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Chapter 1 - History and Concepts of Boundaries

Principal 2: A suveyor creates land boundary lines. These created lines, which are separate and distinct from property lines, are determined by legal principals and law.

Boundaries: The line that separates two adjoining land parcels as determined by legal descriptions. Land boundaries can be marked by hedges, fences, monument, or not at all

A. The law determines what boundaries are; facts determine where boundaries are located.

B. A boundary exists because the law permits it to exist. Boundary lines are invisible, yet once created, they have legal authority.

C. Boundaries of a parcel are created by the original surveyor through measurements and writings.

1. A closed boundary describes a claim of right to a property interest for which any person can make a claim of possession.

2. Once the original boundary is created and described, legally, that description remains in effect forever.

3. According to the federal statutes, as well as common case law, those lines remain fixed in perpetuity from the time the first property rights are conveyed.

4. Usually, to have a boundary created that boundary must have terminal points or corners.

a) Corners and monuments are not the same.

1) Corner: Is a calculated point (theory).

2) Monument: Is a physical object on the ground that marks a corner (physical).

3) Corners carry the same legal dignity as monuments.

D. A resurvey should do the following:

1. Identify the existing conditions of the boundary lines at conveyence.

2. Identify the condition of the original corner monuments.

3. Redefine the definition of the courses (bearing/distance) in more modern terms.

The Role of the Surveyor and the Law

A. The role of the surveyor should include the following:

1. Create original boundaries of a parcel through measurements and writings.

2. The surveyor is also the person who retraces the boundaries created originally and creates new evidence for future surveyors to search for and for courts to use.

a) The evidence is used by:

1) Lawyers, to create legal documents of ownership.

2) Juries, to solve disputes.

3) Courts, to create case law.

b) Retracement is where disputes pop-up because two people never measure the same.

3. Locate limits of possession.

4. Locate limits of the claim of ownership.

5. Locate improvements.

6. Locate and describe rights of interest.

Principal 4: A person or land owner can legally convey only the quality and quantity of interest to which he has title.

Title: A written document, which is the means or vehicle by which one acquires an estate.

A. A title can be considered as originating from the following sources:

1. Conquest.

2. Royal grant from a foreign source.

3. Grants of the original crown lands from one of the original states.

4. Grants or patents from the United States Government from land being in the public domain.

5. Lands in the form of newly created lands.

B. The title to property is the exclusive domain of attorneys.

C. Title to land does not constitute real property. Title in real property law is the right or means by which one can claim just or legal possession of a parcel of land.

Property: May be considered some right that describes a tangible element (ex: house, tree, fence)

A. Real property: Property that is fixed, immovable, and permanent.

1. Basically, refers to the material of the earth.

2. Has four dimensions

a) Length

b) Width

c) Depth - Subsurface and air rights.

d) Time - Duration of legal rights.

3. Includes plants where roots enter the ground.

4. Includes fixtures and permanent improvements (ex: house, shed, garage)

B. Personal property: Property that is consumable, can be destroyed, or moved at will.

C. There are fuzzy areas as shown:

1. Real property.

a) Standing timber.

b) Perennial shrubs.

c) Tree seedlings planted.

2. Personal property.

a) Cut logs.

b) Nursery stock.

c) Tree seedlings planted.

Right/Interest to Real Property: Give a person, whether or not a land owner, certain legal rights that can be addressed in court.

A. In most instances, there are no federal laws that describe real property rights.

B. Certain common law rights are recognized.

1. Right to dispose of property.

2. Right to have land free from interference.

3. Right to support property.

4. Right to control waters flowing through property.

5. Right to use water lying within boundary.

6. Right to space above and below.

C. To own a parcel means



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