Is setting fraudulent survey markers a crime?
In our state the malicious destruction of a survey marker is a crime punishable by jail time and a fine. It is very rare that someone admits to such an act so I do not know if there is any record of imprisonment for such acts.
How about the setting of survey marks by, say for example, a forester? Again it is doubtful that a person would admit to such an act, but, I have my suspicions. I am writing to the forester to ask for confirmation the the boundary was marked by a land surveyor as the marker is new and the logging was recent. That approach may get me the answer I am looking for without directly accusing the forester of surveying without a license.
I testified in court in a lawsuit where the neighbor pulled my pin out and moved it 6 feet in his favor, telling the judge he had placed the pin "where my plat said it should be".
Several other surveys were produced and their surveyor testified that my pin was out of position by about 0.6 feet. ( virtual pin cushion). The jury held and the court ruled that where I had set my monument for the defendant constituted the legal "property corner". The defendant then had to saw off 5 feet of his 2 story addition, but he was not ever charged with or fined for fraud.
The way I explain it is: when a licensed surveyor acting in good faith under applicable laws sets a monument ABSENT OF FRAUD he has set a legal property corner.
I'm aware of several cases of fraud, but only the one time where the neighbor had the funds to go to court to prove it
What was this marker that the forest guy set? I mean was it actually delineating a boundary?
I was in Court testifying that I didnt believe two subdivision corners were original corners and had not been set by a Registered Land Surveyor.
The Developer got on the stand after me and testified "He'll yes, they're original corners, I set them myself!" His brother followed him on the stand and testified "And I helped him, I was his stickman."
Now I say that was pure and simple fraud and they admitted it under oath.
The California Penal Code, Section 605 states:
Every person who either:
- Maliciously removes any monument erected for the purpose of designating any point in the boundary of any lot or tract of land, or a place where a subaqueous telegraph cable lies; or,
- Maliciously defaces or alters the marks upon any such monument; or,
- Maliciously cuts down or removes any tree upon which any such marks have been made for such purpose, with intent to destroy such marks;
--Is guilty of a misdemeanor.