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Disputing a Land Survey

Discussion in 'Other Ownership, Use & Privacy Issues' started by Adverse, Jul 24, 2010.

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  1. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Is there a document that can be recorded to indicate you dispute a land survey?

    That is the only question I am seeking an answer to at this time, so when a survey is recorded, I can file a document disputing it, if there is such a document.

    The Situation

    We have owned our house and lot for 13 years, and had a survey when we bought it. After the survey, there was only one visible pin, clearly marked in one of the corners. The pin was not a new one set during the survey, but was an obviously older one, with an obviously older wooden stake next to it. Both the pin and the stake had surveyors' tape on them.

    We have abided by that pin to establish two of our property lines and have made improvements out to the property lines.

    Based on appearances when we bought our house, the previous owners had also used that pin as the corner pin.

    In the last 13 years, there have been four different owners of the house/lot next door. By coincidence, one of them was the person who built our house and was it's first owner. None of the first three owners of the house next to us disputed the pin, and they mowed, trimmed, etc., based on it.

    A tangled web, but another of the previous owners of the house next door is the son of one of the other owners of it, having inherited it. He has been here, in another nearby house, for 21 years, during which time he has either owned the house next to us or has been the caretaker. He has never disputed the pin, and has also abided by it in mowing, trimming and other duties as both homeowner and caretaker.

    There have been two property owners behind us in that 13 years, and neither of them disputed the pin. That property was undeveloped when we bought our house. The present owner used that pin to mark the property line between our properties earlier this year and then set a line of boundary rocks according to it.

    The current owner of the house next door bought it five years ago. They and their caretaker/previous owner have abided by the pin, not disputing it for those five years.

    I believe the pin may be the one set 46 years ago when the subdivision was platted. It has the appearance to be about that old. However long it has been there, no one has ever disputed it as being the corner pin.

    No one has ever disputed the improvements we made to our property out to that property line. We started those improvements when we bought the house 13 years ago.

    Last week the current owner of the house next door had their property surveyed. A new corner pin was set four feet in from the existing pin, effectively wiping out the improvements we have made along the property line between us and them.

    All involved still here are vehemently opposed to us, tickled that they have apparently taken some of our property. They are gloating and celebrating.

    We desire to sell our house and get of Dodge, but all this (rerod and yellow string) has tainted it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You need a lawyer, pronto, if you want to defend this land grab.
    Missouri is a very liberal state when it comes to adverse possession.
    You are at risk of losing a portion of your property to adverse possession.
    A piece of paper won't help you now.
    Nothing may help you prevent what might have been lost.
    Missouri allows your property to be adversely taken after a ten year period has elapsed without you taken affirmative steps to prevent the land grab.


    These websites will illustrate for your edification the intricacies of adverse possession.

    http://aglaw.missouri.edu/adverse_possession.htm

    http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G810



     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  3. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    I knew someone would go to AP, because they did not read or did not understand what I wrote.

    No one is taking anything from us through AP.

    According to the new survey, giving my neighbor land that we have been using for 13 years, and others before us for maybe as long as 46 years, we would be the ones seeking to keep it through adverse possession.

    &, regardless of how liberal MO is, our County is not, and the judge that would handle it hates property disputes and anyone who brings them.

    So, I do not want to be the one to bring the suit, I want my neighbor to have to, to claim what we have been using.

    Back to my only previous question . . .

    Is there a document that can be recorded to indicate you dispute a land survey?
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  4. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    FWIW, this meets the five conditions required for AP in MO.

    After 13 years can our neighbor reacquire land we have been using/improving, simply by having a surveyor stick a new pin in the ground, or do they have to have a court order?
     
  5. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Thinking out loud . . . maybe something entitled:

    Affidavit

    then stating that we dispute the survey done date on property description


    :confused::confused::confused:
     
  6. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    I was in the Recorder's office today and asked about this. They did not object to the affidavit idea.
     
  7. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    We decided to let this one go, to let them gloat over their newly-found 4 feet.
     
  8. john39

    john39 New Member

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    ...........
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  9. lyssamg

    lyssamg New Member

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    My family just went though a similar incident with out land.and we found a law that if land goes more than 5yrs uncontested that it falls under how it was originally set.
     
  10. Latigo

    Latigo New Member

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    Doctrine of Boundary by Acquiesence

    DON"T GIVE UP JUST YET!

    At least read on.

    I won’t go so far as to say that your approach to the boundary dispute is altogether wrong, although I’m convinced that it is. But I will say without hesitation that it will not be effective.

    What should be of legal concern to you is whether or not the “Doctrine of Boundary by Acquiescence or Practical Location” will apply thus preventing the neighbor from taking advantage of the survey. And perhaps stop the giggling and laughter.

    Missouri along with most if not all the other states adhere to that doctrine of boundary by acquiescence which literally means what it says.

    “When abutting landowners use and occupy up to a common boundary for a long time without disturbance, such possession and use are evidence that there was an agreement to establish the line,-not only to corroborate other evidence of such an agreement, but even if there be no other such evidence. While no duration is prescribed, the law does require that the duration of acquiescence be sufficient to show the mutual acceptance of the dividing line as the mutual boundary.” See: Tillman v. Hutcherson et al., 348 Mo. 473, 154 S.W.2d 104, 107 (1941), Id. at 107;   Conduff v. Stone, 968 S.W.2d 200, 204 (Mo.App.1998); Shoemaker vs. Houchen, Missouri Court of Appeals Western Division Case No. WD 55409 May 11, 1999

    It seems certain that sufficient time has elapsed that would otherwise prevent your neighbor from claiming ownership beyond what has long been the acknowledged as the demarcation line.

    Without established fencing and only one known common marker, your problem will be in placing that line.

    If push comes to shove and it sounds like you are already there and you want to preserve the status quo, then you will need to bring an action for declaratory judgment. And that will require the services of a competent trial lawyer.

    Interesting situation so please keep us/me posted.
     

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