Point of Beginning

Sorry, Monuments Do Not Control Over Deeds

April 8, 2010

Posted By Lawrence Paul Lopresti on 4/8/2010 at 11:04 AM

Because deeds in and of themselves are "monuments".

The State Board in using the following words can be creating a policy for future surveyors to the detriment of landowners:

"Adopting a position that the language and a deed takes precedence over 'any' survey."

In fact "monuments" do not control, "original monuments in their original position control". Anything subsequent to that original monument in it's original position must be vetted in order to accept it as control.

We have reached that point in surveying where one can determine that a found monument is no longer in it's original position. In such a case I state that a properly written deed can in fact control over a missfound monument. Given a survey creating a lot and a precise description of same in a time when that precise positioning was standard, and we find a monument out of position. Absent occupation which indicates that for a long time that missplaced monument has been relied upon, one cannot assume that it has always been misplaced.

An original monument is the point until it can be otherwise established the relative position of that point. Once that relative position has been accomplished and duly recorded for posterity, that monument is no longer the point but the "monument to the point". The corner of property no longer has to follow that monument around as it wanders. It has long been established that measurements are imprecise and subject to remeasurement, but when that remasurement is not within the probability of measurement error, one may reasonably assume that there may be other causes fo the difference. The monument may have in fact moved or been moved. In that case a deed describing the relationship of all monuments should have precedence over any single monument.

Natural monuments, "rivers and roads" are subject to movement, and we must accept that fact "it is where it is". Unnatural monument are subject to a far different evaluation.

Deeds do not just "fall from the sky" they represent a set of facts that takes great labor and diligence to overcome.

Paul in PA

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