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clearcut
(@clearcut)
500+ posts Registered

....said that little voice in my head.

1860, GLO survey subdivided township into sections, appears to have been a diligent effort in pre-Benson era.

1948, first recorded retracement of area, finds all section and 1/4 corners. Proceeds to locate and monument C-1/4 and several 1/16th corners. Appears to be good work performed by RE. Note that at S 1/4 corner he finds an old post in stone mound on fence line.

1963-1970, yes seven years. The BLM performs a dependent resurvey of this and 4 other sections in the area. USA owns the SW quarter and a 40 in the SE quarter. They accept all of the same monuments as the 1948 survey did, except for the S 1/4. At this corner they state: "no original evidence found". Plus they don't even acknowledge the existence of the 1948 record and its measurements to the found post and MOS. They set a corner at proportionate distance and also subdivide the section. At the C-1/4 and 1/16th corners they set monuments and don't even acknowledge the 1948 monuments exist.

1970-1976 a series of surveys and deed splits occur in the east half of the section. All of the surveys reference and tie the 1948 location of the N-S centerline. Interestingly, none of these recorded surveys acknowledge the BLM locations or a 1974 subdivision map in the NW quarter.

1974, the NW quarter of the section is subdivided into a suburbia. 1/3 acre parcels and lots of them with roads, streets, etc. This subdivision utilizes the BLM N-S centerline for its eastern boundary. The map does not acknowledge the existence of the 1948 survey, monuments or subsequent surveys and parcel maps reliant thereon.

2017, Stupid me says sure, I'll survey your properties to 2 owners of lands split by deed in the east half of the section immediately adjacent to the N-S centerline. In the field I find that the 1974 subdivision on the east is well monumented and well fenced. I find that none of the deed split parcels on the east side are either monumented or fenced.

At the S-1/4 I found the BLM monument. I then measured to where the 1948 survey said they found a post and mound of stone and found an old and well embedded mound of stone exactly where they said it was.....110' east of the BLM proportioned corner/monument..

So, long story short. I am of the opinion that the 1948 surveyor found the original 1/4 corner and properly located the aliquot subdivision lines. Pouring over the BLM field notes it would appear not that the BLM rejected this 1/4 corner, but rather they somehow missed it both in the field and in the county's records.

I've got my thoughts on how best to approach this issue. I also discussed it with 2 of my peers and got 2 completely different answers, neither of which follows my line of thinking. Considering this is California and not Utah, considering common law and Calif. case and statute law guidance, and considering my goal is to prevent litigation and undue process and expense while still providing the path towards clarity of title, my thoughts wander back to those words of wisdom often asked by one of my earliest mentors; "so, you want to be a surveyor?"

As a parting thought, with the number of homes and parcels this tale of 2 lines affects, my interview of those most directly affected revealed no one knew there was any issue. Remarkably, this situation has existed for over 40 years with no clouds of title rising to the view of those owners and those who insured their land purchases.

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Posted : July 14, 2017 11:20 am
Kris Morgan
(@kris-morgan)
2,500+ posts Registered

This is not different than stuff that happens in Texas. Use the original monument, show the other line where the USA flubbed it up, write a surveyors report and get paid and move on. We can't fix everything that this idea that the line may have moved (wait for it) may have happened but you're gonna need someone smarter than a surveyor (or Lucas) to bless that. So, in that vein, put the line where it is supposed to go

"You don't have to be a good surveyor if you find all the corners."

Kris

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Posted : July 14, 2017 11:25 am
makerofmaps
(@makerofmaps)
250+ posts Registered

Have the lot owners been occupying there lots with fences swimming pools ect for 43 years?

Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, and cut it with an ax.

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Posted : July 14, 2017 11:29 am
clearcut
(@clearcut)
500+ posts Registered

Kris Morgan, post: 437028, member: 29 wrote: This is not different than stuff that happens in Texas. Use the original monument, show the other line where the USA flubbed it up, write a surveyors report and get paid and move on. We can't fix everything that this idea that the line may have moved (wait for it) may have happened but you're gonna need someone smarter than a surveyor (or Lucas) to bless that. So, in that vein, put the line where it is supposed to go

I like the way you think Kris. My thinking is that a helluva survey narrative might just help people understand where the lines are and who owns what without any dispute or questions of title.
You must be an engineer also?
I jest, but an interesting side note. The 1948 surveyor was a registered engineer not a land surveyor. In 1982, a law was passed in California that there-ever-after prevented engineers from boundary surveying. However in this case an engineer got it right and quite a few land surveyors either got it wrong or failed to recognize it was wrong in their retracement work.

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Posted : July 14, 2017 11:34 am
clearcut
(@clearcut)
500+ posts Registered

makerofmaps, post: 437029, member: 9079 wrote: Have the lot owners been occupying there lots with fences swimming pools ect for 43 years?

Occupying and or utilizing, yes, for the most part, but with few improvements of note.
An interesting side note is that in California, to claim adverse possession one must pay taxes on the land occupied. In this case the lands on the east side of the n-s centerline are shown on the assessor's map to have dimensions that match the surveys and deeds of those lands. The lands to the west are shown on a separate assessor's map to have dimensions matching the BLM plat and 1974 subdivision map. Some might surmise that no one is paying taxes on that strip.

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Posted : July 14, 2017 11:37 am
Tom Adams
(@tom-adams)
2,500+ posts Registered

clearcut, post: 437032, member: 297 wrote: ....The lands to the west are shown on a separate assessor's map to have dimensions matching the BLM plat and 1974 subdivision map. Some might surmise that no one is paying taxes on that strip.

Many might surmise that someone is paying taxes on that strip. I don't think you can use the assessor's map to determine where the boundaries are that they are paying taxes on.

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Posted : July 14, 2017 11:56 am
Dave Karoly
(@dave-karoly)
5,000+ posts Registered

I would be inclined to agree with Kris. The gap belongs to the NW quarter which is not really your problem, that is if I'm understanding your facts correctly.

I thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be. -Alexander Hamilton, August 13, 1782

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Posted : July 14, 2017 5:07 pm
Mark Mayer
(@mark-mayer)
1,000+ posts Registered

I'm still stuck back here....

clearcut, post: 437026, member: 297 wrote: 1860, GLO survey ..... 1948, ....finds all section and 1/4 corners.

Can that be true?

EDUCATION, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.

EXPERIENCE, n. The wisdom that enables us to recognize as an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.

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Posted : July 14, 2017 5:22 pm
Kent McMillan
(@kent-mcmillan)
10,000+ posts Registered

clearcut, post: 437026, member: 297 wrote: 2017, Stupid me says sure, I'll survey your properties to 2 owners of lands split by deed in the east half of the section immediately adjacent to the N-S centerline. In the field I find that the 1974 subdivision on the east is well monumented and well fenced. I find that none of the deed split parcels on the east side are either monumented or fenced.

I think that I'd want, first of all to be sure that there is more compelling evidence of the originality of the South 1/4 corner beyond the fact that the 1948 survey accepted it as such. What else connects it to the original survey aside from the assumption that if the 1948 surveyor correctly identified all of the other corners of the original government survey that some otherwise unidentified post and mound corner is almost certainly original as well?

For example, are there topo calls from the original survey that the 3-1/3 chain shift eastward in the position of the corner is more consistent with?

Best regards,
Kent McMillan, RPLS Austin TX

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Posted : July 14, 2017 5:34 pm
thebionicman
(@thebionicman)
1,000+ posts Registered

I also see the need to determine if the mound of stone matches the character of the original corner. Up against the feds the connection to the original is critical. Without it they wont generally mention a monument. It is also important to know if the feds still own the land controlled by the corner in question.

CFedS, PLS ID-OR-WA-UT-NV

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Posted : July 14, 2017 7:26 pm
Kent McMillan
(@kent-mcmillan)
10,000+ posts Registered

One little detail that nags at me is that the post and mound was found along a fence in 1948. I'm quite sure that fence building practices were not identical to those of Texas in California, but if a survey of some sort was made when the fence was built (barbed wire fence typically dates from the late 1870s or afterwards in Texas and I'd think probably a good bit later in parts of California remote from the railroads), was the practice of the day to mark the line with pickets at some useful places along the line such as high points et cet.? With that in mind, does the location of the post and mound fall at a logical point for a stake for a fence line to fall?

Best regards,
Kent McMillan, RPLS Austin TX

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Posted : July 14, 2017 8:29 pm
Gene Kooper
(@gene-kooper)
500+ posts Registered

A couple of idle thoughts for your consideration, clearcut. First, I'd contact the new CA Cadastral Chief and have a long chat. The 1963-1970 dependent resurvey by the BLM was supposed to retrace the original lines. If a preponderance of the evidence shows that it did not, you should be able to challenge the position of the south line of the section and the aliquot divisions (erroneous position for the S1/4 corner) based on gross error. The conversation could be followed by a field visit with the CA BLM. They may agree that the post and stone mound mark the original corner. If proven, the BLM may decide to conduct a Corrective Dependent Resurvey. I suggest this since there are still federal interest lands in the section.

Second, some lines may have been fixed by the actions of the land owners based on the 1963-70 BLM dependent resurvey and others by the 1948 survey (i.e. bona fide rights as to location). It may be that title lines and aliquot lines will end up differing. Since you are not in Colorado, I'll stop here.

You may find some guidance in a pair of IBLA decisions. They are Longview Fibre (135 IBLA 170) and Hasenyager (176 IBLA 252). The latter case clarifies the scope of the Longview Fibre case. The Hasenyager case deals with a 1983 BLM Dep. Resurvey where original corners were later found. In 2010, a corrective dep. resurvey was done. This case is in Utah. Both cases are CFedS continuing education courses.

Here is a link to the DOI Office of Hearings and Appeals Advanced Search web page. I found that if I post links to cases, they are only temporary. If you have trouble downloading either, start a conversation and I'll email them to you.

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Posted : July 14, 2017 9:04 pm
Kent McMillan
(@kent-mcmillan)
10,000+ posts Registered

Gene Kooper, post: 437099, member: 9850 wrote: A couple of idle thoughts for your consideration, clearcut. First, I'd contact the new CA Cadastral Chief and have a long chat. The 1963-1970 dependent resurvey by the BLM was supposed to retrace the original lines. If a preponderance of the evidence shows that it did not, you should be able to challenge the position of the south line of the section and the aliquot divisions (erroneous position for the S1/4 corner) based on gross error. The conversation could be followed by a field visit with the CA BLM.

As a point of curiosity, would you say that the time scale of this review process by the BLM that you you suggest is likely to be less than two years or more than two years?

Best regards,
Kent McMillan, RPLS Austin TX

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Posted : July 14, 2017 9:20 pm
paden cash
(@paden-cash)
5,000+ posts Registered

Kent McMillan, post: 437100, member: 3 wrote: As a point of curiosity, would you say that the time scale of this review process by the BLM that you you suggest is likely to be less than two years or more than two years?

Here's a typical dependent resurvey with federal interests in Oklahoma. It was approx. 18 months from the date of the special instructions to the approval of the plat. I'm sure the work load at what ever office to which the instructions were issued would be a big factor. And there is no telling when the ball actually got rolling on the "special instructions"....could have been years.

I wouldn't hold my breath......

"...I'm just amazed he even knew Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv existed..."
Paden Cash-disillusioned American voter

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Posted : July 14, 2017 9:40 pm
Kent McMillan
(@kent-mcmillan)
10,000+ posts Registered

paden cash, post: 437102, member: 20 wrote: Here's a typical dependent resurvey with federal interests in Oklahoma. It was approx. 18 months from the date of the special instructions to the approval of the plat. I'm sure the work load at what ever office to which the instructions were issued would be a big factor. And there is no telling when the ball actually got rolling on the "special instructions"....could have been years.

Yes, I'd think that the time between initial contact with BLM office and requisition of dependent resurvey would probably be at least nine months, given what I imagine to be the universal bureaucratic inertia, and particularly so on items that require expenditure of funds. A year and a half wouldn't be completely unthinkable, I'd bet, with substantial resistance to the resurvey in the interim.

This speculation is not, of course, based upon the practices specific to the BLM, but upon general observations of the speed with with similar organizations do not function when what would appear to be errors attributable to them come to light.

Best regards,
Kent McMillan, RPLS Austin TX

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Posted : July 14, 2017 9:51 pm
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