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General Forestry => General Board => Topic started by: SwampDonkey on December 19, 2005, 12:52:03 PM

Title: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: SwampDonkey on December 19, 2005, 12:52:03 PM
My folks bought a lot that was surveyed by a registered land surveyor who put his pins in the gound to mark the corners. This is a development and they've owned the lot now 4 years. There are lots below by folks' lot that were also marked with pins at the same time. The surveyor was there to the lot at least twice to show my folks the corners. They then did their landscaping accordingly. Now this same surveyor comes and decides the pins were in the wrong place and pulls up the pins and leaves. Now my folks are owners of a new patch (triangle shape) of unlandscaped land and the neighbour beside them have a piece of land, my folks landscaped, free of charge.  ::) As a landowner, would you not want to persue the surveyor for this mistake and charge him with landscaping this non landscaped piece? Surely the landowner doesn't absorb this because of a surveyor's incompetance.  :P
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Gilman on December 19, 2005, 01:23:53 PM
I'd call the state's board of licensed engineers and get their opinion.  Seems like a pretty straight forward situation. 
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: slowzuki on December 19, 2005, 01:28:06 PM
I believe they are required to carry insurance for this type of mistake.  Were the pins registered yet?  We have pins on our property but they are not the law, only indicators, the law is the numbers on the registered survey plan.
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Larry on December 19, 2005, 01:29:11 PM
There is insurance for those kind of mistakes...its called insurance for “errors and omissions”.  Most surveyors don’t have it because it is super expensive.  For the most part seems the surveyor takes the attitude there not responsible unless it is something they can correct with very little trouble or expense.

Don’t think it is right...but I’m not a surveyor.  Maybe they have a reason for what they do.
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Black_Bear on December 19, 2005, 01:29:57 PM
SwampDonkey:

I am not a LLS, but I plan to be in less than a years time.

Contrary to what Gilman wrote, I doubt the situation will end up being "straight forward". There is a lot of "gray area" when dealing with boundary law. Mainly because boundary law stems from statute law and case law that may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

I can offer to post your problem on a surveying message board that is similar to this one, except it pertains to surveying issues. Actually they talk about anything on that board, but the surveyors there are topnotch.

I guess there are two obvious questions:

1.) Where is the lot located (State or Province)?

2.) Did the surveyor set new pins to mark the "true" location of your parents lot?

I'm not sure about Canadian jursidiction, but here is my take on it if the lot is in the U.S.

It seems as though your parents and their neighbor(s) have relied upon the original boundaries set by the surveyor. Generally, if an error in a survey is discovered and others have relied upon the boundaries as marked, the remedies are in the form of a quit-claim swap or an affidavit to clarify the record. The fact that the surveyor "pulls up the pins and leaves" seems absurd, but I do not have all of the facts.

Another question to think about is: does this constitute negligence or was it simply a blunder? This may be the basis for a case your parents may have.

Also, there may be a case for acquiescence, but that may depend on the jurisdiction.

It is hard to determine an answer without all of the facts, but if you would like I can be your liason to the RPLS message board. Or you can log in and ask the question yourself. Not to slight anyone on this board, but I think you will be surprised by the responses you get on the RPLS board. They live and die by surveying and boundary law and they love to discuss cases such as this one. There are Canadian surveyors on that board also if the lot is in Canada.

Ed  
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Modat22 on December 19, 2005, 01:35:41 PM
If he pulled pins and didn't spot new ones he is breaking a law but its hard to prove he did it.

Sounds like he's trying to cover his behind by showing that he did no work, or perhaps he wasn't paid for the job and is removing pin.

The survey points should be on file at the planning office somewhere.

I'm not totally sure I'm 100 percent right in my statements above, I worked for a surveyor for a span less than 1 year.
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: DanG on December 19, 2005, 02:36:12 PM
I don't know the answer, but there should be some sort of recourse for a landowner to persue.  I have a situation that has been smoldering for several years.  It hasn't escalated to unpleasantry because the neighbor involved is a good one, and neither of us want to spoil our friendship.  Basically, her land has changed hands 3 times in the past few years because of deaths in the family. Also the place that borders both of our tracts has changed hands several times.  Each time it has been surveyed, the border between us has been moved, as much as 27 feet, one time.  As far as I know, the same survey company has done all of them.  Something is rotten in our little corner of Denmark, and I'd like to know what it is! ??? ::)

One other thing;  I think that a surveyor should at least have to explain something to a landowner if he moves a boundary.  I stand to lose over an acre of land in this deal if the latest move stands.  We haven't heard a peep out of the surveyor. >:(
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: farmerdoug on December 19, 2005, 02:42:59 PM
Here in the US title insurance covers that kind of problem.   I know of a problem up at Grand Traverse Bay.  The surveyor marked the plots parralell to the road.  20 years later the title insurance company found out the lots were platted paralell to the bay.  All of the lots were marked off 45 degrees.  ::) Just think of the mess that caused.  Houses and out buildings were built on the wrong lots.  The owners without title insurance lost out big time. :o


Farmerdoug
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: beenthere on December 19, 2005, 03:10:10 PM
Does the legal description of your folks lot fit with the original pin placement? or with the new 'lot' line?  Seems that legal description would be the 'bottom line' and the plat of the development would also tell the location.

I have similar experience with 'surveyors' as DanG has had, and each time they come through there is a different placement of the corner stakes. Over 40 years I have been here, it is amazing the different placements of a ¼¼ corner with respect to the Section corner, and its only 1320 feet away. One would think that measurement would be easier than within 7' (I expect they taped it, and didn't just 'step' it off   :) ).
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: SwampDonkey on December 19, 2005, 03:19:12 PM
I can offer to post your problem on a surveying message board that is similar to this one, except it pertains to surveying issues. Actually they talk about anything on that board, but the surveyors there are topnotch.

I guess there are two obvious questions:

1.) Where is the lot located (State or Province)?

2.) Did the surveyor set new pins to mark the "true" location of your parents lot?

I'm not sure about Canadian jursidiction, but here is my take on it if the lot is in the U.S.
Ok answers to your questions:

1) Province of NB

2) No new pins were set when he pulled the old pins and the survey is all recorded in the registry office before they built or landscaped. As far as pulling up the stakes to cover his behind there are several witnesses that know they were there in place for 4 years.

Quote
It seems as though your parents and their neighbor(s) have relied upon the original boundaries set by the surveyor. Generally, if an error in a survey is discovered and others have relied upon the boundaries as marked, the remedies are in the form of a quit-claim swap or an affidavit to clarify the record. The fact that the surveyor "pulls up the pins and leaves" seems absurd, but I do not have all of the facts.

Seems to me if I was a surveyor I'de be measuring from a known position at the set distance and bearing to each pin. These pins had an inscription on top stating the surveyors name his license number and 'Penalty for Removal'. The guy played dumb when my folks informed him that it was he that was there and pointed out the pins and their location. He doesn't deny surveying it though.

As far as 'Errors and Ommissions', I know what that is. It's gone double in two years I carried it and I never had any claim. There is only one insurance company that will insure you for that in Canada. ENCON. Last I paid those leeches was over $4000 because they tack on General Liability as well.

I would appreciate it if you posted this enquiry on that site, and see what comes of it.

Thanks  :)


Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: SwampDonkey on December 19, 2005, 03:32:42 PM
Does the legal description of your folks lot fit with the original pin placement? or with the new 'lot' line?  Seems that legal description would be the 'bottom line' and the plat of the development would also tell the location.

I have similar experience with 'surveyors' as DanG has had, and each time they come through there is a different placement of the corner stakes. Over 40 years I have been here, it is amazing the different placements of a ¼¼ corner with respect to the Section corner, and its only 1320 feet away. One would think that measurement would be easier than within 7' (I expect they taped it, and didn't just 'step' it off   :) ).

According to the information he told them today, the lots are square with the road. What was originally stated was that they were not square with the road and the original platt map shows they are square. They were told to go with the way it was marked by the pins in the field. Now he comes and pulls the pins and tells my folks the lot is north another 68 feet.  ::) The property was registered in May 2001. They talked to the Development Officer who advised them to see a lawyer and take pictures.
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Tom on December 19, 2005, 03:49:46 PM
Roads Move.   I know of several situations where the road moved onto someone's property and the markers ended up in the road.  It would be real easy for a surveyor to pull them out stick them back at the edge of the road where they "looked better".

My Granddad lost 3 or 4 feet of his side yard because of the installation of a sidewalk which was used for further surveys instead of the road.  It changed the Right of Way measurements somehow and moved everybody's property line about 3 feet.  I don't know if it was ever straightened out to everybody's satisfaction.  Those guys are supposed to measure off of monuments.  Sometimes they just don't want to go the mile to where it is.   I would be leary of "official" language such as 'from the middle of the road', or from 'chet's fence', or the big pine is the corner.

Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: SwampDonkey on December 19, 2005, 03:57:57 PM
Roads Move.   I know of several situations where the road moved onto someone's property and the markers ended up in the road.  It would be real easy for a surveyor to pull them out stick them back at the edge of the road where they "looked better".

My Granddad lost 3 or 4 feet of his side yard because of the installation of a sidewalk which was used for further surveys instead of the road.  It changed the Right of Way measurements somehow and moved everybody's property line about 3 feet.  I don't know if it was ever straightened out to everybody's satisfaction.  Those guys are supposed to measure off of monuments.  Sometimes they just don't want to go the mile to where it is.   I would be leary of "official" language such as 'from the middle of the road', or from 'chet's fence', or the big pine is the corner.

Tom down at the grave yard, where it is adjacent to the river bank.....Everytime the bank gives way into the river the NB Power commission send surveyors up to adjust the pins in toward the graveyard. My uncle has witnessed this several times as he's care taker of the grave yard.

On one of our farms somebody moved the road beyond where it ever was. In fact if it were where they say it is now, it would have gone through the dining room window of the house that used to sit there for over 100 years when the land was first granted. It would also have been within 5 feet of the well head.  ::)

We also lost a few acres on the same farm because someone used a highway instead of the crown reserved road where the measurement should have been based. The neighbor moved in and clear cut our ground. We had it fixed up later, we did get stumpage for the wood. I still say the adjacent owner knew he was in the wrong, I didn't see any wood cut on his side of the fence.  The line at the time was not marked either. We found out when we surveyed it before we sold some stumpage. ::)
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Black_Bear on December 19, 2005, 04:12:14 PM
SD:

All of the pertinent information has posted on the RPLS website. I do not know what type of response you will get, but it is posted.

Log on to this website:   http://www.i-boards.com/bnp/pob/

You will not be able to post to the board unless you register, but you can read the responses.

Ed
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Larry on December 19, 2005, 04:20:19 PM
SD, you might try running the property description to see if you have closure to the POB.  I’ve checked a lot of surveys and property descriptions...that seems to be the most common error I’ve found.  It will drive a surveyor nuts until he figures out what’s wrong.
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Modat22 on December 19, 2005, 04:39:16 PM
If its not a giant description I can run it on acad and see if it closes and send you a jpg showing how the bearings flow.

I'd rather keep it kinda small say 20 to 40 lines, I'll number the lines to the descriptions to keep my typing to a minimum.

Let me know.
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: SwampDonkey on December 19, 2005, 04:44:45 PM
If its not a giant description I can run it on acad and see if it closes and send you a jpg showing how the bearings flow.

I'd rather keep it kinda small say 20 to 40 lines, I'll number the lines to the descriptions to keep my typing to a minimum.

Let me know.

It's likely going to look fine on paper, problem is where it was marked by pins in the field, which were in place for 4 years. My folks are always getting screwed over.  ::)
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Murf on December 19, 2005, 04:49:52 PM
Cut straight to the chase.    http://www.anbls.nb.ca/

Things are very different as far as things like property law and registration go between Canada & the US.

Liability insurance is not an option in Canada, all surveyors, engineers and architects are required by law to have it. No insurance, no license, period.

In most cases in Canada where the survey bars were planted do not affect ownership if they were planted wrongly. It is usually the registered description that holds. Liability is a different kettle of fish though.
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: asy on December 19, 2005, 04:57:19 PM
Swampy,

Have you also thought about having another surveyor from another company come and do a check survey to make sure that the pegs are NOW in the right place, and that the other pegs that he didn't move are correct?

Best to make sure prior to taking any action, just in case your problem is bigger than you currently know :(

There should be someone who specialises in 'check surveys', might have to ring the governing body of surveyors to find them though...

asy :D
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: SwampDonkey on December 19, 2005, 05:11:27 PM
Liability insurance is not an option in Canada, all surveyors, engineers and architects are required by law to have it. No insurance, no license, period.

Yeah, but liability does not cover errors and ommissions, that's an insurance on top of general liability.
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: WH_Conley on December 19, 2005, 06:38:13 PM
SwampDonkey, you have my sympathy and understanding. I am currently in a dispute because someone in the past used a fold in a topo map as the property line and not the fence that is called for, corporation owns the adjoining property, they have done this before to other people in the county, and the nightmare continues.
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Bill H on December 19, 2005, 10:03:27 PM
SD they should have some type of recourse against the surveyor, what I'm not sure  :-\. In Ky I could give you a proper answer but am unfamiliar with property law north of the border. Watch the RPLS site because most of those guys are exellent. Bill KY PLS 3728
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Ron Scott on June 06, 2006, 07:20:04 PM
Swamp,

Has there been any resolution yet to the survey problem?
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: maple flats on June 06, 2006, 07:45:27 PM
My experience in New York State is that a new surveror will not come to re-check a survey for that purpose. You must make your request the correct way or they decline. Just call far a new survey and do not say you are having a problem with a previous survey. By the way, I doubt the first surveyor refunded his fee when he removed the stakes, correct. Now they paid for a survey that was not apparently done. However if the survey was the adjoining property and not theirs even thou they think they share a common boundry they likely have little they can do about it. If your parents paid for the survey they should be duly compensated, IMHO
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: SwampDonkey on June 07, 2006, 08:07:36 AM
Ron, funny you should ask. The surveyor was back monday I think and I haven't had a chance to talk with the folks over it. Mother said father was talking with him and they were looking where the origiaal markers were set. I may find out today what he was back the second time for. One thing for sure if the folks have to do additional landscaping, he's going to be getting the bill.  >:(
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Paschale on June 07, 2006, 09:15:12 AM
I know this is an old thread, but I find it interesting.  Many people in the thread had stories about incorrect surveying done, where outbuildings were put on the wrong lot, etc.  Isn't there a provision in the law that talks about actual "practice" having weight as well?  My dad used to work for a surveyor, and he talked about how old, time honored fence lines had the weight of law too in dealing with land disputes...or at least this is my recollection--I could remember this incorrectly.  Anyone know about this?   ???
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Ron Scott on June 07, 2006, 12:33:16 PM
It depends  ;) There seems to be more survey errors of late or a difference between surveyors establishing the same landline. Not sure why. Some may not be using their more high tech equipment correctly  :P

I've had 3-4 caess where the recently surveyed landlines turned out different than the original surveys. In some the different surveyors got together and agreed to the correct line. Another went to court for a decision and in the others, the landowner's agreed on ther line and didn't pay the surveyor.

It can make a big difference in a 20 feet line error across a 1/4 mile when some high priced veneer trees are involved.
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: Ernie_Edwards on June 07, 2006, 01:07:20 PM
Paschale,

In the past I have seen cases where "USE" of land was determined by something called "open and notorious use". Usually refered to use of a strip of land as access to another parcel. Where this happened you would have well established property lines but one party openly used the other parties land as access to their land, and did this over an exrended period of time without being stopped by the owner of the property. After an extended period of time the user could not be forced off the access road because of their history of open and notorious use. However I would never depend on that always holding up in a court, it is just that I have seen it happen, in Arizona.

If the property owner put restrictions on the property, thereby retaining control of the access, then it was possible to stop all use if the owner so decided. An example of the was what I heard about the skating rink at Rockerfeller Center in NYC. They have at least one day a year when it is closed to the public so that the public has no legal right to access as a result of uncontrolled access.

I would never take this open and notorious use as a justification to deplete the other guys property of anything of value, such as the veneer logs Ron alluded to.

I have seen a degree of professional courtesy extended fron one surveror to another when the difference was minor,minor being within a tenth of a foot for property corners. Any more than that is open for review or proof that a new survey is needed.

I am just an engineer so certainly am not offering any legal advise, just relaying what I have seen in the past.

Ernie
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: SwampDonkey on September 24, 2008, 07:31:29 PM
Bringing this thread back to the top for an update. Took a while to fish it out (this thread) of the ever growing abyss. :D

But, anyway... things have been resolved with the survey of my folks' property. The back corners originally placed for the survey were incorrect and changed so that means a new strip of land (that triangular shaped section I mentioned) is amended and similar sized piece removed. That left a piece of  non-manicured lawn. The surveyor came good and paid for, and actually helped with labour, to clean up and seed down the new strip. All is as it should be. I'm glad my folks got treated well in the end. And the surveyor knows full well that I occasionally send him business. In fact the latest was just 2 weeks ago.  ;)

cheers
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: DanG on September 25, 2008, 11:17:05 AM
That is excellent, Swampdonkey!  In most cases, someone ends up getting screwed, but it looks like everybody is happy there. 8) 8)

The situation in my case is still up in the air, mainly because we haven't pursued it.  At first, the neighbor mistakenly assumed that I was going to move the fence to the new line.  I gently and politely informed her that I don't have a fence.  The one she is referring to is 27 feet inside her property line, and was put there by her Grandfather about 35 years ago.
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: cheyenne on September 25, 2008, 01:52:12 PM
With todays GPS & satalites there is no excuse for mistakes it's just lazeyness on the part of the surveyor & whoever hires them. (Money) I just had one tell me he can pinpoint it perfectly. I'm going through the same thing with a utility co....Glad it worked out for them. Are you anywheres near Plaster Rock love the Lakeside Lodge.....Cheyenne
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: SwampDonkey on September 25, 2008, 04:45:55 PM
Plaster Rock is about an hour north of me. But, Lake Side Lodge is over by Gillispie Settlement near the Maine Border crossing to Limestone, Maine.
Title: Re: Question for you surveyors (sorry but it's a touchy question)
Post by: cheyenne on September 25, 2008, 10:55:40 PM
Chased a lotta bears up thatta way. Made that trip from greenville to limestone many times....Cheyenne