A 393Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

Wanting More!
At first your magazine did not excite me at all. Being self-employed with very little time to read all the "junk" in my mail, I usually "skim and toss" most magazines. However, I had a rare moment of spare time on my hands the other day and sat down with the idea of "skimming and tossing" your recent [July/August] edition. What I found was that instead of spending only a couple minutes I ended up sitting in my chair and actually read it from cover to cover. In the end, I found myself completely engrossed and wanting more. Thank you for a brief moment of relaxation.
Mark R. Carlovsky, LS
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Double Monumentation
Jerry Penry’s article "Unintentional Double Monumentation" [July/August 2004] is right on. I have found deeds change from a stone corner to the witness over and over. It is also common for the original iron to be ignored while the more visible witness iron becomes the monument used. This is all due to sloppy or impatient or unskilled surveying. Sometimes the conversion from the stone corner to the iron is due to the lawyer calling for both monuments. How often have you seen a deed which defies the laws of physics?
Tom Kelso
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Solving (???) Overlaps
I would like to take issue with Leininger’s editorial "Overlaps 101" [July/August 2004]. I believe that he was looking at overlapping title lines strictly from a black and white point of view. The premise of his article is that only through thorough research and investigation can a conflict in title lines be corrected or solved by a surveyor. I disagree on two issues. I do, however, agree that there are no actual overlaps.

According to him, it is incumbent for the surveyor, upon the discovery of an overlap, to "solve apparent overlaps in title." You can solve a mathematical equation with certainty, but a surveyor cannot solve title line conflicts. Only the affected parties or the courts can solve conflicts by affixing existing title lines.

There are instances where a surveyor does not need to determine which line he/she would opine as valid as there are other considerations to be sought. I believe that the surveyor, before doing any further research and investigation, must apprise his client as to the overlap and his/her options to remedy the conflict. The options are as follows: 1) Client and adjoining property owner could reach an agreement (placed in writing) as to the location of the line. 2) Client could concede by written agreement to the adjoining property title line. 3) Adjoining property owner could concede by written agreement to the title line of your client. 4) If options 1 through 3 fail, client can request surveyor to make an opinion to the position, not solve, for your client’s consideration, in either accepting the adjoining property’s title line, or as a means to determine if litigation is needed. Y u would have o to agree that by preparing an agreement that would be recorded in the Land Records and become a part of the chain of title, options 1 through 3 are far more cost effective than litigation, and produce a satisfactory solution. If any of options 1 through 3 are successful, why charge your client the additional expense for your opinion when it may not be relevant? If an agreement was not reached by the parties, the next logical step would be to make a thorough research and investigation in order to make an opinion, not solve, as to the location of the line.

Sometime last year I corresponded with a surveyor who currently owns a company that produced a record plat knowing that an overlap existed and held what they determined to be the correct line and made no means of documenting the conflict on the plat, nor was there any agreement found in the chain of title resolving the issue. It is extremely important that conflicts in title be addressed either by recorded agreements or by the recorded documents based on the ruling of the courts. Because the conflict was not addressed properly or not at all, the conflict continued in existence until it was rediscovered. That surveyor stated that, for a fee, I could review his documentation so that I could decide (same as solve) which lot was entitled to it. My client declined to pursue that avenue as they, with my help, had negotiated with the adjoining property owner affixing the line in question. My point is whether or not I would agree with that surveyor’s line position was not important at that stage of the survey. What was important is that the conflict was resolved and an agreement recorded putting the issue to rest in the most cost effective means. In closing, Leininger should give the surveyor with whom he had a conversation the benefit of doubt as he may have been only referring to the initial discovery of the overlap.
Ken Wells, LS
Kingsville, MD

Magic Squares Glitch
Several astute readers noticed that the kaballistic magic square in my article ["A Surveyor’s Own Conspiracy Theory," July/August, pp. 63-64] had two 3s, and no 4. One reader surmised that this was done by ancient kabbalists so that the square would be less than perfect, a suggestion I would gratefully accept to get me off the hook, except that it’s not true. In fact, the square should have had a 4 in place of the 3 on the bottom row and the mistake was a transcription error for which I am wholly responsible. A few readers also pointed out that the numerological reduction in the first figure was garbled, a mistake that I should have caught when reviewing the proofs of the piece. Interestingly, no reader has yet disputed the nutty theories presented in the article, which I am choosing to view as an endorsement.
­Angus Stocking.

A Real Jewel
I always enjoy reading Leininger and "Overlaps 101" [ July/August 2004, p.10] was no exception. The concept that there can be no "overlaps" is a real, succinct jewel. However, I must object to the idea that boundary retracement is the "apex of our craft" practiced only by a few. Every property survey proposes to show the lines of title and any problems associated with that line. In fact, that is why we are hired to survey in the first place-to guarantee the lines as shown. How can one even survey a lot on the perimeter of a subdivision without knowing that the boundary of the subdivision is correct? It is interesting to note that the "Doctrine of Boundary Retracement" knows no bounds. Overlaps in Texas should be treated the same as they are in Maryland.
John Griffin, LS
Dayton, TX

A 393Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE