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Clark 8th, Chapter 4, Land Surveying

Dave Karoly
(@dave-karoly)
10,000+ posts Member

Most of the Chapter reads like a cranky old man shaking his stick and saying "now lookie here sonny, back in my day..."

I don't quite understand a purported Legal Treatise warning us not to use it as a Legal Treatise but it is published by a well known legal publishing house.

There is a long screed against following Cooley's advice, like out of left field.

Then somehow this survived which is an expansion on Grime's 4th edition:

"Great caution must be used in making resurveys or retracements. Lines long accepted should not be lightly cast aside for greater conformity to modern surveys made with modern equipment."

Here ends my book report.  Thank you, thank you very much.

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Topic starter Posted : October 21, 2021 9:27 am
Bill93
(@bill93)
5,000+ posts Member

Sounds like it isn't getting better with age and editions.

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Posted : October 21, 2021 9:35 am
FrozenNorth
(@frozennorth)
500+ posts Member

Classic Robillard.

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Posted : October 21, 2021 9:48 am
Jp7191 liked

thebionicman
(@thebionicman)
1,000+ posts Member

Clark, Robillard, Wilson, and the rest of the gang gave us some great stuff. I appreciate them for that. Thier writings also include some real crap. It is our job to sort out which is which. We do that by staying current on case law, statutes, and the standard of care in our jurisdiction. When you test the old writings against that knowledge it is easier to hold the good while letting the garbage slip through your fingers...

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Posted : October 21, 2021 10:13 am
Dave Karoly
(@dave-karoly)
10,000+ posts Member

I have read hundreds of boundary cases and I confidently state that the weight of authority is in favor of holding existing monuments unless they are patently, clearly, convincingly, badly wrong which is rare.

I also think decisions and statements on old Surveys should be presumed to be correct and true unless there is clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, this is the best practice, in my opinion.  Otherwise we just have what everyone hates, floating boundaries.  I'm uncomfortable with the technicalities so lets shift everything.  All this does is create strife and confusion for no good reason.

I like the way West Publishing Company organized their indexes and books, Part I-Deeds and Descriptions which naturally flows into Part II-Establishment.  Deeds create boundaries, surveyors follows the instructions in the Deed to locate the boundaries, Land Owners accept and abide by these boundaries then moving into Part II Land Surveyors find the previously established boundaries if possible.  If not, then and only then do we layout the boundaries again.

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Topic starter Posted : October 21, 2021 11:51 am
Norm Miller
(@norm)
500+ posts Member

@dave-karoly 

I'm convinced Walter has done more harm than good for boundary determination by surveyors.  The Rivers vs. Lozeau case that I and others have studied ad nauseum being a prime example of the visitation of the surveyor being a great public calamity. Where the line between the two was once straight 400 ft offset from the 40 acre line we now have a 25 foot jog in the middle to facilitate the south owner to keep their buildings on their property.  Where the owners to the west of the west quarter corner of the section once had simple clean deeds to the center of the existing road we now have corrective deeds including sliver govt tracts. The last time I attended one of his presentations it was embarrassing for him. Cranky old man is a kind way to put it.  We need to be kind to cranky old men. It may be in our future. 

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Posted : October 22, 2021 8:57 am

Dave Karoly
(@dave-karoly)
10,000+ posts Member

@norm he quotes large chunks of text out of that case. Some of the statements of law are correct, of course, but the misapplication to certain parts of the case is the problem.

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Topic starter Posted : October 22, 2021 9:23 am
Norm Miller
(@norm)
500+ posts Member

Agree. I think it's a little out of line to use a case in which you were involved and able to sway a court into stating the law correctly but misapplying it to the facts and then cite it in your book as a landmark decision. Good plan though if you can pull it off. 

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Posted : October 22, 2021 9:43 am
David Kendall
(@david-kendall)
100+ posts Member
Posted by: @dave-karoly

I have read hundreds of boundary cases and I confidently state that the weight of authority is in favor of holding existing monuments unless they are patently, clearly, convincingly, badly wrong which is rare.

I also think decisions and statements on old Surveys should be presumed to be correct and true unless there is clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, this is the best practice, in my opinion.  Otherwise we just have what everyone hates, floating boundaries.  I'm uncomfortable with the technicalities so lets shift everything.  All this does is create strife and confusion for no good reason.

I like the way West Publishing Company organized their indexes and books, Part I-Deeds and Descriptions which naturally flows into Part II-Establishment.  Deeds create boundaries, surveyors follows the instructions in the Deed to locate the boundaries, Land Owners accept and abide by these boundaries then moving into Part II Land Surveyors find the previously established boundaries if possible.  If not, then and only then do we layout the boundaries again.

@dave-karoly I wish I could "like" this post 1000 times

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Posted : October 22, 2021 10:12 am

Chris Bouffard
(@chris-bouffard)
200+ posts Member

@thebionicman the problem I see quite often in holding the good while letting the garbage slip through your fingers is that some of the newer generations of Surveyors, raised on the reliance of electronics, cast controlling calls aside in reliance on modern day electronic measurements and calculations.

I was fortunate enough to have started my career with nothing but a field folder, optical 30" transit and steel tape to rely on.  I worked with some very good old timers who taught be about historic stones, markers and other physical features to work off of.

These days, many surveyors are accepting measurements made in the current day versus historic markers and completely casting aside the intent when the measurements differ.

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Posted : October 23, 2021 1:11 pm
thebionicman
(@thebionicman)
1,000+ posts Member

@chris-bouffard We probably started in the same era. I believe the measurements over monuments and calls problem was there before either of us. There are too many old examples of that goofiness to think otherwise. Having people place thier faith in newer tools certainly hasn't helped. The right combination of education and experience is the only antidote. If Clark is part of the education it may do more harm than good until maturity is added. Unfortunately the pressure to remove 'barriers to licensure' is translating to noise against licensure in general. I'm feeling an off topic rant coming on so I'll get back to my chores...

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Posted : October 23, 2021 4:53 pm
Dave Karoly
(@dave-karoly)
10,000+ posts Member

Cooley in his famous speech is talking about the problem of Land Surveyors resurveying City blocks:

”Now it may perhaps be known in a particular case that a certain monument still remaining was the starting point in the original survey of the town plat; or a surveyor settling in the town may take some central point as the point of departure in his surveys and, assuming the original plat to be accurate, he will then undertake to find all streets and all lots by course and distance according to the plat, measuring and estimating from his point of departure. This procedure might unsettle every line and every monument existing by acquiescence in the town; it would be very likely to change the lines of streets, and raise controversies everywhere. Yet this is what is sometimes done; the surveyor himself being the first person to raise the disturbing questions.”

in fact there’s a 19th century case in Santa Barbara where that is exactly what happened.

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Topic starter Posted : October 23, 2021 5:48 pm

jmcnicholspls
(@jmcnicholspls)
10+ posts Member

Funny I just expressed a similar sentiment on Robillard the other day.  I could not agree more.  I have not wasted my time with him in twenty years.  My 7th edition has Bouman as a co-author.  Is he included on the 8th?

I do like Wilson’s solo texts.  I have always found his legal research quite good.  Last time I attended a Wilson seminar I felt he spent too much time stroking the surveyor ego. 

I find a legal disclaimer to be somewhat confusing.  Especially when the author identifies himself as an attorney.

Thankfully the underlying principles of boundary surveying are well settled.  Brown and Eldridge or Skelton work well to explain the principles. Then case law or statute for the state you are in. 

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Posted : October 24, 2021 12:46 pm
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