Removing Opposing Survey Pin after Court Judgement

  • Removing Opposing Survey Pin after Court Judgement

    Posted by CFlips on February 21, 2023 at 12:56 pm

    We were in a boundary dispute with our neighbor in New York State. We both had a survey done. Our surveyor used the deed description to determine a corner and set a pin. Our neighbor had a survey done as well and that surveyor used an old fence to place a pin. We filed an Action to Quiet Title suit and went to trial. The judge ruled our surveyor’s survey to be the accurate one and the other survey to be invalid. To prevent future confusion we want to remove the invalid survey pin. Is this an acceptable thing to do?

    eapls2708 replied 10 months, 3 weeks ago 31 Members · 59 Replies
  • 59 Replies
  • CFlips

    CFlips

    Member
    February 25, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    I found this response online. Can any of you surveyors comment on this?

    Once a situation is resolved by agreement or court action, removal of pipes, posts, stakes, etc. is quite appropriate because they have been determined not to be “monuments” of land boundaries. Leaving them in at this stage only creates monuments to a failed opinion, unless of course they are needed to tie to something else.

  • joe-b

    joe-b

    Member
    February 26, 2023 at 11:04 pm

    I would suggest you ask your lawyer and your surveyor this question.  I feel they would be the best to give you specific directions on this.

  • holy-cow

    holy-cow

    Member
    February 26, 2023 at 11:26 pm

    @joe-b 

    Excellent advice.

  • Steinhoff

    Steinhoff

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 12:02 am

    I would suggest you ask your lawyer and your surveyor this question.

    …and hopefully get a written answer for your records.

  • fairbanksls

    fairbanksls

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 12:09 am

    Isn’t this a legal question?  Why ask his surveyor?

  • oldpacer

    oldpacer

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 1:08 am

    If the pin fits the legal description, it should stay in place. Until new descriptions are prepared and recorded, it is the pin of record, albeit not the boundary corner. Often, you have to survey the “no longer the boundary” line before you can apply the “agreement”, “judgment”, “decision” or “determination”. Judges rule their opinion, but rarely order the parties to fix their description or survey. That is why you do not go to court. County and Circuit Judges do not understand deeds, plats, rules or laws; but they do understand possession. Did the defendant meet all of the measures for relief required by the State of New York? Was the plaintiff’s attorney able to explain all of these relief measures to the judge? It is my opinion, No and No. Which is why MOST land cases get overturned in appellate court. A quite title action was probably not the best avenue to solve this problem. No one is not going to be “quite” when you asked to give up part of their yard. Yes, I know I don’t have all of the pertinent details to render a profession judgment, but the above is only a personal opinion response to an internet community social forum.

  • On_Point

    On_Point

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 2:10 am

    Sounds like a question for your attorney. Usually, if the matter is settled in court, then the invalid pins can be removed. Sometimes the surveyor that set it will remove it if it’s invalid. Again, you should consult with your attorney and or surveyor because laws may be different for other states. 

  • jhframe

    jhframe

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 6:03 am

    I’ve only encountered this situation once.  My client, the prevailing party, asked me to remove the other surveyor’s marker.  I declined, saying that he should ask the other surveyor to do it, and that it doesn’t matter anyway, as the judgment references my Record of Survey, which shows the other monument out of position.

  • holy-cow

    holy-cow

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 6:40 am

    The pin may be correct for some other tract that was not part of the court action.  This is part of what makes this so confusing.

    Judges are human, dang it.  They make mistakes.  Their rulings can be challenged.  What appears to be the end of it today, may not be the final resolution.  Even then, the resolution is only for the parties having the dispute.  It does not resolve any other question another surveyor may have about an abutting or nearby tract.

    I was involved in a court case where the judge had already made up his mind before any testimony was provided.  Small town situation.  He did not like the one filing the suit and he REALLY didn’t like his attorney.  The judge ordered the court would have a survey performed by Slipshod Surveying.  They obviously determined where the center of section should be and then worked backwards to FIND bars that were super shiny and not present two weeks prior to their survey in the places where they found them.  A couple were still a couple inches out of the ground, where anyone in the area would have tripped over them.  The judge went with the court’s surveying firm’s answer, which happened to match exactly where a new fence had been built prior to the survey by four weeks.  That’s what had brought on the law suit in the first place.

  • duane-frymire

    duane-frymire

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 12:07 pm

    You should notify the adjoining landowner, ask that they remove it in a certain amount of time or you will.  Sounds like it has no purpose anymore.  But it’s still a surveyors marker and personal property of the adjoiner if they paid to have it placed.  Destruction of personal property is not allowed even if placed on your property (you could be liable for damages), and removal of a survey marker is also against the law in NY. If it’s actually on the adjoiner property there’s nothing you can do.

  • bill93

    bill93

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 12:55 pm

    As HC says, just because it isn’t marking your boundary doesn’t mean it isn’t marking a boundary going in the opposite direction for neighbors.


    .
  • jph

    jph

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 1:03 pm

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding something here. 

    You went to court, won, and the other surveyor’s monument now represents the incorrect corner location, right?  Which means that it basically exists only to add confusion in the future.

    If it were me, I’d take the court decision as authority to do something about it.  Probably best to notify the neighbor and the other surveyor first, give them the opportunity to do the right thing, though

  • CFlips

    CFlips

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 2:41 pm

    We did ask our lawyer and he told us to ask our Surveyor. We asked our surveyor and he was not sure as he never ran into this before. He is asking another surveyor who has some experience in this area and we are awaiting his reply.

    Our survey was done first and was based on the deed description. The other property is a remainder deed with very vague boundary descriptions. Our property line was described in the 1800’s and has not changed since. The other pin no longer represents a corner as the Judge ruled the survey was based on inaccurate data. The other pin also has no bearing on neighboring properties as it does not meet any other property lines.

    We were the plaintiff’s in this dispute and our lawyer asked the Judge to affix the ruling to both property deeds. This particular piece of property is heavily wooded and rarely used by either party. We have owned the property for 30+ years. The neighbor just bought the property and started taking possession of our property. He is and has been hostile toward us so calling him to ask him to remove the pin would awkward to say the least.

    The invalid pin is actually on our land. We are concerned if the land changes hands in the future it would be confusing to have this pin remain when it no longer marks a legal corner. Our neighbor actually removed 400 feet of fence we had on our line and the court did not require them to reimburse us for damages (we did not ask for reimbursement as we just wanted to property dispute settled and did not want to incur additional costs to quantify the damages).

    From what we understood in court our neighbor didn’t even pay all he owed the surveyor. He was not called in court to back his survey by either party. The chances the surveyor will come all the way out just to remove the pin on behalf of a client that stiffed him is pretty slim.

  • michigan-left

    michigan-left

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 3:45 pm

    LONG LIVE THE PIN CUSHION!

    Surveyors…

    Not willing to commit because “only land owners or the court” can set a boundary.

    Land owners couldn’t agree, so the boundary is adjudicated by the court.

    Surveyors still won’t commit because… reasons.

    Typical.

  • BStrand

    BStrand

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 3:56 pm

    Unless you’re in a non-recording state it seems unnecessary to remove the pin as the record will show the history of the corners.  If that’s still not good enough I would suggest contacting the surveyor who set it and ask him to remove it.

  • MightyMoe

    MightyMoe

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    What monument?

    One corner, one monument. 

  • rover83

    rover83

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 10:30 pm

    @michigan-left

    LONG LIVE THE PIN CUSHION!

    Surveyors…

    Not willing to commit because “only land owners or the court” can set a boundary.

    Land owners couldn’t agree, so the boundary is adjudicated by the court.

    Surveyors still won’t commit because… reasons.

    Typical.

    I agree.

    The other surveyor’s opinion of the common line between the two parcels has been deprecated by a court decision. That surveyor’s monuments along that line were set because of, and are the physical representation of, that opinion, so they have been deprecated as well.

    Most of the time, when we find a pincushion, there is uncertainty about the provenance of one or more of the monuments found. In this case, there’s no question where that errant monument came from, nor is there any confusion about whether we should hold it.

    It’s not valid any more. Pull it.


    “…people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.” -Neil Postman
  • On_Point

    On_Point

    Member
    February 28, 2023 at 1:41 am

    Is there more information available. I’m just curious, based on what evidence the other surveyor held the fence line? Or how both surveyors came to their determinations. Also, could this possibly go to court again?  

  • jered-mcgrath-pls

    jered-mcgrath-pls

    Member
    February 28, 2023 at 5:34 am

    Pull the pin, you have the court’s decision (which could only change on appeal but it sounds like that won’t happen) and the prevailing survey with proper monumentation. You are the landowner and in control of your boundaries.

  • CFlips

    CFlips

    Member
    February 28, 2023 at 11:50 am

    @on_point The disputed area, around the boundary line, is a very steep cliff. In the early 1900s our property was a cattle farm. The owners built a wire fence inside the property, not on the actual line, for convenience and the safety of the cattle. 25 years ago the owner of the neighboring property wanted to log his property. The easiest way to get his logs off was through our property. We gave him permission to build a skidder trail through our land to get up the cliff to his land so he could get his timber off. He later sold the property. The person who purchased the land used it only for hunting and we became friends with him. Apparently he believed the remains of that old fence was the property line, although we never discussed it. He since sold the property to the current owner who immediately wanted to log the land using the old skidder trail.

    That’s when all the “fun” began.

    We gave the new owner permission (via a written temporary ROW) to use the skidder trail for access but he wanted permanent access to his property through our land. We tried to reason with him, showing him our deed, etc. Finally he said he was told the broken down meandering fence was the property line and would use it unless we could “prove him wrong”.

    We hired our surveyor who used the deed description (which was very specific with compass bearings, etc) to determine the line. That particular line was surveyed twice before in the past (once in 1970 and once in 1986) and all previous surveys showed the line as straight. Even after this survey our new neighbor insisted the “fence” was the property boundary and the skidder trail was on his land. He hired a surveyor and showed him the fence (we actually saw the owner with the surveyor showing him the pieces of wire left in some trees). The surveyor did not use our deed description, any of the previous surveys or our survey as a reference in his survey (according to subpoened documents). He said “long standing occupation” proved the fence was the agreed upon boundary between the properties.

    We finally filed the lawsuit to settle the matter since our neighbor kept insisting he was going to take possession of the disputed piece. He even brought in an excavator and bulldozer to clear the land. Our lawyer suggested we put surveillance cameras up to monitor activity so we had evidence to show the court of him ripping out trees, clearing land, etc. A court ordered restraining order was needed to stop him from continuing.

    Our neighbor did not hire a lawyer and did not call his surveyor as a witness. The court only had our surveyor and an abstractor to bring evidence of the property line. Since there was no expert witness to support the defendant’s position, and a lot of evidence supporting ours, the judge ruled in our favor.

    The period for appeal has past so I don’t think it would go to court again.

Page 1 of 3

Log in to reply.