involved. If there were more cases from St Raymonds Cemetery, they might consider the case. Again, this is an example of failure of the state of NY to protect consumers from death care industry. I contacted Consumers Protection Agency, and NYS Department of cemeteries. There is no agency that regulates nor investigates religious cemeteries when issues of cemetery mistakes arise. Families are left on their own and have to fight in civil court to get any resolution to problem.
I am uploading documents including the cemetery receipts and documents because this cemetery has to be exposed so that other families will not have to suffer silently. If anyone has faced similar issues with St Raymond's cemetery, please post your story on this blog site. Strength in numbers can cause awareness and attention so that the Attorney General's office can investigate this cemetery.
Update: On October 4th, 2011 went to cemetery, I found another label placed on gravestone and a fake broken marker with my mother's information on it. My mother never had a marker at her grave site, this phony marker looks new and has the wrong date of death as December 2010 when she died on November 24, 2010. The cemetery staff placed this marker on the actual grave site of where my mother is really buried in lot 35 186.
This is the photo of my dear Mother, she was sweet and suffered a lot in life and now in death with this miserable cemetery
This is the marker I found on the row 35 186 actual burial plot where my mom is located, this was placed there in October 2011.This marker was placed on row 35 186 where my mother is actually buried, they wrote in the wrong date and it is freshly written as seen here, I found it on October 2011 before the court date.
This is the photocopied marker information found on plot row 36 186, to make it look as if another person was buried there. The staff photocopied the information off the plot on row 36 187. The cemetery has gotten away with abuses because NO one Cares nor are they held accountable by Arch Diocese of NY or the State of NY. They will continue to do as they please.
I found that the staff placed another fake marker on 36 186, when I saw that; I thought that they had buried someone in burial lot 36 186. When I examined the marker placed there , I noticed that the staff photocopied the data on the grave stone marker next to lot 36 186 which is 36 187. The same burial information was placed on that marker in 36 186. I couldn't believe it, I took photos of the placement of the fake marker and have the actual marker in my possession.
Update: March 12, 2012, Motion was denied without prejudice by Judge Ruiz, due to a technical document filing error that my attorney had done; so she claims. She included that we needed to renew case with proper papers. The judge made this decision after I contacted her clerks office and inquired when a decision be made in this case. The court clerk told me that no decision was made and was annoyed that I had contacted the court. I stated that no decision had been made in ten months for a relatively straight forward case. The clerk was annoyed by my call that the very next day on March 15th, 2012. The NYS state database had the status of the case as denied dated March 12, 2012. I called from Florida on March 14th 2012, when the clerk had stated that no decision was made; so what can be concluded is that the judge made the decision based on my call and not the evidence. In addition, my sister tried to get the decision on paper and she could not get it until ten days later. The exact time allowed for a motion to appeal decision and at the same time the attorney working on our case was not returning our phone calls.
This judge took ten months to decide a case that was straight forward with over whelming evidence in our favor. The same judge had four St. Raymond's cases according to NYS court database with the same attorney Timothy Griffin. The judge missed two court dates and placed a "no appea" on the October 31st date of the court. This date is key because this is when we brought in the evidence of the credit card data and the letter from St Anselms church. After the decision was made in court, I learned of it not by our attorney but by the NYS unified court system database. The attorney refused to return our calls and never informed of decision. My sister had to place complaint against attorney with Grievance committee to get him to contact her by letter. The attorney promised to renew paper work in April but did not contact nor create court documents until July 2012. This is well passed the time for the court to renew the case or place an appeal motion. The Bronx courthouse has a history of corruption and nepotism as evidenced by a recent case of a federal Judge named Lee Holtzman. Judge Norma Ruiz has been the judge that has taken most of the St. Raymond's cemetery cases; more than any other judge in the same court in 2011- 2012. In 2013, she has had two more cases with St Raymond's as the defendant. How can any Judge be objective when she has had handled most of the cases with the same defendant and same attorney? Court cases should be randomly assigned to Judges not rigged.
After the decision, the cemetery placed a gravestone on the plot where our mother was placed originally. The person was placed in plot row 35 186 in May 2012; after our case was denied. I researched the name on the social security death index to verify the data. Our family will never prove exactly where our mother is located. Our family can only hope that this cemetery moved my mother's remains illegally and placed them where the gravestone is now placed. When there is no state or city oversight, nor real justice in the court system, our family has to live with the fact of never proving where she is placed. When there is strong evidence and proof of documents that have been changed and we get that decision, that's pure corruption. All of the changed documents will be placed on this site. We could not appeal because the attorney that my sister hired and paid 2850.00 upfront did not return our calls after we found out about decision. The attorney was the representative on our case so he had to place the appeal or motion to reconsider within ten days. He disappeared and it took filing a grievance against him to finally get a response in April 2012. He gave my sister a poorly written petition that he wanted to file in July 2012 and said that he could not make a motion to change the judge because we had caused enough discourse in the court. He had revealed that we were not going to get a fair trial because we had created bad feelings in the court. I had written to the court administration about the Judge's amount of time in the decision process and about the "No appea" comment that showed in the comments column. In the judge's decision she had denied the case according to the reason that said "No Appea" which means No appearance in court, next to the October 31st date which was the date that the evidence was brought to court. The court administration at first did not even address the "No appea" comment in their response but they said that due to court backlog the Judge did not get to case in timely manner. I wrote a second letter and then they addressed the comments "No Appea" as not being a factor in case because according to them the Judge had fully submitted her case on November 14th 2011. The defendant did not appear in court on this final date and the Judge was supposed to make her decision within 2 weeks to four months according to our attorney at the time. We waited five months and she still had made no decision. According to the NYS unified court standards this case should have been decided within six months because it was a judicial intervention which was supposed to speed up the court process.
This message is for the blog readers reading this site, please write to your local Congressman and Senator. We have to persuade the state legislature to create a oversight committee for Catholic cemeteries that are not being directly managed by the Arch Diocese of NY. This system is corrupt and nothing will be resolved nor the truth uncovered if we don't stand up for ourselves.
How many families are really affected by this cemetery; and what happened to our family can happen to any other person burying a loved one at St. Raymond's cemetery. THIS CAN HAPPEN TO YOU. I believe that the cemetery staff is the problem and the local parish has ignored its clients and taken the word of its workers which are the problem. We want closure plain and simple. Write N.Y.S legislature to petition for federal regulation of all cemeteries. As more cemeteries become more of a business industry, greed and mismanagement become the norm. No regulation is dangerous as we learned from Burr Oaks, Arlington cemetery and many more cemeteries that have had similar horror stories of loved ones misplaced or lost.
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