Do surveyors read prior deeds?

April 30, 2010
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Posted By Wayto South on 4/30/2010 at 8:08 AM

I am happy to have some work....yeah. Of course then I run into a situation that just makes me scratch my head.

The parcel I am surveying has a small branch called for as the boundary on a plat from '93. Deed research on the locus parcel calls for the branch being the boundary 40+ years prior. 

East adjoiner has property surveyed later in '93. Deed calls to center of branch with calls and is obviously surveyed though no mention on deed to a survey plat. The oddity is that calls don't follow the branch at all (previous 40+ years of legal descriptions follow the branch and call the boundary as the center of the branch).

So after finishing the initial field work, I get a call from my client that the adjoiner has put fence up on my clients side of the branch and informed my client that the branch is not the boundary.

So back I go....needing to wrap up a few small things and look for a pin in the branch. Find the has a cap within a few tenths of where I computed it. Cool...still doesn't explain the fence or odd calls.

Go home and call the surveyor who's name is on the pin. That is when it gets fun. He starts calling the bearings and distances to me...basically following an old fence with offset pins to trees at boundary angle points. No mention on his part to the branch. Calls match the '93 deed perfectly.....though there is no mention of the tree's, pins, or fence. Seems that the lawyer who wrote the legal description knew the branch was the boundary and used the surveyors bearings and distances, but changed the meaning from following a fence line to following the center line of the branch.

So know I understand why the adjoiner thinks his boundary is not the branch, have an explanation of why the deeds calls seem so whacky, and need another trip to the field to tie out some trees. I just wonder how many surveyors actually read the description chain. I guess I know the just a shame that it doesn't get done.

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