Existing Survey & Subsequent Landowners - Texas
Date of discovery usually has to do with the allowable time between discovery and Statue of Limitations toward their possession of the land not included in their deed.
The limit of time a surveyor is held liable for his survey is around 10 years from the date of the survey.
After that, the surveyor is off the hook unless some other reason of error can be proven.
When another surveyor takes a bad survey and uses it to continue or to restake missing monuments, they have assumed the responsibility of the first surveyor and made it their own by not going the distance to fully survey to the next acceptable monuments and find if their is any problem before closing the door and making out the final billing on his project.
There are more details to the mix, this is merely the jest of the current waters out there.
We all must hang our hat on the work of those who have gone before us. Our work will be the basis for those who follow us. Thus, it follows that we absolutely need to make our very best effort at all times. Minor measurement issues and differences of opinion be damned. Do your work as though your financial security depended on it at all times. Those who refuse to approach the profession with respect need to be drummed out of the business entirely. The only "morning after" pill for our mistakes is to make an admission of wrong doing at the earliest possible moment and take action ASAP to make amends.
What percentage of retired surveyors keep paying for professional liability insurance up through their date of death?
My point exactly. It's an undue burden.
Sure, we're all trying to do things right, but it's in our best interest to limit our liability as much as possible. I can't imagine members of other professions arguing against this. Why are we?
Let's face it, when establishing long lost/obliterated boundaries we're liable for eternity. Discovery can occur years later, promulgating litigation. Surveying insurance I've purchased has always involved limited construction surveying where parties try to transfer risk to subcontractors, a requirement for bidding. Cruel but that's how it works.
So when doing pure boundary work do it with ordinary care concerning the profession; you cannot be busted for not being perfect, but you can be busted for egregiously substandard work. Same as automobile repair, medical professionals, attorneys, actually all "professions".
So I'm not a fan of statutes of limitations concerning boundary surveys; parties could discover your substandard work has harmed them decades later and you should be culpable. Best defense is to be dead upon discovery, hard to get blood out of a turnip. While practicing, ensure your analysis and map recordations meet the highest standards and you'll be essentially sue-proof. Avoid clients who want a survey cheaply where you can't possibly do the job properly at the agreed price.
But that's just me; carry on if your business is drive by shootings & lowball surveys with high profit margins; sooner or later you'll get popped in court and your business will go bankrupt.
Your questions are premature. You have a layperson "saying" where they think the boundary is. Versus, a surveyors opinion. Surveyors opinion wins.
If you had 2 differing surveyors opinions, and neither would agree with the other, then you would need an opinion from the court. If you didn't like that opinion you might be able to appeal and get a different one again. At the end of it all the court would disagree with one of the surveyors. But that doesn't mean said surveyor is liable for anything.
Just because the surveyor used a tax map as part of the research doesn't mean that's all the research that was performed. In addition, the court might agree with the one who did less research. Merely doing more research doesn't always mean the court will agree.
But yeah, if the statute of limitations has not run, and if you had a court decision against the surveyor, and then if you could prove negligence/malpractice (very difficult), then yes you could recover a couple thousand dollars to move the fence.
Did one once where I disagreed with the previous surveyor and said a well was placed on the wrong lot. My client was initially willing to convey the area at a small fee, but other side was not nice, so became a matter of principle. Each side spent 10's of thousands on attorney fees, well had to be shut down and a new one dug costing 15k per, plus loser had to hire me to survey a lot next door and buy it to have a spot for the new well. Brought about a divorce for the "winning" side. My initial fee was about 2500. I had given similar estimate to loser and they opted for 600 survey, which set it all in motion. Losing surveyor was not found negligent, court simply didn't agree with them.
Moral of the story; it's complicated and people involved are not necessarily out to get you. Ask not whom you can blame but rather how you can most amicably and economically solve the problem. If you have actual evidence of misconduct by the surveyor, file a complaint with the board of registration. Let them handle it and focus on your problem. If the surveyor is truly a bad actor others will also be complaining and they will eventually be removed from practice. If it is a matter of principle and you have the funds go for it, but realize you will be harming your neighbor in the process as well (of course that's usually why these end up in court, to use the hammer of the law against a neighbor).
In your example there's many reasons why the map you mention might be held to be correct by a court.