1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

conflicting land surveys

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by slayer, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. slayer

    slayer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,985
    Location:
    beautiful northern michigan
    This is a way off topic thread,but I get good answers on this site so here goes: I recently sold a house and lot on a land contract. The new owner wants to now pay it off and has hit a bit of a snag. The adjacent property owners are telling him that his property lines are way different from what their surveys are showing. I had a survey done way back when we first bought the house [82, I think] and this predates any of the neighbors surveys. We are going to get lawyers involved soon to resolve the issue. My question: has anyone here been in a similar situation and if so does the oldest survey usually end up being the correct one? thanks Bill
     
  2. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,678
    We had the same issue on a farm that my dad purchased years ago. When the neighbor went to sell he said the fence line, which was well established for many years, was wrong. My dad ended up giving up a sliver of his property, but he said it was worth it to stay on the good side of the neighbor. I asked the surveyor about it and he said when farms were surveyed years ago the surveyors used chain lengths and sometimes mis-counted by 1. That must have been the case with just one side of that field as the fence had to be moved by a slight angle. Your case sounds different, but I told you my story for what it's worth.

    Joe
     
  3. birdogs

    birdogs TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,775
    Did you take out title insurance? Contact the title company. They are responsible.
     
  4. 100straight

    100straight Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    584
    Usually the newer survey will be more accurate. With GIS the old surveys are often found to be fairly inaccurate. They did the best they could with what they had. Many counties now have their GIS online, so you can look and see where your property lines are.

    Mark
     
  5. midalake

    midalake Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,128
    Try to stay out of lawyers and court.............

    GS
     
  6. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    11,607
    In 82' the survey process and equipment was more than adequate to be correct and "tie in" to adjacent properties. The courthouse should also have a written description of the boundaries. That written description will usually be the dominant document in court. It should tie in to the nearest intersection absolute corner or confirmed county monument. If the surveyor screwed up, you go after him.

    If the property and adjacent properties surrounding the site are very old surveys (1890's to 1930), descriptions and markers may not be exact. Often markers were buried rocks and fence posts that were easily moved by man or frost.

    Then, some negotiating may take place.
     
  7. Jim R

    Jim R Ljutic Nut TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,734
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Your lawyer will know what the "Adverse Possession " laws are in your state. Most conflicting surveys and lot line disputes are settled under those laws.



    Jim R
     
  8. dirt stirrer

    dirt stirrer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,723
    Location:
    Bartlesville, OK
    What Jim R. said. If a fenceline or driveway, eg., has been used and accepted for an extended period of time by both parties, as a property line, adverse possession will trump a new survey many times.
     
  9. GunDr

    GunDr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,924
    I've got a small piece of lake property that ran into a similar snag. There are 7 adjoining properties on the shoreline. Of all of the properties, only mine and an adjacent property had an old fenceline, at least 50 years old.

    The land owner farthest to the east had his property surveyed to install fencing. His new survey bumped his property line 50+ feet to the west, which inturn bumped everyone else. For most the the property owners, no big deal except for me. I have a 50ft deeded parcel to the lake. It is cleared and raised enough to allow me to back a boat into the water. Using the newer surveyed property lines, I would have lost that and ended up with a wooded swampy access. The neighbor to the west of me would have lost their garage and well.

    During a neighboring get together, no one wanted to burden me or my neighbor because of the shift, except the neighbor directly to the east of me. With this additional 50 feet to the west (my land), the county zoning would allow him to sell "lake property" with a parcel he was looking at selling.

    Everyone except him signed an agreement to re-survey using my original fenceline. As for the hard-headed neighbor, he was going to take it to court. It just so happened a few months later, before any court date, he got caught by his wife screwing his secretary. The wife filed for divorce and I got her to sign the agreement. The neighbor was even more pissed, and still wanted to fight me, but his wife had him by the balls and told him to sign, which he did.

    I now have the new survey, it is now part of my abstract. It just so happens that my neighbor to the west has his driveway still on my property...no big deal to me.
     
  10. William681

    William681 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Messages:
    199
    Location:
    Southport NC
    I must put in a comment in defense of old surveys.

    I spent a portion of my early working life as a civil engineer in the surveying business.

    Given the equipment and proceedures used in the 18th and 19th centurys it has always amazed me the degree of accuracy they attained.

    Perhaps there was a degree of pride in their performance that is lacking in many of todays "GPS only oriented surveyors", where speed is of the essence. Too many of todays "experts" rely only on technology.

    Think of the wizened old gent who shows up with a well worn field Model 12 and proceeds to bang 100 straight just to loosen up for Dove season. I personally witnessed this last August here in SE NC.

    I have seen old deeds read to a stone on a creek bank, well in a hundred years due to floods and the influence of man the course of said creek is now flowing 100's of feet away in a diffferent location. But your client will tell you that you are absoutley wrong.

    My crew once located a "stone with a cross chiseled in it next to an old Elm tree guarded by three old musket barrels". How is that for a deed description.

    Our calculations put us in what we assumed to be the right place, we probed and found nothing. Brought out the metal detectors and lo and behold rust deposits. The old "musket barrels". Two and a half feet down was the stone. Our measurements were 3/10ths of a foot different from a survey done in 1820.
    We changed our datum to reflect their point as accurate.

    Pride in accomplishment? We traversed over three miles to find that point. We were working with old school transits, cutting line with machetes, measuring distance with steel chains, (tapes), 100 feet at a time, less depending on the slope, 1970's technology, we were still using slide rules. Given the equipment that available to our predecessors shows just how dedecated to accuracy the old surveyors were.

    We always went as far back as possible in our research, many hours at local county seats researching old deeds. Had a situation where a developer purchased an adjoining property, informed all the neighboring owners they were 18" inches over his line as determined by his surveyors. (I use that term loosely) His company surveyors started from the centerline of XXXX road, they failed to make themselves aware of the fact that the road had been widend by 36" 10 years prior all on one side of the cartway, none of the old deeds reflected this. The neighbors of course won in court and only the lawyers got rich. (what else is new)

    History buffs do you want entertaing reading? ... go to your local courthouse and look up deeds from the late 1700's on to say 1900.
    Phrases like "begining from an olde stone fence thence in a North Westerly direction to a fallen Ash Tree, thence slightly more Westerly to a 18" Cherry Tree, thence...etc

    Go put those measurements on the ground 250 years later.

    Be kind to that old fart neighbor that says the line runs from over there to just up younder. He is probably pretty damn close.

    Bill Boston
     
  11. guthooked

    guthooked Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Messages:
    109
    one of my favorite calls from old deeds was "corner of the field planted in winter wheat last year" or "two smokes on a horse" John S
     
  12. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,678
    Now history like that is fun.
     
  13. Fast Oil

    Fast Oil TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    918
    Right behind me, hanging on the wall is a framed(original) deed to 1000 acres in between the Little Miami River, Sciota River and the River Ohio. It was a payment for service during the Revolutionary war to Samuel Hogg, Captain for three years. It uses terms like starting at the hickory, elm and also lists three survey numbers. The best part about this document is that it is signed by President Thomas Jefferson and Sec. of War James Madison in 1802.

    Maybe I could claim this land today? (just kidding)
     
  14. Shootrman

    Shootrman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    770
    As a little boy my dad bought a farm 1956, one of the first things he did was had iron pins put I as boundary markers. In the years of hunting our dad would quiz us. I built my house on that farm but as years past, new people bought land and built bringing in their surveyors. I had one rude know it all digging up in the middle of my yard. When asked him, What in Gods name do you think your doing? He told me this is the boundary and he's looking for the pin. I asked him to stop but wouldn't. I gave him two choices, call your boss or I call the cops. His boss came and we cleared the air. His ignorant worker was thrown of the job. After trying to survey the property for 8 days. The boss was showed all the boundary pins within 20 minutes.
    You have to be concerned when new people come in. If this disput would have escalated, I was told that both parties would need to get the land surveyed and then it would go to court.
     
  15. merlynstrapguns

    merlynstrapguns Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,451
    I understand, in Missouri, that the State Surveyors official comes and makes his survey and where he drives the stake is the line. The requestor pays the costs. Usually 2 surveys agree, or not. That is when the State is called....m
     
  16. slayer

    slayer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,985
    Location:
    beautiful northern michigan
    Thanks all for the great stories and good information. When this gets resolved I will do a follow up thread. Bill in MI
     
  17. SF SGM

    SF SGM Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Palm Coast, Florida
    Years ago, my grandfather realized the ramification of inheritance tax and with the help of our family attorney, devised a wy to avoid the tax. He basically sold as our inheritance. He said he would sell each of us, my brother, sister and me 200'acres each with the choice of the acreage based on age. Since I was the youngest, I was low man on the totem pole but he knew I wanted a parcel known as Janeyville which was part of our family's original Spanish land grant. Now this land has been in family since around 1800 or so. We had to get each tract surveyed as he had never had it broken down before. I contacted the Florida State Archives and got a transcribed copy of the original Spanish land grant. Grandaddy walked the land with the guys doing the survey to insure each it the acres we had chosen. When the survey was completed, I showed the Spanish survey to the guys and they compared it to theirs, it was less tha one eighth of a degree off. I actually wound up with two more acres than my brother and sister. Now the Spanish survey was done with chains and a sextant. Not bad for "ancient" technology.

    Van
     
  18. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    8,393
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    The land disputes I've been involved with came down to "who had the most money behind them" and "developers" always won.

    Good Luck
     
  19. LDAddi

    LDAddi TS Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Messages:
    170
    The job of the modern surveyor is to "follow in the footsteps of the original surveyor" and determine conflicts with adjacent properties by deed "overlays" and senior rights. The accuracy of current GPS methods really have more to do with speed and convenience of measurement than absolute accuracy. "Found original monuments" as described by deeds and maps are normally held, regardless of stated distances and bearings as it is taken that the monuments were set at locations intended by the original surveyor and property owners. There are, of course, exceptions to these statements when conflicts and fraud may be factors. A modern surveyor working with older individual deeds and descriptions, as opposed to modern subdivision plats, will often find conflicts in distance and bearing calls, resulting in many gaps and overlaps between deeds. These are relatively common and resolvable in modern property law or as in many cases, agreement lines to hold current occupations.

    Anyone selling properties, whether realtors or "by owner" better know what they are talking about when they tell a prospective buyer that the line is "that fence" or from "that tree to that adjacent driveway", and then a proper survey by a licensed or registered surveyor shows discrepancies and lawyers get involved. All that amounts to many more $$ than doing it right in the first place. Don't take advice from Joe, the realtor or what someone's Papa said 30 years ago.

    By the way, after working with GPS from the get-go, it is an amazing tool, but like any computer, it doesn't know any more than what is entered into it.

    Regards,

    Larry Addison, Redding, CA

    Retired PLS in California and Nevada
     
  20. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,284
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    When the developer behind us started putting in a dry water runoff basin, his crew started digging up and hauling off my yard. I had torn my rear fence down to replace it, but the side fences were still up. They were two feet over the property line. My son tried to stop them, but they just were not going to listen to a teenager.

    I got home and found two feet of my yard missing going down two feet for a fifty foot run (their catch pond did not traverse the entire span of the yard).

    I went down to city hall the next morning and had the city inspector put a red flag on their project. That instantly stops ALL work until a problem can be settled.

    The developer tried to claim that his surveyor had found the original property line metal stake in the neighbor's yard.

    I had the inspector come over and showed him the "property line stake" they measured and even put their yellow plastic construction tape on was being used by the neighbor to run string for vegetables, and that it was old water pipe. That raised his eyebrows.

    Then I produced the original development plat map of the existing subdivision. And I showed him my measurements from the center point of the street that runs in front of me.

    So the inspector gave them a photocopy of the plat map and had them survey again.

    So I get a call the next day that I was in error. As it turns out, I had six inches MORE property than I thought I did. They actually came 2.5 feet into my yard.

    Now there is a big problem. The catch basin has to be made to some sort of spec with fixed dimensions and slopes. Unfortunately, they've now paved their cul de sac circle and it has a curb and sidewalk.

    So the developer told me that I to have the slope in my yard.

    No way. And the city backed me up.

    So the city says, well, you can alter the dimensions, but you are going to have to install a retaining wall to do it.

    I heard the bill for the retaining wall, which had to be lined with a special water resistant clay sandwiched inside some sort of cardboard, cost them something like $16,000 for materials and labor. Plus restoring my yard. All because the surveyor got lazy and made a mistake instead of trying to find an original plat map.
     
Search tags for this page
conficting surveys
,
confliciting surveys
,

conflicting land surveys

,
conflicting property surveys oldest deed
,
conflicting survey
,
conflicting surveys of property
,
what happens if an original land survey is wrong
,
what is an original land survey