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So where should the survey monuments go

Discussion in 'Surveying & Geomatics' started by Holy Cow, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Dave Karoly

    Dave Karoly 7-Year Member

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    I doubt they had enough Surveyors to set all the corners of every Patent. The PLTS is massive even compared to Texas or the eastern seaboard.
     
  2. aliquot

    aliquot 5-Year Member

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    This sounds like someone who has not read the manual or does not understand it. Yes, there are mathematical solutions to certain situations, but there is in the colonial states also when you have simultaneous conveyances. All the same concerns you have to evaluate in a colonial state are in the manual, and it is just as ambiguous as state law.

    In a colonial state when you can find no evidence of any kind for a corner, you put the record bearing and distance (perhaps after running and adjustment) on the ground. The math methods for the PLSS are methods to use in the same situations. They are to use when you have absolutely nothing else. Admititidly, this situation happens more in the western PLSS states than the colonial states but that is because there are many more corners that have never been visited since the original survey (no fences, no local knowledeg, nothing)location, not because a math solution is more appropriate.

    Having worked in both I can say that colonial states can be more of headache ( how to find the records of the original survey?), but the knowledge base required in the PLSS is wider. You need to know evething that is needed in the colonial states, plus all the ins and outs of the PLSS, only a small portion of which are covered in the manual.
     
  3. Robert Hill

    Robert Hill 7-Year Member

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    I have seen Cucumber trees in Arkansas "hollers" and in Louisiana. Once you have seen one, you'll never forget it.
     
  4. Robert Hill

    Robert Hill 7-Year Member

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    Excellent post cutting through the BS here.
     
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  5. Tom Adams

    Tom Adams 4-Year Member

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    In PLSSia, all you have to do is follow the BLM manual, check some other points and find 3 that are within 0.17' of each other and stake the property. If there are corners that don't fit you can just pull them.
     
    Dave Karoly likes this.
  6. Tom Adams

    Tom Adams 4-Year Member

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    Actually, following the "Good Book" has caused more problems than it solves. It is fine for doing retracement (dependent resurveys) within Federal lands, because no private rights have ripened. But I have seen it cause more problems than it solves when some surveyor comes into a town and "double-proportions" in a corner where there are neighboring properties that relied on the original position. There is too much reliance on some of the rules that really can't be used when properties have gone private.

    The PLSS is a huge subdivision. The rules of the PLSS can probably used on local subdivisions as well (in 'metes-and-bounds' States). Proportioning between block corners to redetermine interior property locations, and other issues. It is certainly easier to work in a subdivision where the lots are treated as simultaneous conveyances. But a huge subdivision that sweeps the majority of the United States has a few more problems.

    Everyone in "PLSSia" has had the to deal with Junior/Senior rights, issues where there is no sign of the original section corners, encroachments, etc. I am sure there are more of those problems where your surveying a "can of worms" only and the worms are still crawling around. But staying that you can only apply a few rules from a book, is over-exaggerating the simplicity of surveying in a PLSS state. I guess if you have simply taken a test with PLSS rules you just don't see it that well. A lot of new licensees are anxious to apply a double-proportionment and kind of overlook some local evidence. If I am surveying in an area that has gone to private ownership, and many properties have been set from the original monument, I am going to use those local corners to help me find where that original monument once was.

    Sorry about the ramblings. This sort of "Kentonesque simplifying of everyone else's job seems to be created only to stir up the pot. (dang I even forgot the original topic of this thread after all my babbling).
     
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  7. thebionicman

    thebionicman 3-Year Member

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    And the answer is, at the Corners of course...
    Good post, Tom
     
  8. Holy Cow

    Holy Cow 7-Year Member

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    The topic was whether to put the words in the deed on the ground or to set monuments where the client said the intended boundaries were to be. He is going to lose some ground due to the inaccurate measurements and description writing by the Amish Elders.

    Can we say 'correction deed'.
     
  9. Tom Adams

    Tom Adams 4-Year Member

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    Hi Brian, I am not disputing the fact that the original corners outweigh the bearings and distance. I used the term "legally described" because it is in the actual legal description. Of course you can go outside the legal document to resolve ambiguities. but, from what I read, the legal description is more than likely without ambiguity. I am assuming it closes and it adequately describes a parcel without referencing monuments. According to your argument, this fits the theory that you don't need to go outside the four corners of the deed. I don't think it is a one-size-fits all solution. I don't know the absolute legal solution, but I am suggesting that you provide more than just staking a property, but discussing the possible solutions with the client (at least) and cleaning up the field vs. description discrepancies. If you get everyone what they think they want, if a "Correction Deed" is appropriate way to clear it up, then so be it. (I am a little lost on whether "correction deed" is a legal way to fix problems. Anyway, I was just throwing a few thoughts out there.
     
    roger_LS likes this.
  10. roger_LS

    roger_LS 1-Year Member

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    Initially, I doubt there were enough surveyors to do any of it, we had to create them, and create them fast. I don't know all the history but choices were made and we've got what we've got, but we did waste plenty of time surveying garbage land in places that are still not settled. And now there are situations where the cost of survey of some small piece is greater than the land value because the section has still not yet been broken down.
     
    Jp7191 likes this.
  11. Brian Allen

    Brian Allen 6-Year Member

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    Tom, I agree that the description has no patent ambiguity, but it obviously has latent ambiguities. It is in attempting to resolve the latent ambiguities where we are allowed (required?) to go outside the writings. Latent ambiguities are those found when we attempt to find the boundaries on the ground, as described.

    In searching for and finding evidence to resolve the latent ambiguities is where, in most cases, we find evidence of prior establishment by the parties (or their surveyor), and it is usually these establishment doctrines that control the location of boundary as described in the description. In cases such as the OP, the establishment of the boundaries on the ground, by the parties, over-rules the exact dimensions as contained in the description.

    One way to look at it is that the extrinsic evidence, when discovered, is "inserted" into the writings. That is one reason we should be including such evidence on our records of survey and placing them into the public record. Their are many ways to preserve this evidence - recorded surveys, written agreements, corrected deeds, re-plats, etc., which could easily be the topic of another extended thread. But, before we undertake such steps, we must first fully understand the circumstances and the applicable boundary location doctrines/laws that apply to the situation(s) at hand, otherwise we may end up using the wrong tools to solve the right problems.
     
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  12. Tom Adams

    Tom Adams 4-Year Member

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    Brian, I actually agree with you. I was pointing out what many will argue. I was pointing out that there are ways to resolve the apparent ambiguities. You can make a big legal argument about accepting uncalled for monuments that obviously don't fit the deed (by a lot), but making it right once and for all so that other surveyors don't come along and go the other way.

    I mean if a deed says "starting here and going 200' east and 200' south.....it's hard to argue with a surveyor who actually stakes what the legal description says. (again I agree with your argument, but finding a solution to the obvious ambiguity that all parties agree to, isn't a bad idea in my opinion)
     
  13. Dave Karoly

    Dave Karoly 7-Year Member

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    As far as I can tell, and it isn't always clear, the four corners rule or Parol Evidence Rule applies to questions of title which are questions of law, not questions of location which are questions of fact. Also professionals testifying as experts are allowed much broader discretion in evidence used as long as it is commonly used in their field.

    As an example, if the Description says Lot A and the grantee is suing for Lot A and Lot B then the interpretation of the entire Deed would be a question of law for the Court to decide. The grantee would have to have some form of clear and convincing evidence which is admissible to persuade the court that a mistake was made and the true intention of the parties was to include Lot B, not easy.

    We do have a case where the court ruled the parties intended a block wall three feet from the true Lot line to be the boundary of the Deed and they reformed the Deed description to except the strip between the wall and the true Lot line from the original grant Deed description. The evidence involved testimony of the grantor relating the conversation between him and the grantee that he was selling up to the wall, also the grantee lived across the street and knew about the wall.

    In this case, the description is not being added or detracted from, it is being interpreted in light of the circumstances and practical construction at the time of its creation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  14. Brian Allen

    Brian Allen 6-Year Member

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    I wholeheartedly disagree. Our job as educated and trained professionals is to find the true boundaries. It only takes a mere technician to stake the "starting here and going 200' east and 200' south" Gee, anyone can do it. And yes, just any technician will probably screw it up for the low bid amount. Our job, as professional land surveyors, isn't to merely go out and "stake what the legal description says".

    In my opinion, a surveyor who either fails to look for, and/or subsequently ignores such evidence as presented in the OP, and runs out and slaps the "starting here and going this way this many feet, thence this way this many feet........." description on the ground and calls it a boundary survey has inexcusably failed miserably at his primary obligation.

    True, very true. Shouldn't we capable of doing this?
     
  15. Tom Adams

    Tom Adams 4-Year Member

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    I don't think I'm making my point very well. Since I primarily agree with your assessment, I will stop trying to explain myself.
     
  16. Dave Karoly

    Dave Karoly 7-Year Member

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    Yes, I believe so.

    It really bothers me when Land Surveyors ignore the obvious reality of settled boundaries in favor of a rigid doctrinaire approach. I found one case here that really went off of the rails, no common sense was on display there. The Land Surveyors started it, then the lawyers, then the judges, they had the boundary 2' into a 100 plus year old house and the common grantor had put the losing litigant in possession of the entire house and you would think at least a Judge could figure this out.
     
  17. Dave Karoly

    Dave Karoly 7-Year Member

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    I get what you're saying...the first thing you look at is the Deed. With no other information or physical evidence available it is reasonable to stake the Deed. I did one years ago, there was a fence nearby, it was a recent boundary line adjustment, I'm thinking to myself, "why didn't they put it at the fence that is already here?" But they didn't intend it to be at the fence.
     
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  18. roger_LS

    roger_LS 1-Year Member

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    I think you're making your point just fine, despite the straw-man attacks here. With the additional info provided, no one here is suggesting that the fences be ignored, it's just a question of what you will leave your client with. Do you go at it alone, not mention anything to anyone, or do you try to get a new bullet-proof description in the record somehow? If it were me, and I were dealing with some agreeable Amish folk, I would attempt to get better description in the record that had zero chance of ever being misconstrued.
     
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  19. Holy Cow

    Holy Cow 7-Year Member

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    The fun part is explaining everything to people who want to believe the world was perfect until some danged meddling surveyor came along and upset the apple cart.
     
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  20. roger_LS

    roger_LS 1-Year Member

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    Isn't it the danged landowner meddling in survey work that has upset the cart?
     

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