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Iowa filing requirements  

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Bill93
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The adjoiner to land owned by my wife says that he had a surveyor work on his property a few years ago. There are no corner records or plat near the affected area from this surveyor available through the Iowa Land Records site where they should appear. The adjoiner may not have a copy of a survey either, as he said there was a dispute over the survey cost.

He says that he used his backhoe to help the surveyor dig for and find an old stone and a wrench marking the center of section. Since there is no corner record on file for it, shouldn’t he have to file?

He also could have set irons that would affect our property.

What is the Iowa threshold to require filing corner records and plats? If the surveyor says the survey was not finished, I suppose he doesn’t have to file a plat, but does that excuse him from filing corner records? Even if he set monuments?

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dmyhill
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Did he know the surveyor's name? Did you try calling that surveyor?

 

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Bill93
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Posted by: @dmyhill

Did he know the surveyor's name? Did you try calling that surveyor?

Yes, I know the name.  I want to know what he was required to do before I call and maybe get brushed off.

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Dpuffett
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@bill93

Good question Bill. The Minimum Standards for Property Surveys under the Administration rules spells out what is required for every property survey also. However, I don’t know of a court case in Iowa that addresses what is required if the survey is not completed. The devil is always in the details. If the Surveyor set any of his monuments, another Surveyor is going to find them someday and will want to know why there is no plat or possibly Corner Certificates filed. 

I would recommend calling the surveyor to get his side of the story without questioning that he has done anything wrong. You may or may not get a complete story, but it might be more enlightening than the neighbor’s story.

BTW, the surveyor would likely have very little to worry about from the Iowa Board if past history holds.

 

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holy cow
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There may only be two or three most likely survey firms in a rural area to have been called by the adjoiner.  I would attempt to determine who those may have been and contact each directly with the adjoiner's name.  If you find the correct firm, you may learn a lot about the adjoiner that could be helpful to you in the long term.

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Bill93
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Posted by: @holy-cow

There may only be two or three most likely survey firms in a rural area to have been called by the adjoiner.  I would attempt to determine who those may have been and contact each directly with the adjoiner's name.  If you find the correct firm, you may learn a lot about the adjoiner that could be helpful to you in the long term.

As noted in the response I was composing when you posted, we do know the name.

I have plats and corner records in the sections of interest from 7 surveyors (plus an 1874 plat), of which 4 firms might still be candidates for future work. There's no monopoly in the area, probably because only one is in the same county and he is at the opposite corner.

We know the adjoiner is a pushy type who makes and spends a lot of money.  How accurate his discussion was remains to be seen.

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holy cow
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Might try this if no one from Iowa responds soon.

 

Iowa Code > Chapter 355 – Standards for Land Surveying

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Bill93
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Posted by: @holy-cow

Might try this if no one from Iowa responds soon.

I've scanned that section and others, but didn't find it clear what happens if he says the survey wasn't completed.

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linebender
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@bill93

1. ILR is not the official repository. The County Recorder's office is. I've regularly seen ILR search miss existing records. 

2. The surveyor shall record the required certificate with the recorder and forward a copy to the county engineer of the county in which the corner is located within thirty days after completion of the surveying. My comment: There is no requirement to file if the survey was not completed. It could and should be as a professional courtesy if the surveyor is of the opinion the corner has been located but only as a courtesy.  

3. Counties keep old county surveyors records of the interior stones in various places. Engineer, Auditor, Recorder or nowhere.  They are not all certified are found in the survey index. 

4. Finding a stone does not complete the survey without considering all possible evidence along with it.  

 

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paden cash
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Not sure if Oklahoma statutes bear any semblance to Iowa's, but we did have an interesting board ruling a few years ago about corner filings.  One surveyor had done a good amount of work in a particular area for a client.  The survey was "finished" (a completed drawing) in a practical sense but never delivered due to a squabble over the fees.  One report (probably credible) was that the surveyor removed his pins after the non-payment.  The surveyor denied such.  But what the State Board centered on was his recovery of the existing land corners that require filing.  While our statutes state we have 90 days to file corner records "after the survey is complete", said statutes don't define completion.

In that particular case the surveyor was found negligent by the Board for not properly filing the recovered corners.  Their position was payment wasn't necessarily a proponent to completion.  But other cases have varied though.

I'm still trying to look up the details on that one.

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