As we continue to Traverse the Law, I am seeing a general rise in litigation against surveyors over the results of their surveys. One charge in particular seems to be in vogue with attorneys suing surveyors, and that is slander of title. There are many reasons for this, but I suspect that the main reason could be the damages associated with a successful prosecution of the charge.
If a surveyor jumps over the existing fence along the established boundary line and drives irons in the ground, a charge of trespass would yield nominal damages and could also result in an award of actual damages for any property actually damaged. Unless the survey cuts a few trees down or destroys some crops in the process of driving the irons in the ground, actual damages could amount to an award of nothing. Black’s Law Dictionary defines nominal damages as: